Beach Life

How to Get from Koh Samui Airport to Haad Salad

September 21st, 2017 | Posted by Salad Daze in Advice - (Comments Off on How to Get from Koh Samui Airport to Haad Salad)

If you are catching a Bangkok Airways flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui and your final destination is Haad Salad you will have to arrange transport from the airport to Haad Salad. Much of the journey can now be booked online to make your trip less fraught with stress. The entire journey takes about two hours. This post will detail the stages of the journey.

Koh Samui Airport to Thongsala in Koh Phangan

You can buy a joint minivan and ferry ticket from the search box below. The cost of which is about 450 Thai Baht per person. For this you get taken from Koh Samui Airport by air-con minivan to Bangrak Pier in the north of the island and transferred on to a Seatran ferry that takes you to the main town in Koh Phangan called Thongsala.

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There a number of advantages to booking tickets online. The first is that it saves you time having to haggle with taxi drivers at the airport, who will no doubt charge you more for the short journey to the ferry pier than you would pay for a joint minivan and ferry ticket. Secondly, you avoid running the risk of not getting a ticket for the ferry because it is full. And, thirdly, you will be tired from your flight (especially if you have just done a long haul into Bangkok) and will be grateful for one less thing to worry about.

Seatran have medium sized boats that are quick and generally run on time. The boat has plenty of seating, has a small shop that sells drinks and snacks, and can run in all conditions. The boat journey takes about 40 minutes. Below are the times available for joint tickets:

  • Depart 7.30 Arrive 8.30
  • Depart 12.30 Arrive 13.30
  • Depart 16.00 Arrive 17.00
  • Price 450 Thai Baht per person

If you arrive at Koh Samui Airport after 16.00 you might be able to catch the 18.30 Haad Rin Queen at Maenam or the 17.00 Lomprayah ferry from Nathon. Ferry schedules change regularly so it is best to check in advance before making plans.

Thongsala to Haad Salad

This is the last part of the journey. Once you get off the ferry you will be met by several Thais shouting out the names of destinations in Koh Phangan. Ask any one of these for the taxi to Haad Salad. Don’t worry you won’t be charged more by the taxi driver for not finding the shared taxi by yourself. The price is 150 Thai Baht per person if the taxi is relatively full. If not you will be given the option to wait for the next ferry (which they know you won’t do) or pay a little more.

The shared taxi is the famous Thai songthaew. This is a pickup truck with 2 rows of benches in the back for passengers. Sometimes the luggage goes on the roof and sometimes in the songthaew with the passengers.

Tell the taxi driver the name of your hotel, resort or bungalow outfit in Haad Salad and they will take you up to the front door.

The road between Thongsala and Haad Salad is flat and concreted with a few potholes. The trip takes about 20 minutes and has great scenery to enjoy.

Once you have unpacked, got in your swimming costume and had a dip in the warm sea you will soon forget about the rigours of your journey.

Beware of Jeep Hire

July 24th, 2013 | Posted by Salad Daze in Advice - (Comments Off on Beware of Jeep Hire)

Many people visiting Haad Salad consider renting either a motorbike or a jeep to explore the other beaches on the island. It makes a great day out when you can drop in on some of the 20 or so other beaches on Koh Phangan. Life is such is that a person might never get back to Koh Phangan and so they feel compelled to explore the island, to make the most of the experience.

However, beware that vehicle hire is fraught with problems in not only Haad Salad but all over Koh Phangan, and indeed all over Thailand. There is a common scam with motorbike hire, jeep hire and jetski hire that all tourists should be aware of. Sadly, the police and other government officials will do nothing to stop the scams. Rather than go on, the easiest thing is to quote Pamelita22 from Trip Advisor. She wrote the following in March 2011. Please don’t imagine that anything has changed in the meantime:

I am an English teacher in Lopburi Thailand, and recently travelled to Ko Phangan for short holiday. Haad Salad Villa was a decent place to stay, located directly on the quiet and beautiful beach of Haad Salad. The bungalows were comfortable and the restaurant on the resort provided great food.
On my final day on the island, and myself and one of my friends I met there decided to rent a jeep to explore the island. We saw a sign outside the Haad Salad travel shop (it is attached to a shop selling food goods and items of clothing) We enquired about renting it, and the cost was 1000 BHT for 2 hours. We thought this was great…..500 BHT each and a great way to get around and see some of the other beaches on the island. They ask you to fill in a form and give them your passport. Right away I felt uncomfortable doing this, and asked to see where they would be keeping it- they showed me a safe, and I agreed.
Whilst driving around, I had a SMALL accident, where I scraped the car whilst reversing out. Now, when I say a small scrape, I really mean, it was just a scrape. None the less, I am an honest person, and when we returned the jeep that night, I showed them the scrape, apologised and said I would pay for the expense. The ‘boss’ went mental and said she had to call a ‘mechanic’ 20 minutes later, 2 men showed up who examined the car, and presented me with a bill for 16,100 BHT! The lady then went on to say that it would take them 5 days to ‘fix’ the car, and so for these 5 days she would be loosing 5,000 BHT, and so added this onto the bill…..a total of 21,100……
I said there was absolutely no way I was paying that,, to which she replied if I didn’t then I would not get my passport back.
I have lived in Thailand for a year, and I can tell you honestly that this woman was scamming me. These so called mechanics she called no doubt worked for her, and were not legitimate. I spoke with some other people at the resort who said they were a BAD COMPANY who are known for ripping tourists off…..if anything, they WANT you to have an accident so they can charge you over the odds. After an hour of deliberation about what to do, I decided that if I was going to get my passport, I would have to pay her. When I told her I had spoken to people who had told me about their reputation, she said she would take 2,000 BHT off the price if I told her the names of who had said it……this just goes to show how corrupt this company is.
PLEASE DO NOT GIVE YOUR BUSINESS TO THESE PEOPLE. DO NOT RENT A MOTORBIKE/JEEP from them……if I can make just one person read this and not go, I will be happy.
Please pass on the message to anyone else who is thinking of going.
Thank you

It is tempting to say that all travel agents and indeed all companies that rent out vehicles are prepared to do exactly the same thing. This would be wrong. However, I have heard far more stories of people being fleeced than being charged a reasonable sum for damages. Even foreigners renting jetskis in Koh Phangan do the same thing.

If you do have a scratch on a bike or car the best thing is to go to a mechanic on the island and get the problem fixed. If they can fix the damage and leave no marks then the rental agent will be none the wiser and will hand over your passport. This is the cheapest option.

It is impossible to rent out a vehicle without giving up your passport. A photocopy will not do.

If this post worries you then the best thing to do is to take taxis. They are pricey but not as pricey as being scammed. Such an experience ruins a holiday.

Have a look at this YouTube video of a jetski scam operation in Pattaya. As with the above experience everyone who joins the incident are ‘in’ on the scam and will be paid when the tourists pay up.

If you do want to rent a vehicle to use in Koh Phangan the safest option is to use a recognised car rental company such as Avis or Hertz that provide insurance and do not ask for a passport deposit. You can find more information about this at Koh Phangan Car Rental.

When to Visit Haad Salad

July 23rd, 2013 | Posted by Salad Daze in Advice - (Comments Off on When to Visit Haad Salad)

One of the most commonly asked questions about Haad Salad and also Koh Phangan is: when is the best time to visit? The answer really is any time except for during the monsoon in October and November.

For many visitors to Haad Salad their trip is timed to coincide with a Full Moon Party. Remember at this time many places insist on a minimum stay of between 3 and 5 nights, so it is important to allow nearly a week if you are coming from Bangkok to allow for travelling and resort stay restrictions.

Another consideration when people plan a trip to Haad Salad is the tidal variations. As with all the beaches on the west coast of Koh Phangan, the water recedes far out during the low tidal months between May and October. If you take out the rainy season months this means that the best months for swimming in Haad Salad are December, January, February, March and April. Out of these 5 months December is the most expensive (it’s peak season from mid-December to the first week in January), and January is high season. If you want to get a good deal on accommodation and a high tidal weather system the best months are therefore February, March and April.

Naturally, most people with jobs cannot choose when they have a holiday, especially people with kids. On the island July and August are very busy. These are the two months when most people in Europe and the USA take their summer holidays. It is also the time when the resorts, hotels and bungalow outfits put up their prices.

The most important festival in Koh Phangan is Songkran or Thai New Year. The date of the festival used to be based on the Thai lunar calendar but is now always held from April 13th to April 15th. All over the island people are having water fights and enjoying the holiday atmosphere, but the best place to experience Songkran mayhem is Thongsala. The main road packs out with party goers drinking and drenching each other.


The graphic below gives information about average rainfall and temperature on Koh Phangan.
Koh Phangan weather
Follow this link to find out the dates for the Full Moon Party as well as the Half Moon and Black Moon Parties.

Party schedules for Koh Phangan