What is the fastest way from Kanchanaburi to Koh Samet?

Reader’s E-mail

Hello, please can you give me an advice what is the fastest way from Kanchanaburi to Koh Samet?

Reply from Thailand Life

There are a number of different ways to get from Kanchanaburi to Koh Samet by public transport, all of which involve first travelling to Bangkok and from there travelling to Ban Phe in Rayong Province to catch either a ferry or a speedboat over to Koh Samet. Unless you take a private taxi you need to allow at least 8 hours for this journey and we recommend that you set off early in the morning from Kanchanaburi so that you are in time for the last ferry of the day from Ban Phe, which departs at 17.00.

In terms of which public transport transport option is the quickest way to travel from Kanchanaburi to Ban Phe (for the ferry to Koh Samet) we reckon there are two options which take roughly the same length of time:

Option A: Via Morchit Bus Station and Rayong Town

This is three stage journey to reach the pier at Ban Phe:

  1. Minivan from Kanchanaburi Bus Station to Morchit Bus Station in Bangkok. Departures from Kanchanaburi at 07.00 then every hour on the hour until 17.00 with the Kwan Chee Vee Tour Company. The journey by minivan from Kanchanaburi to Morchit Bus Station takes 3 hours 00 minutes and costs 150 THB if you book online.
  2. Next change to another minivan also departing from Morchit Bus to Rayong. This journey takes 3 hours 30 minutes and costs 220 THB booked online. Minivans depart every hour from 07.30 until 16.30 every day and are operated by the Rayong Tour Company.
  3. From Rayong it is a 29.7 km journey to the ferry piers at Ban Phe which should take around 40 minutes. From the bus station in Rayong you take a shared taxi to Ban Phe. They depart regularly as this is a busy route and should cost 40 THB per person.
Option B: Via Ekkamai Bus Station

With this option the bus takes you direct from Bangkok to the ferry piers in Ban Phe, but you need to change bus stations in Bangkok:

  1. As with Option A the first stage of the journey is by minivan to Morchit Bus. You can take a bus, but they are slower, and you have the option of travelling to the Southern Bus Terminal, but this is also slower as it is further from the place in Bangkok where you catch the bus to Ban Phe.
  2. From Morchit Bus Station take a meter taxi to Mo Chit BTS station. The journey by meter taxi will cost between 50 and 60 THB.
  3. At Mo Chit BTS station board the ‘skytrain’ to Ekkamai BTS station. The fare per person is 42 THB and the journey by the BTS is scheduled to take 26 minutes.
  4. Leave from Ekkamai BTS station at Exit 2 and walk 3 minutes along the Sukhumvit Road until you reach Ekkamai Bus Station.
  5. Bus services from Ekkamai Bus Station to Ban Phe depart every hour from 06.00 to 17.00 with the Cherdchai Tour Company. Buy your ticket at the bus station. The fare is 240 THB and the journey should take around 3 hours 30 minutes although it sometimes takes 1 to 2 hours longer if the traffic is bad or the bus stops to drop off/collect passenger or parcels along the way.
Bus to Ban Phe at Ekkamai Bus Station
Ferry to Koh Samet

There are 5 ferry piers at Ban Phe all close together and on the same road. The larger ferries departs from Ban Phe Pier and Nuan Tip Piers roughly every hour from 08.00 until 17.00. The fare on the large ferries is 70 THB one way and the journey takes around 40 minutes. You can also travel by speedboat which takes only 10 minutes. Ban Phe Pier is your best choice for catching a shared speedboat to Koh Samet. However, bear in mind there are two downsides to taking a shared speedboat to Koh Samet:

  • Shared speedboats do not run according a schedule – they depart when they are full. If you have a long wait for a speedboat you may have been better off taking the large ferry.
  • The cost of a shared speedboat is more expensive and it varies. Expect to pay 200 to 400 THB per person depending on where you buy the ticket and which speedboat tour your use.

Because of the variety of different ferry and speedboat options, and a large number of different piers, for travel from Ban Phe to Koh Samet we suggest that you check when you arrive at Ban Phe for the next available ferry or speedboat and the prices they want to charge.

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