There's no tuk tuk in Samui. Thanks goodness they are too noise.
In Samui you can use Songtheaw( pick up truck with canopy top, two row of seats facing each other ) operate and shares like bus. Just flag one down tell the driver where you want to go and hop on. The fare is per head. Or use taxi.
Thanks Sweetpea. These must have been what we used in Phuket. A bit hard on the bottom, but a good way to get around. We're also considering hiring a car for part of our stay as our hotel offers "free parking".
You're welcome :)
Having a car is good way to see the island. You get to see where the tour company won't take you and do it on your own pace.
Safe travel :)
The tuk tuks on Phuket (or BKK) are not shared like the songtheaws on Samui are. The phuket tuk tuks are more flash with slightly padded seats - not like the hard benches of the Samui songtheaw. You can flag down a passing songtheaw (if full or not working it won't stop, and they often pip their hooters / hons so show they are working]; there may already be passengers, or the driver may stop to pick up others once you are onboard. Its a great way to get to chat to folks for 5-10mins!
Whilst you will get a great day out with most tour companies, like Samui Island Explorer, as they will tailor the tour to you; we have found that we prefer the freedom of a rental car. We have seen and experienced many more off the beaten track stuff than many average visitors. We normally hire with the larger international companies as they offer good inclusive package.
Many larger hotels offer free parking - I know it was always part of the deal at Centara Grand.
Just curious how do they price them... We have been charged a different number for taxi to same destinations and same with the songs
They charge as much as they can get.
I've posted this before and it's a little long but here's a guide to Samui songtheaws
Here's a good guide to how they work, as explained by a local thai.
During daytime, from 6am-6pm, there's the regular cars which starts 2 at the same time about every 15 mins from Choeng Mon then the split in Chaweng one going the Maenam route, the other Lamai and both end at the same place at the Nathon pier.
There is also another car which drives from Choeng Mon -> Big Buddha - Bang Rak -> Maenam -> Nathon. But this one only leaves every 1 hour or so. There's also one which goes this route from Nathon -> Bang Rak -> Choeng Mon, also about once very hour.
The drivers will let you know which way they're going and also ask you exactly where you're going so that they'll let you know if you can go with them or not.
The reason they can't drive too fast is that they're not allowed to drive so fast that they starts to overtake the car which left 15 mins before. If they do that, they'll be fined. So they're forced to keep their pace.
They are however allowed to go on any private hire at their discretion. For example, if along the way, they meet a group of farangs who wants to be taken to waterfall and have him wait for them to take them back to hotel, the driver will most likely go for it since they'll get instant lump of money.
These regular songthaews stop after 6pm or so and after that it'll be much more expensive.
In Lamai on the one-way road, often, songthaews may be taking a detour to this road, so you can really never be sure if one is going to Nathon or Chaweng. There's no sign on the cars which say where they're going. If you look carefully they all say Nathon-Lamai-Chaweng. The only way to know is to ask them where they're going.
Price structure (for locals, but if after you've asked which way they're going, and simply confidently hop in, then when you go off, nonchalantly give them the EXACT amount, it'll work for you too)
[I'm not really supposed to be telling you this... again...]
Within the same area, for example Chaweng, it's 20bt. From one are to another adjacent area, such as Chaweng-Maenam or Chaweng-Lamai, it's 40bt. It's never more than 60bt. So from Chaweng-Nathon or even Choeng Mon-Nathon, it's 60bt.
Prices aren't really based on distance. For example, I've gone on all the way from near Al's Resort Laem Son at the north of Chaweng lagoon, all the way to BigC and it's only 20bt. But if I take one from BigC to Maenam, which is shorter distance, it's gonna cost 40bt, because it's considered to be from one area to another
Another local explained pricing as such:
It was explained to me like this -
If you get onto a Songthaew and ask the price - he./she will respond as if a taxi (300, 400 500 baht.) He/she will happily assume that you want private hire.
If you get on a stationary songthaw and it waits - it's a bus. (20 40 60 baht)
If you get on a stationary songthaw and he/she asks where you want to go - private hire again.
If you stop a songthaew and say nothing - it's a bus. Ring the bell when you want to stop.
When you alight - give a reasonable amount of money. No cheap charlie - but give the exact amount. 20 40 60 baht. 80 baht max. Then just walk away. The driver will not waste time or call the police if you have given a reasonable fare.
Do not expect change. Get the small notes before you board the thing.
If you give 20 baht for a trip from Nathon to Chaweng - you deserve everything and anything that happens to you. What comes around, gets around.
Treat them right and you should have no problems.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.