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The Thai island of Koh Samui has long been a popular holiday resort – and once you’ve spent some time here you’ll see why. With its palm-fringed white sand beaches, warm turquoise waters and fantastic selection of backpacker hostels and luxury resorts, it’s the island getaway destination to suit even the most indecisive traveller. To make the most of the island, consider hiring a car. Car hire will give you the freedom to explore without relying on the local taxis.
If you’re travelling to Koh Samui from outside Thailand, you’ll find it easiest to get to the island by plane. There is one airport on the island, the privately owned Samui Airport. Here you can pick up a rental vehicle, either from a local Thai agency or a global company such as Budget. Only a small number of airlines operate out of the airport, and they mostly fly to and from destinations in Thailand, China, Malaysia and Singapore. However, it’s simple to book connecting flights to Samui Airport. The airport is also very close to Bangrak Pier, which receives ferries from Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Donsak on the mainland.
You don’t have to hire a car at Samui Airport, but many travellers find that this is the most convenient option. You can find other car rental agencies on the 4169 road that loops around the middle of the island. You should also be able to find accommodation on the island that will allow you to hire a vehicle directly through them. Once you have acquired a rental car, driving on Koh Samui is fairly straightforward. The 4169 connects most of the major areas, with smaller roads looping off at the bottom to offer access to the southern tip of the island.
There are many beautiful beaches on Koh Samui, and when you have your own rental vehicle you don’t have to pick and choose – you can visit them all! On the southeastern coast, you’ll find Lamai Beach, a long stretch of white sand lined with bars, restaurants and shops. Further north, and close to Samui Airport, is Chaweng, the most popular resort on the island. Famous for its long beach and the wide variety of accommodation options, Chaweng is home to a large lake around which you’ll find bars, restaurants and tourist-friendly attractions.
One particularly magical area of Koh Samui that can be easily accessed by car, is Na Muang. Located in the south of the island, Na Muang is around a 40-minute drive from the airport and boasts waterfalls, temples and a safari park. You’ll also find plenty of opportunities to go hiking and elephant trekking. Wherever you choose to spend your time on the island of Koh Samui, don’t forget that you can start planning your dream trip today by browsing car hire options with the Expedia search tool.