I am flying into Bangkok and need to get to Koh Samui.

Thailand September 19, 2012 00:00

By Vipasai Niyamabha
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Do you think it is worth paying more money to fly direct to Koh Samui? Or should I just book a Nok Air flight to Surat Thani for half the price then travel from Nar Ton Pier? What is the difference? Thanks in advance for your help! Ismail


As you already know, flying directly to Koh Samui, either by Thai Airways or Bangkok Airways is relatively expensive. However, the advantage is that you don't have to leave Suvarnabhumi Airport and travel across town to Don Mueang Airport, which is quite a long way. You also arrive on the island of Samui, meaning you will be at your hotel and on the beach within 30 minutes of landing.
Nok Air flies out of Don Mueang Airport so you will need to make sure you have plenty of time between your arrival and your connecting flight. The trip between airports takes a minimum of one hour and you need to check in an hour before the flight time.
Nok Air offers passengers a package that includes the flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani Airport, bus from the airport to the pier and a catamaran to Koh Samui. The price is very reasonable compared to the direct flight to the island and it’s ideal for anyone not in a hurry and who enjoys sea travel. However, if you are carrying a large piece of luggage, it is not a very convenient option. In this case, flying directly would definitely save you a lot of hassle and time.
I enjoy shopping in Asian markets but don’t want carry too much around during my upcoming one-month holiday in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Siem Reap. Which of these places offers the best market experience? Thanks a lot. Sandra 
Shopping is fun for anyone travelling in Southeast Asia and offers everything from colourful open-air markets to gleaming shopping malls.
If you are a real shopaholic, there’s nowhere better than Bangkok! Chatuchak weekend market is probably the world’s largest and offers a wide variety of products at very good prices. If you don’t happen to be in Bangkok on a weekend, there are still places to shop for souvenirs like MBK or many bustling shopping streets in China Town or even Khao San Road. At night, Bangkok has Asiatique, a new shopping venue by the Chao Phraya River where you can browse for souvenirs. 
Chiang Mai is second best for market shopping. Its Sunday Walking Street on Rachadamnoen Road and Saturday Market Street on Wua Lai road are very atmospheric and interesting for anyone into handicrafts. 
Siem Reap’s Old Market is also awesome in terms of atmosphere. In the morning, the market is bustling with fresh stuff from fish to frogs and an array of vegetables and spices. Throughout the day up until late at night, the market also offers a good selection of local handicrafts, souvenirs, clothing and many attractive cafes and good restaurants. 
My recommendation would be to enjoy beach holiday in Phuket and leave your shopping to one of the three destinations above. If you plan to buy a lot before going home, plan ahead and spend your last weekend in Bangkok.