We vacationed in Koh Samui in August, and thought I'd report back on the Air Asia plane/bus/ferry package from bangkok to Koh Samui b/c I think a lot of folks consider this option b/c of the price. I had plenty of questions about how this would work, but decided to risk it b/c the price difference b/t this Air Asia package and bangkok Airways was quite significant. We flew into BKK, and had 4 hours between flight times. The flight was not late, and we had plenty of time to find the free shuttle from BKK to DMK. The shuttle was like an old school bus, but was fine and the ride was only approximately 45 minutes.
Note, we chose to exchange money at BKK, but noticed the exchange rates were slightly better at DMK.
DMK airport was a mess, and we were very happy that we printed out our boarding passes before hand for Air Asia, or else we would have stood in line for an hour. Note, we chose to eat lunch at DMK before you enter the gate area, and that was a mistake. The restaurants at the counter area were not great - inside, you get a nice terminal with chain restaurants like McDonalds, Krispy Cream, and a 7-11. So I would definitely wait to eat after I check in and enter the airport.
The flight from DMK to (I can't remember where) was uneventful and fine. Upon arrival, we picked up our baggage and had to ask information where to go. Apparently, you have to exit the airport, to go outside, and there is a bus, with a man with a list of names. He will give you a sticker for the bus if you point out your name.
The bus was worse than the BKK to DMK bus, had aircon, but definitely old and bumpy. There was barely a seat for everyone (every seat is taken). The ride was quite long and uncomfortable.
Finally, we arrived at the pier, and it was very confusing what to do. We got our luggage, and the guy from the bus did not really tell us what we should do next. We tried to get on the ferry with our sticker, only to be told that we had to walk back to where the bus dropped us off to the ticket counter to collect our ferry tickets. everyone else from the bus was confused, and we only arrived when the ferry was supposed to leave. So we were quite panicked and ran back to the ticket counter where only one person was helping check people's names in. I get the feeling the boat doesn't leave until everyone is checked in from the list, as no one seemed to be in a hurry despite the fact that the ferry was supposed to leave.
On the boat, there definitely was not seats for everyone, especially since we were one of the last ones on the boat. We snagged two seats in a patio area. it was comfortable enough, but halfway through, it started to rain, and we had to run into the partially covered area. Even though the company was lompraya, this ferry was definitely not as nice as the lomprayah high speed ferry we took from Koh Samui to Koh Tao.
Ultimately, we arrived about an hour late. Other than the transition from the bus to the ferry, it went smoothly, and I'm glad that we chose the Air Asia optin to get to Koh Samui.