Nathon Pier is the main ferry port in Samui. Located on the northwest coast of the island, between Laem Yai and Lipa Noi beaches, Nathon is the capital town of the island. Curiously, it did not become a sought-after holiday destination following the increase in popularity of Samui. Instead, it retained a quaint local atmosphere and hosts all the main administrative offices on the island.
Samui’s Nathon Pier features no less than three jetties. The northern jetty is used by Seatran ferry company, the central bridge, which is the largest and oldest one, is used by Lomprayah ferry company, while the southern jetty is of a smaller size and is used by fishing and long-tail boats. The two bridges dedicated to ferries feature large waiting rooms that can comfortably accommodate departing passengers. They host small shops selling drinks and snacks. Ambulant vendors can also be found on the jetties selling barbequed squid, sausages, and other local favourites.
Ferry traffic is quite intense at Nathon Pier, as it’s linked to Donsak Pier (just south of Suratthani on the mainland), Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao. The connection with the mainland is the busiest, as there’s a ferry departure to Donsak every hour between 05:00 and 19:00.
In the immediate vicinity of the pier, you’ll find a variety of restaurants, shops, pharmacies, banks, a small Tesco Lotus supermarket, and small hotels. Transfer services are also readily at hand to take all the arriving passengers to the major resort towns located on the east coast of Samui. The cheapest way to get to your destination is by songthaew (pick-up taxi) which normally charge less than 100 baht to take you to Chaweng Beach. The same route with a taxi-meter will cost you around 600 baht.
It’s important to note that Samui has a total of four main ferry piers dotted around the island. Find more info here.