Koh Samui Airport Spotting Guide

Koh Samui, a small island in the gulf of Thailand is a popular place for tourist from all over the world. The airport is private owned by Bangkok Airways and because of that situation the airline variety is very low. PG is responsible for almost all flights using there A320´s and ATR72 and they have a wide variety of different paintings on the planes so it can get pretty interesting to catch all the beautyful birds. The airport is located between Chaweng on the east and Boh Put in the north.

Wrtten by Julian Mittnacht / Visited in 2011

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Airline Variety
Photo Locations
Airport Informations Runways 17/35
2.060 m (6.759 ft)
Terminals Bangkok Airways, Firefly, Thai, Silk Air
Spotting Informations Ladder not needed
Car not needed, taxi is cheap
Restrooms inside the terminal and the restaurants around the airport
Drinks/Food all around the airport
Season many rainshowers between October and January
Runway Usage 17/35 used in all directions (mainly RWY 17)

Spot #1 – Airport Parking – all runway movements
WHERE It isn’t a problem to find this spot as its next to the departure terminal parking area. So just follow the signs to the airport depature and park your car here for free. Walk on the meadow south of the parking and you will stand directly before an overflow basin for rainwater.
WHAT There is no fence so you have a great view of the very close runway action. Koh Samui doesn’t have a taxiway, so all planes have to turn at the end of the runway and will pass you.
TIME A good spot from the morning until noon only (depends on time of the year)
MISC. Closest facilities are in the terminal. There is no shadow or something to sit down.
FOCAL LENGTH 70-150 mm
Spot #2 – runway road – 17 arrivals&departures
WHERE There is a dirt road which cross the airport areal at the end of runway 17. It will be closed for traffic, when planes are going to arrive or departure. You can’t stop on the road as security protects it. In the morning use the east side for spotting. The gate is close to the Sanam Bin Road and the Bangkok Airways offices. When the sun turns around just cross the road to the other end.
WHAT Usually the aircrafts arriving from the north/ocean and you are very close. When they departure from RWY17 they make a turn at the end of the runway and are within your focus at both spots.
TIME These two spots are good for the whole day.
MISC. Security guys knows that this is a famous spot for the tourists and spotters and usually they won’t bother you. So just be friendly and they will let you do your job. There are many shops at the main road of Bo Put.
FOCAL LENGTH 50-150 mm

Spot #3 – Forrest – 35 arrivals&departures
WHERE Its not so easy to find this spotting location. Its on the Had Chaweng 6 Road which leads to Chaweng. See the position on the map please. There is a short dirt road which you can enter from the main road. But park your car at the main road and walk a 100 meters until you will reach the perimeter of the airport.
WHAT You are at the end of RWY35 and get all the runway movements when they use this direction. When I was at this spot there were construction works and the fence was a little bit lower and so I was able to shot over it.
TIME Okay from afternoon until evening.
MISC. Here is absolutly nothing, only some trees that spend you some shadow in the hot months. Not sure if this dirt road to the perimeter is still there but give it a try!
FOCAL LENGTH 70-150 mm

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4 thoughts on “Koh Samui Airport Spotting Guide

  1. James

    Just spent a day 11-5.30pm at USM. I stayed in spot 2 exclusively. The security here are very friendly and one, I assume is the supervisor speaks decent English and offered to take me to the 7/11 to get some supplies during the day. They actively encourage people to take photos and even have a little dirt mound the other side of the gate for people to stand on. The spot is popular with locals after about 4pm too. Some fresh fruit and other roadside stalls pulled up and did a pretty good trade. In the time I was there i shot all of PG A319 fleet most of the ATR, Firefly ATR, TG 734… Good variety.

    1. MarlinMarlin

      Hi James,

      we love to hear that you have had a great time there! If you have anything to add to this guide, just let us know! 🙂

      Marlin Lehmann

  2. Charly Notter

    There are no A320 flying into Samui Airport. Only A319, ATR72 and B737-800 (TG) and, of course many private jets.


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