GET TO KOH TAO

How To Get To Koh Tao [2024] – A Complete Guide

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There is only ONE way to get to Koh Tao and that is by boat or ferry however you want to describe it!

The island has no connection to the mainland and no airport, therefore arrival by bus, train, or plane is impossible.

Ferries run daily to Koh Tao from several ports including Chumphon, Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and so on.

To get to Koh Tao from one of these ports is relatively straightforward but if you are finding the process slightly overwhelming, do not worry I will provide you with all the information you need to get to Koh Tao safely.

Most of the confusion to get to Koh Tao comes from when you’re starting away from a port and need to take multiple transport methods. For example Bangkok, there are several ways to reach Koh Tao from Bangkok and we will cover these amongst other major travel destinations in Thailand.

Koh Tao is simply a MUST-VISIT island in Thailand and this guide will show you the quickest and cheapest way to reach this paradise.

Why Visit Koh Tao?

Koh Tao, a fantastic spot in the gulf of Thailand, has a lot to offer travellers.

Sairee Beach, with its soft white sand and clear blue waters, is a perfect place to chill or party. It’s got that laid-back vibe during the day and lively nightlife for those who want a bit of both.

Now, if you’re into diving (link), the island of Koh Tao is a dream come true. It’s crazy cheap to learn scuba diving here, and the underwater world is like an exciting dream. Diving resorts line the coast, ready to turn newbies into diving pros. The marine life and colourful coral reefs are like a real-life Finding Nemo scenario.

Or will you see a Whale Shark?

It’s not just about diving – the island itself is a mix of amazing viewpoints, tasty Thai food, and heavy nights out!

Whether you’re a beach bum, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Koh Tao’s got something for everyone. Plus, it won’t break the bank, making it a top pick for budget-savvy travellers. So, if you want sun, sea, and suspicious parents… adventure without burning a hole in your pocket, Koh Tao is the place to be!

But how do you get there?

How To Get To Koh Tao From Bangkok

There are three main ways you can get from Bangkok to Koh Tao:

Fly To Koh Samui

If you’re in a rush and cost is not an issue for you, by far the fastest way to reach Koh Tao from Bangkok is to fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui.

When you have booked your ticket make sure to double-check the airport as it’ll be one of two:

  • DMK – Don Mueang International Airport
  • BKK – Suvarnabhumi Airport

Flights to Koh Samui are usually operated by Bangkok Airways the flight will take you between an hour and an hour and 45 minutes, arriving at Koh Samui airport.

From Koh Samui International Airport you’ll have to order a Grab to the pier you have booked your ferry ticket from. These will be either:

  • Maenam Pier (25-minute drive from the airport to the pier)
  • Na Thon Koh Samui (35-minute drive)

Ferries run from 08:00 – 15:30 so make sure you book a flight that allows you to reach the ferry of your choice.

You can find all your flight information on Sky Scanner.

More detailed information on the ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao can be found further down this article.

Bus & Ferry Combined Ticket

This is the most popular way, and in my opinion, the best way to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok. And will save a few £££ on the way! Get a bus and ferry combined ticket to Koh Tao

With all companies operating from the popular Khao San Road it is the easiest most stress-free way of reaching Koh Tao as you pay the money and the rest is taken care of for you.

All buses are air-conditioned and usually have a guide with you for the whole journey to Chumphon.

Recommended to arrive 45 minutes before departure from Khao San Road.

Departure & Arrival TimesCompanyJourney DurationPrice Per Person
06:00 – 14:45Khao San Lomprayah8 Hours 45 Minutes£28 ($35)
19:00 – 09:00Khao San Montanatip14 Hours£30 ($37)
21:00 – 08:45Khao San Lomprayah11 Hours 45 Minutes£28 ($35)
Bus and Ferry Combined Ticket From Bangkok To Koh Tao.

As the follow-up ferry has been pre-paid for and is an affiliate of the bus company you can be sure you will be getting on the next ferry once you arrive in Chumphon.

Sleeper Train To Chumphon

Rivalling the bus and ferry combined ticket is the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chumphon.

I would recommend you at least book a second-class sleeper to ensure you have a bed to lay on instead of sitting in third class where, to be honest, it is a nightmare as I found out when I went to Chiang Mai.

Arrive at the train station in Bangkok and you will have to locate your exact seat which can be found on your ticket, it’s not like England you can’t sit where you want!

Departure & Arrival TimesCompanyJourney DurationPrice Per Person
18:50 – 02:00Thai Railways7 Hours 10 Minutes£22 ($27)
19:50 – 03:06Thai Railways7 Hours 16 Minutes£22 ($27)
20:30 – 03:53Thai Railways7 Hours 23 Minutes£21 ($26)
Sleeper Train From Bangkok To Chumphon

When you arrive at Chumphon station, you will have to get a taxi I do not believe Grab or Bolt work here so it will have to be a private taxi.

Ferries from Chumphon to Koh Tao only run at selected times, more details of this can be found later in the article.

Get To Koh Tao From Koh Samui

To get to Koh Tao from Koh Samui is a very straightforward process. You will only require one ferry ride from Koh Samui there is usually no connection.

As long as you turn up at the correct pier on Koh Samui corresponding to your ticket you can’t go wrong.

There are only two ferry companies that run from the island of Koh Samui to Koh Tao – Lomprayah and Songserm – The workers at the pier will help guide you to the relative ferry on arrival.

It is more than likely you will need to get a taxi from your accommodation to the pier, Koh Samui is a busy island make sure you leave enough time to get to the pier.

Departure & Arrival TimesCompany (Which Pier)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
08:00 – 09:30Lomprayah (Maenam Pier)1 Hour 30 Minutes£15 ($19)
10:30 – 14:30Songserm (Na Thon Pier)4 Hours£13 ($16)
12:15 – 14:15Lomprayah (Na Thon Pier)2 Hours£15 ($19)
12:30 – 14:00Lomprayah (Maenam Pier)1 Hour 30 Minutes£15 ($19)
14:30 – 16:00Lomprayah (Maenam Pier)1 Hour 30 Minutes£15 ($19)
15:30 – 17:00Lomprayah (Na Thon Pier)1 Hour 30 Minutes£15 ($19)
Get To Koh Tao From Koh Samui

Get To Koh Tao From Koh Phangan

Check out my article on how to get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan for a real in-depth view.

Like Koh Samui, there is only one ferry ride from Koh Phangan and this one is usually the shortest. 

All trips from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao are operated from the Thong Sala Pier. The ferry service will take approximately 1-2 hours depending on the ferry you book.

Grab and Bolt do not work on Koh Phangan so you will need to arrange a Songthaew to take you to the pier from your accommodation.

Check-in at the main building on the pier and wait your turn to go to Koh Tao.

During events like the Full-Moon Party ferry schedules can change, be fully booked faster, and be more expensive make sure to pre -check the schedules!

Departure & Arrival TimesCompany (Ferry)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
08:30 – 09:30Lomprayah (Speedboat)1 Hour£13 ($16)
12:30 – 14:30Songserm (Big Ferry)2 Hours£11 ($14)
13:00 – 14:15Lomprayah (Catamaran)1 Hour 15 Minutes £13 ($16)
15:00 – 16:00Lomprayah (Speedboat)1 Hour£13 ($16)
16:00 – 17:00Lomprayah (Speedboat)1 Hour£13 ($16)
Ferry Details to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan

Get To Koh Tao From Chumphon

We have already discussed ways to arrive at Chumphon so this is the how to get to Koh Tao from Chumphon ferry timetable.

Departure & Arrival TimesCompany (Port)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
08:30 – 09:30Lomprayah (Tung Mackham Pier)1 Hour 45 Minutes£16 ($20)
12:30 – 14:30Lomprayah (Tung Mackham Pier)1 Hour 45 Minutes£16 ($20)
13:00 – 14:15Axara Travel (Pontaweesin Pier)7 hours£13 ($16)
15:00 – 16:00Fame Tour (Talaysub Pier)8 Hours 30 Minutes£13 ($16)
16:00 – 17:00Axara Travel (Talaysub Pier)7 Hours£13 ($16)
Ferry Details to Koh Tao from Chumphon

How To Get To Koh Tao From Other Popular Destinations

Surat Thani

It is cheaper, usually, to fly to Surat Thani than Koh Samui, so if you’re looking to get there in the fastest time possible while saving some money make sure you consider flying to Surat Thani first.

If you are heading to Koh Tao from Surat Thani you have 3 options:

  • Direct Ferry
  • Direct Sleeper Night Ferries
  • Bus and Ferry

Your options run from 09:30 to 22:00, pre-booking is not essential from Surat Thani but if you would like to see the time breakdowns click this link.

Here are some of the more popular departure times from Surat Thani to Koh Tao:

Departure & Arrival TimesCompany (Port)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
12:00 – 15:30Lomprayah (Tapee Pier)3 Hours 30 Minutes£22 ($27)
21:30 – 06:00Koh Tao Booking Centre (Surat Thani Night Boat Pier)8 Hour 30 Minutes£20 ($25)
22:00 – 05:00Fame Tour (Surat Thani Night Boat Pier)7 Hours£18 ($22)
22:00 – 06:00Phantip 1970 (Surat Thani Night Boat Pier)8 Hours£20 ($25)
Get To Koh Tao From Surat Thani

Phuket – Krabi – Khao Sok

To get to Koh Tao from any of the destinations above you will need to book a bus and ferry combined ticket.

Alternatively from Phuket or Krabi, you can make the quick flight to Koh Samui however this is the time-effective solution, not the cost-effective solution.

If you would like to check flights from Phuket Click Here!

If you would like to check flights from Krabi Click Here!

Here are the time schedules below for the bus and ferry tickets:

Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up Location (Company)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
07:30 – 17:00Patong Phuket Hotel Transfer (Call Me Taxi)9 Hours 30 Minutes£40 ($50)
08:00 – 17:00Phuket Town Hotel Transfer9 Hours£40 ($50
09:00 – 17:00Lomprayah (Lomprayah Phuket Office)8 Hours£35 ($44)
09:30 – 17:00Phuket Airport (Call Me Taxi)7 Hour 30 Minutes£40 ($50)
11:00 – 06:00Phuket Bus Terminal 219 Hours£26 ($32)
13:40 – 06:00Phuket Bus Terminal 216 Hours 20 Minutes£26 ($32)
Phuket to Koh Tao Timetable
Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up Location (Company)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
08:00 – 14:15Krabi Lomprayah Office (Lomprayah)6 Hours 15 Minutes£29 ($36)
09:00 – 17:00Ao Nam Mao Pier8 Hours£30 ($37)
09:30 – 17:00Krabi Town Hotel Transfer7 Hours 30 Minutes£30 ($37)
11:00 – 17:00Krabi Lomprayah Office6 Hours£29 ($37)
15:00 – 06:00Krabi Town Transfer15 Hours£26 ($32)
Krabi To Koh Tao Timetable
Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up LocationJourney DurationPrice Per Person
14:40 – 06:00Khao Sok Evergreen House Office15 Hours 20 Minutes£23 ($29)
17:20 – 06:0Khao Sok Evergreen House Office12 Hours 40 Minutes£26 ($32)
15:30 – 06:00Khao Sok Transfer14 Hours 30 Minutes£31 ($39)
Khao Sok To Koh Tao Timetable

What To Do In Koh Tao

So you’ve arrived in Koh Tao, now what?

When you first arrive you’ll be greeted by this sign and you’ll know you’re in the right place. The beautiful island of Koh Tao.

If you’re staying at Sairee Beach or one of the dive resorts around the island you’ll need to barter a price from one of the Songthaews, cheaper prices can be found in town rather than straight off the boat.

Koh Tao has many activities for you to do so make sure, during your stay, you do as many as possible. Some examples include:

  • Scuba Diving – Koh Tao has numerous dive schools and dive resorts at really affordable prices. Whether you want to have a one-off fun dive or complete your open water diving course, having a go at scuba diving is essential during your stay in Koh Tao. 
  • Snorkelling – If breathing underwater doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, alternatively why not give snorkelling a go, with numerous snorkel spots dotted around the island booking a snorkelling tour is next best if scuba diving doesn’t you!
  • View Points – There are many viewpoints on Koh Tao so check out as many as you can. Some include – John-Suwan Viewpoint – Fraggle Rock Viewpoint – Two Views and so on.
  • Sairee Beach – The most popular beach on Koh Tao and more than likely where your accommodation will be. Sairee Beach is the main hub of Koh Tao so check out my article on Sairee Beach for the ins and outs of this destination.

Final Thoughts

So there we have it pretty much every possible way you can reach Koh Tao.

Whether you want the fastest route possible or you’re looking to save some money, all details regarding transport to Koh Tao can be found in this article.

Make sure to check out all my other articles on Koh Tao to make sure you get the best experience possible.