Bangkok is a fantastic city to enjoy, but if you want to experience some island life, perhaps snorkeling and diving, then you’ll need to head further south. The route from Bangkok to Koh Tao isn’t difficult, but there are a series of different decisions you’ll need to make that will impact how you make this journey.
Do you want to travel to Koh Tao from Bangkok during the day or overnight? Do you want to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao by train? Do you want to do the Bangkok Koh Tao route by bus? How to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok depends very much on what transport you wish to take. In this article, we cover all the transport options from Bangkok to Koh Tao, the costs, and how to book your tickets.
In this article, we’ll cover the different transport options to get from Bangkok to Ko Tao, followed by the different routes that some of these options off. And, because not everyone likes to travel overnight we’ll cover the routes and options to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao during the day.
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Where is Koh Tao?
Koh Tao is in the Gulf of Thailand. It is part of the Chumphon Archipelago along with Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Koh Tao translates as “turtle” island and is a popular island for learning to dive and for water sports activities. The island of Koh Tao has one main jetty in Ban Mae Haad, where all ferries into the island arrive at. There is no airport on Koh Tao.
Ferries arrive in Koh Tao from Surat Thani and Chumphon on mainland Thailand. You can also take a ferry from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan to Koh Tao.
- Ferry times from Surat Thani to Koh Tao: 4 hours in the day, 9 hours overnight – check times and prices to Koh Tao from Surat Thani
- Ferry times from Chumphon to Koh Tao: 5 to 3 hours in the day 7 hours overnight – review times and prices to Koh Tao from Chumphon
- Ferry times from Koh Samui to Koh Tao: 5 hours check times and prices to Koh Tao from Koh Samui
- Ferry times from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao: 5-2 hours check times and prices to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan
Ferries to and from Koh Tao are operated by Lomprayah, Seatran, and Songserm
Where to Stay in Koh Tao
There are a host of places to stay in Koh Tao – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Koh Tao, mid-range places to stay in Koh Tao, and budget accommodation in Koh Tao. If you’re planning on taking a diving course in Koh Tao, then check with your dive operator as they often include accommodation as part of the cost.
Jamahkiri Spa & Resort (SHA Plus+), Koh Tao, Thailand: The Jamahkiri Spa & Resort (SHA Plus+) is a top resort in Thian Og Bay, on Koh Tao. All of the rooms offered in this luxury Koh Tao resort have complimentary WiFi. There is also air conditioning in all public areas of the resort. You can enjoy the garden, take breakfast on the balcony of your room or eat at the bar or restaurant of this wonderful Koh Tao resort. The poolside view of this resort is fantastic, and this is a fabulous place to stay in Koh Tao. Check prices of Jamahkiri Spa & Resort here.
Natural Boutique Cottage, Koh Tao, Thailand: The Natural Boutique Cottage is a mid-range hotel in Koh Tao. All of the rooms in this mid-range hotel on Koh Tao offer internet access and air conditioning, as well as complimentary drinking water. Rooms at this great value Koh Tao accommodation also include a refrigerator and blackout curtains for a great night’s sleep. There are also flat-screen TVs and free toiletries at this Koh Tao hotel. Check availability here.
Sairee Cottage Resort (SHA Plus+), Koh Tao, Thailand: The Sairee Cottage Resort (SHA Plus+) is a fabulous budget resort in the Thian Og Bay part of Koh Tao. All of the rooms offered at the Sairee Cottage Resort (SHA Plus+) in Koh Tao have complimentary internet access. There is a restaurant and a poolside bar as well as a coffee shop, and there’s also a swimming pool here too.
How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao – Transport Options
There are four different transport options when it comes to working out how to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao. The quickest route from Bangkok to Koh Tao is a flight and a ferry, but this is also the most expensive. The quickest is the Bangkok Koh Tao Bus Ferry combo which is a land and sea-based route to Koh Tao from Bangkok that takes around 9 hours and is an express bus and ferry option. The most relaxing – and for us, the time-saving route is to take an overnight train – saving on hostel and hotel costs and arriving in the morning at Koh Tao.
Plane and Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Flying from Bangkok and then taking the ferry to Koh Tao is the most expensive option but it is also the quickest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao. This transport option flies from Don Mueang Airport to either Surat Thani or Chumphon airport and then takes a bus transfer to the relevant ferry port, where you transfer to a ferry to Ban Mae Haad.
The earliest flights leave Bangkok at around 0600, which will get you to Koh Tao at 1830. (check prices for the Bangkok to Koh Tao flight + ferry option) However, it is possible to fly from Bangkok at 1005 and still catch the same ferry connection (check this option)
Flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani / Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
There is no airport on Koh Tao, so it’s necessary to fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani airport or Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport. Flights to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao fly from Don Mueang Airport (DMK) in Bangkok and take around 1 hour and 10 minutes. Flights from DMK to Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport are operated by Air Asia, Thai Lion Air, or Nok Air.
The most effective way to book this is to book and fly and ferry ticket – check out Bangkok to Koh Tao flight and ferry options here and book.
Bus & Ferry from Surat Thani to Mae Haad Koh Tao
On arrival at Surat Thani Airport, you’ll be directed to a bus that will take you to the ferry port, where you’ll transfer to a ferry. The bus and ferry from Surat Thani to Mae Haad ferry terminal on Koh Tao takes between 6.5 and 7.5 hours. BOOK TICKETS FOR THIS TRIP
Bus & Ferry from Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport (Chumphon) to Mae Haad Koh Tao
On arrival at Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport, you’ll be directed to a bus that will take you to the ferry port, where you’ll transfer to a ferry. The bus and ferry from Surat Thani to Mae Haad ferry terminal on Koh Tao takes around 6.5 hours. BOOK THIS TRIP
Bus and Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
The route that takes the bus from Bangkok to the ferry is the most popular way to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok. This Lomprayah service leaves from Khao San Road, so it’s easy to get to for most travelers.
The bus and ferry route is the cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
There are two travel times that this option leaves Bangkok. There is a daytime bus and a night bus from Bangkok to Koh Tao. This route goes from Bangkok to Chumphon to Koh Tao. The bus trip takes about 7 hours to Chumpon from Bangkok and the ferry to Koh Tao from Chumphon takes about 2.5 hours.
- Khao San Lomprayah – 0600 arrives Koh Tao 1445 > check prices for Bangkok to Koh Ta day bus and ferry and book now
- Khao San Lomprayah – 2100 arrives Koh Tao 0845 > check prices for Bangkok to Koha Tao night bus and ferry and book now
There is an alternative bus and ferry service run by Songserm, which is the cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao. It leaves Khao San Songserm at either 1800 or 1900. Both of these buses arrive in Koh Tao at 0945. It takes longer to get there than the Lomprayah service but is cheaper. >> Check details for the cheapest trip to Koh Tao from Bangkok and book now.
Train, Bus, Ferry From Bangkok to Koh Tao
I’ve kept our favorite way to travel between Bangkok and Koh Tao until last. The overnight train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station. Two overnight trains meet the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, these depart from Bangkok in 1830 and 1930. If you catch the 1830 train, you will simply be waiting for an hour longer at Surat Thani, however, it’s useful to have two trains to pick from. There is both a first-class and second-class sleeper option on these trains.
It’s a relaxed way to travel, despite getting into Surat Thani very early in the morning, dinner on the train is reasonable, or you can take your own food, and cabin attendants put your bed down and make it up for you too. There are upper and lower berths. Second-class sleepers mean you have an entire carriage with everyone else. First-class sleeper berths mean you get two berths to a cabin.
- Bangkok overnight train > Koh Tao – 1830 – 0930 book now
- Bangkok overnight train > Koh Tao – 1930 – 0930 book now
Travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao – our route
We left Bangkok from Hua Lamphong station bound for Koh Tao. Our train left at 1930.
We ate dinner on the train – with our table being made (and cleaned) up by the catering attendant, dinner was delivered on saran/cling film wrapped plates and while it wasn’t haute cuisine, neither was it offensive.
Our finished dinner plates were efficaciously cleared away, the table dismantled and the smartly uniformed cabin attendant swept through the carriage making up everyone’s beds. What absolute luxury.
The train crew are in smart, well-ironed clean uniforms. All of them. The toilets have provided toilet paper. We were so close I could hear them being cleaned but not smell them!. The bunks come with an extra mattress padding that was softer than some of the beds we slept on in Bangkok. It was like sinking into a feather mattress. The crisp, bright white sheets and pillowcases were complemented with a freshly laundered bright white waffle weave blanket.
We slept for most of the time and were given a 30-minute wake-up call before we pulled into the train platform, where we did have to wait for a while for the bus to take us to the ferry which will take us to Koh Tao.
It’s a really easy journey, better, I think than the bus, as we get to sleep lying down, rather than sitting up. We’d definitely recommend it!
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao – Time of Day Options
Do you want to travel to Koh Tao from Bangkok during the day or overnight? This will have an impact on which route and which transport options to take.
Day Time Bus and Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Leaves Bangkok Khao San Road at 0600 – arrives at Koh Tao 1445 > book daytime tickets to Koh Tao from Bangkok now
Day Time Flight, Bus Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Leave Bangkok DMG from 0600 – 1000 – arrives Koh Ta 1830 > book now
Night Time Bus and Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Leaves Bangkok Khao San Road at 2100 – arrives at Koh Tao 0845 > book now
Night Time Train and Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Leaves Bangkok Hua Lamphong Station at 1830 or 1930 and arrives at Koh Tao > Book now
The Best Way to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao
The best way to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok depends on your budget and the way in which you prefer to travel. Overnight trains are our preferred option, and so we took the train from Bangkok to Koh Tao, however, if you want the cheapest way to travel to Koh Tao from Bangkok then there is an overnight bus from Khao San Road to Koh Tao. We hope you’ve found it useful!
Popular Routes in Thailand
Want to know more about different forms of transport in Thailand? Our guide to Thailand transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Thailand, your options, and how we did it.
- How to go from Bangkok to Pakse (Laos)
- How to go from Koh Tao to Krabi
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui
- How to go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
- How to go from Bangkok to Sukhothai
- How to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
- How to travel from Krabi to Langkawi (Malaysia)
- How to go from Cambodia to Thailand
Travel Tips for Exploring Thailand
- Considering travel insurance for your trip? World Nomads offers coverage for more than 150 adventure activities as well as emergency medical, lost luggage, trip cancellation and more.
- Book the best Thailand tours and guides on Klook or Get YourGuide
- Book fabulous Thailand Foodie experiences with locals through Eatwith
- Save money in Thailand with a Wise debit card
- Rent a Motorbike or a Scooter in Thailand
- Book Buses in Thailand with 12goAsia
- Book accommodation in Thailand with Agoda
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