Bangkok to Koh Tao [2020] Bus, Train, Ferry & Flight Options


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Bangkok is a fantastic city to enjoy, but if you want to experience some island life, perhaps snorkelling 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.

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.

Ferries to and from Koh Tao are operated by Lomprayah, Seatran, and Songserm

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 and is a land and sea-based route to Koh Tao from Bangkok 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 into Koh Tao.



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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 options 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 this 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 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 which 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 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 which 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 travellers.

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 day time 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.

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 into Koh Tao at 0945.  It takes longer to get there than the Lomprayah service but is cheaper.  >> Check details and book now.

Train, Bus, Ferry From Bangkok to Koh Tao

I’ve kept our favourite way to travel between Bangkok and Koh Tao until last.  The overnight train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station.  There are two overnight trains that meet the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, these depart from Bangkok at 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 hare 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

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How to Go from Bangkok to Koh Tao Pin

Travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao – our route

We left Bangkok from Hua Lamphong station bound for Koh Tao.  Our train left at 1930.

Hua Lamphong Train Station Bangkok

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.

Thai train second class sleeper

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.

Train platform Thailand

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 Koh Tao 1445 > book 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 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 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!

 

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About Sarah Carter

Sarah Carter is an avid reader, writer and traveller. She loves hiking, sailing, skiing and exploring the world through food. She left a successful career in IT security and compliance in both the UK and US to travel the world with husband and partner in adventure, Nigel.

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