Getting to Koh Tao from Bangkok

There are 3 alternative ways :

1. Fly to Koh Samui or mainland

On Koh Samui, there are two airlines offering services, Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways, with the former operating more flights from Bangkok making it convenient for boat connections. Flights depart every half an hour from 06:00 – 22:00. Check the boat timetables to Koh Tao before you book your flight to be sure of the connections.

On the mainland, there are two low cost airlines offering combined tickets of flight, coach and boat which are Nok Air and Air Asia. Nok Air connects with Lomprayah Catamaran at Chumphon, Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat. While Air Asia connects with Seatran Discovery at Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Another airline, Thai Airways also operates flights to Surat Thani.

2. A combined bus/boat ticket

The cheapest and most popular way, there are two companies who offer this service; Lomprayah Catamaran and Songserm Express. Their air-conditioned buses depart from Khao San road in Bangkok and arrive in at their own piers at Chumphon. The boat journey to Koh Tao is between 2 and 3 hours depending on the boat.

3. A sleeping train to Chumphon railway station

Travelling on the sleeper train is usually more comfortable than the bus. you will almost have a proper bed so you can sleep during the journey. The boat companies provide free transfers between their piers and the train station.

From Bangkok, you need to arrive at Chumphon station before 06:00 as the boats depart to Koh Tao at 07:00. Delays are possible on this train so you may have to get the afternoon boat with Lomprayah Catamaran.

To Bangkok, it’s better to take an afternoon boat from Koh Tao to catch the first sleeper train from Chumphon at 19:30.

Getting to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan or Koh Samui

There are three boats which operate between these two neighbouring islands and Koh Tao. They are Lomprayah Catamaran, Seatran Discovery and Songserm Express.

Getting to Koh Tao from Chumphon or Surat Thani

Chumphon is the closest part of the mainland to Koh Tao, and so travel time by boat is the quickest and shortest compared with Surat Thani. Three boats offer services between the mainland and Koh Tao, Lomprayah Catamaran and Songserm Express offer services from Chumphon and Surat Thani. Seatran Discovery offers service from Surat Thani.

There are also night boats (aka ‘sleeping boats’) and ferries available that offer varying degrees of bed-like comfort on mattresses. Journey time on these boats is approximately 6 hours from Chumphon and 9 hours from Surat Thani.

If you want to fly, Chumphon has service with Nok Air. Surat Thani offers flights with Air Asia, Nok Air and Thai Airways.

Getting away from Koh Tao to Andaman Coast or Southern

If travelling to the Andaman Coast or lower Southern gulf, the connections are from the mainland out of Chumphon and Surat Thani where you go on by bus, van or train. Check with travel agencies for information. Boat companies also offer combined tickets to some destinations.

The trains from Chumphon to the south only go to Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Trang, Phattalung, Songkhla, Hat yai, Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. Hardly any of the Andaman coast is accessible via train, going by road is the only way to go.

There are also flights from Koh Samui directly to Phuket and Krabi with Bangkok Airways.

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