17/18 Moo 1, Koh Tao Suratthani, 84360 Thailand         Info @ Big Blue Diving        +66 (0) 77 456 050

Big Blue Diving - Koh Tao - Thailand - Displaying items by tag: FERRY


Decided to come visit our little piece of paradise? Here we’ll talk a little about the 3 different ways you can get to Koh Tao from Bangkok!


The Fastest/Most Expensive Way – Fly and Ferry

By far the shortest and easiest way to get here if your budget allows it is to take a flight and ferry combo. From Bangkok you can catch a flight to Koh Samui - there are two airlines offering services, Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways. Bangkok Air have more flights from Bangkok-Koh Samui making it very convenient for connecting to your ferry. Flights depart every half an hour from 6am to 10pm, and take about an hour to reach Samui - just be sure to check the boat timetables to Koh Tao before you book your flight to be sure of the connections!

Usually a slightly cheaper flight is to go from Bangkok to one of the nearby towns on the mainland, Chumphon or Suratthani. There are two budget airlines offering the combined tickets of flight, coach and boat - Nok Air and Air Asia. Nok Air connects with our favourite ferry (it’s faster and a lot more reliable than the others) the Lomprayah at Chumphon or Suratthani, while Air Asia connects with the slower, less comfortable Seatran ferry at Suratthani.




The Cheapest/Most Uncomfortable Way – Bus and Ferry


By far the most popular and social way to get to Koh Tao (especially with all our Thailand backpackers) is to take the bus from Bangkok, and then connect to a ferry from the mainland town of Chumphon.
There are two companies who offer this service; Lomprayah and Songserm. Their (so-called) VIP air-conditioned buses depart Bangkok at around 8pm from Khao San Road, and arrive at the relevant pier at Chumphon around 7 hours later, depending on traffic and the enthusiasm of the driver! The bus will usually stop once around half way for about 20 minutes only, and give you a chance to grab something to eat and a quick toilet stop – the toilets on the buses are tiny and usually absolutely stinking!
The boat journey to Koh Tao is between 2 hours (Lomprayah) and 3 hours (Songserm) depending on the company you choose to go through.
We always recommend using the slightly more expensive Lomprayah over the Songserm if you are going to take the bus down to Chumphon, quite simply because it’s quicker, the buses are usually more comfortable and every so often we hear stories of people’s bags having things stolen from them on the Songserm bus – something that we’ve never heard from our Lomprayah travellers!




The Coolest Way - Sleeper Train and Ferry

Travelling on the sleeper train is, to be perfectly honest, absolutely great! It’s always a lot more comfortable than the bus as you can walk around to stretch your legs, have a cheeky cigarette, there’s a restaurant car to fill up on cheap Thai food and the staff on there can often provide a sneaky beer or two for you if you’re willing to pay a little over the odds for them! First Class (AC) and Second class (fan) sleeper come with a real (surprisingly comfortable) bed so you can sleep during the journey, plus there’s also the option of paying a bit extra for a ‘private’ 2 person cabin if your budget allows it!

Third class however does not come recommended by yours truly, as it’s just a seat rather than a bed and they’re not the most comfortable seats you’ll ever sit on.If you do decide to go for the AC carriage be aware like most air-conditioned places in Thailand it can get rather cold, so pack a pair of jeans and a jacket near the top of your backpack just in case!

From Bangkok, you’ll leave from Hua Lamphong Station at around 7pm, and the train gets to Chumphon station usually around 5am. The boat companies provide free transfers between their pier and the train station, and the first boats depart to Koh Tao at 7am – as always we recommend the Lomprayah over the other ferries if it’s available.


As with all trains, delays are possible so you may have to get an afternoon ferry to Koh Tao if you don’t make it in time for the early boat – in this case there’s a great travel agent just 5 minutes from the station called ‘Fame Tours’ where you can leave your belongings, have a wash and a bite to eat and book your tickets for the ferry of your choice. 

Be aware that buying your train tickets online will usually cost a few hundred baht more than buying them in person, and as a general guide for the Bangkok to Chumphon route you can normally buy 2nd and 3rd Class Fan Seats on the day of travel but not 1st and 2nd Class Sleeper seats and 2nd Class AC Seats, so it needs a little forward planning.

Finally at busy times of the year (including the week before and after Koh Phangan’s monthly Full Moon Party) sleeper beds are usually fully booked up to a week in advance.




Whichever way you decide to come and visit us here on Koh Tao, be sure to keep a close eye on your belongings, and also keep an open mind on the possible delays and waiting around time that Thailand is famous for…

Bon voyage!

Published in December