Koh Tao is one of the most popular islands in Thailand.
Diving and snorkelling, relaxing and enjoying the beach life, exploring the island by scooter or just enjoying the sunset – there are many reasons for traveling to Koh Tao.
The most common route leads from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
Below you can find a comparison of the different means of transportation (bus + ferry, train + ferry, flight + ferry) you can use to get to Koh Tao.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao
- 2 Route from Bangkok to Koh Tao
- 3 Picture gallery of Koh Tao
- 4 Accommodation in Bangkok / Koh Tao
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao
From Bangkok to Koh Tao by bus and ferry
Travellers who look for a budget-friendly way to get to Koh Thao and who do not want to spend a very long time traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao (that would be train + ferry), often choose a combination of bus and ferry.
In this case, the journey starts in Bangkok by bus to the ferry dock in Chumphon Province.
You can break down the journey time as follows.
- Bus from Bangkok to Chumphon Province (about 8-10 hours)
- Ferry from Chumphon Province to Koh Tao (about 2.5 hours)
In total, the trip takes approximately 12 hours.
The journey by bus and ferry can be booked as a combined ticket.
A combined ticket is recommended. The bus timetable and the ferry schedule is synchronised on such a ticket – no one wants to miss the ferry because there is a traffic jam on the highway 🙂
Such tickets are offered by various bus and ferry companies. The following connections are available:
- Night bus ex Bangkok, ferry in the early morning, arrival in Koh Tao also in the morning
- Early morning bus ex Bangkok, early afternoon ferry, arrival in Koh Tao in the late afternoon
Backpackers often prefer Lomprayah. The ferry company operates high-speed ferries (catamaran ferries) and also runs shuttle-bus which connect Bangkok with the ferry pier.
There is another advantage of Lomprayah for backpackers: The departure point (Lomprayah Office) is very close to Khao San Road, the famous backpacker-destination in Bangkok.
Could it be more comfortable? In the evening one or more beers in Khao San Road, a short way to the bus, and the arrival Koh Tao next morning – this is what makes up for a great backpacking-trip 😀
From Bangkok to Koh Tao by train and ferry (night train)
Alternatively, it is also possible to travel by train and ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
On the one hand, the train journey takes a little longer than the bus ride. On the other hand, travelling by train is usually more exciting.
There are different connections to the ferry after taking a night train.
Also, travellers who take the night train (esp. 1st class sleeping car and 2nd class sleeping car) can usually sleep better than in a night bus.
For train and ferry journeys combined tickets are available, too.
Such a ticket is recommended. Precisely speaking, this journey combines train, bus and ferry – you need to get from the railway station to the ferry pier.
If you buy a combined ticket, you have a “package” including all required transfers. The staff of the ferry company waits for you at the railway station and guides you to the bus – very handy for travellers who arrive sleepy after a long journey by night train 🙂
Depending on which connection you have booked, travelling Bangkok / Koh Tao by train and ferry takes approximately 14 hours or more.
If you book online via 12go.asia you can pick up your tickets directly opposite of the central railway station in Bangkok (Hua Lamphong). Pick up the tickets shortly for departure, get on board, start the journey – very convenient.
From Bangkok to Koh Tao by flight and ferry
There is no airport in Koh Tao.
However, the airlines AirAsia and Nok Air offer combined tickets consisting of a flight bringing you close to the ferry pier, a shuttle transfer to the pier and finally the ferry trip.
The following flight / ferry combinations are available.
- Flight Bangkok – Nakhon Si Thammarat (Nok Air or AirAsia), from there on to the ferry
- Flight Bangkok – Suratthani (Nok Air, Lion Air or AirAsia), from there on to the ferry
Apart from that, it is also possible to fly first to Koh Samui (IATA: USM) (see from Bangkok to Koh Samui). However, Bangkok Airways has a quasi-monopoly on this route. In comparison to other domestic flight routes in Thailand tickets to Koh Samui are usually rather expensive 🙁
So if you do not want to go to Koh Samui for a few days before continuing to Koh Tao you should rather take a flight to Nakhon Si Thammarat (IATA: NST) or Suratthani (URT) and get on the ferry from there on.
At least, this is the more budget-friendly option.
For early bookers or in low season, such combined tickets (flight + shuttle transfer + ferry) usually start at less than 2,000 THB.
On the contrary, travellers who travel to Koh Tao via Koh Samui, often pay 3,000 THB ++ for the flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui alone 🙁
Those who want to travel to Koh Tao by flight and ferry are advised to travel by Nakhon Si Thammarat or Suratthani with Nok Air, Lion Air or AirAsia.