Thailand

How to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao in 2024

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When traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao, there are many different ways and routes one can take. Luckily, organizing the whole trip is made easier thanks to the availability of combined tickets including both road and sea transport all in one.

You can travel by train, bus and plane. However, to get to your final destination you’ll certainly need to use a boat, since it’s the only way to get to Koh Tao. But since Thailand has a reliable public transport, that’s not a problem!

In this guide, we’ll help you understand all the different options you have and describe each route individually. Afterward, it’s up to you to choose which one suits your needs the best.

Where is Koh Tao

Koh Tao Island is one of the best places to visit in Thailand. It lies approximately 70 kilometers far from the coast in the Gulf of Thailand. It has two neighboring islands – Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. They are all a part of the Chumphon archipelago.

The nearest airports are on Koh Samui Island or in Surat Thani and Chumphon towns on the mainland. You can catch direct ferries to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, Surat Thani and Chumphon.

Save the location of Koh Tao Island to your Google Maps.

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Where to stay on Koh Tao

The most popular area to stay is around Sairee Beach. You’ll find most restaurants around. However, this area is also a bit too loud, both during the day and night. If you’re coming to Koh Tao to relax, stay near one of many beaches.

We wrote a complete guide describing where to stay on Koh Tao, including the best areas as well as hotels and hostels for every budget.

Best hotels on Koh Tao

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Pepa guesthouse

Low Budget

ananda villa

Ananda Villa

Mid Budget

Cape Shark Villa - best hotels Koh Tao Sai Daeng Beach mid range

Cape Shark villas

Luxury Stay

Check availability

Bangkok to Koh Tao overview

When traveling to Koh Tao from Bangkok, you have a few different options. Each come at a different price and level of comfort.

The cheapest option is probably traveling by train to Chumphon and changing to ferry to Koh Tao. You can travel by an overnight train which departs at 20:30 and take the first ferry. This way you’ll arrive at Koh Tao before 9 am.

For a similar price, you can travel by bus from Bangkok and change to a Koh Tao ferry later. The buses also depart at 9 pm and arrive before 9 am. However, it’s certainly not as comfortable as a train. While the seats are reclining, there are always some problems with AC or cleanliness. Little legroom might also be very annoying for taller people.

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The last and the most expensive option is to fly. If money is not a problem for you, you can fly from Bangkok directly to Koh Samui. Once at Koh Samui, transfer to the pier and take a ferry to Koh Tao. From Bangkok center to Koh Tao it will take around 6 hours with all the transfers, not including the wait time for the ferry in Koh Tao.

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, you can fly to Surat Thani. The flights start at only 25€. From here, book a combined bus + ferry ticket. It will take around 8 hours, not including the wait time at Surat Thani airport.

Bangkok to Koh Tao by train + ferry

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Price: from 1600 THB

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Travel time: around 12 hours+ (8h train + 0.75h bus + 1.75h ferry)

Traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao by train and ferry is one of the cheapest and most comfortable ways. You can save a lot of money when using the train. Compared to the bus + ferry, it’s certainly a more enjoyable journey.

When choosing the right train, you’ll depart Bangkok at 20:30 and arrive at Koh Tao at 08:45 for as little as 1600 THB.

For this journey, you have to travel by train from Bangkok to Chumphon. Once in Chumphon, hop on a bus to the port. The last part of this journey is a boat to Koh Tao island.

Bangkok railway station

The trains from Bangkok to Chumphon and Surat Thani leave from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station. It’s a world-class modern train station which is well-maintained. The seating area in the wait room is spacious and you’ll also find food courts inside.

The railway station has a gate system. You can only enter the gate of your train when called upon. After your tickets are checked by the staff, you can board the train. The proper boarding gates are still under construction.

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Koh Tao is the best snorkeling spot in Thailand! Some of the most incredible places to witness abundant marine life are Tanote Bay and Sai Daeng Beach.

How to get to Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station

Getting to Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal is quite easy thanks to an MRT station nearby. The name of the station is Bang Sue and you can get there by MRT Blue line. When traveling from the center, you can use the BTS Green line and transfer to MRT at Mo Chit station.

Using public transport might cost around 2-4€, depending on your departure station.

Optionally, you can travel to the train station by taxi. We recommend using Grab, where you’ll always be able to get reasonable prices without having to bargain.

The prices change according to the demand. However, when traveling in a group of at least 2, it’s often cheaper than public transport.

Bangkok to Chumphon train schedule

Below you can find all the daily trains from Bangkok to Chumphon. The earliest connection departs at 07:30, while the last train leaves Bangkok at 22:50. All the trains have sleeper berth, apart from #43, #39 and #41.

For the best connections, we recommend traveling by one of the night trains. Since the earliest ferry depart from Chumphon at 7am, your best option is to take the train at 20:30.

Train name Departure from BangkokArrival to ChumphonTravel Time
4307:3013:506h 20m
17115:1022:177h 7m
37 / 4516:1023:167h 6m
3116:5023:557h 5m
16917:3001:257h 55m
8318:5002:187h 28m
8519:5003:437h 53m
16720:3004:207h 50m
39 / 4122:5005:226h 32m
Bangkok to Chumphon train schedule chart

Bangkok to Chumphon train ticket price

I am not 100% sure about the current prices at the train station. I recommend checking Baolau, for the most up-to-date prices. When buying tickets at the train station you can pay as little as 192 THB all the way up to 1420 THB. The price depends on the class you choose.

On the other hand, online tickets are more expensive. However, it’s worth paying more if you won’t have much time to buy your tickets at least a few days in advance. The night trains are very popular choice for many travelers, so the chance they will be sold out is big.

When traveling around Asia, we always use 12go.asia if possible. The train tickets there cost from 1492 THB. Despite charging more, they offer an amazing service with a pick-up at or near the train station or a delivery to your hotel. Additionally, they have refund and change options no one else provides.

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When traveling a week before or after the Full Moon Party, you should buy the train tickets at least a week or two in advance.

Where to book tickets

You can buy train tickets at any train station in Thailand, even if it’s not the station your train departs from. You will mostly have to pay with cash. Don’t forget to bring your passport, which is required for the booking.

The train tickets can be bought in person on the day of travel and up to 30 days in advance.

The second option is to buy train tickets using street vendors and local tour companies. Be careful when buying your tickets this way and make sure you select a reputable company to avoid getting scammed.

Lastly, you can get your train tickets online. Thai Railways has an official website, where you need to log in first to buy a ticket. If the website doesn’t work properly (which happens often), you can use 12Go, too.

Use the search form below to find the train ticket according to your needs.

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Train classes

First class

The first-class seats have a separate compartment for two passengers. The seats are transformed into berths at night. You’ll have an AC, sink, power socket and lockable door.

Second class sleeper / seat

Second-class sleeper carriages come in two types – with AC or without AC. Those with fans only tend to be older, but otherwise identical to AC carriages. A pillow and blanket are provided. Only lower berths have windows that can’t be opened. Each berth has a privacy curtain.

The second-class seat AC carriage has an airplane-style seat with foldable armrests and tray tables.

The second-class seat fan option has similar seats, but it’s older in general. When the train is moving, the air is cool thanks to open windows. However, it’s not the most comfortable option for longer journeys.

Third class seat

The third class is the cheapest option available. The seats are the least comfortable and there is no AC. The tickets can only be bought on the day of travel, not in advance. This class is mostly used by locals with low incomes. The prices are kept low by the government, ensuring even the poorest can use the trains.

Train facilities

You can easily buy takeaway food boxes directly at the train station. Some second-class tickets already include food during the trip. However, food options on night trains are limited. It’s best to make sure you have some snacks handy.

All the carriages have toilets at their end. Mostly, expect squat toilets. But some trains have WC, too. We recommend bringing your own toilet paper or tissues.

Getting by ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao

Once you arrive in Chumphon, you will need to catch a ferry to Koh Tao.

The only company providing a ferry service on this route is Lomprayah with two daily departures at 7:00 and 13:30. The journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes by ferry.

The ferry departs from Tung Makham Pier, which is 27 kilometers away. The journey takes around 40 minutes. Luckily, Lomprayah offers transport from the train station directly to the pier. It departs at 06:00 and 12:00.

Lomprayah provides catamarans for this route, which usually have a small shop selling some snacks on board. The journey is often comfortable, depending on the weather.

Koh Tao to Koh Samui Lompraya ferry

Where to buy ferry tickets and ticket prices

We recommend booking the tickets online in advance either using Lomprayah or 12Go. Lomprayah has cheaper prices and the ferry ticket costs 750 THB. When using 12Go, you will pay 1196 THB for the ferry ticket or 1435 THB for the ferry ticket including the transport from the train station.

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Bangkok to Koh Tao by bus + ferry

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Price: 1250 THB – 1550 THB

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Travel time: 8:45h – 13:45h

The easiest way to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao by bus and ferry combination is by purchasing the combined service. You can choose from a few companies, such as Lomprayah, Montanatip, and Bangkok Travel Plus.

Bangkok bus station

The buses leave directly from the ticket offices of Lomprayah, Montanatip, and Bangkok Travel Plus. All of them are located near Khao San Road. Don’t forget to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure to check in.

For example, Lomprayah organizes as many buses as necessary, all leaving according to the same schedule. This means if they have enough people for 4 buses, they’ll organize 4 buses for the trip. Therefore, there are a lot of people boarding at the same time, which results in chaos.

Despite all of that, Lomprayah is one of the most reputable companies to travel around the Gulf of Thailand and we highly recommend choosing them.

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No matter which company you choose, the bus ride is not so comfortable. With little legroom and a long journey, it’s always going to be the least comfortable way of getting from Bangkok to Koh Tao.

Bangkok to Koh Tao bus schedule

Lomprayah offers the fastest connection from Bangkok to Koh Tao. You can decide if you prefer to depart early in the morning or travel at night. No matter which company you choose, you’ll still end up traveling by Lomprayah’s catamaran to Koh Tao.

CompanyDepartureArrivalTravel Time
Lomprayah06:0014:458:45
Bangkok Travel Plus19:0008:4513:45
Montanatip19:0008:4513:45
Lomprayah21:0008:4511:45

Bangkok to Koh Tao bus ticket price

Montanatip ticket costs 1350 THB according to their official website. Lomprayah offers two different bus types – a normal for 1250 THB and a VIP bus for 1550 THB. While we haven’t tried them, many people claim it’s worth paying extra for the VIP bus to have more comfort.

When buying the tickets online, however, expect to pay more. But it’s a good option if you don’t have much time in Bangkok to buy the tickets in advance. This route is a popular one and in the high season, you might not be able to get a ticket last minute.

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Check the recent bus schedule and prices on 12Go.

Where to buy bus tickets

The first option is to buy the tickets directly in Bangkok in the ticket offices of individual companies. I linked their locations above in the “Bangkok bus station” paragraph. You will get the best prices, but try to book the tickets ahead of time.

Optionally, many hostels and hotels can help you get the tickets, too. Ask at your accommodation if they also provide bus and ferry tickets to Koh Tao.

Lastly, you can book the tickets online. We personally recommend using 12Go for any travel around Asia. It’s a reliable and reputable company, that’s available in many countries.

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Bangkok to Koh Tao by plane

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Price: 50€ – 150€ to Koh Samui + 700 THB ferry, 25€ – 60€ to Surat Thani + 1200 THB minivan + ferry

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Travel time: 1h flight + 3 – 4h ferry from Surat Thani or 2.5h from Koh Samui

If you travel to Koh Tao by plane, you have two options – fly to Koh Samui or Surat Thani. From Bangkok Suvarnabhumi to Koh Samui, multiple daily flights depart all day. The flight only takes a little over an hour.

Optionally, you could fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani. Multiple daily flights depart both from Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang. This options is also way cheaper then flying to Koh Samui.

Bangkok airport

When flying to Koh Samui, you have to depart from Suvarnabhumi airport. Flight to Surat Thani depart from Suvarnabhumi as well as from Don Mueang airports. Both are huge international airports equipped with everything you might need.

How to get to the airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport

Getting to Suvarnabhumi is easy thanks to the Airport Rail Link. The train departs from Phaya Thai every 10 minutes in peak hours and operates from 06:00 until midnight. The journey only takes 26 minutes, which makes it the fastest option. A ticket costs 45 THB.

Optionally, you can also travel to Suvarnabhumi Airport by bus. I recommend checking the airport’s website for more details about all the routes. The bus only takes 35 THB. However, the journey might take an hour or more, depending on the traffic.

Lastly, you can also travel by taxi. For the best deals and easy organization, we recommend using Grab. The prices change throughout the day. This is also the most expensive option. Prices can be around 500 THB. The journey takes 40 minutes.

Don Mueang Airport

Since there are not any reliable train services, the only public transport option is a bus.

You can either travel by public bus, airport bus, or minibus. The journey takes around 1 hour and buses are quite frequent. They depart from different parts of the city. The fare starts at 30 THB for the airport bus (A1 and A2), while the minibus with pick-up service costs 150 THB.

Tourist Bangkok has a practical guide for the bus transport to Don Muenag Airport.

You can also get to Don Mueang Airport by taxi. Grab is the best option in our opinion. Expect to pay around 500 THB from the city. the journey will take at least 40 minutes.

Flight schedule

You’ll be able to choose from many daily flights from early in the morning till late at night. The flights to Suvarnabhumi are operated by different airlines, such as Viet Jet Air, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and Air Asia. When flying to Koh Samui directly, the only airline available is Bangkok Airways.

Flight price

The flight prices change a lot, as always. It’s best to book your flight in advance to avoid last-minute prices.

If you’re looking for a cheap way, it’s best to fly to Surat Thani. The flight tickets can cost as little as 25€. The direct flights to Koh Samui are more expensive, starting at around 50€.

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Check the flights and prices at skyscanner.com.

Getting to Koh Tao

When flying to Surat Thani, you’ll have to take a bus or a taxi to the ferry pier first. Keep in mind that it takes 1.5 hours. However, you can buy a ticket which includes a bus from Surathani Airport and a ferry to Koh Tao. We also wrote a complete guide to getting from Surat Thani to Koh Tao.

When flying to Koh Samui, you’ll also need to organize a transport to the pier first. However, there are no tickets which include both a bus and a ferry. Therefore, you’ll need to get a taxi. Remember, Grab doesn’t work on Koh Samui.

If you plan to fly to Koh Samui first, also read how to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. You’ll find all the necessary details there.

Best time to visit Koh Tao

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Dry season: December – April

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Rainy season: October – December

Koh Tao has its dry season between December and April, together with the rest of Thailand. The weather is mostly sunny with almost no rain. However, since December is on the border between monsoon and dry season, you might still experience rainy evenings.

The period between February and May is known as a hot and dry season. April is usually the hottest month. Koh Tao is a relatively humid island, with around 80% humidity. Keep this in mind and stay hydrated throughout the day. The water visibility is the best in this season.

Best time to visit Thailand

While the west coast of Thailand is hit by southwest monsoon between May and October, Koh Tao is not very affected by this. The weather is mostly dry and windy. Therefore, the sea is not as calm anymore. But you can already expect some rainfall, mostly during late afternoons and nights.

The rainy season in Koh Tao usually starts late in October and lasts until December. November is experiencing the heaviest rains. If the monsoons arrive later, the rainy season may last longer.

Best guided tours on Koh Tao

  • Snorkel tour by Oxygen – Visit Nangyuan Island, Japanese Gardens, Mango Bay, Ao Leuk, and Hin Wong Bay. You can enjoy snorkeling at every stop. The underwater life is just incredible and this tour will be one of the highlights of your whole Thailand trip!
  • Scuba diving experience – Ever tried scuba diving? How about taking your first lesson in one of the best places to get PADI in the whole world? Koh Tao is known for its lively underwater life and the best way to explore it is scuba diving!
  • Daytrip by speedboat – This tour has the same itinerary as the first one by Oxygen. The only difference is, that here you can also go kayaking.

Snorkel tour

Klook.com

Scuba diving

Klook.com

Daytrip by speedboat

Klook.com

How to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao – conclusion

When traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao, you have countless options. When looking at the prices, you’ll see that the train is the cheapest and the most comfortable option. The bus costs almost the same as the train, but it’s way less comfortable.

If you will be able to get flight tickets for 25€, you won’t pay that much extra for this option. It’s only around 10-15€ when compared to the train or bus.

So no matter if you’re a backpacker or on a family holiday, getting from Bangkok to Koh Tao is easy for every type of traveler.

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