How to get to Koh Tao in 2024 – all routes explained


Koh Tao in Thailand is an island without an airport. Therefore the only way how to get to Koh Tao is by taking a boat. However, there are countless options for how to plan this trip. In addition, you can easily travel to Koh Tao from Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket, Surat Thani, Chuphon, Koh Samui, or Koh Phangan.

If you prefer to fly, you can also book a flight to Surat Thani or Koh Samui and take a boat to Koh Tao from there.

To give you an idea of all the different options for how to get to Koh Tao, we wrote this guide. Keep reading to learn more about the prices, schedules, and buying the tickets.

Where is Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a small island, which is part of the Chumphon archipelago. It lies in the Gulf of Thailand, only 70 kilometers away from the mainland. The ferries departing to Koh Tao from the mainland start in Surat Thani or Chumphon.

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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

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Ananda Villa

Mid Budget

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

Cape Shark villas

Luxury Stay

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From Bangkok

You can get to Koh Tao from Bangkok using a few different transport options. The fastest, however the most expensive is to fly.

Another option is to travel by train and ferry, which is also the most comfortable. Lastly, the cheapest option is to travel by a night bus from Khao San Road and change to a ferry.

If you’re looking for a complete travel guide about getting from Bangkok to Koh Tao, make sure to also check our blog post on the topic.

By train + ferry

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Price: from 1600 THB

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Travel time: around 12h+

When traveling from Bangkok to Koh Tao by train + ferry combination, you have to take a train from Krung Thep Aphiwat Terminal Station to Chumphon. Thanks to multiple daily and night trains, there are a lot of options. You can easily get to the train station by using MRT.

We recommend traveling by night train, in order to save the day time for exploring.

The train ticket price depends on the connection and train class you choose. The prices start at 192 THB for a seat. On the day trains snacks and other food is often sold. Some connections also include food in the ticket price.

You can travel in the third class, second class, or first class. However, only tickets to second and first class can be bought in advance. Both second and first-class offer seats or berths if it’s a night train. Furthermore, you can choose an AC or non-AC compartment.

You can either buy train tickets online (use the button below) or at any train station in Thailand. The tickets are only sold 30 days in advance.

Chumphon train station to Koh Tao

Once you arrive at Chumphon train station, you have to travel to the pier. This takes more than an hour. But Lomprayah organizes transport from the train station to the pier and sells it as a combined ticket for a ferry.

So if you depart from Bangkok at 20:30, you can easily catch the first morning ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao at 07:00. Since there are only two daily ferries at 7:00 and 13:30, plan the trip right.

You will travel to Koh Tao by catamaran, which also has a snack shop on board. With good sea conditions, the journey is very comfortable.

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By bus + ferry

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Price: 1250 THB – 1550 THB

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Travel time: 8:45 -13:45

While it’s not so comfortable, taking the bus from Bangkok is the cheapest option. The buses depart from Khao San and take you to Chumphon. From there, you’ll also have to take a ferry to Koh Tao.

There are a few different companies, but we recommend choosing Lomprayah. It’s one of the most reputable Thai travel companies. In addition, their office is on the street right next to Khao San Road. Because of this it’s a popular option for backpackers staying in hostels near Khao San.


The buses should have reclining seats and AC, which doesn’t always work properly though. In addition, you can choose between a normal or VIP bus. While we have no experience with this bus, many tourists recommend paying extra for the VIP bus.

You can buy combined tickets including both bus and ferry for this trip. After arriving in Chumphon, you’ll get off in a ticket office where you’ll wait for the ferry. The ferry from Chumphon takes less than 2 hours. You will catch the ferry at 07:00 and arrive at 08:45.

Fly to Surat Thani or Chumphon + ferry

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Price: from 55€

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Travel time: around 5 hours

If you’re looking for the fastest option, flying is a definite winner. From Bangkok, you can buy direct flights to Surat Thani or Chumphon.

Fly to Surat Thani

Surat Thani is the cheaper option with flights starting at 25€. Additionally, there are more than 15 daily connections. Because of this, flying from Bangkok is a really attractive option. You can also choose between AirAsia, Nok Air, VietJet Air, and Lion Air. All the airlines allow 1 personal bag and 1 carry-on bag.

To get from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, you will have to take a ferry. From Surat Thani Airport, you can book a transfer to the port + ferry ticket all in one.

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Planning a trip to Koh Tao but you don’t know what to do there? Read our guide about the best things to do on Koh Tao Island!

Koh Tao to Koh Samui Lompraya ferry
Catamaran, Source:

However, the latest transfer leaves the airport at 14:00. If you’ll arrive later, your only option is to take a night ferry to Koh Tao. Or wait for the next day. The night ferry departs at 22:00 from the night boat pier and arrives at 06:00. It’s operated by Phantip.

The beds are often narrow, however I believe the experience is not too bad. We traveled by the same night ferry from Koh Tao to Surat Thani and it was actually a very comfortable journey. The ferries are not of high standard, so keep your expectations low.

Surat Thani to Koh Tao night ferry
Night Ferry

Fly to Chumphon

If you decide to fly to Chumphon, you’ll have less options both in flights and ferries. Only one flight at 7:25 is scheduled daily, and it costs around 27€. The price changes every day, though. It’s operated by AirAsia.

From Chumphon there are two daily ferries at 07:00 or 13:30. The ferry ticket costs 750€. Since you’ll arrive at 08:30, your only option is to take the 13:30 ferry. Since it’s not the most convenient option, we recommend flying to Surat Thani instead.

Fly to Koh Samui + ferry

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Price: from 70€

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Travel time: from 4.5 hours

Another option si to fly directly from Bangkok to Koh Samui and take a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. However, this is the most expensive way of getting to Koh Tao from Bangkok, since the flights to Koh Samui are more costly, starting at 50€.

Once you arrive at the airport, you’ll have to travel to one of the piers. This might take up to one hour of travel time. You can’t use Grab on Koh Samui, so you’ll have to travel by the local taxis or songthaews.

Ten daily ferries are available and they’re operated by two different companies – Lomprayah and Songserm. The first one departs at 08:00 and the last one at 16:00. The ferry ticket costs around 700THB.

Koh Tao to Koh Samui Songserm ferry

You can decide if you prefer to travel by speedboat, catamaran or ferry. But if you get seasick easily, avoid the speedboat. You’ll also most likely have to change the boat on Koh Phangan.

If you plan to fly to Koh Samui and catch a ferry to Koh Phangan from there, we highly recommend buying the ferry tickets online at least a few days in advance. During the high season, they can be sold out and you might need to wait until another day.

This is especially important when traveling around Full Moon Party. Make sure to get the ticket more than a week, possibly even two in advance.

From Koh Phangan by ferry

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Price: from 400 THB

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Travel time: 1 h – 1.5 h

Traveling to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan by ferry couldn’t be easier thanks to 6 daily connections, 5 of them operated by Lomprayah and 1 by Songserm. The first ferry leaves at 8:30 and the last one at 16:45.

All the ferries depart from the same port – Thong Sala Pier. You can easily get to the pier by taxi or songthaew. Optionally, you can rent a motorbike in the area, so when you’ll be leaving Koh Phangan you can travel by yourself and return the bike before boarding the ferry.

Bangrak Pier Koh Samui
Bangrak Pier Koh Samui

The great news is that it’s a short journey that only takes an hour or two. The comfort during the trip depends mostly on the sea conditions. If you’re often sick on water, take a sea-sickness pill before.

I would also not expect an effective AC. The ferries are often overcrowded and hot. So stay outside if you need fresh air.

You can also choose from three boat types – catamaran, ferry, and speedboat. To read more about the journey, different boat types, and more tips, check out our post on traveling from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao.

Tickets are available almost everywhere on Koh Phangan. You’ll find multiple small tour companies or shops selling boat tickets as well as transfers to the pier. In addition, you can also buy your tickets online.

From Koh Samui by ferry

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Price: from 700 THB

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Travel time: 1.5 h – 3 h

The only way to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao is by ferry. The journey takes between 1.5 hours and 3 hours. Lomprayah and Songserm operate on this route. The first ferry departs at 08:00 and the last one at 16:00.

You can depart from one of four different piers on Koh Samui. Same as Koh Phangan, you can also travel by speedboat, ferry, or catamaran. However, many connections from Koh Samui to Koh Tao stop at Koh Phangan first, where you must change the boat.

Speedboat Koh Samui Thailand

For a more comfortable journey, we recommend avoiding the speedboat. The road can be really bumpy, even if the sea is calm.

You can buy tickets from local tour companies, which often include transport to the pier. If you don’t have much time on Koh Samui to buy your tickets in advance, do so online instead. It’s especially important during the high season.

As we already mentioned, make sure to buy your tickets even a week before the intended travel day if you’re traveling around Full Moon Party dates.

From Surat Thani by ferry

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Price: from 750 THB

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Travel time: from 3 hours 15 minutes

The number of all the options to travel from Surat Thani to Koh Tao by ferry is incredible. Thanks to amazing combined services, you can travel directly from the center, railway station, or even the airport. Lomprayah sells bus service together with ferry ticket, which saves a lot of trouble.

Despite listing ferries from both Tapee and Donsak Pier, there are just two speedboats from Tapee Pier. The other connections depart from Donsak Pier, where you’ll be transported by bus. While Tapee Pier is directly in Surat Thani town, Donsak Pier is one hour by bus.

Bangrak Pier Koh Samui

The first catamaran departs at 11:00 from Donsak Pier and the last speedboat at 15:30 from Tapee Pier. All the different options might seem a little confusing. Read our travel guide on getting from Surat Thani to Koh Tao for more details about this trip.

Optionally, you can also travel to Koh Tao by a night ferry. It departs at 22:00 and arrives at 06:00. It’s operated by Phantip and the ticket costs 1441 THB.

You can buy all the tickets directly at the port, in the offices of individual operators, or online.

From Chumphon by ferry

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Price: from 750 THB

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Travel time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Only two daily connections are available from Chumphon to Koh Tao. But it’s a very short journey, which only takes 1 hour and 45 minutes. You can take a ferry at 07:00 or 13:00. Lomprayah is the only available company.

If you’re traveling to Chumphon Airport, you can also book a van + ferry ticket. the van departs from the airport at 09:00, so you should definitely make it. If you’re arriving by train, the van leaves the railway station at 06:00 or at 12:00.

Night ferry Surat Thani to Koh Tao beds
Night Ferry – sleeper baot

Additionally, there are two night ferries which both depart at 21:00. The arrival time is at 4:00 or 5:00. You can either travel with Axara Travel or Fame Tour. They are both sleeper boats with beds. However, there’s not much space and beds are rather narrow.

You should be able to purchase the tickets also directly at Chumphon Airport or railway station. You can also buy them at the port or operator’s office. But to avoid missing your ferry due to limited capacity, get your ticket in advance.

From Phuket

By flight

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Price: from 50€

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Travel time: 1h or more

If you want to take a flight to travel from Phuket to Koh Tao, you have three options. Either fly to Koh Samui, Surat Thani, or Chumphon.

The flights from Phuket to Surat Thani are not direct. You have to travel to Bangkok first and transfer there. The fastest connections take 3 hours and 40 minutes and the prices start at as low as 50€. However, when choosing the fastest route, you only have 1 hour to transfer in Bangkok.

You can choose from many different flights and combinations. A few different airlines are available, such as Air Asia, VietJet Air, Thai Lion Air, and Nok Air.

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Once in Surat Thani, you can use Lomprayah’s combined services and buy bus tickets to port and ferry tickets in one. Use Lomprayah or 12Go. Read our travel guide to learn all the details about traveling from Surat Thani to Koh Tao.

Flights from Phuket to Chumphon are not so convenient. While the prices start at as low as 58€, all the flights take around 10 hours or even more. Since it takes such a long time, it’s better to fly to Surat Thani or Koh Samui.

The fastest option is the direct flights from Phuket to Koh Samui. It only takes less than an hour! You can only fly with Bangkok Airways and the flight tickets cost around 80€. It’s a really good option if you don’t mind spending more money.

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From Koh Samui, you can travel to Koh Tao by ferry (complete guide). We recommend buying the tickets online in advance either via Lomprayah, Songserm, or 12Go.

By bus + ferry

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Price: from 1600 THB

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Travel time: 8:45h or 16:20h

There are just two buses going from Phuket to Koh Tao.

The first is from the Lomprayah company. It departs from Phuket Lomprayah (map) at 09:00 and arrives at Koh Tao at 17:45. The total travel time is 8 hours and 45 minutes. The tickets for this option cost 1600 THB. First, you’ll travel by bus to a port and later you will change to a ferry.

I believe the same ferry drops people off on Koh Samui and Koh Phangan on the way. If you get seasick easily, don’t forget to take pills before the trip.

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You can get your tickets at local travel companies, directly at Lomprayah’s office, or online using either Lomprayah’s website or 12Go.

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The second option takes much longer with a travel time of 16 hours and 20 minutes. First, you have to take a bus by 465 company. The bus departs from Phuket Terminal 2 at 13:40 and you’ll arrive to Koh Tao at 06:00.

After the bus ride, you will have to take a night ferry. A few different boats are used for this trip depending on their availability. Therefore you never know if you’ll get a fan or AC sleeper boat.

Since they have no website, you can book this ticket via 12Go.

By van + speedboat

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Price: 2884 THB

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Travel time: from 8 hours 15 minutes

One last option to travel from Phuket to Koh Tao is by van + speedboat. First, you will take a van by Call Me Taxi. They have multiple pick-up points around Phuket – Kata, Karon, Patong, Bang Rong Pier, or Phuket Airport.

If you start in Kata, the van departs at 06:30. The last pick-up point is Phuket Airport at 09:30. After getting to the pier, you will transfer to a speedboat by Lomprayah. The arrival time to Koh Tao is 17:45. Overall, it’s a smooth journey.

From Krabi

By flight

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Price: from 53€

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Travel time: from 50 minutes

Same like when flying from Phuket, from Krabi you can fly to Koh Samui, Surat Thani or Chumphon.

Flights from Krabi to Surat Thani cost from 53€. The fastest option takes 4 hours and 35 minutes, and you have 1:45 hours to transfer in Bangkok. You can either fly with Thai Lion Air or Air Asia. In addition, you can choose from 8 different flights.

After arriving in Surat Thani, you can book a direct transfer from the airport to the pier and take a ferry to Koh Tao.

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If you need to find bus + ferry tickets from Surat Thani Airport to Koh Tao, use Lomprayah or 12Go.

Koh Samui truck taxi

Flying from Krabi to Chumphon is once again not very convenient due to the long travel time. The fastest connection takes 11 hours and 15 minutes. The prices start at 55€. If you decide to fly to Chumphon, you’ll have to take a ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao.

The last and fastest option is to fly from Krabi to Koh Samui. There’s just one direct flight daily at 13:45 and it takes 50 minutes. The price is around 93€, but it keeps changing slightly. Once in Koh Samui, you need to get to one of Koh Samui’s ports and get a ferry to Koh Tao.

When traveling during high season or Full Moon Party, it’s better to book the ferry tickets in advance. You can do that online via Lomprayah, Songserm, or 12Go.

By Lomprayah bus + ferry / speedboat

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Price: from 1300 THB

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Travel time: 5 – 6 hours

Lomprayah offers 4 different connections from Krabi to Koh Tao. All of them start with a bus or a van drive to the pier, where you change to a ferry or a speedboat. It’s up to you to decide which type of boat you prefer to travel by.

The first one departs at 08:00 and arrives at 14:15. The last connection departs at 13:00 and arrives at 18:00. However, I recommend checking the recent schedule on Lomprayah’s official website. The tickets cost 1300 THB for a ferry and 1400 THB for a speedboat.

By van + ferry

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Price: from 1923 THB

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Travel time: from 5 hours

If you decide to travel from Krabi to Koh Tao by van and ferry, you’ll have countless options. There are more than 30 different connections available on 12Go. The first one departs at 07:00 and the last one at 16:00. The prices are between 1923 THB and 2660 THB.

In addition, you can choose from a few different companies such as Lomprayah, Lanta Super Concord Tour, Thubthim Siam Travel, Van2Travel, and Ramon travel.

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To make it to Koh Tao on the same day, you have to catch the van departing at 13:00. All the later buses and vans will take you to a night ferry, which arrives in Koh Tao at 6:00 on the next day.

Despite the tickets being sold by many different companies, you’ll often end up traveling by Lomprayah’s buses. Boats are only operated by Lomprayah. Only Thubthim Siam Travel uses different speedboats.

Don’t forget about travel insurance

Despite being such an important aspect of any trip, many people don’t want to spend hours choosing the best travel insurance, sometimes they don’t want to invest in one!

Just look at SafetyWing, they offer one of the most affordable and flexible travel insurance out there. Recently the number of backpackers and digital nomads has been increasing, which requires new and modern solutions to fit their needs.

SafetyWind Nomad Insurance

You’ll often see that travel insurance companies require a return ticket in order to confirm your insurance for the selected period of time. Well, with SafetyWing you don’t have to worry about it! Thanks to monthly travel insurance, you’ll do just fine with a one-way ticket, too!

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If you want to know more about the pros and cons of SafetyWing, make sure to read our blog post about it!

When we were preparing for our big trip around Asia, we had no idea how it would go and when we would come back. What made the whole planning easier was the existence of SafetyWing Nomad Insurance, which allowed us to be really flexible with our travels. Their plans just gave us so much freedom!

SafetyWing subscription works on a monthly renewal basis, which means you can renew or cancel your plan anytime. This gives you a lot of freedom when traveling for a long time without a return ticket.

So if you’re looking for digital nomad insurance or if you’re planning a long trip with no end in mind, check out their offer.

SafetyWind Nomad Insurance

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

Scuba diving

Daytrip by speedboat

Final thoughts on how to get to Koh Tao

No matter where in Thailand you’re staying, you’ll always have multiple options to get to Koh Tao. Thailand has an amazing infrastructure and traveling from A to B is never really a problem. The journey can be more comfortable or cheaper, depending on your preferences.

We hope you’ll enjoy your time on Koh Tao, and don’t forget to visit all the best snorkeling spots!

Plan with us

Ready to start planning your next trip? If you use our referral links, you pay the same and we earn a little commision. It helps us run this blog. Thank you! ❤️

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Insurance: Safety Wings

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Bus, train: 12.Go Asia

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Tours: Viator

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