Bangkok to Ko Samui, Pha Ngan & Tao

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Updated on 22nd January, 2013. First published 29th June, 2006

The Bangkok to Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao route is one of the most common paths taken by travellers and tourists on their holidays in Thailand. Here's a blow by blow summary of the ins and outs of getting to and from Bangkok to the Gulf of Thailand islands.


While the distance are substantial, Thailand's rail, bus and ferry networks are well developed, pretty reliable and in the scheme of things, inexpensive. In all cases you can get from Bangkok to any of the Gulf of Thailand islands via a straightforward combination of land and water transport.

Heading from Bangkok southwards, it is 460km to Chumphon and Ko Tao is 75km offshore from Chumphon. Staying among the islands, it is another 50km from Ko Tao to Ko Pha Ngan and a further 12km on to Ko Samui. From Ko Samui back to the mainland at Surat Thani it is 75km and from Surat Thani back to Bangkok it is 650km.


Basically, the fastest (and, not suprisingly most expensive) way to get to the islands from Bangkok is to fly from Bangkok to Ko Samui and then take a ferry to the island of your choice. The slowest (and cheapest) is to take a bus from Bangkok to Chumphon or Surat Thani and then take the night boat from there. If you're going to Ko Tao, make your ferry connection at Chumphon. For Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan, go to Surat Thani. Below are some other pointers;

  • Bangkok and Ko Samui have international airports and there are regular flights between the two. Surat Thani has a domestic airport.
  • Bangkok and Chumphon have train stations on the main north-south line and the closest station to Surat Thani is at Phun Phin, seven kilometres from Surat Thani.
  • Bangkok, Chumphon and Surat Thani are all connected by both public and private buses.
  • Ferries to Ko Tao leave from a pier just to the south of Chumphon and ferries to all three islands leave from Surat Thani and three other piers near Surat Thani.
  • Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao are inter-connected by ferries.


If you fly, you have two options -- flying to Ko Samui or flying to Surat Thani and then connecting by bus and ferry to the islands.

Flying to Ko Samui
While flying to Ko Samui is preferable, the island's airport is owned by Bangkok Airways and until quite recently they were the only airline that flys there. Now THAI and Bangkok Airways fly the route but fares remain artificially high and, if you're flying out of Ko Samui, there is a 300B domestic departure tax -- the highest domestic departure tax in Thailand. Bangkok Airways runs almost 20 flights a day between Bangkok and Ko Samui. The cheapest fares are on the first and last flight of the day and go for 2,000B one way, fares through the rest of the day can be as high as 3,480B (all fares above are before the various taxes, fuel surcharges and insurance surcharge which airlines don't deem to include in the fare, along with the 300B departure fee gouge). Flight time is 60 to 90 minutes depending on the aircraft used (prop or jet). The airport is located a 20 minute drive from Chaweng Beach and a five minute drive from Big Buddha Beach. Full fare and timetable information is available on the Bangkok Airways website and the THAI website.

What is a good beach on Ko Pha Ngan?

What is a good beach on Ko Pha Ngan?

With a rapidly developing range of accommodation from ultra-basic thatch bungalows for 80B a night through to totally decadent luxury suites starting at 10,000B a night, Ko Pha Ngan truly offers something for everyone. Accommodation aside, you'll also have to choose the atmosphere you like best for a holiday: there's well over a dozen beaches with characters spanning hedonist-haven to party-animal to secluded strips of sand that no guidebook has ever mentioned. Which is the right beach for you?

Flying to Surat Thani
Surat Thani airport is served by THAI and Thai AirAsia, with the later having more affordable rates (starting at 800B, but watch out for the plethora of "fees" that get added to this base rate). The flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani takes 70 minutes. Surat Thani airport is around 30km north of Surat Thani town, so you'll need to transfer into Surat Thani and then arrange onwards bus and boat connections to the island of your choice. Full fare and timetable information is avaiable on the THAI website and the Thai AirAsia website.


The train system in Thailand is safe, affordable and tends to arrive roughly on time. There are 11 trains a day that leave Bangkok heading south and all of these stop at both Chumphon and Phun Phin (for Surat Thani).

The main dilemma regards taking a night or day train. If you've never done the trip before, try to do at least one way on a day-train as the scenery is pretty, however if you've done the trip before, take the night train -- the sleepers, while certainly not luxurious, are more than adequate.

Bear in mind that if you take the day train to Chumphon or Surat Thani, you will miss the last day ferry and your only option will be the night ferries to Ko Tao and Ko Pha Ngan respectively. The train station in Chumphon is in the centre of town, while at Surat Thani it is at Phun Phin, some 7km from central Surat Thani -- public transport between the two is affordable and frequent.

The Thai train system has three classes -- first, second and third. First and second class have sleepers, third does not. Within first and second class you can choose between fan and air-con (we prefer fan) and also an upper or lower berth. If you opt for fan, we'd recommend going for a lower berth as you're then able to re-open the window behind the shutter, giving you a cooling breeze through the night (the attendant will close it when they make the bed). Lower berths cost more than upper berths. On night trains, bags are stowed in racks near your berth (within arms reach). We'd suggest chaining your bag to this rack and keeping valuables (passport, credit cards and so on) on your person. While theft is nowhere near as common on the trains as it is on the bus, it does happen, so be careful.

There are a range of trains that run this route, from "Rapid" through to "Special Express Diesel Railcars" and the general rule is, the faster it is, the pricier the ticket. Full fare and timetable information is available on the State Railways of Thailand website.

Which night train?
If you're aiming for Ko Tao, the express #85 is an option -- it gets you into Chumphon at around 04:00 (leaving Bangkok at 19:15 the previous night) which leaves you at Chumphon three hours before the Lomprayah ferry leaves for Ko Tao. The later (and far more popular) Express Special Diesel #39 leaves Bangkok at 22:50 and gets into Chumphon at 05:52 the following morning -- this leaves you an hour to get to the ferry, which is more than adequate time, BUT if the train is delayed (not unheard of) you will miss the ferry and will have to take the afternoon boat.

If you're heading to Ko Samui which night train you take doesn't matter so much as there are far more frequent ferry connections out to Ko Samui from around Surat Thani. Despite these frequent ferry departures, the Express Special Diesel #39 from Bangkok remains by far the most popular choice.


There is a very simple rule to be followed if you're planning on heading from Bangkok to Surat Thani or Chumphon by bus. DO NOT and we repeat DO NOT, take one of the private buses that can be organised from Khao San Road as theft on these buses is endemic. Spend the extra money, go out to Sai Tai Mai (the southern bus terminal) and get a ticket on a public bus down to either destination. We are not kidding when we say theft is a major problem on the private buses -- generally a thief gets in the luggage section with your bags and goes through them during the trip, alighting with all your goodies before reaching Chumphon. If you insist on catching one of these buses do not leave anything more valuable than a bag of soiled underwear in your pack.

You have been warned!

The buses are the cheapest way to get down to Chumphon or Surat Thani and while there are departures throughout the day, the night buses are the most popular with travellers. The time taken is comparable to the train.


So you've got to Chumphon or Surat Thani, now what?

To Ko Tao you have the following options, the Lomprayah high-speed catamaran (leaves Chumphon at 07:00 and 13:00) costing 550B and takes 90 minutes, and the Songserm and Seatran boats, both of which leave at 07:00, costing 650B and 450B respectively and take 2.5-3 hours. The Lomprayah service is worth the extra money. The night ferry leaves Chumphon at 23:00 and arrives at 05:00 costing 300B.

To Ko Pha Ngan, you need to go to Surat Thani from where Raja Ferry run five boats a day from Don Sak to Ko Pha Ngan and Songsern run two. There is also the night boat which leaves Surat Thani at 23:00 for Ko Pha Ngan (taking six hours). From Ko Pha Ngan to Surat Thani, though, the boat is an hour earlier, at 22:00. Note if you miss the 07:00 direct Songserm boat to Ko Pha Ngan, you may be able to go to Ko Samui, then grab an afternoon boat from there to Ko Pha Ngan.

To Ko Samui, there are ferries on the hour from Don Sak to Lipa Noi on Ko Samui and seven a day to Nathon -- these are all run by Raja Ferry. Seatran runs three ferries a day from Ban Don to Nathon on Ko Samui and Songserm run one a day (08:00) from Ban Don to Nathon.

The map below summarises the main ferry routes.

Map of the ferry routes in Southern Thailand

Confused yet?
Then there's the inter island ferries:

  • Songserm run two ferries a day between Nathon and Thongsala and one a day between Thongsala and Ko Tao
  • Seatran runs two ferries between Nathon on Ko Samui and Thongsala on Ko Pha Ngan
  • Lomprayah run four ferries a day between Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan, two of which continue to Ko Tao
  • The Haad Rin Queen runs four ferries a day from Big Buddha Beach on Ko Samui to Haad Rin on Ko Pha Ngan

About the author:
Stuart McDonald co-founded with Samantha Brown in 2004. He has lived in Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia, where he worked as an under-paid, under-skilled language teacher, an embassy staffer, a newspaper web-site developer, freelancing and various other stuff. His favourite read is The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton.

Read 103 comment(s)

  • This was a really helpful article, has just made planning my trip to Thailand so much easy thank you

    Posted by jay on 2nd December, 2008

  • Ace and free thank u mister fish!!

    Posted by ben on 3rd December, 2008

  • thank-you very much travelfish person for your great advice

    Posted by lex on 4th December, 2008

  • Thanks for the good info!! Would also be helpful to know how long the inter-island ferry trips are and roughly how much they cost...

    Posted by fish on 19th December, 2008

  • The ferry-trip over to Koh Samui took us roughly about 1 hour from Buddha pier (Surat Thani). Same from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan. I have no idea how long it takes from Chumphon to Ko Tao, but I guess thats about 3-4 hours, depends if they have "speed-boats" or not, which in face isnt that unlikely.

    Posted by johan on 19th January, 2009

  • Thanks a lot this was really helpful - but do you know of any pricing for the train / bus / boats from Bangkok to Ko Pha Ngan?

    Posted by tdtupuola on 20th January, 2009

  • Hi, will it be possible to give a rough estimation of the prices that the different modes of transport will cost?

    Posted by fenfen on 23rd January, 2009

  • Thanks very much you've made things much easier to plan!

    Posted by cjt on 30th January, 2009

  • hi,
    any idea about an average driving time by personal car between BKK and Chumpon; 6h? 7h?

    Posted by isatine on 4th February, 2009

  • check out for prices and stuff for the trains. I don't know how accurate it is but it says its the state service so its probably not completely made up...

    Posted by alex on 12th February, 2009

  • Where can I book the train and ferry tix in advance?

    Posted by Ivan on 18th March, 2009

  • Great advice, looking to travel from Bangkok to Ko Samui and this has just answered a lot of questions i had! Thanks!

    Posted by Louboutins on 22nd March, 2009

  • When catching the ferries be warned that getting on and off can be quite a challenge as the jetty is not set up for such a big boat, or that many people.i.e walking through one boat to get to the next. Both people leaving and arriving are on it at the same time, its very narrow and when carrying luggage etc is a bit dodgy. Travel light if possible and get a good seat as the trip from Ko Phangan to Ko Tao can get rough, very rough...

    Posted by Daniel on 6th April, 2009

  • This has made planning my epic journey from Ko Chang to Ko Pha Ngan tomorrow a whole lot easier, it does however look like it's still going to take me the best part of 26 hours. Woo.

    Posted by Matt on 6th April, 2009

  • Hi! We will be staying at Koh Tao from 19-23 May and would like to make an early departure from Koh Tao to Bangkok. What are our choices.

    your feedback will be highly appreciated.

    kind regards,

    Posted by Elzette van Zyl on 6th April, 2009

  • does this work the same in the opposite direction too?

    Posted by julia Chen on 13th April, 2009

  • Not expecting to find out much information, but this site is a real BONUS !!. We shall be going to ko sumui this coming summer (2009), so all the info on this site is a MUST read, i know that times and tides change like the weather, but at least we have a better idea of what we are letting ourselves in for, great site.

    Thanks very much.

    Paul (UK)

    Posted by Paul on 22nd April, 2009

  • The warning about private busses- does that include the vip bus and ferry combo from Lomprayah? Even the day bus that runs Bangkok-Chumphon? thanks

    Posted by Liz on 25th April, 2009

  • Hi Liz,

    No, the Lomprayah services are generally fine. By private buses we're talking about the 'no name' services that operate out of small agencies. I'll get that clarified in the story shortly.


    Posted by somtam2000 on 26th April, 2009

  • Brilliant help! I'm going to be travelling from Bangkok to Ko Tao and then onto Ko Samui this summer, so this article is a great help. Thanks

    Posted by Scott on 19th June, 2009

  • Hi there! We are travelling from Chiang Dao and want to make to do Koh Tao in two days.. is this possible? Also we heard of a bus/ferry combo ticket.. is this real?


    Posted by Evan on 27th June, 2009

  • thanks for all the info above, am off to thailand in october and i have not visited the country since i traveled round there for a year in 2002 so great to get updated stuff.

    i actually experienced the bus theft mentioned above in 2002 and wanted to let you guys know that the risks in taking them mentioned above are very real. myself, and about 15 other farangs (all women) were on a "private" bus to bangkok, all was well until we got back on the bus after a rest stop about 5 hours outside the city. 30 mins into the journey i started to feel sleepy and remember nothing until waking up i reached for my bag which was underneath my head for my phone, it was gone, i looked in my purse all money missing but all cards there, camera-gone. i woke my mate in the seat behind exactly the same all gone. we started to wake up the other passengers who we all also very confused that we all fell into such a deep sleep. some of us tried to get down the stairs to the drivers shouting that we had things missing and we knew it was them and we were pushed back up the stairs with force by the 2 thai passengers with the driver. the bus suddenly came to a crashing halt, we were all so confused we got off to confront the driver who had got off. our rucksacks were thrown from the bus during the stand off and within seconds he jumped back in and they were all gone, bus and all.

    we were all left on the roadside until the police arrived. to cut a long story short they think something was put through the air conditioning on the bus to make us sleep on the last part of our journey as nobody felt or heard the people who were obviously crawling among us taking their pick of our belongings. they were obviously hoping their skam would not be discovered until they were long gone at the drop off in bangkok.

    if you haven't been to thailand and are reading this please do NOT be put off traveling to this amazing and beautiful country by my tale. in a year there this was my only negative experience of the country and the people could not be more generous and lovely i just wanted to put it out there that it does happen, and god knows what else and to be careful. take the bus from the station terminal wherever you are, it doesn't just happen onbus's out of Khao San Road, i learnt the hard way what a cheap bus ticket to bangkok costs you.

    Posted by Vic on 25th July, 2009

  • Thanks for the helpful advice. Flying to BKK from CPT in 4 hours. Yeah!

    Posted by Phil on 7th August, 2009

  • How long will it take if i go by bus & ferry from Bangkok to kohsamui

    Posted by Trevor Collins on 26th August, 2009

  • How long will it take if i go by bus & ferry from Bangkok to kohsamui

    Posted by Trevor Collins on 26th August, 2009

  • How long & how much will it take if i go by bus & ferry from Bangkok to kohsamui !!!! and how much destine surat thini to kohsamui ????

    Posted by Rahuul on 27th August, 2009

  • Isn't it better while traveling to Koh phangan get off the train at Chumphon and go by boat via Koh Tao??? I don't know what price for ferry would be but on Seatran websites ( it says they have services running between Chumphon and Phangan and it seems faster that going all the way to Surat Thani by train... anybody has done it this way???

    Posted by jan on 30th August, 2009

  • Hi, I was just wondering about travelling from Ko Phangan to chumphon to bangkok, roughly how i do it, prices and time length.
    I was hoping to do boat from Phangan straight to chumphon, then coach to bangkok.
    Is this do-able.. and if so any idea how long the bus up would be?

    Posted by Ellsbells on 4th September, 2009

  • My wife,my son and myself were also victims of bus theft a year ago, thank god I read this article for I thought we were the only ones to succumb. We were the only ones on this bus from Khao San and should have suspected foul play right in the begining, the driver sarcastically warned us to take care of our belongings. But I wonder how they knew where the money was, I think they used some sedative somehow.
    If bus theft is so rampant on this route how come cops don't take any action against these bus operators?

    Posted by madan on 19th September, 2009

  • how do i go from bkk intl apt to koh bus /ferry plz reply as soon as possible, if possible the time table of departure thank u so muchhhhhhhhhh.

    Posted by floyd on 28th September, 2009

  • Have just read everyones tales of theft on bus.. i got a bus from krabi to surat thani and a bus from chumphon to bangkok back in 2007 and never experienced any theft, none of my friends experienced any either.. not sure what kinda of buses you were all on..
    Going back to thailand in november.. and have to say, from being in love with thailand, im now quite scared about going and travelling!!
    would be really helpful if you could tell me what sort of buses you were all on... coaches?? private mini vans...?????

    Posted by elsbels on 28th September, 2009

  • Hi, I need to first get from Phuket to Chumphon. I could rent a car or go by bus, yes? Then I need to get to BKK from Chumphon, one way. I assume that there are many choices of bus service or train. Does any airline fly from Chumphon to Bangkok?

    Posted by Keith on 2nd October, 2009

  • We are looking at Getting from Ko Tao to Bangkok via Chumphon. Just a few questions?
    1/ Is is best to get a bus or train from Chumphon to Bangkok?
    2/ How much does it cost??
    3/ How long does it take??

    Posted by Paolo on 16th October, 2009

  • hi, Im going to Thailand in december never having been travelling before on my own and am really nervous. Please could you be more exact with where to get the "good" buses from, as theres no way I want to be on my own minus all my money/passport etc etc. Im nervous enough about just getting lost, I hadn't even thought to factor in theft as well!

    PLease help, all information is appreciated...

    Posted by Alex on 3rd November, 2009

  • Let me tell all travelers planning to travel around those beautiful islands in Gulf of Thailand, these information are very accurate and the warnings you like to be informed before leaving Bangkok are very true as well.

    Thank you for sharing honest info.

    Posted by Thailand resident on 4th November, 2009

  • i want to fly from malaysia to koh samui and this my first time trip so i need some help here real help which way is cheaper to get a student working on butget so i will prefare cheap to travel ther give all the way i have to take to get there

    Posted by monroe on 19th November, 2009

  • hi,we are a group of four people we are landing on 29th dec 09 @9:00pm we want to go to koh samui right after our flight @ 10:pm by bus/train/plane/ferry and please letme know the fares and the estimated time to reach there.thankx
    regards danyal

    Posted by danyal on 25th November, 2009

  • Hello

    we will be heading back to BKK on 30december 2009. As I already misbooked an airline ticket (got confused with the nighttravel) I am now looking into a cheaper way to get to BKK. Any experiences on doing the samui - bangkok trip by transport (no air transportation) and is it duable this time of year?

    Posted by Birgit on 8th December, 2009

  • Awesome info thanks. Brother's getting married in Ko Phan Ngang in Jan & I planned all the travel using the info here. Cheers.

    Posted by Abhishek on 15th December, 2009

  • This is great, I went before and took one of those buses you said about, but had I known at the time I wouldnt have, this time round, I'll go on the public ones!

    Posted by Jennifer on 18th December, 2009

  • Just thought, where do you get the bus back up to Bangkok? Are these buses bad too? Is there a certain terminal from Surat Thani to get a safer bus?

    Posted by Jennifer on 18th December, 2009

  • Agreed, with above post about the thefts, same thing happened to a busload of us going the other way surat thani - bangkok, they were very organised, juststick to public transport whereever posible, travel like the locals do, dont go with private tourist bus's sold from small venders around the streets where possible, on saying that I have booked overnight bus from tour agency around kosanrd from bangkok to changmai and had no problems.

    Posted by john on 5th January, 2010

  • Off to Thailand again!!! I love the place. Hubby and i usually do the all pretty packages but this year is gonna be so different. we are staying in Bangkok for a couple of nights then want to head to samui. I am interested in both modes of transport (fery/ bus)from bangkok to surat Thani, reliability, cost etc...We have done the ferry before so no major issuses there. If anyone could assist with time of journey an costing we would be very grateful.

    Many thanks and happy holidays to all x

    Posted by Lorraine on 6th January, 2010

  • A few updates based on our recent experience in getting from Bangkok to Ko Tao while traveling during peak season.

    * Bus from Bangkok Bus Terminal (serving southern destinations)
    - Catch public bus from town to terminal (about 20THB, 1 hour)
    - At the terminal go inside the building (avoid the minivan touts) and find ChokeAnan Tours. There are loads of stalls selling bus tickets.
    - There are no timetables online for these guys but we arrived at 8am at the terminal and caught a 9am bus to Chumphon.
    - About 7 hours, 350THB and a safe and quality service including lunch and water.

    * Ferry from Chumphon to Ko Tao
    - You can contact Lompraya Catamaran directly and purchase your ticket.
    - We instead stayed at the nice and simple Suda Guesthouse in Chumphon and she sorted us out with tickets on the 7am ferry the next day for 550THB each.
    - The 7am ferry involves a 5.50am pick-up and a 2 to 2.30 hour journey to Ko Tao (not the 1.30 hr advertised duration).

    Hope this helps.

    Posted by Dan on 8th January, 2010

  • Am planning on getting overnight train then ferry to Koh Samui on a sat night in Feb 2010. Do the train tickets sell out or is it fine to get ticket a day or two before departure. thanks.

    Posted by NZ on 15th January, 2010

  • Thank you this blog is amazing - you have answered every question- really appreciate it

    Posted by Keira on 22nd January, 2010

  • Done the overnight bus, booked on Khao San tooo many times. The author is very right on the the theft. On an overnight to Chang Mai I couldn't sleep so I went down to the "lounge" where they were using it to store all our luggage, I made myself a spot where I could extend my legs and sure enough, within 15 minutes someone came down and started rifeling through the bags. I sat up and asked him what the hell is was doing...won't bore you with the rest of the hassel, but the Thai buses are nice and cheap and safe.

    Posted by Susan on 23rd January, 2010

  • Hi, great site for info, very helpful.

    I wanted to catch the train from Bangkok at 0800 to Chumphon then ferry over to Ko Tao. Is it possible to do so in one day as from looking at the timetables the train doesn't quite make it to Chumphon in order to get the last ferry that leaves at 1300.

    Do we need to stay overnight at Chumphon to get the 0700 ferry the next morning? If so, does anyone know any good sleepover spots in Chumphon?


    Posted by Abi on 27th January, 2010

  • Hey i just did this trip so got some info that might help !

    I got the 7:30pm night sleeper from Bangkok to Surat Thani which was 3 hours late and got there at 9:30am (not 6:30am) but was fine.(Go first class ! its only about 24 pounds and soo much nicer for a long trip !)

    I then got a bus/boat ticket (there are loads of people selling these tickets as soon as you get off the train) which was 250 Baht and the bus took about an hour then the boat was about 1 and a half hours to Ko Samui.

    I then paid 600 Baht for a taxi to Lamai beach where my hotel was and having known this i would have booked closer to the ferry !

    It was a really long but easy journey and i was travelling on my own and felt safe for the whole trip ! but having said that i might save for a flight next time as it just took sooo long !

    happy travels,

    jessica x

    Posted by Jessica on 14th February, 2010

  • This outstandingly informative and helpful article stands out as a ray of Thai sunshine in what has become a confusing, disjointed and largely irrelevant world of the big wide web. Thank you, your effort has not gone appreciated.

    Posted by Ben on 19th February, 2010

  • Thank you so much. This was a great article, covered everything I needed to know. Made planning much easier and laid out travel options clearly. Much appreciated

    Posted by Kate on 19th February, 2010

  • I wanted to travel from:

    Bangkok FLY TO Phuket
    Phuket FERRY TO Phi Phi
    Krabi FERRY TO Ko Pha Ngan

    Is it now possible to get from Ko Pha Ngan to Ko Tao and then from there to Ko Samet?

    If not, can anyone recommend an alternative route?

    Posted by Ria on 23rd February, 2010

  • Hiya,
    i went to Thailand in jan 2009, and traveled from a bus outlet on the corner and under the D&D hotel on khao san road, do you mean these guys???, we was fine !, We did however book a bus from the station in chaing mai from the bus station and it was 1st class, really nice bit cold but nice!,

    Going back for round two to do the islands, have had loadsa of help from all you guys, just wanted to no....

    How long are the bus to chumphon from bangkok? what time do i leave bangkok to get the 13.00 lomprayah to ko tao??

    Posted by davie85 on 26th February, 2010

  • Thank you - very very helpfull!!! :)

    Posted by daisy on 1st March, 2010

  • very helpfull thanks

    Posted by sam on 11th March, 2010

  • Thanks for the excellent guide on how to get from Bangkok to Ko Tao ;)

    Posted by Christian on 15th March, 2010

  • Hi please can yo advise me what would be the best thing for me to do, to get to Koh Tao.. I arrive in Bangkok 7.45 am, I have had a look at the timetable and I am confused!!! Your website here has been a massive help to me, I am traveling with my young son aswell, so I need to make sure that I sort everything out properly I travel in July. Thanks

    Posted by sante on 20th March, 2010

  • Hi, A great site. Thank you very much indeed. I noticed the train from Bangkok to Chumphon arrives at 0547 and the ferry from Chumphon to Ko Tao leaves at 0700, can we make it? thanks xx

    Posted by shane on 28th March, 2010

  • Very informative. How long does a direct drive by car take from Bkk to Surat thani?

    Posted by Chotti on 30th March, 2010

  • Hi!

    Have bought train/bus/boat tickets to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok and just wanted to make sure the journey was relatively straight forward.

    Getting the sleeper train and arriving fairly early am at Surat Thani (but as I understand it, it's phun phin and then I have to get a local bus to surat thani?)
    Then ferry over to Koh Samui?

    Obviously I won't know which direction to go so if anyone who's done this journey fairly recently could do a write up, that'd be beyond helpful. someone help me?

    Christina x

    Posted by Christina on 31st March, 2010

  • So coool and handy. Thank you so much for posting this

    Posted by mylpop on 17th April, 2010

  • hi need to go from koh samui to Bangkok..kindly advise how much is the air ticket and what's the root if i choose to go by bus or train or much and how long.

    Posted by zakay on 10th June, 2010

  • hi planning to go to thailand with my friends on august..and we choose to go to Koh Samui. but im really confused in whereabouts of some terminals, airports. i've been to Bangkok once. and i want to try the beach in koh samui they say its paradise. can you help me find the cheapest way to get there and the time that will consume it..because im afraid that our tour might just end up in travelling around and not in the beach under the sun...thank you very much looking forward to your reply.

    Posted by june on 26th June, 2010

  • Hi,
    I land in BKK in a couple of weeks, and I'm looking into taking the train to Surat Thani, and then taking the Ferry from there to Koh Samui. Is there anyway I can get the train tickets in advance? and is there anyway to get train and ferry tickets all-in-one?

    Thanks, C

    Posted by Christina on 20th July, 2010

  • How do I book online combination ticket of train+ bus + ferry from bangkok to kohsamui.
    Please guide

    Posted by Nehal on 23rd July, 2010

  • I am flying into BKK next Wed. I want to drive from BKK to get a ferry with the rental car. Is that possible? How long a drive and is it easier?

    Posted by colette on 13th October, 2010

  • I am flying into BKK next Wed. I want to drive from BKK to get a ferry with the rental car. Is that possible? How long a drive and is it easier?

    Posted by colette on 13th October, 2010

  • WOW! My prayers have been answered with this! THANK YOU!

    For tickets, go to

    I have seen the government's website, which says that the tickets are only 400-500 Baht, but I am not sure. The website above seems to be a booking agent and they make their money off of it, obviously. They cut the time and make it easier though, making the trip with ferry tix total around 1500-1700 Baht. Your choice of doing it yourself or having someone do it for you.

    I am going next month and can't wait!

    Posted by Kai on 20th October, 2010

  • I liked the details given on your apge above. They are very helpfull for a new traveller to Bangkok. Thanks.

    Posted by Niraj Gupta on 9th November, 2010

  • I am landing at Bangkok airport in the morning at 7 am and i want to proceed to Koh Samui directly from the airport. Can you please suggest some proper ticket booking company for the Train + ferry trip from BKK airport to Koh Samui so that i can book my tickets in advance.

    Posted by Niraj on 9th November, 2010

  • Thailand has pretty good interstate bus structure and rail systems so travelling by both modes will be rather cumbersome free. Taking into the warnings about thefts it is always better to consider a fan room/cabin/berth/seat than an air-conditioned one because the Thais like to blast their a/c up to the max. You will literally freeze.

    Posted by Richard Dillon on 1st December, 2010

  • Thanks..
    very helpful :)

    Posted by indri on 10th December, 2010

  • i've been living in thailand and travelling a lot. i never had anything stolen on private bus rides or know anyone that has. the government buses are better on time but can be more expensive. bkk-paghnang 800b (+100b for taxi from bus station) w government and 500b w private khao san buses.
    always take a sweater w u when taking a bus.

    Posted by niklas on 14th December, 2010

  • Many thanks for the explanation - the break down and images provides a clearer insight to travelling from Bangkok to Koh Tao than most other websites.

    Posted by Sapphira on 2nd January, 2011

  • Very informative material. Many thanks.

    Posted by Giro on 9th January, 2011

  • Hi I'm arriving in BKK late Sunday night so miss the last night train, was planning on taking first express morning train at 8.05am to Chumphon and then need to get to Koh Tao, do any boats go in the afternoon? The only one I can find is Lomlak high speed boat from Tung Ma Kam Noi Pier, which looks like it goes at you know if this still runs or have I just got an out of date website?
    Many thanks

    Posted by Lex on 19th January, 2011

  • Fantastic INfo - THank you@!

    Posted by Graham on 26th January, 2011

  • Really helpful page.... much clearer and acutely explained than the guidebook I had been referring to up to this point. Has allowed to me satisfactorily develop a precise travel-plan, which eases the pre-departure (first time lone-traveller) anxiety.

    Posted by Chris on 10th February, 2011

  • Solar Air flights from Bangkok to Chumphon start 14th February 2011 daily ( except Sunday ) departing Bangkok Don Muang (DMK - this is different from the main Suvarnabhumi BKK Airport ) Airport at 0945 arriving Chumphon 1100. Also offered is connection to Lomprayah across to Koh Tao. Total journey depart Bangkok Airport (DMK)0945 arrive on Koh Tao 1430. Return journey leave Koh Tao 0930 arrive Bangkok ( DMK airport )1515 hrs.

    Posted by Chai Nong on 14th February, 2011

  • You can also book through flight and ferry via Chumphon to Koh tao from Solar Air Thailand own website

    Posted by Nong Chai on 14th February, 2011

  • Wow! You had really exotic tropical tour! If it's not a secret can you tell me how much did you spend for the whole journey (excluding fly tickets)?

    Posted by Vera Samui on 8th April, 2011

  • Hi,
    I will travelling from Phuket on 17th April by bus to Koh Samui and then from Koh Samui to Bangkok by Bus+Ferry on 19th april. Can some one pls tell me how much this would cost(Phuket to Samui and then Samui to Baangkok) and are combo Bus+Ferry options available on the Samui-Bangkok rout. Thanks a lot


    Posted by Pushan on 8th April, 2011

  • Thank you for your valuable information. I would like to phuket and the three islands of koh samui,ko pha ngan and ko tao,what do you suggest we travel by (economically) ?

    Posted by Robinson Jyrwa on 24th May, 2011

  • quick question - does anyone know how late the ko samui to ko pa yang ferries run into the night? thanks.

    Posted by Alice Maltby on 2nd June, 2011

  • Ahhh maybe that's where my headlamp went (on bus from Bangkok to Chiang Mai) the top compartment of backpack..

    Posted by k on 14th June, 2011

  • Nice article, I'll tell you my story and hope it helps. I booked a "joint ticket" Bangkok->Koh Samui from Khoasan Road (400b but with a little bit bargaining) so at 18:00 we get together (all backpakers) in front of the agent then a guy come with motobike, made us follow him (by walk :) after a 5 min walk, we waited for half an hour and our bus came. Nice bus with air-con and toilet, our journey started to Surat Tani and after 8 hours we were at Surat Tani and there we took the ferry to Samui, same bus and ferry was taking people to Samui then Phagan, Krabi etc. It was well organized and safe journey (for a backpaker tho). When we arrived Samui there were lots of touts for taking us to our hotels. But basically it's 100b for anywhere by little trucks. Don't the take the taxi tho, they'll charge you a lot.

    Now I'm on samui and here they have ferrys to Phanagan, Tao etc ranging from 200b-450b. It's interesting tho that it's more expensive to get back to Bangkok which it 650b with joint ticket.

    Here in Samui they have an airport as well and Air Asia has flights Bangkok-Samui, it's like 3000-9000b, earlier the cheaper. An early booking would be good as you wont lose a precious day on your journey and it'll be much easier.

    Posted by Sinan on 7th July, 2011

  • Thank you so much for this helpful information. We are travelling on 11 Aug to Bangkok then onto Koh Samui for a few days. I was really stressed with the transport...this article made it so easy!! Thank you for your help! Happy travels everyone!

    Posted by New Thai Traveler on 2nd August, 2011

  • We had a very bad experience of train. First of all if some one says that you can get tickets 2 days in advance for the train of your choice, then that is plain incorrect. We wanted to go to Koh Samui from Bangkok and arrived 3 days in advance to Bangkok. But, all sleeper tickets were already booked. If only Thai train had online ticket booking we would not have run into this situation (of course there are other options but none of them is convenient enough).

    So, we ended up having seating tickets to Chumpon on 10:50 pm train and then 6 hour ferry by Lomprayah catamaran to Koh Samui because as per the ticket counter person there was no connecting ferry that he could book from Surat thani.

    Thai train is one of the most primitive train network in the world still having narrow guage tracks. The AC in the train does not have any control and it becomes very cold in the nights. All they provide are towel like sheet to keep yourself warm.

    On reaching Chumpon we changed to bus and then to ferry via Lomprayah. This part of the trip is strictly for backpackers. If you are traveling with family and have suit cases as luggage, then be ready to pull and lift your luggage for a long distance without much help from Lomprayah.

    Posted by Gnawmad on 8th August, 2011

  • Excellent and clear info; thank you!

    Posted by Guillaume on 11th August, 2011

  • Beware of leaving your backpack or luggage unattended on the ferry. Even if its on deck with every one elses. The low life's that work on this ferry route are really struggling in life and they act out by tossing your bag looking to steal. If you are dumb enough to leave something of value you probably deserve to have it stolen. Most of you are stupid tourists and they think everyone is. They will take control of you and then steal from you blind. Be smart. You don't need locals for anything in any country, period. The know the dumb ones can't say no.

    Posted by JJ on 4th October, 2011

  • I want to add this to my scrapbook but I am not seeing I just missing something or is that option not always available...Thanks!

    Posted by beachybec on 21st November, 2011

  • Please advise Travelling to Koh Tao

    From Phuket we are flying to Koh Samui(USM)Airport

    Flight arrival at Koh Samu(USM)Airport 10:30am
    Return transfer from Koh Samui(USM)Airport to Maenam Pier
    Is this a DIRECT journey without any detours and stops with taxi to Maenam Pier(koh Tao)?

    How long is the journey from Airport to Maenam Pier?

    Will there be enough time to catch the 12:30 highspeed ferry to Koh Tao?

    (Staying at Koh Tao)
    Departing 09:30 from Ko Tao Pier and arrive at 11:30 at Maenam Pier
    Pick-up at 11:30 from Maenam Pier to Airport with taxi.

    Will we be on time for this scheduled flight??
    Departing from Koh Samui(USM)Airport at 15:00 to Bangkok Savurnabhumi.

    20:45 Qatar Airways same day to Cape Town


    Posted by Estelle on 9th February, 2012

  • I need so me assistance i will be traveling to Mumbai & from there would like to get to Ko Samui what will be the easiest route to get there? Please advise?

    Posted by Margot on 22nd March, 2012

  • Employ Tend,familiar week since lie visit screen patient foundation hard plenty pressure answer scene usual land quick hour man in result possibility point return exercise ticket involve observation concept illustrate always vision plate hand normally community could sort brain suppose quite gold factory point expense output when balance under series equal soon send finance cover existence wear appearance politics several separate explanation we forward teacher half band positive studio ring county vote right instruction reality from partner definition avoid lack release brain associate press secretary where know carefully typical otherwise sleep bottle political advantage under progress flight issue nearly

    Posted by Billigflug Berlin London-stansted on 28th March, 2012

  • Can I take a ferry from Bangkok straight to Koh Samui? If so, what pier to I get the ferry from in Bangkok??


    Posted by Vicky Brooks on 14th May, 2012

  • Thank you guys, I had the most awesome trip to Ko Samui. With all your dos and donts things were pretty much easy for me. I took a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, at Bangkok station I even took a joint ticket from Surat Thani station to Don Sak and from Don Sak to Nathon from Songserm company. The railway and joint ticket costed me close to 550 bhat one way. However later I realised that I should had taken the joint ticket of Lomprayah as they even provide transfer & pick up services from and to hotel in Ko Samui as well. Songserm unfortunately does not provide these services hence I had to hire some private guy and these guys are pretty expensive. From Nathon to Chewang beach where I stayed one way ride costed me 600 bhat. Also Songserm has very few speed boats, other companies have many of them ferrying passengers from Don Sak to Nathon.

    The rest of the journey was pretty peaceful. Thailand railways is one of the safest medium for travel to Surat Thani. I would recommend that if you dont get a first class ticket book yourself AC second class, its worth the travel. The window seat is a bit expensive than the top seat but its worth, since the seat itself is nice & broad compared to the top seat.

    Tip: At Koh Samui any good hotel near Chewang Beach is worth considering, as the night life of Chewang Beach is much busy & popular compared to other beaches. Trip to Solo Bar at Chewang Road and at Green Mango is worth every penny

    Posted by Abhimanyu on 2nd June, 2012

  • Dear sir or Madam;
    i will arrive at Bangkok at 1:00 am and i want leave bangkok to Samui by ferry, could you please let m ehave some information about Dept and Arr and also distance and cost.
    Best regards,

    Posted by Mahsa on 22nd January, 2013

  • Hello,

    I'm planning my first trip to Thailand and wondering if u can help me with a few questions.

    1. Iam travelling from aug 20 to sept 1 then going on to Bali. I know late aug is not ideal weather conditions but from what I read I think popular trip from Bangkok to ko Samui to pha Ngan is the ideal trip during late august based on climate is that right? Will there be a lot of rain in these areas during late August? Is it still worth going?

    2. Iam travelling for only 12 days so want to make best of it by including much needed beach time with cultural sites and experiences. Any suggestions on must sees? More interested in opportunity to experience local cultural life, a few temples, and significant beach and natural beauty. Any suggestions on must sees?

    3. Because of limited time(only 12days) any thing I should consider skipping on Bangkok to ko Samui to pha Ngan trip?

    4. Are there any moon parties on pha Ngan from aug 20-sept 1? If so where can I get more info on them? Do I need to book transportation and accommodations in advance?

    5. Is this route safe for solo female travellers first trip to Thailand? Are moon parties safe?

    6. Suggested itineraries for aug 20 to sept 1 time frame for solo female traveller?

    Thanks for taking time to read question. Any info u can give would be greatly appreciated!!,

    Posted by Jo on 4th August, 2013

  • Very helpful and thank you very much! I like this little map and helped me to understand where we are and how to start it.

    Posted by Helen on 17th November, 2013

  • Are there no flights direct from bangkok to koh tao ?

    Posted by Tasnim on 31st December, 2013

  • So I tried to book the train from Bangkok to Koh Tao this April, but due to Thai holidays they are all booked up already. I then found the bus/ferry combo and booked it. Unfortunately I read this after booking :(.

    I booked with Lomprayah. Have any of you had good/bad experiences with them? Do you have any advice as to how to keep the luggage that I do put on the bus safe?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

    Posted by Grifter on 25th March, 2014

  • Advice about train travel. My now ex husband I traveled on the overnight train from Koh Samui to Bangkok back in 2001.We were traveling on to Phuket by bus. At the time neither of us indulged in drug taking as we are happy drinkers. We had slept with our bags on the berth with us. On arrival in Bangkok we took a bus to the Main bus station to take catch our bus to Phuket. We were stopped by police and of our four pieces of luggage the police wanted to search a small pocket on the inside of a small backpack I was carrying(the bag had 6 pockets in all). They were VERY specific about the bag and pocket they wanted to look in. To our shock, they pulled out a small packet with a very small amount of weed inside. We were taken to the upstairs section of the coffee shop in the bus station where they proceeded to question us and in the end wanted money not to arrest us. We gave them all the cash we had in our possession,a total of approx 100stg (pounds and THB). To this day I am convinced that the weed was planted in the bag while we were sleeping on the train and they waited for their opportunity to stop us. Please watch your belongings when traveling in Thailand.
    I have traveled to different parts of Thailand over the years and thankfully have only good things to say about it. I love the land, the people and the culture.

    Posted by Sonia. Please keep my email private. on 25th July, 2014

  • We were also initially confused with what option to choose the first time we visited, so this is a very helpful summary! We ended up going for the Lomprayah bus & ferry ticket combination which was nice and cheap (compared to the flight options) and got us there on time and in a pretty comfortable / smooth way so would recommend this to other travellers too! :)

    Posted by Laura on 9th March, 2015

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