Can anyone give us an idea of the time-line, average cost of getting from Koh Tao by boat to the mainland and across to Koh Phi Phi. Have no idea how we will do this part of our trip.
Thanks so much
#1 Travel1221 has been a member since 26/6/2009. Posts: 15
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,754
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Distance Ko Tao to Surathani's town pier is not short and the old night ferry chugs along real slow. But I consider the night ferries an excellent way of getting to/from any of the southern Gulf islands (a different one for each island) because you have your numbered mattress and pillow and can zzzzz away for much of the 9 hours or so. Which also saves a night's accommodation cost which can be important for budget travellers. There are touts waiting at the pier in Surathani to take you up to travel agents for minibuses to Krabi 's pier for the ferry to Phi Phi. In the past I've waited maybe an hour in the travel agents and the minivan trip takes 3 hours give or take. You will make the pier in plenty of time for the ferry, which takes maybe 90 minutes. There could be some waiting time at the pier.
It's so long since I did a similar trip I can only guess at prices, but overall it is not going to be expensive. I'd say night ferry 200, minivan-ferry ticket 500-600.
There are (faster) day ferries out of Tao of course but most go to the mainland at Chumpon which is much closer than Surathani but in the wrong direction for Phi Phi. You could get a big bus from Chumpon bus station to Krabi bus station and then get a ferry ticket from the small travel agent there to Phi Phi which should involve transport down to the pier (abt 8km)* - but Chumpon bus station is out of town, Krabi bound buses will not be all that frequent (I reckon every 2 hours at the best) and it is a long bus trip (maybe 6 hours). *You would probably arrive in Krabi too late for the last ferry meaning overnighting there.
There are a couple of day ferries Tao to Surathani. Google Songserm, and I believe Lomprayah now has one of their fast cats going right thru. These will be more expensive than the night ferry, drop at piers out of town (to avoid complications of onward travel, trip agents on Tao could sell you a thru ticket Tao-Phi Phi which avoids you having to worry about getting into Surathani and then transport from there). I have read a post in the past complaining Songerm's thru service involves a lot of waiting around and crap buses etc. Lomprayah has a good rep and if they offer a thru service to Phi Phi or Krabi I'd be tempted to try this.
Just an an update on these times and prices!
Koh Tao to Surat Thani is 500baht, it leave KT at 21.00/21.30 (depending on which boat you get) and you'll get into Surat Thani at around 5.30am.
Yes it's a long old journey, but most people manage to get some sleep in!
The return journey leaves ST at 23.00 and arrives KT at 8am. Same price.
If you manage to make any Thai friends, they can get the ticket for 100 baht less...just in case you really need to save.
Have any of the night ferries sunk and people died? 9 hours on a ferry no thanks. You wouldn't get a wink of sleep and would feel like crap in the morning. Better to get a speed boat or ferry to Samui and stay there a couple of nights then ferry it to the mainland during the day. Day ferries are good cause you can enjoy the scenary.