Koh Tao may be just 1/10 the size of its neighbour Koh Samui, but that doesn’t mean there is less to see. On the island, you’ll find beautiful bays, beaches and viewpoints that can all be explored by driving your own motorbike or joining a boat trip.
The island of Koh Tao is also a popular diving destination located in the Gulf of Thailand. Known as one of the cheapest locations in the world to get your PADI license, Koh Tao offers beautiful underwater scenery with gorgeous coral gardens with tons of fish.
When taking a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao, you can leave from several harbours. The most popular port to leave from is Bangrak on the north side of Koh Samui. The journey will take about 1.5-2 hours and tickets start from 620 THB ($18.50).
Due to the pandemic, the number of ferry companies operating between Koh Samui and Koh Tao is limited.
The last time we checked (June 2022), the route is only served by Lomprayah and Marine Passion. Both are good choices, but the only disadvantage is that they only leave once per day.
Seatran Discovery and Songserm used to operate 4-hour rides at slightly cheaper prices, but they haven’t resumed their operations yet.
Being the more popular and bigger island, Koh Samui has many piers spread around the island.
We recommend first checking the location of your hotel, so you can choose the pier that is closest to your hotel. Even if your ferry includes hotel pick-up, it will save you travel time to get to the port.
The ferries leaving from Koh Samui to Koh Tao depart from Bangrak Pier or Nathon Pier. Keep on reading to find the ferry schedules for each departure port.
All ferries heading to Koh Tao arrive at Mae Haad Pier on the east side of Koh Tao, close to many accommodations.
Once you reach Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao, you will need to arrange your own transportation. You can also ask your hotel if they offer pick-up service from the pier.
The ferry of Marine Passion departs from Marine Passion Koh Samui office next to Bangrak Pier. This pier is located in the north of Koh Samui. This port is only about 10 km from Chaweng Beach, which is for that reason also the most popular port to leave from in Koh Samui.
Ferry schedule from Maenam Sam, Koh Samui to Koh Tao
Lomprayah operates a ferry to Koh Tao from Koh Samui leaving from Lompraya office at Maenam Samui pier. This pier is also located in the north of Koh Samui, but more on the western side. This is a bit further than Bangrak if you stay around the Chaweng beach area.
If you stay on the west side of the island, it’s a great option that gets you to Koh Phangan fast.
If you’re looking for a fun and social atmosphere, La Latina is the perfect hostel for meeting new friends and having fun! The hostel offers an on-site restaurant, bar and garden area for socializing or relaxing. Located just 200m from Mae Haad Beach, it’s the perfect location for all you want to do and see on Koh Tao.
Enjoy the natural surroundings with these private bungalows and rooms located on a coconut plantation, walking distance from Mae Haad Beach. The perfect escape to soak up the peace and quiet this resort has to offer. Walking distance to restaurants, bars, and amenities. Wifi is provided throughout the resort and the staff is known to be very friendly.
This lovely hotel is located just 500m from Sairee Beach and offers an on-site swimming pool. The stunning mountain views, lush greenery surrounding the hotel and tranquility will make for a perfect escape from the busy streets of Koh Tao. An affordable breakfast can be added to your stay for just $3 per day. Staff are very helpful and will assist in booking tours, onward travel plans and renting motorcycles or bicycles.
Located in the Chalok Baan Kao area this hostel is surrounded by nature, lush scenery and tranquility. The Hostel has a large outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant and bar and a great rooftop terrace for guests to soak in all the sights. There is also a common area for socializing with a TV, books and a shared computer. The Hostel is clean, the staff is friendly and the location is convenient.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Abby is a writer who finds joy in mountains, beaches, and road trips. She considers her solo backpacking trip to the rice terraces of Bontoc one of the most fulfilling moments in her life. She’s loyal to the islands of her home country, the Philippines, but Thailand’s beaches also have a special place in her heart.