The island of Koh Tao is a very popular diving destination located southeast of Thailand. It’s known as one of the cheapest locations in the world to get your PADI license and offers beautiful underwater scenery.
When travelling the 415km distance from Bangkok to Koh Tao, you have 4 options. You can catch an overnight train via Chumphon for 11 hours ($34.50); take a 9-hour bus ride ($38); board a train via Surat Thani for 19 hours ($48); or hop on a flight for 3.5 hours ($113). All options include a ferry ride from Koh Samui or the mainland to Koh Tao.
Taking the bus and ferry is the most popular option to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao. The Lomprayah bus departs from Bangkok at 21:00 and takes 8 hours to Chumphon, followed by a 3-4 hour ferry to Koh Tao (arrival: 08:45).
Other options are taking the train to Chumphon (approx. 7 hours) or Surat Thani (11.5 hours). When travelling by train, we recommend to take overnight train via Chumphon. From there you can get a combined van and ferry ride to Koh Tao. Total cost starts at $34.50 and travel time is around 11 hours if you travel via Chumphon. The train via Surat Thani takes much longer at 19 hours and ferry + train tickets via Surat Thani cost about $48.
Last, you can also book a flight to Koh Samui and then continue with the ferry to Koh Tao. Keep in mind that flights to Koh Samui are quite expensive though.
PRO-TIP: Consider to continue your journey to Koh Phangan after visiting Koh Tao. Koh Phangan is not only famous for it’s full moon parties, also is it rich in nature and can you find several yoga and meditations retreats in the Northern part of the island.
Bangkok to Koh Tao by Bus
Duration: 11h 45min Cost: 1,150 THB ($38)
Booking an overnight bus and connecting ferry to Koh Tao is the easiest way to reach this paradise island from Bangkok. The combined bus and ferry option requires only one transfer, which is already organized for you. Combined tickets cost $38 and the journey takes about 12 hours.
We recommend booking a night bus so you can catch up on sleep and be well-rested before you arrive.
However, keep in mind that not all buses along this route offer sleeper beds and you may have to sleep in a reclined chair.
We have listed the trusted transport companies that offer combined bus and ferry tickets from Bangkok to Koh Tao below.
If you want to book with Paradive Travel, they are only available on 12go.asia.
Where does the bus leave from and drop me off?
Songserm and Lomprayah buses both depart from Khao San Road, the famous backpacker area in Bangkok. For Paradive Travel, the meet-up point is at Hua Lamphong Railway Station.
The buses travel to the pier in Chumphon. From here, you will transfer to a boat that docks at Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao. This way you can travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao without having to worry about the transfers. Everything will be organized for you!
You may have to book another transfer to your hotel. Better yet, ask your hotel if they offer a free pick-up service.
When taking the train from Bangkok to Koh Tao, you can choose to go either via Chumphon or via Surat Thani. We recommend travelling by train via Chumphon as it is the nearest railway station from Koh Tao. From there it is a little bit less than 4 hours to reach Koh Tao by ferry.
Step 1: Bangkok to Chumphon by Train
Duration: 7 hours Cost: 540 THB ($18)
From your hotel in Bangkok, you will first have to go to Hua Lamphong Railway Station. From here, Chumphon is at least 7 hours away, depending on which train you take.
We recommend that you take a night train that arrives early morning in Chumphon, so that you can immediately transfer to a van leaving at 05:45 or 06:00.
Fares start at 540 THB ($18) for a 2nd class seat and 760 THB ($25) for a 2nd class sleeper berth. See our recommended train schedules below.
PRO-TIP: Use the free N26 debit card to avoid the extra fees charged by your bank. This N26 debit card is becoming very popular among travellers, because they don't charge any fees on payments in foreign currencies (most banks charge 3%-5%). New members can order one for free on the N26 website
From Surat Thani, it is another 7.5-hour combined van and boat trip to Koh Tao. Note that the last van departure from the train station is at 08:00 in the morning. Fares start at 700 THB ($23).
750 THB ($25)
700 THB ($23)
If you add this van and ferry trip to the train journey, it will take probably more than 20 hours to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao if you use this option. Still want to check the tickets? Just use the button below.
Koh Tao doesn’t have its own airport, so you will have to take a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui. Then, you can take a shuttle bus and ferry to Koh Tao. Even with the transfers, this is the fastest option to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
Step 1: Bangkok to Koh Samui by Flight
Duration: 1h 05min Cost: 2,650 THB ($87)
There are multiple flights departing from Bangkok to Koh Samui every day. All flights are operated by Bangkok Airways and ticket prices start at 2,650 THB ($87).
Other Flight Options when travelling from Bangkok to Koh Tao
You also have the option to fly to Chumphon or Surat Thani and take a ferry from there to Koh Tao.
Flying from Bangkok to Chumphon or Surat Thani can save you some money, but will also take you more time as Koh Samui is closer to Koh Tao. Another advantage is that you can book a direct transfer (incl. shuttle bus to the port) from Koh Samui Airport to Koh Tao.
Step 2: Koh Samui to Koh Tao by Van and Ferry
Duration: 2h 30min Cost: 780 THB ($25.50)
We suggest booking a combined van and ferry ride with Seatran Discovery. It’s convenient and eliminates the need to arrange for a separate transfer from the airport to the ferry port.
The combined van and ferry ride costs 780 THB ($25.50) and the journey takes about 2.5 hours.
780 THB ($25.50)
Once you reach Koh Tao, you may have to arrange your transfer to your hotel by yourself. Better yet, ask your hotel to pick you up from the port once you arrive from your journey from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
Frequently Asked QuestionsIs it worth to make the journey from Bangkok to Koh Tao?
Koh Tao is a very popular diving destination located southeast of Thailand. It’s known as one of the cheapest locations in the world to get your PADI license and offers beautiful underwater scenery.
If you love the underwater world, you will fall in love with this island!
Besides the underwater scenery, you can explore the bays and viewpoints by motorbike, go kayaking or join a boat tour. The famous sand strip in the North.
Does Koh Tao have an airport?
Koh Tao doesn’t have its own airport. You will either have to fly to nearby island Koh Samui, to Chumphon or to Surat Thani.
The most common to travel to Koh Tao by flight, is by booking a flight to Koh Samui and then continue with a 2,5 hour ferry ride to Koh Tao. You potentially can safe some money by flying to Chumphon instead of Koh Samui, but we suggest to think about taking the night train for this journey instead. Taking the night train will safe you time as you travel by night and will be much better for the environment than flying.
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.