How To Get From Bangkok to Koh Tao?
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.
We recommend to take an overnight train via Chumphon for this journey. Once you arrive in Chumphon, 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.
You can also book an overnight bus and connecting ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao. The combined bus and ferry option requires only one transfer, but an overnight bus ride is not as comfortable as sleeping on a train. Combined tickets cost $38 and the journey takes about 9 hours.
There is also an option to take the train via Surat Thani, but it takes much longer at 19 hours. Combined train, van and ferry tickets cost about $48.
Travelling by plane is clearly the fastest option. However, flights are quite expensive and you will still need to take a shuttle bus and a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. Fares start at $113.
|Train via Chumphon||10h 45min||1,040 ($34.50)||Check train tickets|
|Bus||9 hours||1,150 THB ($38)||Check bus tickets|
|Train via Surat Thani||19 hours||1,460 THB ($48)||Check train tickets|
|Flight||3h 35min||3,430 THB ($113)||Check flights|
View itinerary from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Train via Chumphon
- 7 hours
- 3h 45min
- Koh Tao
Bus via Chumphon
- 9 hours
- Koh Tao
Train via Surat Thani
- 11.5 hours
- Surat Thani
- 7.5 hours
- Koh Tao
Flight via Koh Samui
- 1h 05min
- Koh Samui
- 2h 30min
- Koh Tao
Bangkok to Koh Tao by Train via Chumphon
Duration: 10h 45min excl. transfers
Costs: 1,040 THB ($34.50)
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.
Step 1: Bangkok to Chumphon by Train
Duration: 7 hours
Costs: 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.
|SP39/SP41||22:50-05:49||6h 59m||540 THB ($18)|
(2nd Class Seater)
|EX85||19:30-04:13||8h 43m||760 THB ($25)|
(2nd Class Sleeper)
Step 2: Chumphon to Koh Tao by Van + Ferry
Duration: 3h 45min
Costs: 500 THB ($16.50)
From Chumphon Railway Station, there are vans leaving for Koh Tao as early as 05:45. Fares start at 500 THB ($16.50) and travel time is about 3h 45min.
|Songserm||06:00-09:45||3h 45m||500 THB ($16.50)|
|700 THB ($23)|
|Lomprayah||06:00-08:45||2h 45m||700 THB ($23)|
You may want to contact your hotel beforehand for a pick-up service or you can arrange one for yourself once you arrive at Mae Haad Pier.
Bangkok to Koh Tao by Bus
Duration: 9 hours
Costs: 1,150 THB ($38)
Taking a combined bus and ferry ride from Bangkok to Koh Tao is cheap and efficient, making it the most popular option to travel this route.
We recommend booking a night bus so you can catch up on sleep and be well-rested before you arrive. 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.
|1,150 THB ($38)|
|Songserm||18:00-09:45||15h 45m||970 THB ($32)|
|Paradive Travel||19:00-09:30||14h 30m||1,300 THB ($43)|
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 ferry that docks at Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao.
You may have to book another transfer to your hotel. Better yet, ask your hotel if they offer a free pick-up service.
If you want to book with Paradive Travel, they are only available on 12go.asia.
Bangkok to Koh Tao by Train via Surat Thani
Duration: 19 hours excl. transfers
Costs: 1,460 THB ($48)
Travelling by train via Surat Thani takes longer and can be more expensive than going via Chumphon. But it is an option to consider if the above schedules do not fit your itinerary or if you are hoping to make a short stop in Surat Thani.
Step 1: Bangkok to Surat Thani by Train
Duration: 11.5 hours
Costs: 760 THB ($25)
From Bangkok, we recommend that you take a night train so you don’t waste a day travelling. The journey takes about 11.5 to 12 hours, but you will be very comfortable in your sleeper berth.
Ticket prices start at 760 THB ($25) and below are our recommended train schedules.
|EX85||19:30-07:06||11h 36m||840 THB ($27.50)|
|RP167||18:30-06:23||11h 53m||760 THB ($25)|
Step 2: Surat Thani to Koh Tao by Van + Ferry
Duration: 7.5 hours
Costs: 700 THB ($23)
From Surat Thani, it is another 7.5-hour combined van and ferry ride 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).
|Songserm||07:30-14:15||6h 45m||750 THB ($25)|
|Seatran Discovery||08:00-15:30||7h 30m||700 THB ($23)|
Bangkok to Koh Tao by Flight
Duration: 3h 35min
Costs: 3,430 THB ($113)
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 for this route.
Step 1: Bangkok to Koh Samui by Flight
Duration: 1h 05min
Costs: 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).
For more information, you can read how to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
Other Flight Options
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
Costs: 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 pier.
The combined van and ferry ride costs 780 THB ($25.50) and the journey takes about 2.5 hours.
|2h 30m||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, although they may charge an additional fee for this service.
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