It may be hard to leave this paradise island , but at some point it will be time to return to the capital of Thailand. If your schedule allows, we recommend checking out the neighboring islands of Koh Phangan or Koh Samui. If not, continue reading to find the best way to travel (back) to Bangkok and get yourself ready to explore the Capital City and all its excitement.
There are 4 ways to travel the 415kms from Koh Tao to Bangkok: you can board a train via Chumphon for at least 12.5 hours, hop on a bus for 10 hours, take the train via Surat Thani for 16.5 hours, or board a flight via Koh Samui for 4.5 hours. All 4 options include a ferry from Koh Tao to either Koh Samui or the mainland.
The train via Chumphon is a very safe and comfortable way to travel overnight from Koh Tao to Bangkok. Total fare is $39 and the journey takes around 12.5 hours.
Travelling by bus is the cheapest way to reach Bangkok from Koh Tao at only $38. Travel time is at least 10 hours. It’s a bit faster than the train, but not as comfortable.
You can also take the train via Surat Thani. Expect to pay about $47 for a combined train, van, and ferry ticket via Surat Thani.
The flight is the fastest but most expensive option at $135. It does cut the travel time in half, but we don’t recommend taking short-haul flights like this as they are very harmful to the environment.
When travelling by train from Koh Tao to Bangkok, you have 2 options: you can go via Chumphon or Surat Thani. Surat Thani is the more popular transport hub when visiting Thailand’s southern islands. But for this route, we recommend to travel via Chumphon for a faster and cheaper journey.
Step 1: Koh Tao to Chumphon Train Station by Ferry + Bus
Duration: 3h 30m Cost: 500 THB ($16.50)
KP Tripadvisor and Songserm offer combined ferry and bus rides from Koh Tao to Chumphon daily. Trips are limited, so we recommend that you book your tickets at least a week prior to your trip.
Fares start at 500 THB ($16.50) and you can expect to reach Chumphon in 3.5 hours.
500 THB ($16.50)
2h 35m 2h 15m
750 THB ($25)
The ferries depart from Mae Haad Pier and arrive at Chumphon Train Station.
We recommend that you take a night train from Chumphon to Bangkok. This way, you will be well-rested once you arrive in the capital city.
Considering the ferry and bus schedules we mentioned above, you will have a couple of hours to have dinner and enjoy a quiet evening near the railway station before continuing your journey to Bangkok. Fares for a 2nd class sleeping berth start at 680 THB ($22.50) and travel time is around 9 hours.
In case the schedules of ferries and buses bound for Chumphon do not match your itinerary, you can also take the train from Surat Thani. We give a step-by-step guide below.
Step 1: Koh Tao to Surat Thani Train Station by Ferry + Bus
Duration: 7 hours Cost: 780 THB ($26)
There are 3 companies operating combined ferry and bus rides from Koh Tao to Surat Thani Train Station. The cheapest trip costs 780 THB ($36) and this takes 7 hours. You can also complete this journey in about 4.5 hours for a few more dollars.
Upon arriving at Surat Thani Train Station, you will still have a few hours to grab dinner or explore the surrounding area before boarding a night train to Bangkok.
A ticket for a 2nd class A/C sleeper starts at 640 THB ($26). You can also upgrade to a more comfortable 1st class berth for 1,400 THB ($46.50). Travel time is between 9.5 to 12.5 hours, depending on which train you pick.
Flying is the quickest way to travel from Koh Tao to Bangkok but it’s also the most expensive. Koh Tao does not have an airport so you’ll first need to head to Koh Samui.
To arrange your transports to Koh Samui Airport (USM), we recommend booking a combined ferry and van ticket. Flight tickets must be purchased separately.
Step 1: Koh Tao to Koh Samui by Ferry + Van
Duration: 3 hours Cost: 760 THB ($25)
Seatran Discovery offers 3 combined ferry and van trips daily to Koh Samui Airport (USM). The ferry departs from Mae Haad Pier on Koh Tao and takes you to the island of Koh Samui. Upon arrival, a van will be waiting to transfer you to the airport.
Ferries depart at 06:30, 09:00 and 15:00. The journey from Koh Tao to the airport takes about 3 hours. Be sure to book your ferry accordingly and leave some extra time for check-in at the airport.
The last flight from Koh Samui Airport (USM) to Bangkok leaves at 21:50. You can easily enjoy the morning on the beaches of Koh Tao before taking the ferry to Koh Samui at 15:00 with plenty of time to make your flight.
Bangkok Airways is the only carrier operating flights from Koh Samui to Bangkok and you can choose from about 50 flight options daily. One-way ticket prices start at 3,350 THB ($110) and take just over 1 hour. For more information, you can read our page on how to go from Koh Samui to Bangkok.
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