Travelling around Thailand is not difficult, but the different types of transport and level of service is very diverse. If you landed in Bangkok you have a wide range of flights, trains and buses at your disposal. Whatever options you choose during your journey you have to take a ferry (Koh Tao is an island and does not have its own airport).
Transportation costs vary in price and depend on duration of the trip and the level of comfort you require. The cheapest are bus and train connections. Keep in mind that the cheapest option is longer and you may have to watch your luggage (or keep it with you).
It can be easy to get lost in all this mass of offers so we present two, we think the best options to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
There are many companies which offer trips from Bangkok to Koh Tao. One of the best, most reliable and at the same affordable is Lomprayah.
They provide comfortable buses with air conditioning (usually set to a cool setting so you might want to have something warmer on the bus - especially if you're travelling at night and going to sleep). The last part of the trip will take a fast ferry. The total cost is 1,100 THB one way and it is the best value for money, comfort and shortest travel time.
It is possible to travel during the day and at night time. We recommend to go during the day (the bus depart from Bangkok 06:00 am and meeting time is 05:30 at company office near Khaosan Road) - it is more convenient and you'll arrive on the island during the day at 14:30. Traveling at night is a pain because you leave at 21:00 from Bangkok, the bus arrives in Chumphon (the town where ferries depart to Koh Tao) around 4:00 am when everything is closed and you have to wait about 3 hours at the port, up to 07:00 am until the ferry departs, and it arrives about 08:45 in the morning on Koh Tao.
06:00 - Departure from Bangkok
12:30 - Arrival in Chumphon and boarding the ferry
13:00 - Depart Chumphon
14:30 - Arrival at the pier on Koh Tao
Given times to be treated as approximate.
Much faster and more convenient (but more expensive) option is the trip by plane. Here we have 2 options, cheaper and more expensive.
- Cheaper, but takes longer, is an offer from Air Asia, which offer a flight from Don Muang Airport in Bangkoku. More info on airport webside.
The best is to buy tickets in advance via the Internet (they are then much cheaper) on Air Asia website.
The price of the ticket is included transfer to the island of Koh Tao. When you buy a ticket choose the airport code Bangkok - Don Muang (DMK) and the second code with direct transfer to Koh Tao - Tao Island (Seatran pier) (1AH).
- More expensive, but far quicker and most convenient is an offer of Bangkok Airways. Aircraft departing from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport to Samui island. Suvarnabhumi (BKK) is the same airport where land the planes from Europe, you just need to pick up your luggage and go to 4 floor, departures level. Flight time is about 1 hour. At the airport on Samui, you can buy a transfer to the Mae Nam Pier (if fly arrive in the morning), from where Lumprayah speedy catamaran departs at 12:30. If you land in Samui after 11:30 than you should go to Nathon Pier, from where the Lumprayah speedy catamaran departs at 17:00. The ferry ride from Koh Samui to Koh Tao takes about 2 hours.