Buses from Bangkok to Koh Tao

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From Suthisan MRT Velonica Residence to Koh Tao by van+bus+ferry joint ticket

19:00
Suthisan MRT Velonica Residence, Bangkok
14:30
Koh Tao
19h 30m
Instant

From Hua Lamphong to Koh Tao by train+bus+ferry joint ticket

#167.2
18:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
09:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
15h
Refund
Bangkok - Suratthani - Koh Tao
19:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
07:10
Suratthani
11h 40m
Refund
This connection is managed by the operating company. You will be transfered between the trips.
07:30
Suratthani Train Station
15:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
19h 30m
19:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
09:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
14h
Refund
19:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
07:10
Suratthani
11h 40m
Refund
This connection is managed by the operating company. You will be transfered between the trips.
08:00
Suratthani Train Station
14:15
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
6h 15m
Instant Refund
Total duration
18h 45m
Bangkok - Suratthani - Koh Tao
19:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
07:10
Suratthani
11h 40m
Refund
This connection is managed by the operating company. You will be transfered between the trips.
07:30
Suratthani Train Station
15:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
19h 30m

From Hua Lamphong to Koh Tao by bus+ferry joint ticket

18:30
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
09:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
15h 15m
Instant
19:00
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
09:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
14h 30m
Instant Refund
19:00
Hua Lamphong, Bangkok
10:15
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
15h 15m
Instant

From Khao San Lomprayah to Koh Tao by bus+ferry joint ticket

06:00
Khao San Lomprayah, Bangkok
15:15
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
9h 15m
Instant Refund
21:00
Khao San Lomprayah, Bangkok
08:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
11h 45m
Instant Refund

From Khao San Songserm to Koh Tao by bus+ferry joint ticket

18:00
Khao San Songserm, Bangkok
07:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
13h 45m
Instant
20:00
Khao San Songserm, Bangkok
09:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
13h 45m
Instant

From Phutthamonthon Lomprayah to Koh Tao by bus+ferry joint ticket

21:00
Phutthamonthon Lomprayah, Bangkok
08:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
11h 45m
Instant Refund

From UNICEF Office to Koh Tao by bus+ferry joint ticket

17:00
UNICEF Office, Bangkok
09:45
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
16h 45m
Instant

From Don Mueang Airport to Koh Tao by flight+bus+ferry joint ticket

Bangkok to Koh Tao
#DD7804
06:00
DMK Don Mueang Airport
07:10
NST Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
1h 10m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 200 m (Next departure after 20 minutes)
07:30
Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
15:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
9h
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#DD7208
06:10
DMK Don Mueang Airport
07:20
URT Suratthani Airport
1h 10m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 100 m (Next departure after 1 hour 10 minutes)
08:30
Suratthani Airport
15:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
6h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
8h 50m
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#FD3188
06:50
DMK Don Mueang Airport
08:05
NST Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
1h 15m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 200 m (Next departure after 25 minutes)
08:30
Nakhon Si Thammarat Airport
16:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
9h 10m
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#FD3235
07:10
DMK Don Mueang Airport
08:25
URT Suratthani Airport
1h 15m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 100 m (Next departure after 5 minutes)
08:30
Suratthani Airport
15:00
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
6h 30m
Instant Refund
Total duration
7h 50m
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#SL734
08:35
DMK Don Mueang Airport
09:45
URT Suratthani Airport
1h 10m
Instant 10kg
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 100 m (Next departure after 1 hour)
10:45
Suratthani Airport
18:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 45m
Instant Refund
Total duration
9h 55m
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#DD7210
09:20
DMK Don Mueang Airport
10:30
URT Suratthani Airport
1h 10m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 100 m (Next departure after 15 minutes)
10:45
Suratthani Airport
18:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 45m
Instant Refund
Total duration
9h 10m
Bangkok to Koh Tao
#FD3237
09:50
DMK Don Mueang Airport
11:05
URT Suratthani Airport
1h 15m
Instant
Change stations. Walk - 3 minute, 100 m (Next departure after 15 minutes)
11:20
Suratthani Airport
18:30
Mae Haad (Koh Tao)
7h 10m
Instant Refund
Total duration
8h 40m

How to get to Koh-Tao

A Very Typical Sunset
A Very Typical Sunset

What about

Learn to dive, dive and dive again – that is what you are supposed to do on Koh Tao and that is actually what the majority of the folk you are about to meet on the island really do. A little hidden gem of the lower part of the Gulf, Koh Tao is attracting underwater world lovers with an abundance of easily reachable diving sites (over 30) and very affordable prices on diving lessons (there are more that 50 diving schools on the island), sea safaris and diving trips. Yet for those who are ready to go beyond the stereotypes there are hiking trails, bouldering, sea kayaking, fire-shows, and even jam sessions – all of them on the background of picturesque views and a laid-back island atmosphere. Priceless.

Getting to Koh Tao

The only way to get to Koh Tao from the mainland is by boat either from Chumphon, which is the closest departure point, or from Suratthani. You can also hop on a ferry to Koh Tao from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan.

From Bangkok via Chumphon bus + ferry

The easiest (and fastest) way to get to Koh Tao from Bangkok via Chumphon is by bus and ferry joint travel. Lomprayah catamaran and Songserm speed boat both sell such package tickets which save your time and cost more or less the same amount of money if bought separately. With early morning and late evening bus departures from Bangkok you have a choice whether to travel by day or save some baht spending your night on board a bus instead of in a guesthouse. The ferry travel with Lomprayah (the fastest operator) takes around 1½ hours; if your are prone to seasickness, get the necessary medicine at hand. Note that in case of the evening departure your trip lasts longer (around 12 hrs) compared to 9 hrs (morning departure), but you do not waste your precious day-time.

You have only 20 kg baggage allowance for your ferry travel; the extra weight is 20 baht per kg (not included in your ticket price).

Getting back from Koh Tao to Bangkok you have only morning and afternoon departures, both returning to Bangkok after dark: at 9pm and 1am, so plan your stay accordingly (book ahead).

From Bangkok via Chumphon train + bus + ferry

In case you are a railroad type, hop on your evening train down to Chumphon from Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok. If you buy a package tour, your boat operator will provide transfer between the train station and the pier, but you still have to while away some 3 hrs between train and ferry in Chumphon. In general, if you are ok with long bus journeys, there is no special advantages of train+bus+ferry journey. Choose price-wise, then.

Tip: If your are not in a hurry, stay overnight in Chumphon and discover the tastes of local robusta, find out how the birds’ nests are harvested at the farms and prepare yourself to your island stay visiting some of the idyllic beaches in the proximity of the city (e.g. Hat Thung Wua Laen).

From Bangkok via Suratthani train + bus + ferry

Even if travelling to Suratthani instead of Chumphon seems illogical, it sometimes comes out cheaper as you may catch a 2nd class sleeper for a longer journey. As in case with Chumphon, the transfer between train and ferry for package tours is performed by the boat operator.

From Koh Samui to Koh Tao

Both Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery take 2–2¼ hrs to Koh Tao’s Mae Haad departing from Maenam and Bangrak Seatran Pier on Samui correspondingly. With Seatran you have to book at least one day in advance while Lomprayah requires two days advanced booking.

Lomprayah Shirt Sticker
Lomprayah Shirt Sticker

From Koh Phangan to Koh Tao

Both Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery depart from Thong Sala on Koh Phangan and take 1½–1¾ hrs to arrive to Koh Tao’s Mae Haad. Book in advance (1 day for Seatran and 2 days for Lomprayah).

Seatran vs Lomprayah

If you know what seasickness is about, go for Seatran when waters are choppy.
Lomprayah can save you from ¼ to ½ hr of your sea journey, though.

Getting around

There is no car rental on a relatively small 21 sq. km island. If you consider renting a scooter or a motorcycle, be warned that the roads on the island are dangerous and get their toll of injuries regularly. Renting a vehicle though gives you freedom to explore the island as the ‘official’ taxi fares are sometimes extortionate. There is longtail boat service between certain beaches, which is a good option with reasonable prices.

Where to stay

The western side of the island is much more developed, and the ferries from the mainland and the islands arrive to Mae Haad which is on the western side. Haad Sairee, where the most of the action takes place, is also there. The eastern side is a slow life paradise, but you will have to negotiate those treacherous island roads (or greedy taxi drivers) to get to any of the western-side night spots. The busiest seasons on Koh Tao are summer (from July to August) and Christmas & New Year, so book your accommodation beforehand. The cheapest options sell out quickly.

Blogger report: Julia Rattke (High Speed Ferry Lomprayah) 08-Jul-2015 21:00

About half an hour before your bus is scheduled to leave (in my case it was at 20:30), you should be at the office at 327 Rambutri Road, รามบุตรี, Khwaeng Talat Yot, Khet Phra Nakhon, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10200, Thailand near Khao San Road. The Lomprayah office is in the curve of the street. In your booking confirmation email is also a map. This is their help hotline: +6626290011 and office hours are from 05:30- 22:00. Coming from the North you turn into this really busy street from the roundabout, between the 7/11 and the red sign of Swensen's. People with a lot of luggage may have some trouble getting through the night market. About 30 meters in, on the left side and right in the curve, is the Lomprayah office, slightly hidden behind a banner. Make sure to have your booking number on hand!

Lomprayha Office
Lomprayha Office

If you are on Khao San Road you have to find your way on the McDonald side of the road through the small alleys with all the shops to get to Rambutri Road.

At the office everything felt a bit rushed, one employee hands you your ticket and another a colored sticker with your seat number to put on your T-shirt and a color-coded sticker with the destination for your luggage. Make sure to tie that last one around a handle, it doesn't stick well. Then you sign in and someone will take your group to wait at the middle of the roundabout, behind the green sign, until the bus arrives.
The bus had only regular seats, so it is not a sleeper bus and the 8 hour drive will probably be a bit uncomfortable (especially if you were planning on actually getting some sleep). A travel pillow or a folded sarong helps a bit, and so do earplugs. The seats recline a little and blankets are provided. The bus is air-conditioned and has a toilet. I'm only 1.60 m, so I had plenty of leg space, but anyone taller than 1.90 m should expect some discomfort.

At 2:00 there was a 30 min break at a market with snack food. They also had a huge bathroom with clean toilets, but remember to bring toilet paper and flush with the bucket provided.

Inside the Lomprayah bus
Inside the Lomprayah bus

At 5:15 we arrived at the ferry pier, where the office was dark and still closed and we had to wait for almost 2 hours. There is a mini mart to the left, if you need anything while waiting, and on the opposite side is another array of clean toilets. The mini mart closes when the ferry opens for boarding, so do not plan on any last-minute shopping. When the info center on the right of the pier opens, you have to show your ticket for another sticker and to get a stamp. Around 7:00 people will start to line up for the "best" seats, but there was plenty of room for everyone, so I would not take it too seriously. After a short walk along the pier, you arrive at the boat. There are three seating areas: Downstairs (inside), in the middle (outside with sun roof) and on the top (outside without cover). I chose the middle and it was perfectly fine.

About 2,5 hours (of comparatively smooth sailing) later we arrived at Ko Nang Yuan to let some people on and off the boat and then turned towards the Lomprayah Pier on Ko Tao, where we arrived 5 minutes later.
From here on it is really easy: Get off the boat, grab your luggage and find your pick up or taxi at the end of the pier. Congrats, you have made it to Ko Tao! Enjoy your stay!