Updated: Nov 13
This blog post from Phoenix Divers Koh Tao will tell you everything you need to know about getting to Koh Tao island from Thailand's main tourist hotspots.
Koh Tao (also often Ko Tao) is an island in Thailand and is part of the Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. It covers an area of about 21 km2 (8 sq mi). Koh Tao is the smallest of the three main islands located in the gulf of Thailand (Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao).
As well as it's beautiful beaches, great restaurants, vibrant nightlife & jungle setting scuba diving is extremely popular in Ko Tao due to clear visibility, inexpensive pricing and the range of sea life to be seen. Learn more about scuba diving on Koh Tao here.
Now you know why 1000's of people visit Koh Tao every year, here's how to get to our beautiful island from across Thailand.
How to get to Koh Tao island from Bangkok.
Enjoying life in Thailand's capital but want to get to the islands? No worries, we've got you covered.
Flying from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao is to fly to either Koh Samui (neighbouring island), Surat Thani or Chumphon (both on the mainland) & then take a ferry.
Flying to Koh Samui will be the most expensive option (between 3-5,000thb) but also the fastest. From Koh Samui there are regular ferries to Koh Tao that take around 2 hours (approx 500thb). For all ferries to Koh Tao we recommend the Lomprayah company. A timetable can be seen here - you can also book through their website or ask any questions on their facebook page.
You can also fly to either Chumphon or Surat Thani. These two cities are on the mainland and are cheap to fly to - especially compared to flying to Koh Samui. Flights to Chumphon or Surat Thani are usually between 800-1,500thb. Chumphon is the best option as the ferries go direct from Chumphon to Koh Tao and get there in about 1h30m - again we recommend the Lomprayah ferry company. Flying to Surat Thani is also a good option if you arrive late in the afternoon or early evening, there are daily night ferries that depart Surat Thani at around 21:00 and arrive to Koh Tao around 05:00. The night ferries from Surat Thani to Koh Tao can be booked here.
Get the train & ferry or bus & ferry from Bangkok to Koh Tao.
Looking for a cheaper option than flying? The train/bus and then ferry will save you some valuable thai baht if you're on a budget.
Getting to Koh Tao by bus from Bangkok - The Lomprayah company has regular busses that will take you to Chumphon, they will also include the ferry ticket to Koh Tao in one package. Making it easy to get to our little island. Leaving from Khao San road in Bangkok at 21:00 every evening (arriving to Koh Tao at 08:45 the following morning) these tickets should cost you as little as 1,200thb and can be booked with Lomprayah directly or with your hotel/hostel in Bangkok.
Getting to Koh Tao by train from Bangkok - Similar to the bus option the train will depart and arrive to Chumphon at similar times and also need to be paired up with a ferry to make it to Koh Tao island. The train is difficult to book online and is easier to book with a travel agent/hotel/hostel in Bangkok. The train offers you the chance to have a full lay down bed - which is definitely more comfortable than the bus.
How to get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan or Koh Samui
So, you've already made it to the islands and want to get to the best one of them all, Koh Tao. This journey is nice and simple and all you will need to do to get to Koh Tao from Koh Samui or Koh Phangan is to jump onto a ferry. We recommend taking the Lomprayah ferry, but other companies also make frequent journeys. Check out Seatran & Songserm if the Lomprayah ferry is full.
How to get to Koh Tao from Phuket/Koh Phi Phi/Koh Lanta & the Andaman side
Getting to Koh Tao will always require getting a ferry at the end of your journey as it has no airport. If you are flying from anywhere in Thailand and trying to reach Koh Tao the advice is similar to those travelling from Bangkok (scroll up to see). Try and fly to Samui if your budget allows this, if not try Chumphon or Surat Thani if it lines up with the ferries.
To get a bus/mini bus/private car check with your hostel/hotel/travel agent for prices for this and to book. The journey can often take a while. Especially if you're on an island on the Andaman side trying to get to Koh Tao - it will mean taking a ferry, bus and then another ferry. Usually meaning a long day of travelling.