How to Get to Koh Tao: Complete Transportation Guide

Post by Anna

May 1, 2024

It seems like you’ve made the decision: You’re going to Koh Tao! We can only tell you one thing; you won’t regret it. We know the island like the back of our hand (our diving school opened its doors here over 10 years ago), and we’re aware of the many attractions this dream vacation destination has to offer. Koh Tao offers a very special leisure environment: informal, cosmopolitan, and fun, with options for both partying and relaxation. Not to mention the surrounding nature or the beaches where you can disconnect.

In this article, we’ll tell you about the multiple options to get to Koh Tao.

How to Get to Koh Tao?

Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of the mainland of the country. A strategic location close to some of Thailand’s most popular coastal areas. The bad news is that, due to its small size, it doesn’t have an airport, so it’s necessary to arrive by sea. The good news is that, thanks to the influx of travelers who come to the island each year, connections are regular from various points, such as Koh Samui, 70 kilometers to the north, Koh Phangan, 55 kilometers to the northwest, or Chumphon, 85 kilometers away.

How to Get to Koh Tao?

Getting to Koh Tao by Plane

As mentioned earlier, Koh Tao doesn’t have an airport, but some of the nearby islands and mainland territories do. Below, we list the closest ones.

Closest Airports to Koh Tao:

  • Samui Airport (USM): It’s the closest airport to Koh Tao, located on the island of Koh Samui. From here, you can take a direct ferry to Koh Tao. Several airlines, such as Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways, offer frequent flights between Bangkok and Koh Samui. The flight takes approximately one hour.
  • Chumphon Airport (CJM): Located on the mainland, north of Koh Tao. From Chumphon, you can take a ferry to Koh Tao. Nok Air airline offers flights to Chumphon from Bangkok with a combination of bus and ferry to Koh Tao.
  • Surat Thani Airport (URT): Also on the mainland, south of Koh Tao. From Surat Thani, you can take a bus or taxi to the pier and then a ferry to Koh Tao. AirAsia, Nok Air, and Thai Lion Air offer frequent flights between Bangkok and Surat Thani.

Getting to Koh Tao by Ferry

Getting to Koh Tao by Ferry

Ferries from Koh Samui to Koh Tao:

Direct from Koh Samui. There are direct ferries from the piers of Maenam and Bangrak. Companies like Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery offer regular services. The journey usually takes between 1.5 and 2 hours.

Ferries from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao:

The ferries depart from Thong Sala pier. Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery offer regular services. The journey can take approximately 1 hour.

Ferries from Chumphon to Koh Tao:

Direct ferries to Koh Tao depart from Thung Makham Noi pier or Chumphon pier. Companies like Lomprayah and Songserm have regular services. The journey can take between 1.5 and 2 hours, depending on the type of ferry.

Ferries from Surat Thani to Koh Tao:

Here are two options:

  • From Tapee pier: You can take a ferry from Tapee to Koh Samui pier, and then another ferry to Koh Tao. This journey can take between 3 and 4 hours.
  • From Donsak pier: From Surat Thani Airport, take a bus to Donsak pier and then a ferry to Koh Samui and then to Koh Tao.

How to Get to Koh Tao from: Discover the Best Itinerary!

There are many options to reach Koh Tao by sea due to the destination’s popularity. Any month of the year, the island receives a high volume of travelers, which makes access to it much easier. Here we summarize the options.

How to Get to Koh Tao

How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao?

Fly from Bangkok to Chumphon, Samui, or Surat Thani, then take a bus or taxi to the pier and finally a ferry to Koh Tao.

If you prefer to avoid more planes, take the night train from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok to Chumphon. From there, a bus will take you to the pier to take the ferry to Koh Tao.

Finally, there are direct buses from Bangkok to Chumphon and Surat Thani with a ferry connection to Koh Tao.

How to go from Koh Samui to Koh Tao?

There are direct ferries from Maenam or Bangrak pier in Koh Samui to Koh Tao. The journey takes between 2 and 3 hours.

How to go from Chumphon to Koh Tao?

From Chumphon pier, there are several daily ferries to Koh Tao. The journey takes between 1.5 and 3 hours depending on the type of ferry.

How to go from Surat Thani to Koh Tao?

From Donsak or Tapee pier in Surat Thani, take a ferry to Koh Tao. The journey can take between 3 and 4 hours, depending on the route and connections.

How to go from Krabi to Koh Tao?

From Krabi, take a bus or taxi to Surat Thani, then follow the ferry route to Koh Tao. Another option is to take a ferry from Krabi to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan, and then a ferry to Koh Tao.

How to go from Phi Phi to Koh Tao?

Take a ferry from Phi Phi to Krabi, then follow the instructions from Krabi to Koh Tao. Another option is to take a ferry from Phi Phi to Koh Samui and then a ferry to Koh Tao.

How to go from Phuket to Koh Tao?

Take a bus from Phuket to Surat Thani, and then follow the ferry route. Another option is to take a ferry from Phuket to Koh Samui, and then a ferry to Koh Tao.

How to go from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao?

Fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, Chumphon, or Surat Thani, and then take a ferry to Koh Tao. You can also take a train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and then follow the train and ferry itinerary from Bangkok to Koh Tao.

Tips for Your Trip to Koh Tao

You’re going on a trip to Koh Tao! Now it’s just about preparing for what, we’re sure, will be one of the most amazing experiences of your life. Here are some basic tips to make the most of the island and stay ahead of any surprises:

  • Bring light and breathable clothing, as well as sunscreen and hats to protect yourself from the sun. And if you’re going during the rainy season (from June to October), make sure to bring a raincoat.
  • Make sure you have your valid passport and any necessary documents to travel to Thailand, always in a safe place.
  • Book your flights, ferries, and accommodation in advance, especially during the high season (November to February).
  • If you plan to dive or snorkel, follow the instructions of the instructors and comply with safety regulations.
  • Use insect repellent.
  • Look for a good travel insurance policy that covers medical emergencies.
  • Drink only bottled water and avoid ice in unsafe places.
  • Respect the environment, do not leave trash on the beaches and in the water.
  • Eat like a local. Try Thai food at street stalls.
  • Be respectful of Thai culture. Don’t show public displays of affection in religious sites. Follow local norms.
como llegar a koh tao 3 - How to Get to Koh Tao: Complete Transportation Guide

How to Move Around the Island?

Now that you know how to get to the island, the question is: how do I get around it? This doesn’t present major complications, as Koh Tao is a small island, so walking is always a good option, especially if it’s along Sairee Beach, where many accommodation and dining options are concentrated.

However, if you want to explore other corners of the island, such as Mango Bay in the north, Tanote Bay in the east, or Shark Bay in the south, we offer the following options:

  • Renting a motorbike or scooter is the most popular way to get around Koh Tao: There are many rental shops on the island, but it’s important to be careful when driving, as the roads can be steep and sometimes rough. Always wear a helmet and be cautious. Read the rental contract carefully and check the condition of the vehicle before signing.
  • Taxis in Koh Tao are generally pickup trucks (songthaews) that will take you to different points on the island. They are useful for short distances or if you prefer not to drive.
  • Bicycle rental for short distances and a more relaxed pace. This is ideal for exploring nearby areas and enjoying the scenery.
  • Water taxi (Longtail Boats): To visit beaches and bays that are difficult to access by land. These wooden boats are traditional in Thailand and offer a very fun experience.
Anna

Scuba Instructor in DPM Diving Koh Tao.

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