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You can purchase a joint ticket (VIP Bus + Ferry) to Koh Tao from BKK. It's about 7 hours road journey plus 2 hours ferry....Just go to any travel agent at Khao San road but if you want you can go direct to Lomprayah Ferries...they're one of the newer and bigger ferry operators around...and the tickets can be booked online. The joint ticket costs us about 850 baht per person.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
There are several ways to get to Ko Tao from either Surat Thani or Chumpon (Chumporn) ranging from fast efficient catamaran vessels to slow overnight cargo boats with prices varying accordingly. Basically the faster the journey, the more you pay. I went to and from the island with the Lomprayah catamaran line which plies a route Chumpon - Koh Tao - Koh Phangan - Ko Samui - Chumpon. Tickets are widely available in Chumpon or Koh Tao and will normally include a free transfer from your accomodation to the respective piers. I did, bizarrely, see a sign outside a travel agent in Koh Tao bearing the odd phrase "add 50 baht for free taxi". Work that one out. In Chumpon it is a necessity as the pier is some distance from town (about a 20 minute bus ride) and you couldn't realistically walk it.
On board you sit in aircraft type seats and there is entertainment on several TV screens. There is a bar / snack bar on board, although prices are somewhat inflated, reflecting I suppose, the captive audience. There seems to be no prohibition on eating or drinking your own provisions so it is a good idea to stock up first.
Whilst you are effectively inside for the journey, there is a small aft deck and a limited amount of open room topsides should you wish to catch the sun or have a smoke. Due to the speed of the vessel, I was surprised how bumpy it was in relatively calm seas. Those of you who suffer seasickness may wish to take precautions.
Don't worry about getting off the boat on the wrong island, as I nearly did. They made an unscheduled stop at a small island and I nearly dived off, but was stopped by one of the crew. The reason for this is that when you buy your ticket you are given a colour coded sticker to put on your shirt so the crew know where you are going. Before each stop, they will go round for a quick check and tell you when you need to jump ashore. Good thinking for over-eager travellers like myself.
Written Jan 13, 2010
Phone: +00 66 (0)7755-8212(-3)
The main pier at Koh Tao is located at Mae Haad Village. The Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran and most other boats land here. Standing around at the end of the pier are drivers from some of the island resorts waiting to provide transportation for the newly arriving guests. If you dont see a driver holding a sign with your name on it, dont worry there are island taxi's available.
Written Sep 2, 2009
Phone: 077 456176 / 077 456785
If you are coming from Bangkok and the ever-rising fuel-surcharge by the airlines is a concern, I'd recommend this more economical way to get to Ko Tao . Furthermore, you can save one night's accommodation (take the night bus!).
Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran, is one of a few transportation companies which offer comfortable transfers (air-cond bus -> high speed catamaran) from Bangkok to Ko Tao / Ko Phangan / Ko Samui .
Buses departs from Bangkok twice a day (6am and 9pm). For updated schedules and ticket pricing, do visit Lomprayah's webpage .
Updated Aug 16, 2008
Phone: +66 0 7742 7765
Without an airport, the only way to get to Ko Tao is by boat.
You can take the ferry service from Chumphon or from Suratthani on the Thai mainland.
Or another boat ride if you are already in Ko Samui or Ko Phangan.
Important to check the departure time so that you will not miss the boat when leaving the island. Better be early and wait.
The ferry or boat terminal is at Ban Mae Haad, Ko Tao.
Written Feb 4, 2008
We booked a boat from Chumphon to Ko Tao. As we didn't want to get up too early (i.e before 5am) and we wanted to save money we decided to take the Songserm Ferry.
Never again. The weather has been bad, the Songserm ferry sailed anyway. I have never had a boat journey like it. Most of the people were sick and there was only 1 life jacket between all of us.
So get up earlier and pay that extra 100B each. Go with Lomprayah Catamaran. It looks alot more stable than the boat that we were in.
Both ferries leave at 7am.. Our journey was supposed to be 3 hours (in fact 3 1/2). The
Lomprayah Catamaran takes 1hour 30 minutes.
Written Oct 24, 2007
I first posted this in things to do, but it might just as well be a transportation tips. Arriving at Koh Tao we chartered a longtail boat from the main pier to our resort, it was a lot more fun (and safer) than taking the taxi.
Written Jul 10, 2007
I had been told about Lomprayah by my friend who was already on Koh Tao and she advised that we check them out as they were the cheapest in getting people to Koh Tao from Bangkok. So we walked past all the other travel agencies who we had heard rip people off left right and centre, just to find this particular company. And I'm really glad that we did as it really did prove to be a successful journey. They have a bus which takes you from Bangkok to Chumporn and then a catamaran which goes from Chumporn to Nang Yuan Island, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. The timetable is as follows:
BANGKOK DEP. 0600
HUAHIN ARR. 0830 HUAHIN DEP. 0900
CHUMPORN ARR. 1230 CHUMPORN DEP. 1300
KOH TAO ARR. 1430 KOH TAO DEP. 1500
KOH PHANGAN ARR. 1555 KOH PHANGAN DEP. 1600
KOH SAMUI ARR. 1645
BANGKOK DEP. 2100
HUAHIN ARR. 2345 HUAHIN DEP. 2400
CHUMPORN ARR. 0500 CHUMPORN DEP. 0700
KOH TAO ARR. 0830 KOH TAO DEP. 0930
KOH PHANGAN ARR. 1030 KOH PHANGAN DEP. 1100
KOH SAMUI ARR. 1130
KOH SAMUI DEP. 0800
KOH PHANGAN ARR. 0820 KOH PHANGAN DEP. 0830
KOH TAO ARR. 0940 KOH TAO DEP. 1000
CHUMPORN ARR. 1145 CHUMPORN DEP. 1300
HUAHIN ARR. 1700 HUAHIN DEP. 1715
BANGKOK ARR. 2030
KOH SAMUI DEP. 1200
KOH PHANGAN ARR. 1220 KOH PHANGAN DEP. 1230
KOH TAO ARR. 1350 KOH TAO DEP. 1430
CHUMPORN ARR. 1610 CHUMPORN DEP. 1645
HUAHIN ARR. 2130 HUAHIN DEP. 2145
BANGKOK ARR. 0015
There are other boats that go island hopping too but when the water is rough they usually do not go, so Lomprayah with their catamaran is a safe bet!!!
Updated Jan 27, 2007
Phone: Koh Tao:077-456176
This little fella was having a whale of a time on his daddy's bike, and he was too adorable not to take a photo of! But in all seriousness, this is the way around! They have brand new motorbikes for rent, both automatic and manual and they are cheap to hire for 24hours (between 200 - 350Baht) depending on where you hire from. Have a look around first before hiring one to get best price and best model to suit you.
You can only ride around on the west side of the island so you really could even just walk if you knew you were staying at one particular beach. But to get from the ferry pier to Sairee Beach, motorbike is the best option. Two people with rucksacks fit on one bike and the gas is very cheap so just fill it up half way and that should cover you for the 24hours. To get round the other side of the island, you need to take a taxi boat.
Updated Jan 26, 2007
To go back to Bangkok, we took a speedboat to Ko Samui and then took a plane back to Bangkok. There are only two times for a boat ride from Ko Tao - Ko Samui: 9.30am and around 3.30 or 4pm. The ride takes about 1.30 hrs to Ko Samui.
I took the 9.30am boat. Got to Samui about 11ish am, and then took a 2.45pm plane to Bangkok.
Written Dec 24, 2005