Koh Tao is a wonderful place to visit if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and enjoy some aquatic sports like scuba diving. In point of fact, this little island is famous for the exceptional circumstances that it offers for the pursuit of this pastime. In addition to this, there are a great number of beaches in the area where one may sunbathe or swim.
It is a part of the Chumphon Archipelago and can be found a little over 400 kilometres southwest of Bangkok on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand. It is, along with Koh Phangan, one of the most popular islands for backpackers to visit when they come to the country of Thailand.
How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao
Because Koh Tao is such a small island, there is no airport on it; thus, the only way to get there is by taking a boat. To travel there from Bangkok, you will need to make use of a variety of various modes of transportation. Chumphon, Surat Thani, and Koh Samui are the ports from where ferries sail for Koh Tao. To go to Koh Tao, you must first begin your journey at one of these three launching sites. There are several ways to get there, including buses, trains, and aircraft, which may all be combined with ferries. You can select the one that works best for you from the ones that we have presented below.
Transport to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao:
- Plane + Ferry – You can fly to Chumphon, Koh Samui, or Surat Thani and then take a ferry.
- Bus + Ferry – It’s cheaper, but the trip will take you a whole day.
- Train + Ferry – The option will take you the longest.
How to go to Koh Tao by plane + ferry
Even though it costs more, flying to Koh Samui and then taking a ferry to Koh Tao is the fastest and most convenient way to get from one place to another. It is a good idea if you are planning to go to Koh Samui. In this case, the extra cost of a plane ticket to this place makes more sense.
On the other hand, the route through Chumphon is pretty quick, but you should know that you will need to take a bus or taxi from Chumphon Airport to the pier where the ferry leaves from.
Lastly, you can fly to Surat Thani and then take the ferry, but this isn’t the best way because it takes longer, and you have to take a taxi from the airport to the pier, which takes about 30 minutes.
- Distance: About 450 km separate Bangkok and Koh Samui. About 70 km separate Koh Samui and Koh Tao. On the other hand, it is about 380 km from Bangkok to Chumphon. About 120 km separate Chumphon and Koh Tao. Lastly, it’s about 500 kilometers from Bangkok to Surat Thani and about 70 kilometers from Surat Thani to Koh Tao.
- Duration: It takes around one hour to go by aircraft from Bangkok to both Koh Samui and Chumphon. It takes two hours to go to Surat Thani. It might take anywhere from 1 hour 45 minutes to 5 hours to reach Koh Tao from Koh Samui by boat. It takes less than two hours to get there from Chumphon, while it takes between three and four hours to get there from Surat Thani.
- Price: It will depend on the combination you choose.
- Departure area: When you leave Bangkok, you will do so from one of the city’s two airports. The boat from Koh Samui will leave from Bangrak/Bophuut, Mae Nam, or Nathon, the three ports on the island. When departing from Chumphon, it does so from a variety of docks, depending on the business that you contract with.
How to go to Koh Tao by bus + ferry
In this scenario, it would be best to purchase a ticket to Koh Tao that includes both a bus ride and a boat ride, as most transportation providers do. In this instance, the journey will include taking a bus to Chumphon and then transferring to a boat that will take you to Koh Tao. Songsem Express and Lomprayah Catamaran are the names of the two private businesses that conduct their operations from Khao San Road. The latter company operates two trips per day that travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao. The first one leaves at 6 am and gets there at 2:45 pm, while the second one departs at 9 pm and gets there at 8:45 am the following morning.
Because it brings you right to the Chumphon jetty, which is where you board the boat, using the bus is a choice that is more than just practical in terms of its convenience.
- Distance: From Bangkok to Chumphon, about 380 kilometers. From Chumphon to Koh Tao, around 120 kilometers.
- Duration: It takes 8 hours to get to Chumphon Pier, where you can take a fast catamaran to Koh Tao in 1.5 to 2 hours or a regular ferry to get there in 3 hours.
- Price: 1000 – 1500 baht.
- Departure area: Khao San Road in Bangkok.
How to go to Koh Tao by train + ferry
In Thailand, the train is always the slowest way to get somewhere. If you choose this option, you should take a sleeper train so that you can make most of the trip at night. This way, you don’t waste time, and you don’t have to stay in a hotel. On the Chumphon route, you can buy tickets that include both the train and the ferry. These tickets also include a bus ride from the Chumphon train station to the pier where the ferry leaves from. The Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok is where you can buy them.
- Distance: About 380 km separate Bangkok and Chumphon. About 120 km separate Chumphon and Koh Tao.
- Duration: 13 hours on the train, plus a couple of hours on the ferry.
- Price: Around 1800 baht for a combined ticket.
- Departure area: Hua Lamphong Train Station in Bangkok
Where to Stay in Koh Tao
Koh Tao is a popular island in Thailand that is known for its beautiful beaches, clear water, and diving sites that are known all over the world. On the island, there are different kinds of places to stay that fit different budgets and tastes.
The most popular and busy place on Koh Tao is Sairee Beach, which has a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s a great place to stay if you want to be right in the middle of everything. There are many different places to stay in Sairee Beach, such as hostels, mid-range hotels, and high-end resorts.
Mae Haad is another popular place on the island. It is near the pier and has a more relaxed vibe. Mae Haad has a number of cheap guesthouses and hotels, as well as a few high-end resorts.
In the southern part of Koh Tao, there are some beautiful resorts and villas that are perfect for a romantic getaway or a relaxing retreat for people who want more privacy and peace.
Overall, Koh Tao has a variety of places to stay that fit different budgets and tastes. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to party or get away from it all. To make sure you have a place to stay, it’s best to book ahead, especially during busy travel times.
Best things to do in Koh Tao
Snorkeling is one of the best things to do in Koh Tao. The island is home to a variety of beautiful coral reefs and colorful fish. There are many snorkeling spots around the island, so you can easily find a place to suit your level of experience.
If you’re a beginner, we recommend starting at Mae Haad Beach. This beach has shallower water and is therefore perfect for those who are not confident swimmers. There are also plenty of lifeguards on duty, so you can feel safe in the knowledge that someone is always looking out for you.
Once you’ve gotten the hang of snorkeling, you can head out to deeper waters in search of more adventurous marine life. Shark Point is a popular spot for experienced snorkelers, as it’s known for its large population of blacktip reef sharks. However, don’t let the name put you off – these sharks are harmless to humans and make for an exciting addition to your snorkeling experience!
Koh Tao is a beautiful island in Thailand that offers visitors a chance to experience some amazing diving. There are several dive sites around the island, each with its own unique features. Visitors can explore coral reefs, and shipwrecks, and even swim with whale sharks.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver, Koh Tao has something to offer everyone. There are several diving schools on the island, so you can get certified or take a refresher course before exploring the underwater world.
If you’re looking for an adventure, Koh Tao is the perfect place for you. Diving here is an experience you won’t soon forget!
Rock climbing is one of the most popular activities on Koh Tao. The island is home to many cliffs and boulders, making it a great place for climbers of all levels to enjoy. There are several companies that offer rock climbing tours, so it’s easy to find one that suits your needs.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced climber, you’ll find plenty of routes to challenge yourself on Koh Tao. There are easy climbs for those just starting out, as well as more difficult ones for those looking for a bigger challenge. No matter what your level, you’re sure to have a great time rock climbing on this beautiful island.
There are plenty of hiking trails on Koh Tao for those who love to explore the great outdoors. The island is full of lush vegetation and there are many hidden gems to discover. A hike up to John-Suwan Viewpoint is a must, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views. For something a little different, head to Ao Leuk Bay and take a walk through the jungle to reach the secluded beach.
Eating Local Foods
When it comes to eating, one of the best things you can do while on Koh Tao is to eat local foods. Not only will this give you a more authentic experience, but it will also allow you to try some new and delicious dishes. There are a few local restaurants that we would recommend checking out, as well as some street food options.
If you’re looking for a sit-down meal, we recommend heading to Sairee Hut for their Thai curries or Seashells Resort for their seafood. For something a little more casual, grab a bite at one of the many street food stalls – our personal favorites are the ones selling pad Thai and fried rice. And of course, no meal on Koh Tao would be complete without some fresh fruit from one of the many fruit stands dotted around the island!