How to Get from Bangkok to Koh Tao on a Budget: Meta Guide

Here’s a quick guide on how to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao as cheaply as possible!

koh tao arrival view

Informative posts I used

Getting to Koh Tao — KOH TAO : a Complete Guide 
5 ways how to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao

The summary of transportation between Bangkok to Koh Tao

The overall cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao is by train then ferry. Bus is recommended by many because it picks you up right from Khao San Road, but you’re probably not staying there anyway and I heard the train is more comfortable.

First, take the overnight train from Bangkok to Chumphon station. Choose a train that will arrive by 06:00 because the boats leave at 07:00. A minibus will pick you up from the train station and drop you off at the pier.

Note: train delays are somewhat common, so you may have to take the afternoon boat with Lomprayah Catamaran. 

Logistics and booking resources

Bangkok to Koh Tao – How to get there by Train, Bus and Ferry, Flight
Train from Bangkok to Chumphon Schedule, Fare, Booking, 2019
12Go: Book Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers & Flights Anywhere
Chumphon Railway Station Information and Ferry to Koh Tao
Transportation in Chumphon, Thailand
https://www.thailandferrybooking.com/booking.php
http://chumphon-nightboat.com/
Bangkok Railway Station

Best train and boat options

Train

Book your train ticket at least a day in advance either online or in-person for a comfortable reclining 2nd class seat. First class has beds and both of these classes are more expensive than 3rd class, but believe me, you want at least a 2nd class. 

The Rapid is the slowest train and, of course, the cheapest option. Up to you. I suggest attempting to get train 85, which is an Express, and still gives you time to make it to your ferry if there’s a slight delay.

All train ticket prices are listed on train36.com
Buying tickets at Hua Lamphong train station

Boat

The best/cheapest choice is with KP ferry ticket services. It’s 840 baht, which includes the minibus pickup from the train station.

KP ferry inside

Comparison of ferry prices:

  • KP Ferry for 840 baht
  • Lomprayah for 1100 baht
  • Songserm for 900-1100 baht but their reviews are terrible

Where to buy these tickets

Train – in person is cheapest, so go to the train station yourself

Ferry – KP Ferry has Facebook, WhatsApp, a website, email, and telephone number.

KP ferry info

My experience

Welp, got stuck in a 3rd class seat because all 1st and 2nd class seats/beds were taken. This was because I left buying a ticket to the very last minute – which had worked out for me until this point! It was only 232 baht and I got 2 *very hard* seats for myself, enough to lie down on.

There were constant stops with people getting on to advertise what they were selling, even late at night, which was annoying as I wanted to sleep to rise for my early arrival.

The worst part? No one announced the names of the stops, so I almost missed getting off mine because I was asleep. Luckily we stopped for a bit longer than other stops – due to more people, I suppose – which my body decided was weird and I should wake up. I asked the local man across from me if it was Chumphon (outside signage also lacking!) and I gathered my things ASAP. The train left about a minute after I got off. Close call!

Other notes

  • If you’re buying in advance with 12go.asia, buses will show up as cheaper. Depends on if you’re buying online and how far in advance you’re purchasing your tickets.
  • You can buy joint train+ferry or bus+ferry tickets from agents all over Bangkok if you want to pay for that service

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