This post is also available in: Dutch

Latest update: 30 January 2023

Whoohoo! You are going to Koh Phangan! But how do you actually get there? In this blog, I explain how to travel from Bangkok to Koh Phangan.

Travel to Koh Phangan, the options

Koh Phangan, unfortunately, does not have its own airport, so you are condemned to a boat ride, whatever mode of transportation you choose. There are four ways to get to Koh Phangan from Bangkok. And vice versa, of course.

  • Bus & boat: 10 to 18 hours of travel time
  • Train, bus & boat: 10 to 18 hours of travel time
  • Plane to Koh Samui & boat: from 3 hours travel time
  • Plane to Surat Thani, bus & boat: from 5 hours travel time

Unfortunately, the one with the shortest travel time is also the most expensive. So make a good trade-off between time and money.

Bangkok to Koh Phangan by train or bus

The bus and train are the cheapest solutions, but they also take the longest. It’s smart to take a night bus or train so you can get some sleep (and save a night of accommodation). The bus will drop you off at the boat, which will then take you to Koh Phangan. If you travel by train, you still have to take the bus for a short ride from the train station to the boat.

Via 12Go Asia, you can easily compare your travel options. You can buy the entire package of train and/or bus and boat in one go. Prices vary slightly depending on where you leave, but count on a return ticket at around €40 and a one-way ticket at about €20. This is the ideal option if you’re short on money and have a lot of time. However, it gets a little more expensive by choosing more comfortable seats.

Powered by 12Go system

Fly from Bangkok to Koh Phangan via Koh Samui

Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways are the only airlines that fly between Bangkok and Koh Samui. Both fly from BKK Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi). The prices are relatively high for a flight of 1 to 1.5 hours. You can easily pay € 100 for a one-way ticket. A return ticket will quickly cost you € 190. Have you found it cheaper? Book it now! I often compare prices via Skyscanner or Momondo. I choose this option to travel back from Koh Phangan to Bangkok and fly with Bangkok Airways.

Once in Koh Samui, you still need to arrange a ticket for the ferry to Koh Phangan. If you want to go to the Thong Sala pier, go to the Lomprayah office in the arrivals hall at the airport. In addition to Lompraya, other boats are offering the same journey. They are all similar. The most important thing is that you end up in the right place. So please pay attention to which pier the ferry departs from and where it arrives!

At Lompraya, you can buy your ticket for the ferry at the airport and use the Lomprayah shuttle bus. Count on 100 baht for the shuttle and another 100 for the ferry. A taxi to the pier costs about 500 baht. Allow about 20 minutes for that ride; the ferry is about half an hour. You can also book your ferry in advance; 12Go Asia will help you with that too, or book it at GetYourGuide. I find booking separately scary: suppose you have a delay from Bangkok and miss the ferry. But its up to you, of course.

Powered by 12Go system

Fly from Bangkok to Koh Phangan via Surat Thani

Flying via Surat Thani with NokAir or AirAsia is usually the best option. It is a good combination of a reasonable price and a relatively short travel time. I choose this option to get to Koh Phangan: faster than the bus and cheaper than flying via Koh Samui. NokAir and AirAsia offer the option to buy the entire package in one go – with a flight to Surat Thani, a bus to the ferry, and the ferry itself. This is called fly’n ferry service. The flight is about an hour, the bus takes about 40 minutes, and the boat trip another 2.5 hours. Compare the prices on the sites of NokAir and AirAsia (or also Skyscanner or Momondo for the flight only.) Count on about € 80 for a one-way trip and € 160 return.

Bangkok to Koh Phangan with NokAir

Enter Bangkok as your place of departure and Koh Phangan as your arrival on the NokAir site. There are different classes that you can book. You will need Nok Extra unless you are traveling with hand luggage only. Pay particular attention to the total travel time! With some options, you have to wait forever for the boat, for example.

This package deal is well organized: you pick up your luggage from the belt in Surat Thani (a tiny airport with only one baggage belt) and walk to the yellow office of NokAir at the arrivals hall. Probably someone in a yellow shirt is already there helping other travelers. You say your name, and you get a sticker, so they know which bus you need to take. You then wait outside for the bus that takes you to the ferry.

At the ferry, you have to join the queue to collect your ticket and have your bag labeled. Then the waiting for the ferry starts. When I get there, they non-stop play piano ballads of Disney music in the waiting area. So I am happy with the free wi-fi to listen to my Spotify undisturbed. You can also buy something to eat and drink for the boat ride.

Transfer on Koh Phangan to your hotel or hostel

You made it! You are in Koh Phangan. I assume you have ended up at the Thong Sala pier and would like to get to your accommodation as soon as possible. At the Thong Sala pier, you will be met by the chaotic drivers of songthaews. These are pick-up trucks with two benches in the back, they serve as a taxi. Expect some major chaos, but everything will be fine, really.

They try to put as many people as possible into a thongsaew. The idea is to put people who have to go in the same direction together. Making it an easy and profitable ride for the drivers. In my experience, drivers really have no idea where they should go, so be sure to keep an eye on Google Maps during the ride. I pay 200 Bath to get to Sri Thanu. Check with your accommodation what the price should be for you.

Also, read the blog with tips for fun activities in Koh Phangan.

In the songthaew on Koh Phangan

More Thailand inspiration

  • Accommodation. All-time favorite: Booking.com. Would you rather stay in a hostel? Check Hostelworld.
  • Activities. You book the best tours and activities with GetYourGuide and Viator. Another good option is WithLocals. There are ‘free’ walking tours available at Freetour.com and GuruWalk, and for bike tours, try Baja Bikes.
  • Attractions and museums. At Tiqets, you’ll find tickets for museums and attractions – and get a 5% discount with coupon code KIMOPREIS22.
  • Car rental. My go-to car rental companies are EasyTerra and Sunny Cars as they have all-inclusive / worry-free offers. Compare even more prices at Discover Cars.
  • Flights. Compare all your options! Definitely check out Momondo, Skyscanner, and Kiwi.
  • Money. Your debit and credit cards may not get accepted everywhere. You could opt for a Revolut card as an additional card when you travel. 
  • Package deals. Rather go on a catered trip? For the Dutch readers, please check out these organizations: ANWB vakanties, Sawadee, Tui, Corendon, Shoestring, and Vakantie Discounter. You can also try D-reizen.
  • SIM card. Beware of unexpectedly high calling and internet costs. Buy a local SIM card when you arrive, or arrange one online via Airalo.
  • Train, bus, and boat. Reserve buses, trains, and boats via Busbud, 12Go (personal favorite in Thailand), or Omio.
  • Travel gear. Buy your gear at Bever or Decathlon, or simply at Bol.com.
  • Travel guides. Excited about your upcoming Thailand trip? I understand! To add to your anticipation, you can order a travel guide, for example at Bol.com or Amazon.
  • Yoga retreat. Or, go on a yoga retreat in Thailand.

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. If you buy something through these links, I might receive a small commission.

First published: April 2019. Updated since.

Write A Comment