For those travelling to Thailand, you might want to turn your trip into an adventure and go around the region exploring two of the most popular spots, Phuket and Koh Phangan.
Your trip to Thailand might start in the capital Bangkok, and you might wish to travel up to the northern region of Thailand and visit Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai.
But why not visit the south of Thailand and explore some of the Thai islands?
Why should you visit the islands of Thailand?
Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Koh Tao are all exotic islands to hop around and explore in Thailand, especially if you like scuba diving, nature and beach life.
But I would also as equally recommend travelling around Phuket.
If you travel around the area of Phuket, you may also want to visit Koh Lanta, Krabi or Koh Phi Phi, lovely parts of Thailand to go around.
This all depends on how much time you have to travel around Thailand.
Looking at both these island areas in the south of Thailand, you might notice that mainland Thailand with the province of Surat Thani separates the island of Phuket to the west and Koh Phangan to the east.
I would highly recommend visiting both, and you can easily take a combination of overland bus and sea ferry to reach both famous Thai Islands.
The natural beauty and top entertainment are offered to visitors on both islands, and I wouldn’t skip either. I recommend visiting both if you have the time on your trip to Thailand.
How to travel between the Thai islands
It isn’t such a straightforward trip from Phuket to Koh Phangan as both islands are placed on either side of mainland Thailand, but not to worry as this is a frequently travelled route with well-connected roads and ferry routes.
So, it would require you to travel overland from Phuket and then take a ferry from Surat Thani city to Koh Phangan, and I’ll explain in this blog post the best way to do so.
Can you fly from Phuket to Koh Phangan?
Technically yes, you can fly to Koh Phangan from Phuket, but I wouldn’t recommend it. You wouldn’t be saving much time using this method as it will require some waiting either for the ferry or for the connection flight.
First of all, Koh Phangan doesn’t have an airport (yet), and you will have to fly to Koh Samui, its neighbouring island.
I would recommend Bangkok Airlines which offers direct flights to Koh Samui from Bangkok.
You can fly from Phuket to Koh Samui direct, but the cheapest flights will require a stopover via Bangkok.
So, you would have to fly from Phuket via Bangkok and switch so I’m not sure all the waiting around would be worth it.
Next is the flight cost with Bangkok Airlines, this flight route is never cheap unless you book well in advance, especially for those last-minute trip planners it would be a costly endeavour.
You would also have to get a ferry to Koh Phangan from Koh Samui which will require some waiting as well.
Do have a look as they might be having a sale, it’s always worth a search and see if the flights might be affordable on your travel date, you could be lucky.
I’ve just never personally run into any good deals when it comes to flights, but maybe that’s because I usually leave things to the very last minute.
And I would like to add that I’m thinking with my backpacker hat on when it comes to prices. For Thailand, the flight might be an affordable option for you – it all depends on your budget.
The point I want to make, if you have time and would like to save some money then flying wouldn’t be my recommendation for you.
Take a bus and ferry combo ticket from Phuket to Koh Phangan
Book your tickets for Phuket to Koh Phangan by purchasing a bus and Ferry ticket.
You can book your ticket online using Bookaway; you can search for your dates of travel using this widget:
Travel time between the two islands will take you just under 8 hours, mostly by bus and then the final stage by ferry boat.
If you’re on Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, you will have to travel to Phuket first to get the bus connection that will take you to the ferry port just outside of Surat Thani.
Word of warning, it’s best to book your ticket a few days in advance to reserve your seat. This is a popular route, and places do fill up quickly. Avoid disappointment and book as soon as you know your travel dates.
Especially if you happen to be visiting Koh Phangan during the full moon party week, then you should book maybe a bit more in advance as the island does get busy.
I’d recommend also booking your accommodation in Koh Phangan well in advance for full moon week as mostly all rooms sell out and require a one-week booking.
The bus departs from Phuket town and will take you to Surat Thani to take the ferry boat to Koh Phangan.
This journey takes just under 8 hours of travel time depending on which company you go with.
Phuket to Koh Phangan is a popular route, and you will find this service continually running throughout the day so best to pick the time and date that suits you. Some ways are quicker than others depending on which bus/ferry the company uses.
Lomprayah, Seatran Discovery, Raja Ferry or Phantip Travel are four companies that operate this route in Thailand. I’ve personally travelled with all four, and they all offer a competitive price and similar service, all depends on highspeed availability and pay on the day.
Best to look and compare with Bookaway and work out the best level of comfort, travel time and price that best suits your travelling needs.
Usually, how it works once you’ve made your online Bookaway booking and you have your confirmation, your name will be placed on a list.
Once you reach Phuket town bus terminal, the exact departure location will be mentioned on your e-ticket.
Then you will receive your ticket and ferry sticker if you have made an online booking. You must keep both and wear your sticker label for the ferry journey, so you depart with the correct ferry group.
It is a long journey, so take some bottled water, a good book and enjoy the trip. You will arrive in Koh Phangan in no time, and maybe you might manage to catch one of the island’s stunning sunsets once you visit.
Thank you for reading all about travelling between Phuket and Koh Phangan
Thank you for reading my blog post about travelling between the Thai islands of Phuket and Koh Phangan. I hope you’ve found this article both helpful and useful.
Any further questions you may have, please feel free to send me a message, and I’ll be more than happy to help.
Wishing you a safe and pleasant trip from Phuket to the island of Koh Phangan and your onwards travel around Thailand.