If you happen to be travelling around Thailand in the close future, I’m pretty sure that on the top of your list would be a visit to one of the Thai islands. Armed with a flight into Bangkok, next on the agenda would be to look into the endless travel options Thailand has to offer.
Koh Phangan is one of those islands you have to visit, with its tropical beaches, affordable street food, beachfront bungalows and endless beach bucket parties, you would be silly to give it a miss.
Once you start to look into planning you’re quickly discover that from Bangkok you have like a thousand gazillion options on how to get to Koh Phangan.
Not to worry Travel Dave is here to help point you in the best direction based on your need for speed, affordability and comfort,
Here is the break down:
How to travel to Koh Phangan from Bangkok, Thailand
Before we get started, it’s good to mention that you would normally have to book your bus, trains and boat rides normally through a local vendor/travel agent in Thailand. What I like to do on my travels is book online using 12Go Asia who offer wonderful transport options across the region. be sure to check out your options here and book easily online:
Fly to Samui from BKK Bangkok
The easiest and fastest option from Bangkok is to fly via Koh Samui, however it’s not the cheapest route.
Bangkok has two airports with connections to Koh Phangan, both options are not direct, as the Koh Phangan airport is still under construction, for now, the closest airport is situated in Koh Samui.
You can reach Koh Samui from BKK Bangkok International airport with Bangkok Airways.
Bangkok airways also have direct flights to Koh Samui from:
Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Krabi, Phuket, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong and Phuket.
The advantages of flying with Bangkok airlines apart from having the fastest route is the added extras that are included, such as: extra baggage, VIP wifi lounge access and onboard flight food.
Thai Airways also has a twice daily flight route to BKK airport,
You can check the flight list from Koh Samui airport’s website.
Once you Reach Koh Samui, you can take a short Taxi Ride (Around 100 Thai Baht) to the Big Buddha pier and Grab a Haad Rin Queen Ferry to Haad Rin Koh Phangan which will take you 50 minutes.
there are 4 services daily.
The journey takes around 50 minutes to reach the Buddha pier on the island of Koh Samui.
Towards Haad Rin, Koh Phangan from Big Buddha ferry:
From Haad Rin Queen Ferry:
One way ticket is 200 Baht and you can buy your ticket from the Queen ferry ticket office, both located at the Pier itself.
This is the quickest option but not the cheapest! If you manage to get a good deal in advance, then you can grab yourself a bargain, but they rarely come along and you have to keep an eye out.
You’re looking at paying around $100 one way, but this all depends on the date, time of flight, etc., best to check online and see if you can find a cheaper flight in advance.
Fly from Bangkok, Don Muang DMK airport to Surat Thani
Cheapest based on convenience, this route, flying into Surat Thani with a Bus and boat transfer to Koh Phangan, does take longer than flying into the Koh Samui airport, but will normally cost half the price and can be even cheaper if booked 4-6 weeks well in advance.
Two Airlines fly to Surat Thani:
You’re looking at spending 4 hours in total to reach Koh Phangan, depending on the boat departure time. But if you’re not in a rush and want to save some extra travel dosh, this option is the best one for you.
Be sure to take advantage of the endless fly and ride possibilities from Surat Thani. It’s possible to book with both Airasia or NokAir a fly and ride ticket to Koh Phangan.
This means you can pay for your flight to Surat Thank from Bangkok plus your Airport transfer ticket to the Pier as well as your boat ticket all at once with one E ticket print out, typically its cheaper to book this all together with the airline and takes a lot of hassle out of the trip.
When you check into your flight at the airport, you will be given your sticker to wear upon arrival so you are pointed towards to correct bus and on the bus you are given your correct boat ticket, all simple and affordable.
If you book your flight only to Surat Thani without booking the onward journey to Koh Phangan, you will have to do all these bookings yourself at the airport and it does cost more to purchase yourself. Best to book a fly and ride ticket with the airline.
Most Cheapest option but takes the longest time to reach Koh Phangan
If you don’t wish to fly, you still have many other cheaper, more affordable options, however these take the longest (Some cases up to 12 hours) and can be uncomfortable, but if you have the time and want to save some Baht, here are the options:
One fun, affordable option is to take the night train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, You can travel 2nd class for affordable rates and you have an option of Fan or AC. This comes with chairs and tables with a comfortable pull down bed that can be transformed in the evening. The lowest bunks are the biggest and best to book if possible.
You can go deluxe and upgrade to 1st class, this includes a sink and private double bunk area all to yourself.
Best to book your train tickets in advance as a travel agent as they do fill up quickly, especially during peak times such as Fullmoon period. Also, it’s good to note that the station is some distance to the city center, best to arrange your transport and accommodation close to the station and your onwards journey to the pier.
Bangkok has around 10 departures daily to Surat Thani, with 4 comfortable night option:
Departure – Arrival (Bangkok to Surat Thani)
17:35 – 05:48
18:30 – 06:23
19:30 – 07:06
22:50 – 08:05
For more information about prices and seat class, I like to use Man in seat 61 website, its a useful resource for train travel, great section on Thailand too.
The most economical way to reach Koh Phangan from Bangkok is to grab a bus via Surat Thani for 650 Baht, you can book your journey at many backpackers hostels or travel agents located around Bangkok, these busses typically depart around 1pm and arrive in Surat Thani in the evening.
This means you will have to stay a night in Surat Thani as the last boats would have departed, however you can grab a sleeper night bus with declining chairs around 7pm and travel overnight to arrive in the early Morning.
Surat Thani to Donsak Pier Transfer
When you arrive on the night bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani, you will need to grab a Surat Thani transfer bus to Raja Ferry/Donsak Pier with Phangan Tours or Panthip Bus Co. This Transfer will typically set you back 100 Baht extra on top. You can get this transfer from either the airport or Surat Thani Bus station.
Government Bus Bangkok to Koh Phangan
This option will cost you around 1,000 Baht one way, 350 Baht more than the other typical option but the well organized VIP Government bus drives directly to Raja Ferry and you will arrive at Thong Sala Pier for 10am. It departs from Bangkok at 19:50pm, this option cuts out the transfer in Surat Thani and you can sleep all the way to Koh Phangan, another option for you to look into.
Last option if you happen to have grabbed a late train or bus and missed the daily boat connections to Koh Phangan, you can grab the last boat to the island which travels overnight, which will save you on one night accommodation and you will arrive early morning on the island of Koh Phangan.
The night boat departs from Surat Thani at 11:00pm and arrives on Koh Phangan at 06:00am in the morning. There is a departure from Koh Phangan at 10:00pm which will get you to the mainland at 04:00am the next day.
Thank you for reading this blog post and I hope you found it useful towards picking your travel route to Koh Phangan, Thailand, have a safe and awesome journey. Please feel free to leave a message in the comment section below, thank you: