Most guests arrive by transferring through Bangkok, but routes from international hubs are also an option.
Getting to Koh Tao from Bangkok
1. Fly to Samui with Bangkok Airways
Flights are available from Bangkok, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, plus a variety of other South East Asian destinations. From Samui simply take a ferry transfer to Koh Tao. There are 3 main ferry companies - Lomprayah, Seatran Discovery, and Songserm Express.
2. Fly to Chumphon or Surat Thani
Air Asia and Nok Air are both low-cost operators offering combined tickets with flight and boat. Nok Air connects with Lomprayah catamaran services at Chumphon or Surat Thani. Air Asia connects with either Lomprayah or Seatran Discovery at Surat Thani.
Please note that low-cost carrier flights depart from Don Mueang Airport, NOT from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Thai Airways, however, does offer flights from Suvarnabhumi to Surat Thani.
3. A combined bus/boat ticket
The cheapest and most popular way to travel from Bangkok, fares are available through both Lomprayah and Songserm Express. Both companies run air conditioned buses that depart from Khao San Road in Bangkok. Day and night travel options are available. Expect the bus journey to take around 6 hours, and the ferry to take around 2 hours.
4. Sleeper train to Chumphon
Traveling on the sleeper train is usually more comfortable than the bus, as you will have a proper bed allowing you to sleep more easily during the journey. The boat companies provide free transfers between the train station and ferry departure pier. From Bangkok, you need to arrive at Chumphon station before 06:00 AM as the morning boat departs to Koh Tao at 07:00 AM. Delays are possible on train travel so you may have to get the afternoon boat should you miss the morning transfer.
Getting to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan or Koh Samui
There are 3 main ferry companies - Lomprayah, Seatran Discovery, and Songserm Express. Each operates 2-3 vessels per day from various pier locations around the island. So the one that is right for you will depend on where you are staying, or what time your flight arrives.
Getting to Koh Tao from Chumphon or Surat Thani
1. Day Boats
Chumphon is the closest point on the mainland to Koh Tao, and so travel time from here by boat is quicker than on services from Surat Thani. All three boat companies (Lomprayah Catamaran and Songserm Express) offer services between the mainland and Koh Tao.
2. Night Boats
Sleeper boats offering mattresses or bunk style bedding are available from both Chumphon and Surat Thani. Boats run every night, and the travel time on these boats is approximately 6 hours from Chumphon and 9 hours from Surat Thani. Do be aware that in bad weather or windy conditions, night boats can be canceled.