Book the bus-ferry combination to take you from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi and get there with quite comfortable accommodations. This is a multi-layered journey, though: first, you must take a long bus ride to Suratthani. Then, you will have to transfer to another bus which will take you to Krabi. From Krabi, you will board a ferry which will finally drop you off at your Koh Phi Phi destination.
Koh Phi Phi was made famous when The Beach shot its infamous (and stunning) scenes on Maya Bay. But the Phi Phi islands have been around long before the 2000 cult classic movie and will (hopefully) be around for years to come. The Thai government made the decision to close Maya Bay in 2018 to allow the environment to recover. Luckily, there are plenty of other reasons to come see the Phi Phi islands.
The distance from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi is nearly 700 km (about 430 miles). Too long for a Koh Phi Phi day trip. However, once you arrive on the islands, you’ll be glad you have a few days to explore.
Getting to the island will require you to take a bus, train, or a flight, followed by a ferry. Luckily, the ferry ride through the Andaman Sea is beautiful. You’ll see the stunning karst formations and crystal blue waters that Thailand is famous for.
Not sure how to travel from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi? Keep reading, and you’ll find out everything!
Bus + Ferry
For budget travelers, one of the best ways to get from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi is the ferry + bus combination. Everything is booked together, so you’re guaranteed not to miss your connection.
After your bus ride, you will take a ferry the rest of the way. Depending on where you catch your ferry, the boat portion of the trip will take about an hour or two.
Bus + Ferry options include an express bus + ferry, the VIP bus + ferry, the high-speed bus + ferry, and the economy bus + ferry. Each option allows one large piece of luggage, but the amount of time it takes to get from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi varies depending on the company you choose.
Express Bus + Ferry
The express bus + ferry is operated by Paradive Travel and is about $38 per person. The buses have AC, reclining seats, and a bathroom, but they will still stop along the way.
The Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi bus is relatively comfortable and has more space than other bus options. You’ll meet the bus at Bangkok Train Station, which isn’t the most convenient location, especially due to the 19:00 departure time. Make sure to leave with plenty of time because Bangkok traffic can be brutal.
The benefit of the express bus is the journey is only 18 hours and 30 minutes. You’ll arrive on Koh Phi Phi at 13:30 the following afternoon, ready for an afternoon in the sun.
These tickets can be refunded up to 48 hours before traveling and changed up to 12 hours before traveling.
VIP Bus + Ferry
The VIP bus + ferry is run by Thai Sriram and costs about $50 per person each way.
It’s a bit more expensive, but you get more amenities than the express bus + ferry option. In addition to AC, bathrooms, and reclining seats, they also provide blankets, water and snacks.
The bus will stop for bathroom/stretch breaks as well, which you’ll need because this journey takes a whopping 20.5 hours.
The bus departs at 20:00, so you’ll save on accommodation. You’ll arrive at Ton Sai pier in Koh Phi Phi at 16:30, ready for a sundowner or two!
This company allows you to cancel your ticket up to 48 hours in advance.
High-speed Bus + Ferry
The high-speed bus + ferry is operated by Songerm. It costs approximately $37 per person and has similar amenities to the VIP bus. They don’t offer snacks but do provide water. There are no bathrooms on the bus, but they’ll make stops along the way. This will also be an overnight bus. At the moment, no schedule is provided.
The downside is the bus seats are not the most comfortable, and it’s a long journey. You’ll meet the bus at the Bangkok Southern Terminal, which isn’t the most central location if you have been exploring the city.
Economy Bus + Ferry
The final option is the economy bus + ferry by Khao San Tara Tour. Ironically, the economy tickets start at $52 per person – the most expensive on this list. Even though it’s a bit more expensive, it includes a meal with your ticket. You’ll depart at 16:30, so it’s an overnight journey.
In addition to AC, reclining seats, and bathrooms, you’re given a blanket.
The bus will make a few stops along the way before dropping you at the pier. The ferry arrives at Ton Sai pier at 11:00 am, making this journey eighteen and a half hours long.
These tickets are non-refundable once they have been booked.
Train, Bus + Ferry
The train from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi is another option. Since there is no direct train to the island, you have to take a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. The train tickets via Surat Thani cost about $30 for a 2nd class ticket.
Once you arrive in Surat Thani, you need to take a bus + ferry combination to get to Koh Phi Phi. This is a popular tourist route, so there is a combined ticket option once per day at 8, arriving on Koh Phi Phi at 12:00.
Flight to Phuket + Ferry
It’s possible to travel via plane, but there is no direct Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi flight. You first need to fly to Phuket and then ferry over to Koh Phi Phi.
There are several daily flights between Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi (BKK) or Don Muang (DMK) airports and Phuket and can cost as little as $10 and as much as $200.
From the airport in Phuket, you have the option to take a 45-minute bus or a 30-minute taxi to Rassada Pier. The ferry takes about 1-1.5 hours, and there are three departures daily: 9:30, 11:00, and 14:00.
Flight to Krabi + Speedboat
Flying from Bangkok to Krabi is another option.
Once you land in Krabi, make your way to Krabi Town and hire a longtail boat. These take you to Railay Beach, where you can transfer to a speedboat. The speedboat takes you the final 30 minutes over to Koh Phi Phi.
Flight to Trang + Speedboat
While there are no direct flights from Bangkok to Koh Phi Phi, you can fly from Bangkok to Trang and then ferry the rest of the way. There are direct flights a few times a day at very reasonable prices.
After the hour and fifteen-minute flight, you’ll need to take a one-hour shuttle to Hat Yao Pier.
Tigerline runs one ferry between Hat Yao and Koh Phi Phi per day, it departs at 12 and takes about an hour.
The Thai tourist trail is such a well-oiled machine. There are always plenty of people to help you find your way. Make sure you are wearing your sticker with your final destination in a spot where people can see it. That way, you’ll always get pointed in the right direction.
Just know that the beautiful beaches and those stunning sunsets are worth it!