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When travelling the 44.6 kilometer (22.7 mile) distance from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao, you are just a stone’s throw away from world-class dive spots (which are also the cheapest in the world) and 5-star resorts. Koh Tao doesn’t have an airport, bus or train stations, so you can only make the trek by ferry; specifically high speed ferries. Koh Phangan has multiple ports on different sides of the island; the destination you are departing from will determine which port you will be arriving into, and vice-versa.
Getting to Koh Tao is a breeze thanks to how extensive Thailand’s transportation system is. The journey between these islands, two of the country’s most popular (and beautiful), will consist of one single, short, direct ferry ride.
When going to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan, you will be leaving from Thong Sala Pier in Koh Phangan and arriving at Mae Haad Pier or Songserm Pier in Koh Tao. From here, most accommodations are walking distance. However, if you are, in fact, staying a bit farther inland, you can easily organize a transfer with your hotel or hostel.
Once you get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan, from party paradise to adventure wonderland, you will be greeted by white sand beaches lined with palm trees, and ocean water so clear and blue, you’ll feel as though you need to pinch yourself to believe that you aren’t dreaming.
The ferry ride to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan takes you on a journey through the Gulf of Thailand, less than 60 kilometers (37.3 miles) from the mainland. Neverending views of clear blue waters and sunny, blazing skies pass you by as if you’re traveling through a postcard. The views are magical, the seas are smooth, and the ride is so short, you may even wish you had just a bit more time aboard.
While it is common to read a book while on a ferry ride, island hopping around Thailand, don’t forget to pop your head up, because on a very clear day, you may be able to catch a glimpse of Ang Thong National Marine Park from the ferry deck.
Once you arrive in Koh Tao, you will see a view that is common on many other tropical islands in Thailand and Southeast Asia: Long tail boat taxis, songthaew taxis, and locals offering deals to stay at their hotel or hostel. Convenient and great news for those of you who like to take things day by day and not plan in advance; the spontaneous traveler.
Book your stay in Koh Tao just as soon as you step off the ferry from Koh Phangan. If you prefer to look around first, you can stroll over to the nearby Sairee Beach and wander around a bit before deciding on where you would like to stay. Unless, of course, you have already booked your accommodation, in which case you can either walk over or take one of the taxi options.
Be sure to put your bargaining hat on! Take those skills you’ve learned on your trip around Thailand to negotiate a reasonable price both for your accommodation as well as your various taxi options.
The fastest way to get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan with Lomprayah’s high speed ferry. The ferry ride only takes 1 hour and costs $21.
The cheapest way to get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan is with Songserm’s high speed ferry which costs just $11 and takes only 2 hours to arrive.
The most popular way to get to Koh Tao from Koh Phangan is with Seatran Discovery’s high speed ferry. It takes only 2 hours to arrive and costs $18.
The ferry ride from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao may be short, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get great amenities. The ferries are all fully equipped with air conditioned cabins and have bathrooms on board. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, it could be worthwhile to bring a light sweater with you to wear on board, in case that AC is cranked up a bit too high for your liking.
All ferry options have indoor seating, while some of them also offer outdoor seating as well, so you can enjoy the sea breeze and sun rays during your island-hopping ride.
Regardless of where you sit though, ferry rides are a great place to exchange Full Moon Party stories with fellow travellers, from whom you can also learn about hidden gems on the island, foods you must try, the best diving spots, and more. If you’re not feeling overly social and just want to sleep off that hangover, the comfortable ferry seats will allow you to do just that as well.
There are around 8 total ferries leaving from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao each day.