One way to get from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi is by booking a standard bus-ferry combo. This is an excellent option for those who don't want to think twice about transfer times. Both cabins are air conditioned, but possibly, only the ferry may have a bathroom.
If you're looking for more flexibility when it comes to travel from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi, consider booking a simple ferry. This way, you can get to the pier any way you'd like. The ferry is air conditioned, and has bathroom on board.
There are two ways that you can get from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi: a high-speed bus and ferry combination or by ferry and private transport. Although you can also fly from Koh Samui to Krabi and then take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi, this is an expensive and convoluted alternative.
Traveling from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi can start at your hotel's front door. A minibus transfer to Bangrak Tourism Port will get you to the ferry terminal on time and only costs a few Thai Baht. This is a great option if you're staying a fair distance from the pier.
To get off Koh Samui you're going to need to take a ferry first before climbing aboard a tourist bus or booking a private car. A ferry and bus ticket combination is the simplest and most efficient way to travel.
The 237 kilometer (147 mile) journey usually takes up to eight hours and there are around six scheduled ferries leaving every day. Overnight travel is one way to save money on an extra night's accommodation but can leave you feeling a little weary and bleary-eyed. But, hey, you're on vacation, things will work out okay in the end, right?
The ferry leg of the journey from Koh Samui to the mainland takes around three hours and gives you a chance to catch some rays on the top deck or catch a chill in the air-conditioned lower deck.
On arrival at Surat Thani Pier you'll be met by your driver as you switch from boat to bus for the overland leg of the journey. Buses are modern, air-conditioned and some have snacks and drinks available to purchase on board.
Although buses don't have onboard bathrooms (ferries do) the driver will stop on request if anyone needs a comfort break. The ride is only a couple of hours though so hopefully you'll be able to get from east coast to west coast without too many hitches.
Once you reach Klong Jilad Pier in Krabi you'll switch again to the ferry that takes you to Koh Phi Phi. This is the final leg of the trip and also lasts around two hours in total.
The ferry to Koh Phi Phi from Koh Samui has air conditioning, onboard bathrooms and an outdoor seating area. It's a good chance to chat to fellow passengers and find out a little more about where to go and what to do if you've never been to the island before.
Just remember that there aren't any motorized vehicles on Koh Phi Phi so you will need to walk from Ao Tonsai Pier to your accommodation. Rucksacks and backpacks are a lot easier to carry than wheeled suitcases – just saying!
During the first ferry journey from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi you can expect to make the most of those gorgeous Gulf of Thailand views from out on the sundeck.
Alternatively, you can watch out the ferry windows from the air-conditioned lower deck – it depends on how much you value your tan time.
Surat Thani Pier can be a bit of a shock to the senses if you've been on Koh Samui for a while, but all the hustle and bustle will disappear no sooner than you've settled into your seat and left the city suburbs.
Buses will have semi-reclining seats and air conditioning to provide a fairly comfortable ride. Netting a window seat is your best bet for watching what's going on outside. Although, to be fair, the overland part of the trip from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi isn't going to be all that memorable.
The distance in between the piers is around 156 kilometers (96 miles) and you should complete the journey in approximately two hours. The same goes for making the journey in a private car. Drivers follow the same highway 44 in a southwesterly direction.
Once you've arrived at Klong Jilad Pier in Krabi you'll continue the journey to Koh Phi Phi by high-speed passenger ferry. Again, this vessel has air conditioning, an open sun deck and an onboard bathroom. Some also have the chance to buy snacks and drinks.
There are also long-tail speed boats that can take you from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi island, although these aren't part of the standard bus + ferry ticket combo.
Taking a ferry & bus
The high speed bus & ferry combination ticket is the most popular and the most efficient way to travel to Koh Phi Phi from Koh Samui. It's a comfortable and straightforward experience and affordable too; prices start from US$26 per person.
The total distance from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi is roughly 237 kilometers (147 miles) and it usually takes under eight hours in total. There are around six daily departures and the buses and ferries are in sync so you know you'll make departure times.
In order to make the whole journey you'll need to take a ferry from Koh Samui to Surat Thani Pier followed by a bus to Krabi and then another ferry across to Koh Phi Phi. All you need to do is make sure you arrive on time for the initial departure time.
Taking a private car or minivan
It's entirely possible to travel from Koh Samui to Koh Phi Phi in a private car. However, you will need to buy separate ferry tickets to get between the islands.
The overland leg of the journey is approximately 156 kilometers (96 miles) and drivers will usually follow Route 44 in order to get from the ferry pier at Surat Thani to Krabi.
Taking a private ride gives you the security that your luggage is close at hand and your co-passengers are people that you know. Although more expensive than a bus, private car and minivan rides will get you from west to east coast without a set schedule.
Cars and minivans are air-conditioned and can pick you up from Surat Thani at a time that suits you. You can also arrange a return journey, if you're planning on coming back from Koh Phi Phi to Koh Samui in the not too distant future.