Make it to the bustling city of Bangkok from Koh Tao island in peace by booking a travel combo of bus and ferry. The average travel time is about 13.5 hours, but on a high speed catamaran you can arrive much quicker. Make sure to book in advance in order to avoid a fully booked ride.
The island paradise of Koh Tao is somewhere that you will not want to leave due to its beautiful scenery, nightlife, and nature. However, when you do finally have to go, there is still an abundance of Thai culture waiting for you to explore in the capital city of Bangkok.
The 415 kilometer (257 mile) journey from Koh Tao to Bangkok will take you from the southern islands right to the heart of the country. And in Bangkok you can expect to explore the incredible architecture of the Buddhist temples, wander in the markets, try the famously delicious street food or take a tuk-tuk (rickshaw) on a fun ride around the city.
Traveling from Koh Tao to Bangkok is an easy two-step journey, first by catamaran ferry and then by bus which will take you all the way to Bangkok. From either Mae Haad Pier or Songserm Pier (handily right next to each other) in Koh Tao, you will take the ferry to the mainland of Thailand. From there you will board a bus which will take you all the way to Bangkok. Nice and simple.
Your bus into Bangkok will take you right into the center of the city. One such bus stop is on Khao San Road which is famous for its street market and nightlife. From there you can easily find somewhere to grab a bite to eat before heading to your nearby accommodation and planning your activities for the days ahead.
Getting to Bangkok from Koh Tao is easy due to the Thai travel operators that take care of both the ferry and bus ride with one ticket and align their timetables for as much convenience as possible. This takes the complexity and stress out of the journey allowing you to rest and enjoy the sights of the trip.
Traveling from Koh Tao to Bangkok means you get to see Thailand from both the sea and land. On the ferry you can head to the top deck for a breath of fresh sea air and to wave goodbye to the islands that sit peacefully in the calm, blue waters that surround them.
Once on the bus to Bangkok, the journey offers beautiful sea views as you travel up the highway that runs alongside the coast. You will also pass some beautiful regions of jungle vegetation and national parks for wildlife spotting opportunities. Once you are driving into the city, look out for some of the beautifully ornate temples that are a common sight throughout Bangkok.
Taking a bus and ferry
The bus and ferry journeys from Koh Tao are comfortable and relaxing, with reclining seats, air conditioning, toilet facilities, and sometimes power sockets. The air conditioning can sometimes be quite strong on both the bus and ferry, so bring along some comfy warm clothes to layer up with.
The catamaran ferry from Koh Tao is approximately a 2 to 3 hour journey depending on the operator and weather conditions. In monsoon season when the weather can sometimes be stormy, the ferry from Koh Tao may be cancelled. In this case the ferry operator can offer you next day travel or you can cancel for a full refund.
Once you arrive on the mainland of Thailand you may have a few hours wait before you can board the bus. Thankfully, there will be seating areas, toilet facilities, and possibly small food shops and restaurants so you can fill your belly and stock up on snacks before you start the bus ride to Bangkok.
The bus leg from the mainland pier to Bangkok is the longest part of the journey. Some operators will stop along the way to pick up more travelers or for rest stops which will increase the journey time.
Depending on the travel operator there are two possible stops in Bangkok that the bus can arrive in, but both are right in the city center for your convenience.
The best time of year to visit Koh Tao is when the climate is dry, and the temperature is pleasant: approximately between December and February. The high season is between January and March. The influx of people to the islands around this time can be a benefit as the nightlife will be vibrant every night.
If you are hoping to avoid the monsoons, the best time of year to visit Bangkok, like Koh Tao, is between December and February when the temperature is comfortable, the weather is dry, and the skies are clear.