All you need to avoid stress when travelling from Krabi to Koh Tao is a bus-ferry combo. This is a very flexible option with multiple departure times throughout the day. The buses (sometimes vans) and ferries are both equipped with air conditioning, and since the trip is long enough, there are toilets on board the ferries.
Beautiful beaches aren’t the only reason travelers flock to Krabi from all over the world. A lush jungle, unforgettable landscapes, and the chance to explore 200 islands are only some of the sights that make Krabi a must-visit. The popular seaside town is home to Phra Nang Beach, voted one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta are just a few hours away by boat and make for the perfect day trip.
You could also climb up the 1,237 steps of Wat Tham Sua. Your reward? Sweeping, 360-degree views of the Andaman Sea! Further inland, hidden treasures abound in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park.
Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, is known for its rich marine life and pristine strips of sand. Snorkel or dive in to discover an unbelievably colorful underwater world; get up close with vibrantly colored corals, fishes, and other sea animals. You might even get the chance to swim along with a Green turtle or Hawksbill turtle. On land, the John Suwan Viewpoint and Fraggle Rock are the best places to spend your evenings - watch nature put on an extraordinary show as the sun goes down across the horizon.
The distance from Krabi to Koh Tao is 154 miles (or 247 km). With ticket prices starting from as low as $30 per person, taking a ferry-bus combination is one of the most popular and cost-effective ways to cover this distance. Though direct flights from Krabi to Koh Tao are not available, those who prefer air travel can take a flight to Koh Samui and then take a short ferry ride to Koh Tao.
Daytime travellers have the opportunity to enjoy the blues of the Andaman Sea and feel the salty sea breeze caress their face. Some ferries offer open-air seating on the upper deck, while some have an open-air viewing deck. Nighttime travelers will get to see the twinkling lights of the Don Sak Pier before retiring for the night, waking up in Koh Tao, refreshed and ready to explore this little slice of paradise.
Taking a bus/ferry
With around 19 departures every day, taking a bus-ferry is a popular way to get to Koh Tao from Krabi. Travelers need to take a bus or a minivan from Krabi to the Suratthani pier, where they transfer to a ferry or high-speed catamaran. Travel durations vary from six to nine hours, depending on the operator you pick.
Most operators offer morning departures, with the earliest being around 6:00 am and the latest being close to noon. Some operators require passengers to transfer twice - once from minivan to bus and then bus to ferry. While some of the operators offer direct ferry drop off at Koh Tao, some stop at Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. A few operators do not run services on Mondays, so be sure to check before you book your ticket.
There is also a night service that starts from Suratthani city at 11:00 pm and arrives in Koh Tao at 8:00 am. While slow, this is perfect for those who don’t want to waste daytime hours traveling or want to save on hotel charges - a good option to consider for backpackers and budget travelers.
Some of the more popular and reliable ferry operators are Songserm, Seatran Discovery, Fame Tours & Services, and Lomprayah. Passengers are requested to be at the pier up to two hours before departure time. The ferries typically allow for one check-in bag and one piece of carry-on luggage. Ferries do not sail in extreme weather conditions. International passengers are required to show their passport or valid ID before boarding the ferry.
Those looking for the least travel time can choose the High-Speed Bus + Ferry by Lomprayah that takes around six hours to travel from Krabi to Koh Tao. The High-Speed Bus + Ferry by Songserm is another popular option. While ticket prices range anywhere from $30 to $50 per passenger, budget travelers might want to consider the High-Speed Bus + Ferry by Songserm that offers tickets starting from $30 per passenger.
Depending on the operator, there are multiple pick up points in Krabi. Passengers board a bus or minivan that drops them off at various piers in Suratthani, depending on which operator you have booked with. The vehicles are air-conditioned and have cushioned, reclining seats, ideal when you want to take a short nap. Though most buses don’t have an attached WC, they do make stops along the way to provide restroom breaks.
The combined ticket takes away the hassle of buying the ferry ticket separately and allows you to directly board the ferry. While ferries start from multiple piers in Suratthani, the drop off point in Koh Tao is usually Mae Haad Pier. All ferry operators offer indoor seating with air conditioning, cushioned seats, and attached restrooms. Some of the ferries even have a snack or concession stand where you can purchase food and drinks. And, once you have taken care of your hunger pangs, all that is left to do is step out onto the open-air viewing platform for some fresh sea air and endless views of sparkling blues.
Taking a taxi + ferry
Those looking for a little more flexibility in departure times, space, and privacy can consider booking a private taxi from Krabi to Suratthani. With point-to-point pick up and drop off (hotel to pier), private taxis are a good option for travelers who don’t mind paying a little extra for the bonus benefits and convenience. If you are choosing this option, you will have to buy the ferry ticket separately and sync up taxi pick up with ferry departure timings.
Taking a flight + ferry
While there are no airports in Koh Tao itself, you could still travel from Krabi to Koh Tao by flight. You will have to take a flight from Krabi to Koh Samui at Krabi International Airport and then transfer to a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. The flight itself is only 55 minutes long, but you will have to factor in the ferry ride duration and the waiting time at the airport.
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