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Thinking about booking a trip from Krabi to Koh Phangan? Read on, experience the joys this journey offers and find out everything you need to know.
If you're the type of traveler who just loves to make the most of each and every minute there's only one place to head to after spending time on Koh Phangan, and that's Phuket. Although both of these islands are renowned for their all-night party scenes, there's still plenty to savor for sophisticated, nature-loving explorers. For instance, the north coast of Koh Phangan is actually pretty quiet with white sand beaches and far fewer tourists. Phuket, which also has a bit of a reputation for its up-all-night scene, has some great national parks to explore as well as cultural sites, such as the highly impressive, and gigantic, Big Buddha statue on Nakkerd Hill near Chalong.
Both islands are also ideal spots for snorkeling and diving with many excursions available if you're looking to experience underwater action on the east and west coast of Thailand. In fact, not many travelers will get to swim in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea which is why the ride from Koh Phangan to Phuket is such an exciting prospect.
The ride itself takes around eight and a half hours in total which includes bus and ferry transportation. You'll leave from Thong Sala Pier on Koh Phangan and arrive at Phuket's main bus terminal or at the bus company's office in Phuket town. The distance from Koh Phangan to Phuket is approximately 525 kilometers (327 miles). This can be a lengthy all-day trip and please be aware that during high season – December through to March – bus and ferry seats can get booked up very quickly. The same can be said for places to stay so it's a good idea to have a hotel or hostel pre-booked before you embark on the journey from east coast to west.
All buses and ferries are air-conditioned and have onboard washrooms. You'll depart from Thong Sala Pier on Koh Phangan before arriving at Donsak Pier in Surat Thani around 2.5 hours later. Then it's a 4.5 hour bus ride west to Phuket. Although you won't be traveling overnight there will still be plenty of time to get some rest en route. Often, fellow travelers will be tired after a week or more on Koh Phangan. However, some might well still be in the party spirit. The best advice, if you're looking to catch up on some rest, is to bring a black-out eye mask, ear plugs and travel pillow. Alternatively, mix it up with your newfound traveling companions as you swap stories and adventures about where you've been and where you plan to go next.
If you're taking the early morning ferry from Koh Phangan to the mainland you can cross your fingers for a beautiful sunrise over the Gulf of Thailand. Later ferries (the latest is 11am) allow you to enjoy even more suntan time on upper decks or cooler climes down below within air-conditioned seated cabin space. As you travel west from Koh Phangan to Phuket by bus you'll get to see how the scenery changes from built-up Surat Thani's suburbs to smaller rural villages inland. It's a real eye-opener to observe how many Thais live outside of the busier coastal areas that tend to attract more tourists.
Rest stops en route from east coast to west are practical rather than cultural with washrooms and tourist restaurants allowing travelers to stretch their legs, and wallets, mid journey. Arriving in Phuket offers a chance for many travelers to witness the Andaman Sea for the first time. However, sometimes, sleep is the best policy for those looking to recharge their batteries. Those awesome Andaman scenes can wait for another day.
The fastest way to get to Phuket from Koh Phangan is by High Speed Bus and Ferry run by Seatran Discovery. The ride takes approximately 8 hours.
The cheapest way to get to Phuket from Koh Phangan is with Phantip's Standard Bus and Ferry service. The price of a complete ticket only costs from $20.
The most popular way to get to Phuket from Koh Phangan is with Raja Travel's High Speed Bus and Ferry. The ride costs from $24 and takes just under nine hours.
The easiest and most affordable way to get to Phuket from Koh Phangan, is to travel by ferry from Donsak Pier to Surat Thani followed by a high speed bus westwards to Phuket. The ferry ride takes around 2.5 hours and the overland part of the journey takes approximately 4.5 hours by bus. Ferries depart from Koh Phangan as early as 5am. This means you can get to Phuket around mid-afternoon. The latest ferry to leave from Koh Phangan is 11am which gets you into Phuket around the early evening.
Both ferries and buses are air-conditioned with onboard washrooms. Seating is relatively comfortable, just don't expect anything too luxurious. This route is a classic traveler trail and is more practical than polished. Facilities are basic but safe and secure. It's certainly a good idea to bring your own food and drink for the journey although there will be rest stops on the bus ride where you can purchase provisions.
There are around 5 total buses and ferries leaving from Koh Phangan to Phuket each day.