How to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan

Last updated: September 6th, 2017 | in Getting Around Thailand | Islands | Koh Phangan | Southern Thailand | Surat Thani | Traveling

Bangkok to Koh Phangan

Last month I went on my second trip to Koh Phangan (not for the full moon party but for the girls), so I have some up-to-date information, photos and videos for you. It’s actually more popular to do the full 3 island trip with Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, but if you are like me and have already been to that area before and/or want to visit only Koh Phangan, then in this post I will show you how you can get there from Bangkok.

Important: Unlike on Koh Samui, there is no airport on Koh Phangan.

That means you will have to use different means of transport to get there. You have 3 options:

  • Bangkok, Surat Thani, Don Sak, Koh Phangan (this is how I traveled last month)
  • Bangkok, Koh Samui, Bang Rak, Koh Phangan (the quickest, but most expensive option)
  • Bangkok, Chumphon, Koh Tao, Koh Phangan (there is no direct ferry route from Chumphon to Koh Phangan)

Depending on if you fly to Surat Thani, Koh Samui or Chumphon or if you take the train there, it will take you between 3 and 15 hours and cost between 1,100 and 3,500 Baht (one way).

Here are the three travel options from Bangkok to Koh Phangan in detail:

Bangkok to Surat Thani to Don Sak to Koh Phangan

In my opinion the best travel option: I booked my flight with AirAsia directly to Koh Phangan. The standard fare is around 1,700 Baht one way, but they often have promo fares for 1,390 Baht.

AirAsia flight to Koh Phangan

Yes, like I mentioned there is no airport on the island, so the trip consists of 3 different legs:

1. Flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani

Bangkok to Koh Phangan Flight

The flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani takes just about 70 minutes, and like so often, the views inside the aircraft are better than out of the window.

2. Bus from Surat Thani to Don Sak Pier

Once you have reached Surat Thani Airport, you will switch to a bus that brings you to Don Sak Pier. The ride takes about 90 minutes.

As soon as you arrive there, walk inside and show your ticket or itinerary to the friendly ladyboy, who will check off your name and give you the ferry ticket.

Ladyboy in Don Sak

3. Ferry from Don Sak to Koh Phangan

Expect to wait at least 1 hour, often even close to 2 hours at Don Sak Pier for the ferry to Koh Phangan. I think they organize it that way so that if the flight from Bangkok has a delay, you will not miss the ferry.

The good news is that they have some tasty rice dishes at the coffee shop for 50 Baht.

And the views in the waiting area at Don Sak Pier aren’t bad either.

Girl in Don Sak

The ferry to Koh Phangan is quite a big boat:

Koh Phangan Ferry

There are seating areas both inside (air conditioned) and outside. Unless you are traveling at noon, the atmosphere is obviously much nicer outside. The boat is not too full with passengers either (unless you are traveling just before full moon) and there is always a nice and refreshing breeze.

Boat to Koh Phangan

Some more nice views on the boat:

Koh Phangan Ferry Views

The ferry ride to Koh Phangan takes about 2-2.5 hours.

Once you have arrived, you can take a Songthaew to your hotel. No matter if you stay in Thong Sala or Haad Rin (the two main tourist areas), the fare is always 100 Baht. Yes, that’s expensive, and you might as well just rent a motorbike in the town of Thong Sala itself (250 Baht per 24 hours for a standard scooter).

To sum up the trip:

  • Flight: Bangkok to Surat Thani (1 hr 10 mins)
  • (waiting time 30 mins)
  • Bus: Surat Thani Airport to Don Sak Pier (1 hr 30 mins)
  • (waiting time 1 hr)
  • Ferry: Don Sak Pier (Surat Thani) to Thong Sala Pier (Koh Phangan) (2 hrs 30 mins)
  • Songthaew: Thong Sala Pier to Haad Rin (25 mins)

So the total travel time is about 7 hours. Here is a map with all the mentioned transport places for your orientation:

Bangkok to Koh Samui to Koh Phangan

An even quicker but more expensive travel option is to fly from Bangkok directly to Koh Samui and then take a ferry to Koh Phangan.

The problem with that is that there are only few airlines operating on the Bangkok-Samui route (like Bangkok Airways), means the prices are quite high (about 3,000 Baht one way). After you have landed on Koh Samui, you can take a taxi or songthaew to Bangrak Pier (200/100 Baht) and from there a ferry to Thong Sala on Koh Phangan (300 Baht).

To sum up the trip:

  • Flight: Bangkok to Koh Samui (1 hr 5 mins)
  • (waiting time 20-30 mins)
  • Taxi or Songthaew: Koh Samui Airport to Bangrak Pier (20 mins)
  • (waiting time 30 mins – 1 hr)
  • Ferry: Bangrak Pier to Thong Sala Pier (30 mins)

Bangkok to Chumphon to Koh Tao to Koh Phangan

I don’t really recommend going this route, unless you are going for the full moon party and the tickets for the first option (see above) are fully booked or too expensive.

Bangkok to Chumphon

You can either fly there with NokAir (1 hour, 1,300-1,500 Baht one way) or take a train (8-9 hours, 82 Baht for 3rd class, 190 Baht for 2nd class and 394 Baht for 1st class).

Here is the current train schedule from Bangkok (Hua Lamphong) to Chumphon:

  • Bangkok 08:05 – Chumphon 14:36 (Special Express)
  • Bangkok 13:00 – Chumphon 21:12 (Rapid)
  • Bangkok 14:45 – Chumphon 22:34 (Special Express)
  • Bangkok 15:10 – Chumphon 23:15 (Special Express)
  • Bangkok 15:35 – Chumphon 00:42 (Rapid)
  • Bangkok 17:05 – Chumphon 01:16 (Express)
  • Bangkok 17:35 – Chumphon 02:48 (Rapid)
  • Bangkok 18:30 – Chumphon 03:18 (Rapid)
  • Bangkok 19:30 – Chumphon 04:13 (Express)
  • Bangkok 22:50 – Chumphon 05:49 (Special Express)
  • Bangkok 22:50 – Chumphon 05:49 (Special Express)

At the airport or at the train station, you can book your ferry ticket (see info below) which will include the transfer to the pier.

Chumphon to Koh Tao to Koh Phangan

Chumpon to Koh Phangan Ferry

Unfortunately there is no direct ferry connection from Chumphon to Koh Phangan. All boats cruise to Koh Tao first, and after about 30 minutes they continue to Koh Phangan.

I’ve done that trip a few years ago (the picture is taken in the early morning after I have arrived in Chumphon with the night train), but that time I spent a few nights on Koh Tao. If you want to go directly to Koh Phangan, you better choose the all-inclusive option with AirAsia via Surat Thani.

Lomprayah is the ferry company that serves the Chumphon – Tao – Phangan – Samui route. They kind of have a monopoly, and that’s why the prices are so expensive. The boats are quite nice, but it’s just expensive:

The ferry ticket from Chumphon to Koh Phangan costs 1,000 Baht, and the trip takes about 3 hours and 45 minutes.

To sum up the trip:

  • Flight: Bangkok to Chumphon (1 hr)
    or Train: Bangkok to Chumphon (8-9 hrs)
  • Tuk Tuk / Motorbike: Chumphon Airport / Railway Station to Ferry Pier (10-20 mins)
  • (waiting time 30-60 mins)
  • Ferry: Chumphon to Koh Phangan via Koh Tao (3 hrs 45 mins)
  • Songthaew: Thong Sala Pier to Haad Rin (25 mins)

That makes a total travel time of about 7 hours if you fly to Chumphon, or about 14.5-15 hours if you take the train to Chumphon.

Video of Ferry Ride from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan

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