How to get to Koh Tao

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Surat Thani
About Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a small island located on the west coast of the Gulf of Thailand, with an area of about 21 square kilometers. It is also known as Turtle Island because of its resemblance to a turtle and its importance as a breeding ground for hawksbill and green turtles; it is the most famous diving destination in Thailand.

Koh Tao is the best dive site in the Gulf of Siam and is the largest dive training center in Southeast Asia, with many dive schools. The cost of obtaining a diving license in Koh Tao is much lower than elsewhere, thus attracting a large number of divers and explorers. There is a wealth of marine scenery in Koh Tao, and whether you are diving or floating on the surface, it is a wonderful experience; in addition, Koh Tao is a quiet place away from the crowds, making it a popular destination for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a quiet life. The island is easily accessible and relatively inexpensive, and is attracting more and more tourists as the Thai government continues to develop the island.

How to get there

To get to Koh Tao, the first thing you need to do is to enter Thailand. As a classic tourist country, there are numerous direct flights between Thailand and China, with the most frequent direct flights from the capital city of Bangkok. In addition, the closest airport to Koh Tao is Samui Airport, so the first stop for entering Thailand is routinely Bangkok or Samui.

Tips: Thailand offers a visa on arrival for Chinese passports, which allows you to stay in Thailand for 15 days. You can also do a tourist visa for Thailand in advance (you can do it on behalf of Taobao), the stay period is 59 days.

From Bangkok to Koh Tao

The most common way to travel from Bangkok to Koh Tao is by combined bus and boat, which is divided into two types: [bus combined transport] and [train combined transport].

Combined bus-boat transportation Bus + boat

From Bangkok airport taxi to the city Khao San Road, it is recommended to search the keyword “Bangkok to Koh Tao” in Taobao beforehand, and book the one-stop bus-boat combination ticket of “Bangkok – Koh Tao”, and change the ticket when you arrive at the bus point. Remember to confirm with Taobao customer service when booking the ticket exchange information, the location of the bus. If you don’t know how to get from the airport to the bus point, you can also ask the customer service with the booking.

There are two daily bus connections, as follows (the specific time may be adjusted according to the season and other factors, subject to specific confirmation when purchasing tickets)

Departure from Khao San Road bus point at 06:00 in the morning and arrival in Koh Tao at 14:30 in the afternoon.

In the evening, the bus departs from Khao San Road at 21:00 and arrives at Koh Tao at 09:30 the next morning.

The route of bus transfer is: take a bus from Khao San Road to Chumphon Pier, wait for a while at Chumphon Pier and then take a fast ferry to Tao Island.

The approximate price of the combined bus transportation is RMB200+.

Combined transport by car and boat Train + boat

Take a taxi to Bangkok “Hua Lamphong” train station. Again, it is recommended to book a one-stop intermodal ticket on Taobao, keyword “Bangkok to Koh Tao, train”.

The train service is available once a day (subject to final ticket confirmation): 19:30 from Hua Lamphong train station, arriving at Koh Tao pier at 09:30 the next day.

The one-stop train connection is: Bangkok Hua Nam Phong train station, arrive at Chumphon train station by train, you will be met at the platform and led to Chumphon pier by car, wait at the pier and then take the fast ferry to Koh Tao.

The cost of the combined train ticket is RMB3~400+ (depending on the class and bunk, the price varies slightly).

Tips: There are sleeper tickets available for trains, which I personally think can greatly enhance the comfort of travel. Thailand train sleepers open in a very different way, so taking a train sleeper in Thailand is also a different experience.

2. from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

Compared to Bangkok, Koh Samui and China have fewer flights and higher airfares. However, there are often people who buy special tickets for direct flights to Koh Samui. In this case, flying to Samui first, then taking a boat from Samui to Koh Tao is an excellent solution.

There is a ticket office at Samui airport for boats to Koh Tao, and transportation from the airport to the pier is included. Of course, it is also recommended to book your Samui to Koh Tao boat tickets in advance, depending on your flight time. Taobao keyword “Samui to Koh Tao”.

Samui – Koh Tao fast ferries are routinely available twice a day (specific times and departure terminals may be adjusted, subject to specific confirmation at the time of ticket purchase).

At 08:00am, the ferry departs from Mae Nam pier of Koh Samui and arrives at Koh Tao at 09:30am.

At 12:30 pm, the boat will depart from Koh Samui Mae Nam Pier and arrive at Koh Tao at 14:30 pm.

Samui to Koh Tao boat ticket RMB100+

3. niche approach: Surat Thani – combined car and boat transportation

Some cities in China now offer direct flights to Surat Thani, so if your departure city happens to have such flights, you may want to use this niche approach.

After arriving at Surat Thani airport, like Samui airport, there is also a counter for boat companies to sell combined tickets to Koh Tao. Of course, you can also find them on Taobao.

The standard schedule from the airport to Koh Tao is (subject to final confirmation of ticket purchase)

Departure from the airport at 08:00 am, arrival at Koh Tao at 14:30 am.

In the afternoon, the airport departs at 14:00 and arrives in Koh Tao at 19:30.

Airport to Koh Tao combined ticket price RMB200+


As with most places in Thailand, Koh Tao has everything you need to get great value for money. There are hundreds of dive centers and resorts offering a variety of affordable hotel rooms or dive and accommodation packages for the countless divers that come from all over the world every day. Even if your travel budget is really limited, I can guarantee that you will enjoy your holiday here.

There are a variety of restaurants on the island with a mix of cultures and creativity that will give you a taste of the world in a few days: The Gallery Restaurant (authentic Thai food, bourgeois), Lung Pae Restaurant (authentic Thai food perched on a hillside, duck curry recommended), Breeze (Western restaurant on Mae Haad beach, great breakfast), and Breeze (a western restaurant on Mae Haad Beach). The breakfast is superb), FIZZ Beach lounge (beach sunset view with cocktails and western food, full of romance), Thaita Italian Restaurant (family-owned traditional Italian restaurant, with authentic handmade pasta and thin-skinned crispy pizza, do not eat too much), Barracuda (seafood lovers first choice! !!! ) ……

It was late at night when we had eaten enough. It’s a great time to meet friends from all over the world and have a drink in a star-filled island with bars.

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