Getting to Koh Phangan

Getting to Koh Phangan

The Lomprayah is a high-speed catamaran
Hop on the Lomprayah high-speed catamaran to get here in no time!

Koh Phangan is fast becoming a tourist hotspot. And with a plethora of ways to get to the island, it’s becoming increasingly accessible. Visitors to the island can choose to arrive by air, boat, bus, or train. This is your comprehensive guide for getting to the island.

Where are you coming from?

If you’re already in Thailand, reaching Koh Phangan is an inexpensive getaway. The three largest cities to come from are: Phuket, Chiang Mai, and of course, the country’s pulsing capital, Bangkok. All of the prices listed in this guide are one-way ticket prices.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Bangkokplane

By Air:

At the moment, the quickest way to reach Koh Phangan is through Samui International Airport located on the neighboring island of Koh Samui. The small airport flies in through the Thai company, Bangkok Air. The airport opened in 1989 and hosts flights daily from Bangkok twice a day. The airport is actually well on its way to becoming the second largest international airport in Thailand.

Time: One hour
Cost: 2,000-5,000 Baht
Upsides: This is the quickest way to reach Koh Phangan. The planes are comfortable and the airport is well-organized.
Downsides: This is the most expensive way to reach Koh Phangan. You still have to take a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan.

Budget Air – Flying into Surat Thani (and then taking a ferry)

Time: One hour
Cost: 1000 – 5000 Baht
Upsides: Flying to Surat Thani is comfortable, quick and cheaper than flying to Koh Samui.
Downsides: Once landed you need to take taxi to the boat pier (one hour approximately) then boat to Koh Phangan ( two – four hours depending on what boat)

By Ferry

Upon arrival at Samui International Airport, you can then take a ferry that leaves from the Samui Pier. There are a few different options. Lomprayah is a high-speed catamaran that only takes 20-30 minutes. This is the most expensive option as well as the quickest. Tickets range from 300 – 1000 Baht with your best deals being booked through a local travel agent in one of the many shops you see. The Songserm Express Boat takes 55 minutes and costs 200 Baht. The Haad Rin Queen Ferry takes 50 minutes and costs 200 Baht and stops at several of the beaches on Koh Phangan, dropping you directly where you’re staying. You can book your ticket directly at the Koh Samui airport as well. The Seatran is another option, dropping you off near the airport (only five minutes away) – this takes just 30 minutes and costs 200-250 Baht depending on the time of day.

Time: 30- 55 minutes depending on which company you select
Cost: 300-1,000 Baht
Upsides: This is the quickest and only way to reach Koh Phangan from Koh Samui International Airport. The airport is very accustomed to people transferring to Koh Phangan and will help you book and escort you through reaching the ferry to Koh Phangan.
Downsides: You may have to wait a bit for your ferry if your flight times don’t coordinate with the ferry schedule.

Samui to Phangan timetables can be found here

By Train:

The train is actually costs nearly as much as a budget airline ticket – but is a beautiful, smooth ride with wonderful views of the Thai countryside. If you choose the overnight train, it will save you money on springing for a hotel one night as well. There are five different options, 1st class sleepers, 2nd class seats, 2nd class sleepers and 3rd class seats. If you’re catching the overnight train, you’ll likely find it worth springing for a sleeper seat – we recommend also paying the extra 50 – 100 Baht for a lower cabin, which is wider and more convenient.

Time: 12 hours (and then a ferry to Koh Phangan)
Cost: 750 – 1,600 Baht
Upsides: The train is a beautiful, cultural aspect of Thailand. You will be able to view the countryside in comfort.
Downsides: It takes much longer than a flight and a bit longer than a minibus ride. It’s not the least expensive method to reach the island.

A full list of prices and schedules can be found here

By Bus:

The bus from Bangkok takes about 8-10 hours. You can take this bus as an overnight also, saving you money on booking an accommodation for the night as you travel while you sleep. The first class busses are actually pretty luxurious, with a full Thai dinner included in the price.
The VIP bus costs usually 100-200 Baht more than the regular bus, but is well worth the additional baht. The VIP bus has more legroom and larger seats. There are less people on the VIP seaters, and therefore less opportunities you’re stuck next to a snorer as well…

Time: 8-10 hours
Cost: 500-750 Baht
Upsides: This is the least expensive mode of reaching Koh Phangan. If you take a daytime bus, you will see the lush Thai countryside on your way to Surat Thani. If you take an overnight bus, you will save money on a hotel for the night. It’s also the most convenient budget option, since it takes you all the way from the island to Bangkok. There is no need to change vehicles, move your bags. This is also the quickest budget option.
Downsides: This is the least comfortable way to reach Koh Phangan – but the minibuses and buses are much nicer than a public bus and do their best to accommodate passengers – but your travel experience depends mainly on if you happen to land a good seat next to the window with plenty of leg space. Often the last row is the best option with the most leg space.Book ahead so you can pick your seat.You will still need to take a ferry to Koh Phangan.

Getting to Koh Phangan from Phuket:

By Air:

You can fly straight from Phuket to Koh Samui and then continue onto Phangan by ferry.

Time: 50 minutes
Cost: 3,000 Baht
Upsides: This is the quickest way to reach the island from Phuket. It’s a relatively inexpensive flight.
Downsides: It’s more than triple the price of taking a minibus to Surat Thani. You will still need to take a ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan.

Budget Air – Flying into Surat Thani (and then taking a ferry)

If you are booking last minute and are unable to purchase a ticket straight to Koh Samui International Airport, Surat Thani is your second quickest option.

Time: One hour and 45 minutes (plus layover time)
Cost: 3,000-9,000 Baht
Upsides: This is much quicker than riding a bus.
Downsides: It’s the same price as flying straight into Koh Samui, which puts you an hour closer to Koh Phangan and saves you money on ferry prices as well. You have to stop in Bangkok and connect to Surat Thani. From Surat Thani you will need to take a taxi to the pier.

By train:

There isn’t a train from Phuket to Surat Thani – you would have to take an overnight bus to Bangkok and then an overnight train to Surat Thani. This wouldn’t be a smart travel decision monetarily or timewise.

By bus:

To reach Koh Phangan by bus you will need to buy a combination bus and ferry ticket. These are available at any of the travel agent stores found on every street corner in Phuket.

Time: 6-7 hours including the ferry, 5 hours on the bus
Cost: 750 Baht
Upsides: This is an easy way to reach the island. The travel companies do all of the work for you after you pay them. This is the least expensive option. The ride passes through quite a bit of lush jungle and countryside.
Downsides: You do have to sit on a bus for 5 hours and then take the ferry from Surat Thani to reach Phangan.

Reaching Koh Phangan from Chiang Mai:

By Air:

This is definitely the fastest way to reach Koh Phangan from Chiang Mai. Chiang Mai is in Northern Thailand whereas Koh Phangan is pretty far in Southern Thailand. You will need to take a ferry from the Koh Samui pier to reach Koh Phangan. Refer to the Bangkok section for information on the ferry from Samui to Phangan.

Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Cost: 5,500 – 7,000 Baht for a direct flight
Upsides: This is by far the quickest way to reach the island. If you are looking to travel from North to South in a timely manner this will be your best option.
Downsides: This is the most expensive way to reach the island. You will still need to take a ferry from the Koh Samui International Airport (see the flying from Bangkok section for additional information.)

Budget Air – Flying into Surat Thani (and then taking a ferry)

Flying a budget airline such as AirAsia or Thai Airways can save you quite a bit of money. Unfortunately, you will have to stop in Bangkok. Hopefully you can avoid a long layover time to keep your travel time down.

Time: 1 hour to Bangkok, 45 minutes from Bangkok to Surat Thani
Cost: 3,000 – 7,000 Baht
Upsides: This is much cheaper than flying into Koh Samui and still shaves a significant amount of time off your travel time.
Downsides: You have a bit longer of a ferry ride from Surat Thani than you would from Samui. You will have to take a taxi to the Surat Thani pier from the airport.

By train:

There isn’t a direct train from Chiang Mai to Surat Thani. You can take a train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and then another train from Bangkok to Surat Thani. The train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok is an overnight train or a scenic day-long ride. This would be a great train tour of Thailand but isn’t feasible for those looking to reach the island in a timely manner. It’s 12 hours to reach Bangkok by train. Then it’s another 10 hours by train to reach Surat Thani. From Surat Thani it’s an additional hour to two hours depending on which ferry you take.

By bus:

The bus to and from Chiang Mai does not actually take you all the way to the pier but stops instead at the police station, from which point you can take a cab or another bus to the pier. The Green VIP Bus has overnight trips daily.

Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
Cost: 1,500 Baht
Upsides: You can sleep while you travel, making the trip seem shorter and saving you a night in a hotel. The VIP bus is very comfortable. This is by far the least expensive way to reach Phangan from Chiang Mai.
Downsides: The bus ride is 12 hours and 30 minutes and doesn’t drop you off directly at the pier. You will still need to take a ferry from Surat Thani to reach Phangan.

With the prospect of a new public airport being built on Koh Phangan, getting to the beautiful island will be getting even easier in the near future. Whichever route or method you choose to take for getting to Koh Phangan, the journey will be far worth the reward when you are relaxing on the white sand beaches, exploring the rushing waterfalls or enjoying a fresh, piping hot pad Thai. Happy travels!

**Please note: Prices were quoted in November 2016, and are subject to change without notice.