Visitors to Thailand arrive at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok. They typically spend a few days in Bangkok seeing the sights and getting acclimatised, and then head out of the city to explore the Kingdom further. One of the main tourist destinations outside of Bangkok is Koh Tao.
Koh Tao doesn’t have an airport. Those in a hurry for whom cost is not an issue catch a Bangkok Airways flight to the neighbouring island of Koh Samui, and from there board a ferry to Koh Tao. Those not in similar circumstances have to make their way to the south of Thailand by either train or bus.
You can catch the 17.35 train from Hualamphong Train Station in Bangkok to Chumphon in the south. This train arrives early the following morning at 2.48. This allows plenty of time to catch a transfer mini bus to the Lomprayah Ferry Pier. From Chumphon it is about an hour on the Lomprayah high speed catamaran to Koh Tao island.
The only downside to this trip is the over night on the train. The alternative is to travel to Chumphon arriving on the day and then finding a hotel for the night and catching an early morning ferry to Koh Tao.
The cost of a second class sleeper on the train is 1,000 Thai Baht and the cost of the ferry from Chumphon to Koh Tao is 600 Thai Baht. This is a considerable saving on catching a plane. For many the train journey is a chance to see something of rural Thailand. If the Gulf is calm the ferry journey can also be most pleasant. It’s not exactly a boutique travel experience but it is normally stress free. Remember that there are often delays with train and boat travel but you invariably get there in the end.
To find out more about this route and to book travel tickets online – click here