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How to Get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao: Complete Guide for 2024

How to Get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao: Complete Guide for 2024

How to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao could not be simpler with the many ferries that make this journey daily. Throughout this guide, I will outline your options, how to get to/from the ferry ports and what to do once you arrive in this tropical paradise.

Koh Tao is the smallest of the 3 main islands in the Gulf of Thailand, but do not let its size keep it off your bucket list there is plenty to do here and tons of amazing dive spots.

Known as one of the best and cheapest places in the world to learn to scuba dive colourful and vibrant marine life is abundant under the water as well as beautiful jungles, white sandy beaches, incredible food and plenty more to discover above the ocean’s surface.

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How to Get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

Where do the Ferries depart from?

The ferries from Koh Samui to Koh Tao depart daily from 3 different locations in Koh Samui:

  • Maenam Pier
  • Nathon Pier
  • Bangrak Pier

These are located around different points of the island so I recommend booking your inbound/outbound journey from the one that is easiest for you to reach.

Maenam Pier is located on the north coast in Maenam, this pier is one of the closest to Koh Phangan giving you shorter travelling times.

Nathon Pier is located on the west coast and is the main way ferries will usually arrive from the mainland, so if you have travelled from Surat Thani you probably will arrive from here.

Bangrak Pier is the least used of the 3 piers, here you can find 1 daily departure to Koh Tao, however, it is more commonly used for speedboats to get across to the neighbouring Koh Phangan.

Koh Samui from the ferry

What Times are the Ferries?

Departures may vary depending on the time of year so make sure to check 12go.asia for the most up-to-date schedules.

During the peak season the ferries usually depart from the 3 ports at the following times:

Maenam Pier

  • 8 am – Lomprayah (duration 1.30 hours)
  • 11 am – Lomprayah (duration 2.30 hours)
  • 12.30 pm – Lomprayah (duration 1.30 hours)
  • 2.30 pm – Lomprayah (duration 1.30 hours)

Nathon Pier

  • 10.30 am – Songserm (duration 4 hours)
  • 12.15 pm – Lomprayah (duration 2 hours)
  • 4 pm – Lomprayah (duration 1.30 hours)

Bangrak Pier

  • 11.30 am – Songserm (duration 2.45 hours)

What is the Quickest Ferry?

The quickest ferries you can get are with Lomprayah, the ferries they use are either high-speed or catamaran ferries and can complete the journey in 1.30 hours. You then have the option of a slightly slower ferry also operated by Lomprayah or Songserm that takes just under 3 hours.

Or if you have some time to kill you can opt for the slow ferry that departs once a day from Bangrak pier with Songserm.

Boat out of a window

How to get to the Ferry Ports?

Koh Samui has plenty of different transport options making it very easier to get around.

The best option for a smooth and easy process is to book the taxi and ferry combined ticket from 12go.asia – this way you can either choose a collection from your hotel or airport and be transferred to the port for the correct time.

Because this service is managed by the ferry operators it is guaranteed that you will make your departure time so gives you peace of mind.

Alternatively, you can speak to your accommodation about booking a taxi or use Grab (the Asian version of Uber).

Please ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure time to get checked in and receive your boarding ticket – I think you should arrive an hour before to avoid waiting in a huge queue!

How to Book Your Ticket from Koh Samui to Koh Tao

To book your ticket from Koh Samui to Koh Tao head to 12go.asia – here you can find the latest departure times and a fully updated schedule of what ferries are running.

12go.asia also offers you instant confirmation and provides you with a reciept and email ticket.

On arrival at the port make sure to present your email confirmation so you can be assigned your boarding ticket.

Maenam Beach

Getting to Your Accommodation in Koh Tao

Once you arrive in Koh Tao this small little port can be madness!

Some of the accommodations here offer a free or paid shuttle service to and from the port on your arrival or departure.

If your accommodation does offer this service then when you arrive head left and try to find your accommodation on the board of one of the many hotel staff waiting for you.

On arrival they will check you off their list and you may have to wait a while for some other guests before leaving.

If you need to arrange a taxi yourself then just head out left but keep going straight to the main road then go left towards the 7-Eleven, here you can find a taxi service offering transportation all around the island.

Alternatively, if your accommodation is next to the pier or close to Mae Head you will be able to walk here just be prepared for a rather sweaty journey!

Best time to Visit Koh Tao

Koh Tao has 4 main seasons, they are cool and dry, hot and dry, hot and wet and monsoon season.

The best time to visit and the most popular on the island is generally the hot and dry season which tends to run from January to May. The island can get very busy during this time and due to its small size accommodation can easily all get booked up so make sure to book in advance if you can.

However, if you are mainly visiting the island to dive visibility under the ocean surface can reach up to 30 meters in July, August and September – although this is the wet season.

Journey from koh samui to koh tao

Best things to Do in Koh Tao

There are so many amazing things to do once you get to Koh Tao like:

You can find more information on the adventures above in my full guide 19 Best Things to Do in Koh Tao.


Looking for more things to do in Koh Samui or Koh Tao? Check out these posts: