The most comfortable, but also most pricey way is to fly to the airport of our neighbouring island Koh Samui (USM) by international flights connection via Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong or Bangkok. You can book these connections all together from one airline which makes it convenient as your luggage will get checked through to Koh Samui. From Europe, roundtrip flights cost between 700€ and 1100€, according to the season.
Or you book flights from Europe to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK). Depending on you travel period and your departure airport, flights start from 450€ up to 600€ (roundtrip). Of course, the sooner you book, the better prices are! From Bangkok you can then fly to Koh Samui or Surat Thani airport (URT) on the mainland. From Bangkok, a roundtrip flight to Koh Samui airport costs around 120€ from Suvarnabhumi International Bangkok airport (BKK) with Bangkok Airways. To fly from Suvarnabhumi airport to Surat Thani, Thai Airways and Thai Smile connect these two destinations for around 100€ per roundtrip. This may be convenient as you do not have to change airports in Bangkok (international Suvarnabhumi and domestic Don Mueang). A cheaper flight connection to Surat Thani is possible via the domestic airport Don Mueang (DMK) in Bangkok. The airlines serving this connections are Nok Air, Air Asia and Thai Lion Air and the price for a roundtrip is around 50€.
To get from Suvarnabhumi international to Don Muaeng domestic airport in Bangkok, there is a free of charge shuttle bus transfer available from 05:00am to midnight. It takes around 45 mins (minimum) and you have to pay attention to the traffic situation for calculating the time to your next flight. Please also keep in mind that going through immigration, customs and to pick up your luggage can also be time consuming.
If you need to stay overnight in Bangkok, either take a taxi or the Airport Rail Link, running from 06:00am to midnight. At Suvarnabhumi airport the entrance to the Airport Rail Link service is on the First Floor. Hotels close to the airport often offer a pick-up service.
A nice way to travel through Thailand and to South Thailand from Bangkok (Hua Lamphon station), is to travel by train with the State Railway of Thailand. There are 2 destinations possible in order to connect further to Koh Phangan. With both destinations you will have to combine train, bus and ferry to get to our island. These combinations you could book at travel offices in Bangkok as so called ‘joint tickets’; also available online via the booking platform of Thai Railways. For the train ride as such, it is convenient to book Class 1 or Class 2 sleeper (air con or fan) and maybe go overnight. There are even train cars reserved only for women and children travelling. The price depends on destination, the train and class (1st, 2nd / air con, fan / upper or lower berth).
Surat Thani (10 – 11 hours, sleeper 960 – 1600 THB): The actual train station Phunphin is 14 km out of Surat Thai town. Right next to the station are travel offices which sell and organise to transfer to the ferry piers plus the ferry tickets of the companies Songserm, Lomprayha and Raja. Chumphon (6 – 8 hours, sleeper 960 – 1500 THB) is the other possible destination.
Ways to book train tickets can be found on the website of the State Railway of Thailand.
Finally, as you have to cross the waters of the Gulf of Thailand to reach Koh Phangan (Thong Sala pier) here is the information about possible ferry connections of the various companies Lomprayah, Seatran Discovery, Songserm Express, Raja Ferry.
From Koh Samui : 30 to 50 minutes, around 200 – 250 THB one way. Please note that there are different piers on Koh Samui! Lomprayah speed boat from Mea Nam pier, Seatran Discovery from Bang Rak pier (closest to airport) and Songserm Express from Nathon.
From Surat Thani airport : Bus and ferry takes around 4 hours, 500 – 700 THB one way. Lomprayah from Don Sak pier (1 hour from Surat Thani), Raja Ferry from Don Sak pier, Songserm Express from Lamphun pier.
From Chumphon: Lomprayah speed boat, Seatran Discovery, Songserm Express.
Purchase your tickets upon arrival at the airport. Ferry offices are easy to find in Surat Thani and Koh Samui airports. Domestic airlines offer the possibility to book the bus and ferry with your flight to Surat Thani!
Transport on Koh Phangan
Arriving on Koh Phangan means arriving at the pier of Thong Sala, the ‘capital’ of our beautiful island. Chaloklum Village, where our diving centre is located, is in the North of the island around 10 km from Thong Sala.
From Thong Sala you can either take a pick-up ‘Songthaew’ taxi (motorbike taxis are not common here) or you can rent your own motorbike or car. As for the taxi ride the price depends, besides the distance, very much on the time of the day and how many people join the ride. Some taxis wait until they are full, so you have to be patient sometimes. A minimum rate for the distance from Thong Sala to Haad Rin is around 110THB (daytime).
If you decide to rent a motorbike, please be aware that accidents are not unusual, so drive really carefully and wear a helmet. Also, if you are not used to it, remember to drive on the left side of the road. A motorbike rental is about 150 – 250 THB per day and it should be possible to rent a Jeep for 700 – 1200 THB per day.
For tourists of many countries, there is no visa required and by passing through the immigration upon arrival at an international airport, you will just receive a stamp into your passport which allows you to stay in Thailand for 30 days. Please check the list of countries here and get updated information on the website of the Royal Thai Embassy based in your country.