Koh Phangan Hotels Resorts

Travel Information

Koh Phangan - Getting There

How To Get To Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan is most easily accessed via Koh Samui Airport though it is slightly cheaper to fly to the regional transport hub of Suratthani. From Koh Samui a fast boat takes only 30 minutes whereas the journey from the mainland takes around seven times longer. If you come overland, the overnight train is the best option with a first class sleeper carriage ideal for families. Buses are the most economic choice with a trip from Bangkok costing only about 650 Baht , all the way to Koh Phangan. Ferry services are more or less hourly throughout the day from Koh Samui and every couple of hours from the mainland; several boats also go regularly from Koh Tao.

Most travel agencies will be able to sell an allin-one ticket from Bangkok to Koh Phangan which includes the bus and ferry ticket for about 650 Baht per person. The price is low because the journey takes all night and is the least comfortable way to travel. Buses depart from Bangkok at around 7pm, arriving early morning in Suratthani in time for the first ferry to the islands. Coming back, there are numerous ferries, but for the bus you will need to depart no later than 1pm. Usually a shuttle bus will drop passengers off in Suratthani to wait until about 7pm at which at time the bus will depart to Bangkok. As a more convenient option consider buying a ticket on the well-organised Government Bus which actually goes on the Raja Ferry and saves time and discomfort changing modes of transport — although it is more expensive and will set you back up to 1000 Baht . There are also several other bus routes (mostly via mini-bus) linking Suratthani with other major destinations.

Second Class (Air Con or Fan) Sleeper trains are the best as you get a table and sofa that turns into fairly spacious beds; the lower bunk is bigger so best. The best of course is First Class with a sink and double bunks in each room, good if you are travelling with a lot of stuff. It is worth booking ahead with a travel agent as the train is a popular choice of transport and fills up quickly during peak periods. All trains for Phangan stop at Suratthani railway station which is a few miles out of town, so if you have to stay in Suratthani, it is cheapest to lodge near the station. Most trains arrive in the morning and guides take you to buses which transport to the ferry port, approximately a 1 hour drive away. There are plenty of travel offices opposite the railway station.

Koh Samui Airport is the most convenient airport, with Bangkok Airways (www. bangkokair.com) flying in over 40 times in a day from Bangkok, Krabi, Phuket, Pattaya, Singapore, Penang, Kuala Lumpur or Hong Kong. The last boat leaves for Koh Phangan from Big Buddha Pier at 6:30pm, so for flights arriving later than 5pm you may have to hire a private speedboat or stay in Koh Samui. It is cheaper to fly from Bangkok to the government airport at Suratthani where a couple of budget airlines are now operating from, especially as One-Two-Go (www. fly12go.com) is now offering one-way flights for 1,750 Baht per person and Air Asia (www.airasia.com) flights are available at slightly cheaper rates, though taxi fares and journey time tend to negate savings. It takes a minimum of 5 hours to get to Koh Phangan from Suratthani Airport at a cost of around 450 Baht which includes bus transfer and boat ticket, while the journey is just a minimum of 1 hour from Koh Samui Airport, where you can also buy a convenient minibus and boat joint ticket from around 300 Baht up.

If you are coming to Koh Phangan from the mainland, buses, trains and planes all stop around Suratthani where you will be transferred to either a Suratthani jetty for the Songserm Ferry Service (3% hours to Koh Phangan) or to Donsak which is a 50 minute bus ride away. If you stay overnight in Suratthani, the hotel will book you a ferry, or alternatively head for Phangan Tour as they are the main agent for bus transfers to Koh Phangan. From Donsak there is only one service at the moment: Raja (TA hours) car ferry has six services a day. From Koh Samui the shortest crossing point is from the Bophut and Mae Nam area where several services run to Koh Tao via the main Thongsala pier on Koh Phangan: Lomprayah Catamaran (25 mins) Phangan Cruises (30 mins) Seatran Discovery (25 mins) The only service direct to Haad Rin is the Haad Rin Queen (50 mins) which also runs the most frequent service and also has a last boat at 6:30pm if you fly in late. Songserm Express (45 mins) also runs to/from the main port of Nathon and the early morning Songserm boat departs Koh Phangan for Koh Samui at 7am every day. If you are in a hurry or arriving too late for any of the regular ferry services then a speedboat may be a good option from Koh Samui. While coming from Suratthani the Night Boat departs at 10.00pm which may be able to help out if you don't want to spend the night in a hotel there. Departing Phangan at 10.00pm, the Night Boat arrives at 04.00am and is a popular choice for quick VISA trips to Ranong (Burma) as you can return the same day. On arrival at Suratthani you'll find travel agents offering the return minibus service at a cost of around 1,500 Baht per person which will include boat transfer to and from the border. This service should have you back at the pier by around 4pm at the latest.

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