And the quickest way to get to Ko Tao is…

Bangkok Airways Boeing 717 at Koh Samui Airpor...

Not much bigger than a bus...

…to fly. It’s not too expensive, either. My thanks to Honey who translated the Thai Transport Authority web page and helped me work out the bus times (which weren’t suitable).

If you’re not in a rush, you can get to Ko Tao two ways: bus or train then boat. Thing is, they’re both six-hour journeys and both will get you to Chumphon around 9pm. This is too late to get a ferry onto the island. Also, the train can be very busy so if you can’t book far enough in advance you may find yourself stranded in Bangkok waiting for a seat. Also, the new Southern bus terminal is way out on the wrong side of the river.

If I’d used eitherof these methods I wouldn’t have been diving until the 3rd.

So I’ve opted for a flight. Bangkok Airways do around 12 flights a day between Bangkok and Samui. It’s only an hour’s flight and with me arriving at 7:15 from the UK, I’ve opted to catch the 9:40 flight down. A slight gamble, but I have an hour’s leeway in case of delay.

This gets me to Ko Samui, not Ko Tao, but I’ll arrive at 10:45. This should allow me plenty of time to get down the road to the port and catch one of the ferries up to Ko Tao. Or I could stay on Samui. Or settle on Ko Pha-Ngan. They’re all pretty nice, but wherever I settle I can organise diving for the next day – something it doesn’t look like I could do if I travelled by land.

Another hint – book Bangkok Airways flights directly via their website. Through Expedia or Opodo (who often I do recommend), I found the price increased substantially. Skyscanner, however, got it pretty close once it had updated and located the “live” price. It only failed to add the tax.

I’d also recommend booking as far in advance as you can. Their prices do seem to vary depending on demand.

As I said earlier, though, land transport is perfectly viable. Were I not on a tight schedule I’d definitely have gone that route, but by flying I get an extra day diving which was the whole point of getting a flight from the UK arriving so early in the morning in the first place.

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6 thoughts on “And the quickest way to get to Ko Tao is…

  1. Stunned by the coincidence.
    I came offline two years ago when Google and Blogger accidentally deleted my blog so I haven’t visited your blog for maybe two years.
    I was finalising my plans to go to Koh Tao to spend a month there tolearn scuba diving etc when I suddenly remembered the name of your blog and googled it.’

    Very weird to see your Ko Tao posting!!


    My blog was called Meandering Trevor if you remember it but it was lost to cyberspace. Good luck on your upcoming travels!



  2. Hey, Trevor!

    I *vaguely* remember your blog from the name. Lots of blogs and lots of months! When are you planning on being in Ko Tao? Might catch you there 🙂

  3. Hey Mosher!

    Good to hear from you!

    I am still reeling at the very odd coincidence re Koh Tao and your blog!

    I am hoping to go end of July/beginning of August if I can organise things properly. I am 90% certain I am going to take the plunge.

    Will you be in Koh Tao at that time? I also see from skimming through your posts that you scuba dive …. will you be diving on Koh Tao?

    I have semi-decided to do my Open Water certification with the Carabao Diving people.

    (Brit in San Francisco)

  4. Ah, I’m going to be there from the very start of July for about 2-3 days, purely for diving. I’ve not dont Thailand yet! For the prices they charge there, and the effort to get to the island, I’d say you may as well do your Open Water as pay for a single pleasure dive.

    Be careful, though. That’s what I did in Oz three years ago. And now I’m a Dive Master…

  5. “Be careful, though. That’s what I did in Oz three years ago. And now I’m a Dive Master…”


    I’m going for a month so if I enjoy it I’ll be extending my training – I would love to be able to get work diving – maybe as a DM or an instructor.

  6. If you do enjoy it I recommend going as far as Advanced immediately while you’re in the mood. This allows a lot more freedom when you’re diving and makes life easier for any companies you pleasure dive with.

    Check around before going any further. Rescue Diver is definitely worthwhile. Dive Master is the first professional qualification – and with it comes some responsibility. Even if you’re not attached to a company, if you’re DM and are diving for pleasure when the worst happens you *can* be named in any lawsuit that results. Hence you have to make sure you cough up for insurance even as a pleasure diver.

    If you want to avoid the pro route, go for Master Diver.

    You won’t earn much being a DM – but it’s a good route to a very cheap long-term diving holiday. To start earning money you really have to be an Instructor and that can be a pricey course, plus there’s annual subsidies (as there are with DM).

    But you’ll find all this out if/when you continue with the course. I’m not saying not to think about it. Hell, no. Diving’s awesome! Just be aware of the ups and the downs before you commit a fair bit of time and a lot of cash 🙂

    Personally, I’m sticking at DM. I’ll try to maintain it, but I’d never be a full-time Instructor so there’s no point in making the investment. If you do take to it, though, definitely get yourself up to Rescue Diver. If nothing else it’s the first truly *useful* certification.

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