Ko Pha Ngan, or Koh Phangan as the tourists call it, is a beautiful island in the Gulf of Thailand known for its pristine beaches, stunning waterfalls, excellent windsurfing, backpacker vibes, and full moon parties.
It’s a small island that sits between Koh Samui and Koh Tao, on the Eastern side of Thailand.
Despite being beautiful and a haven from the chaos of Bangkok, Koh Phanang requires a bit of effort to visit.
If you are looking to escape the honking of Thailand’s capital city, here is how to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan.
- The bus and ferry is the longest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phanang but it’s the cheapest.
- It’s better to book the bus + ferry online to get a combo, as it will save time, money, and effort bartering on the day for tickets.
- Flying is the quickest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phanang but you still need to catch a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan.
Distance from Bangkok to Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan is one of the best places to visit in Thailand, but it’s not quick to get to.
Before you decide which way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan, it’s worth knowing how far the two places are from one another.
The distance between Bangkok and Koh Phangan is approximately 770 kilometers. It can take anywhere from 4 hours to 16 hours (and vice versa) to get to Koh Phanang from Bangkok, depending on your mode of transport.
This is why you need to plan ahead and think about how much time you have to spare in your Thailand itinerary, to decide which way is best for you.
The Cheapest Way From Bangkok To Koh Phangan: Bus + Ferry
If you’re on a tight budget, taking a bus and ferry is the cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan.
The bus departs from Bangkok city center – either near Khao San Road or from the Southern Bus Terminal.
It then drives for 7 hours South to Surat Thani Bus Terminal, where you will change to a minivan and be taken to Donsak Pier.
The distance from Surat Thani to Donsak Pier is about 70km and takes 1 hour to drive.
You will then take a slow ferry (a car ferry) to Lipa Noi Pier on Koh Phangan which takes roughly 1.5 hours.
This is where the ticket ends and you will need to get a taxi to your hotel from here.
While the bus is cheap and easy, it’s not a particularly fun journey. This is because the bus portion of the journey doesn’t stop, not even for breaks. As it’s a 7-hour journey, we recommend you buy snacks beforehand and everything you need with you.
You will find a bathroom on the bus, but it’s likely to be in poor condition or smelly, so I suggest you go to the bathroom before you board the bus and cross your legs!
The ferry is also not an enjoyable journey. The ocean between Donsak Pier and Koh Phangan is notoriously rough due to the wind, so if you suffer from seasickness be sure to take your meds first.
Coming from another destination in Thailand?
Check out our full guide on how to get to Koh Phangan!
Where to Buy a Bus Ticket
You can book a bus ticket online through websites like 12go.asia or in person at the Southern Terminal Bus Station in Bangkok.
Make sure to book your ticket in advance to ensure availability, especially during peak travel seasons (November – February).
From my experience, it was actually cheaper to buy tickets via 12go.asia online, as you can purchase a combined bus and ferry ticket, which worked out cheaper than buying the bus, taxi to the pier, and ferry separately.
Where to Buy a Ferry Ticket from Donsak Pier to Koh Phangan
If you get the combined ticket from 12go.asia, you don’t need to worry about this – your ticket includes the bus, minivan, and ferry.
However, if you prefer to book everything in person, you will need to take a taxi to Donsak Pier and then purchase the ticket for the ferry at the pier.
You can find taxis from the bus terminal directly to Donsak Pier and you can barter your price, or you can use taxi apps such as Grab or Bolt to take you to the pier.
Once at the pier, you can buy your ticket directly from the kiosk at the pier. You can expect prices to vary between 500 baht to 350 baht. You can also barter and try to get a deal if you have more than one person.
If you decide to buy your ferry ticket on the day, make sure you get the earliest bus possible as sometimes the ferry can be full and you have to wait for the next available one, which could be several hours later.
You can also book ferry tickets online, but I recommend booking your ticket in advance, especially during the peak travel season.
The Convenient Way to From Bangkok To Koh Phangan: Flight + Ferry
Taking a direct flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui, followed by a ferry ride to Koh Phangan, is the most time-efficient and convenient way to travel to Koh Phangan.
It’s more expensive, but you will probably find it worth spending a little extra to have a more comfortable way to travel.
Which Airport to Fly From
There are two airports in Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) and Don Mueang International Airport (DMK).
The best airport to fly from is Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) which has domestic flights to Koh Samui, the closest airport to Koh Phangan.
Which Airline to Fly With
There are several airlines that fly to Koh Samui, including Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and Air Asia.
Bangkok Airways is the only airline that operates flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui. They have several flights throughout the day, but ensure you book an early flight to allow you time to get to the ferry.
Where to Buy Ferry Tickets from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan
You can buy a ferry ticket from Koh Samui Airport or from one of the piers on Koh Samui island. If you are buying from the airport, they usually combine a taxi to the pier and the ferry ticket in one.
As of April 2023, the average rate for this was 500 baht per person, which is not a bad deal given that the taxi was asking for 100 baht per person, and the ferry was asking for 500 baht as well.
It’s worth noting that the ferry from Koh Samui is not the same as the ferry from Donsak Pier. The ferries from Koh Samui are speedboats, so they are much faster.
You can barter the price a little bit, but it depends on who is selling the ticket and how they feel.
It’s worth noting that are several piers on Koh Samui, each taking you to a different spot on the island.
I suggest you figure out where you are staying on Koh Phangan to find the closest pier on Koh Samui.
These are the best routes from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan:
- Koh Samui Haad Rin Queen Ferry Pier – Haad Rin Koh Samui (South East side, takes 20 minutes)
- Pralarn Pier to Lipa Noi Pier (South West side, takes 30 minutes)
- Nathon Town to Lipa Noi Pier (South West side, takes 1 hour)
FAQs About How To Get TO KOH PHANGAN FROM BANGKOK
Here’s what people usually ask about getting from Bangkok to Koh Phangan…
Is it better to book online or in person?
It’s better to book online as you are guaranteed your ticket and the price is set. When booking in person, you are relying on tickets being available and you may end up paying more that the online price if the seller is unwilling to barter. To ensure you get from A to B in the timeframe you desire, it’s always better to book online.
Is there a train from Bangkok to Koh Phangan?
You can get a train to Surat Thani from Bangkok and then from here a taxi and ferry to Koh Phanang. The train takes 13 hours from Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station in Bangkok, but they are not as regular as the bus so we don’t recommend it.
Is luggage included on the bus and ferry?
Yes, you are allowed one piece of luggage weighing up to 20kg per person for the bus and the ferry. If you have more luggage than this, you may have to pay extra.
So there you have it, those are the ways to get from Bangkok to Koh Phanang. The best way to get from A to B will largely depend on your budget and time constraints.
If you have limited time, I do suggest getting the flight over the bus. If you are on a budget, the bus + ferry is a better option but remember to book online to save time, money and effort.
I hope you found this guide useful. If you have any queries, let me know in the comments.
Read more: The Best Beaches in Koh Phangan