If you’re wondering how to get to the enchanting island of Koh Tao from Koh Samui, then you’ve come to the right place.
These two islands in the Gulf of Thailand are popular islands to visit and so getting from one to the other is easy sailing.
However, there is more than one option available to you, so if you’re not sure how to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao, here is a simple guide to help you plan your trip.
- The ferry is the longest way to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao but it’s the cheapest.
- It’s better to book online as tickets are usually booked up on the day, and they are usually the same price anyway.
- The catamaran and speedboat is the quickest way to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao.
What is the Distance from Koh Samui to Koh Tao
Koh Tao is the smallest island in the Gulf of Thailand but it’s still one of the most popular places to visit in Thailand, making it easy to get to.
If you’re already in Koh Samui, then you may have heard people mentioning how Koh Tao is a must next-stop, especially if you’re a fan of diving. However, it’s worth knowing how far the two places are from one another so you can plan accordingly.
The distance between Koh Samui and Koh Tao is approximately 60km (42 miles). It can take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours (and vice versa) to get to Koh Tao from Koh Samui, depending on the type of boat you take.
Related Reading: Koh Samui vs Koh Phangan: Which is Better?
The Cheapest Way From Koh Samui to Koh Tao
The only way to reach Koh Tao is by boat, and so the most commonly used and cheapest option is to take the ferry.
The ferry from Koh Samui takes approximately 3-4 hours, depending on the ferry you choose. You may also need to make a stop by Koh Phangan, but this is just to pick up and drop off passengers and doesn’t add too much to the timetable.
There are two main companies that have ferry services throughout the day. Lomprayah and Songserm are two of the most reputable companies and have the biggest boats. They are reliable, comfortable and affordable.
There are around six ferries departing each day, from 8.00am until 3.00pm. You can book the ferry online or from the box office at the pier – the price is usually the same as the one advertised on 12Go.Asia, which is around $16 USD depending on which ferry you choose.
Note that the pier you depart from will also depend on the company you choose and the time.
There are also some ferries that depart from Bangrak Pier (also known as Big Buddha Pier), though these are private, local companies and are not available to book online.
It’s recommended you arrive at the ferry 30 minutes early to allow time for boarding.
All ferries in Koh Tao arrive at Mae Haad Pier, which is the only pier on the island.
The Fastest Way from Koh Samui to Koh Tao
If you’re looking for a faster alternative, you can opt for a speedboat or catamaran ride from Koh Samui to Koh Tao.
Speedboats are known for their speed and agility, allowing you to reach Koh Tao in approximately 1.5-2 hours, depending on where you depart from.
Lomprayah also have speedboats and catamarans, but you can also get a speedboat with Seatran Discovery, who depart from near Fishermans Village on Koh Samui.
If you choose Lomprayah, note that their speedboats may also depart from Na Thon Pier, which will take 2 hours to Koh Samui. Their catamarans and speedboats usually depart from Maenam Samui Pier.
Speedboats usually cost around $19 USD, and are quick and safe to travel on. Most speedboats are indoors, so no need to worry about your hair blowing into knots and the water soaking your clothes.
Just like with the ferry, it’s important to check the departure time and pier for speedboats to Koh Tao from Koh Samui. The departure piers are usually either Bangrak Pier (Big Buddha Pier) and Maenam Pier.
Although it’s the fastest way to Koh Tao, there are not as many speedboats as ferries. So to secure your spot, it’s advisable to book your ticket online in advance.
Arrive at the designated pier at least 30 minutes before the departure time.
FAQs About Getting From Koh Samui to Koh Tao
Can you fly from Koh Samui to Koh Tao?
You cannot fly to Koh Tao, the only way to get there is by boat. You can fly to Koh Samui and then take a boat, but there is no airport or landing pad on the island of Koh Tao.
How long is enough in Koh Tao?
You should aim to spend at least 3-4 days on Koh Tao to really appreciate its beauty and see the highlights. This will give you enough time to dive/snorkel, bask on its beaches, and explore its nature spots.
Which month is best for Koh Tao?
The best month is October, since its just after rainy season so the island will be quiet and the weather fine. There are also meant to be whale sharks in the waters this time of year.
So there you have it, those are the two ways to get from Koh Samui to Koh Tao, and now you have to consider both the ferry and speedboat options based on your preferences for travel time and comfort.
Remember to book your tickets in advance, either online or at the pier, to ensure your spot, and arrive 30 minutes early before boarding.
The boats won’t wait for you, so be sure to be organized. Now go enjoy your island-hopping adventure!