Getting to Ko Phangan is pretty straightforward no matter where in the region you’re traveling from. Here are your main options for getting to the Half Moon Party:
If you decide to fly from Bangkok, one hour and 15 minute flights to Surat Thani’s airport (URT) cost around 900–2,500 THB on AirAsia, Nok Air, or Thai Lion Air. From the Surat Thani airport, you can take a one-hour bus to Donsak Pier and catch a ferry from there.
Flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Ko Samui (USM) are at least 4,500 THB since Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways keep a monopoly on the airport and see no reason to lower prices with demand so high. During the high season and around New Year’s Eve, ticket prices can get as high as 5,800 THB!
Nine-hour trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani leave three times a day and cost between 519–1,200 THB per person.
In Bangkok, you can leave from the Hua Lamphong or Thon Buri train stations and head to Chumphon on a Thai Railways (thairailways.com) route. Book a combo train and boat ticket because you will usually get a free transfer from the train station to the pier this way. You should plan for the whole trip to Ko Tao to take 14–15 hours (train, transfer, boat, waiting in between).
Tickets cost 500–2,000 THB depending on booking class, route, and season (with discounts for children).
Trains leave daily from Hua Lamphong in Bangkok to Chumphon (and then to Surat Thani). The journey usually takes between 8-11 hours. There is only one train that leaves daily from Thon Buri in Bangkok to Chumphon and it takes around 8.5 hours.
Travel agencies from Khao San Road in Bangkok offer bus and ferry combinations to the island. They will usually offer a bus and boat combo ticket. I recommend getting one of these for convenience (the one that includes the Songserm ferry is usually the cheapest).
In Bangkok, you’ll leave from the Southern (Sai Tai Mai) Bus Terminal and Morchit (Northern) Terminal (VIP buses only), it’ll take around 14 hours to get to Ko Phangan (8 hours on the bus) and cost about 700–1,000 THB (350–720 THB for the bus ticket only). Buses leave daily.
There are a few ferry companies that operate routes to Ko Phangan: Lomprayah High Speed Ferries Co., Ltd (the fastest and most expensive), Seatran Discovery, and Songserm, Raja, and Phantip (the slowest and cheapest). Here are some popular ways to get to Ko Phangan:
Boat from Chumphon (mainland):
- Matapon Pier: Leaves daily, takes 5 hours, and is operated by Songserm. 850 THB.
- Tung Makham: Leaves daily, takes 3–4 hours, and is operated by Lomprayah. 1,000 THB.
Boat from Surat Thani (mainland):
- Tapee Pier Lomprayah: Leaves daily, takes 2.5 hours, and is operated by Lomprayah. 700 THB.
- Surat Thani Seatran (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 4.5 hours, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 550 THB.
- Surat Thani train station (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 4 hours and 45 minutes, and is operated by Songserm. And a Lomprayah boat leaves daily and takes 3 hours and 45 minutes. 400–700 THB.
- Surat Thani airport (van+boat): Leaves multiple times an hour daily, takes between 3.5 hours to 6 hours. This route is operated by every ferry company in the area. 500–800 THB.
- Donsak Pier: Leaves multiple times daily, takes about 2.5 hours, and is operated by either Songserm, Seatran Discovery, or Raja. 210–450 THB.
Boat from Ko Tao:
- Mae Haad Pier: Leaves daily. This route is operated by Lomprayah (takes 1 hour and 10 minutes), Seatran Discovery (takes 1.5 hours), and Songserm (takes 2 hours). 450–850 THB.
- Boat from Ko Samui
- Bangrak Seatran Pier: Leaves daily, takes 30 minutes, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 300 THB.
- Lipa Noi: Leaves daily, takes 1.5 hours, and is operated by Raja Ferry. 150 THB.
- Na Thon Ko Samui: Leaves daily, takes 30 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes, and is operated by either Lomprayah or Songserm. 200–300 THB.
- Samui Airport (van+boat): Leaves daily, takes 1 hour, and is operated by Seatran Discovery. 450 THB.