Ferry Guide for Koh Phangan

25 Nov 2020

To get to Koh Phangan in the Gulf, you will have to take a ferry for the last part of the journey, no matter where you are coming from. Koh Phangan does not and probably will never have its own airport, however, it's a fast ferry ride from nearby Koh Samui which is the closest airport, the other close airport would be Surat Thani on the mainland. 

From Koh Samui, ferries depart regularly from the Big Buddha pier and Nathon of Koh Samui.

Surat Thani and Koh Phangan are linked by various ferries either leaving from the pier there or the very close Donsak pier. 
Thong Sala Pier

Ferry Companies

 

Raja Ferry

Raja Ferry is one of Thailand's leading ferry service providers. Created in 1981, the company currently operates 13 vessels. For the convenience of its passengers, the three main ports the company uses are Donsak, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan.

This is the only ferry service where you can take your vehicles such as a car or scooter. The ferries themselves are the largest and so take the longest as they are transporting vehicles and goods.

Lomprayah

Lomprayah is a high-speed catamaran ferry operation fleet. They pride themselves on offering you a journey that is all about speed, elegance and service. The business has 7 high-speed ferries in the Gulf of Thailand which mean easy loading compared to traditional ferries.
In addition, the business also offers additional services such as flight ticket booking, bus booking, tour trips, etc.

Seatran

Seatran formed a new business named Seatran Ferry on July 24, 2002, with the key objective of offering a new and better transportation option to Samui and the islands for both local and foreign citizens. The key concern was to have better service and the highest degree of protection at a fair price and to promote the elimination of transportation congestion between Samui and the mainland, which was a significant setback in the development of the tourism industry in Samui. 

Songserm

Songserm is a transport business for the Gulf of Thailand. The company specializes in transport by ferry and bus, known as Joint Ticket. The business has improved and diversified its services through the years, becoming the first and oldest ferry company to take passengers through the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, making it one of the strongest transport companies for buses and ferries in Thailand. Songserm specializes in transporting people to Koh Tao, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan islands in Thailand, which are great holiday destinations.

Lomprayah Ferry Koh Phangan
Ferry Routes to Koh Phangan

 

Surat Thani to Koh Phangan

Surat Thani is a famous travel portal to Koh Phangan, it’s a common route due to people flying to Surat Thani airport from elsewhere in Thailand, so there are several different tour and ferry companies providing trips from Surat Thani to Koh Phangan.
You'll notice several different ways for getting to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani by ferry. You can take the ferry from right in the town of Surat Thani, or you can travel out to Donsak's wider ferry piers. Donsak is about 60 kilometres (37.5 miles) east of Surat Thani, a 90-minute drive north. However both operators sell combined tickets that include the bus and the ferry, although you can find your own route, so if you're heading to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani Airport, from the city itself, or from the train station, there are still combined tickets available to purchase for your whole ride. 

Whether you are a backpacker or just need to travel on a small budget, the good news is that all the ferries to the island are fairly priced, regardless of which exact path you want, so it won't cost you a lot. That said there's a service that's going to save you a couple of bucks among the rest, and that's with Raja Ferry. A bus transfer from the city, at the intersection of Si Wichan Road and Soi 16 Si Wichai, is included in their ticket and they depart three times a day, all around the middle of the day until the early afternoon. This is also the ferry you will need to get if you have a car or scooter with you. 

The fastest way, if you just can't wait, to get to Koh Phangan from Surat Thani would be with Lomprayah Highspeed Catamaran. If you are already in the Surat Thani region, this route works better, particularly if you're a little north-east of the town, in the Tapee neighbourhood. 
Lomprayah, a trustworthy travel operator, has a pier at Tapee from which the high-speed ferry departs. This ferry is much newer, more convenient, and quicker than the Raja Ferries, and has on-board amenities such as air conditioning, snacks, bathrooms, and stewards. It is more costly than the Raja Ferry, but for speed, comfort and convenience, you pay more. The ferry takes roughly two and a half to three hours and sails straight from Tapee Pier to Thong Sala on Koh Phangan, and you don't have to think about lengthy bus transfers since it starts from Surat Thani. 

If you are coming from Surat Thani International Airport it is worth noting that it is approximately 30 kilometres (19 miles) by road to the centre of the city, this may add a decent chunk to your travel time. Fortunately, there are a variety of various firms selling shared fares to bring you all the way from the airport to Koh Phangan. 

When travelling from Surat Thani airport to Koh Phangan, Seatran Discovery is one ferry choice to remember. 
Lomprayah is one of those firms, typically the most costly of their fares, and the shortest of their journey times; it takes about 3 and a half hours. Seatran Exploration is a little cheaper, but the travel period is longer when they depart from Donsak. Songserm is cheaper still, and faster than Seatran. As described above, Raja Ferry has a bus from the airport to its ferry terminal and is the least expensive way for travellers to get from Surat Thani Airport to Koh Phangan. 

You essentially have the same choices for companies travelling from Surat Thani Train Station: Songserm, Lomprayah, and Raja Ferry, and again, costs differ and timetables vary too, but you can select what suits you best.

Koh Samui to Koh Phangan

Your only choice is to take a speedboat or ferry to get from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan, given that these are both islands. Since the islands are placed so close by, it can only take an hour for even the slowest of ferries (excluding the Raja). This means you will have a leisurely breakfast at your Koh Samui hotel and be in time for lunch in Koh Phangan! 
Ferries dart back and forth every day between these two islands, and there are still plenty of choices for three separate ferry firms to pick from. All three ferry operators have advantages and disadvantages; they are all very inexpensive, although the standard of comfort differs, as does the crossing time, but possibly what would most impact your ferry decision is where you depart from and where you choose to end up. 
Seatran runs a high-speed ferry with outstanding degrees of convenience, including indoor and outside floors, air conditioning, bathrooms, plenty of seating, and a beverages and snacks shop. The Seatran ferries leave from Bangrak's Large Buddha Pier and docks at Thong Sala Pier on Koh Phangan's west coast. 

Lomprayah provides a similar operation. The pleasant latest catamarans they use carry you much faster from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan, taking only 20 minutes, so Lomprayah is perfect in terms of speed. You'd imagine Lomprayah to be more costly than Seatran when contrasting the price of tickets, but actually, they are quite similar, often with Lomprayah coming out even a little cheaper than Seatran. Comfort standards are similar between the two as well with air conditioning, toilets and a store all supported by Lomprayah, and the boats are well maintained. Lomprayah catamarans fly from Maenam's Paralan Pier, west of Bangrak, and they arrive at Koh Phangan's Thong Sala Pier. 

The third operator of the ferry is the one most backpackers prefer when they want to save cash. Unfortunately, with the Haad Rin Queen Passenger Ferry, the adage 'you get what you pay for’ does ring true. The seating that these ferries have is wooden benches, notorious for being over-crowded and with not enough seats, and they can be very uncomfortable, particularly given that the ferry crossing takes one hour, so that's double the other companies' crossing period. But from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan, thousands of budget travellers a year also prefer to go this route, and as well as being inexpensive, it is a handy service for party-goers going to the Full Moon Party. From Sunset Pier, which is only a short distance north of the Large Buddha Pier, the Haad Rin Queen departs, which ensures it is convenient for those coming from the airport. The ferries dock at Koh Phangan, in a separate position than the other companies: Haad Rin Pier, on the south-east coast of Phangan. The great news is that Haad Rin is the Full Moon Party venue, so if this is where you are going, once you get off the ferry, you won't have far to go! 

If you have a vehicle and you need to go from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan you will need to travel with Raja Ferry. It is a much slower journey taking about 2.5 hours but the only trip where you can take a car, truck or scooter. The Raja leaves from Lipa Noi Pier on Samui.

Koh Samui speedboat to Koh Phangan 

If you have more money to spend and you don't like the thought of sharing a ferry with several hundred other people then you might like to indulge in a speedboat. Yes, they will be far more costly than budget-friendly ferries, but speedboats provide maximum versatility in running a private operation. 

From all over Koh Samui, they will drive you to just where you want to go on Koh Phangan. Of course, sharing the cost of a speedboat between you if you're travelling with friends makes this choice more affordable than you would expect, but don't rule it out without first testing what a speedboat charter might cost you!

Haad Rin Queen Ferry
Koh Tao to Koh Phangan

The gap between the islands of Koh Tao and Koh Phangan is just 44 kilometres (27.5 miles), moving north into the Gulf of Thailand. The only way to go from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan is by ferry, as there is no airport on either island. The good news is that this island has maintained its quiet beauty because Koh Tao does not have and is unlikely to ever have an airport, and because taking a ferry is the only way to get here, this has dissuaded some visitors from visiting. For you, this is fantastic news! It's not as difficult as you might think to travel by ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan-there are actually three distinct ferry options you can choose from, and they differ according to price, speed, comfort levels and schedules, so you should be able to find something that fits your budget and itinerary easily. 

The quickest way is Lomprayah's High-Speed Catamaran. Speed equals cost, as you might assume, and Lomprayah's ferry is the most costly of the three businesses. That being said, it's not any more costly than going with Seatran, so if you're happy to pay more than and over the expense of Songserm, you're unlikely to be turned off by the disparity. 

So what do you get with Lomprayah for the extra price of a ticket? The trip on their high-speed catamaran from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan just requires around 1 hour and 15 minutes. This boat is spacious, has plenty of easy seats inside and if you choose, it has outer decks. If you are either hungry or tired, there is also a snack service on board, and there are washrooms, of course. 

Schedule wise, you are provided many separate departure times by Lomprayah. Usually, there are at least two departures a day and often three during the high season, with two in the morning and one in the afternoon, leaving from Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao and arriving at Koh Phangan's Thong Sala Pier. 

With Seatran, taking a ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan is a reasonable compromise. With a crossing time of roughly 90 minutes, the Seatran high-speed ferries are cheaper than Lomprayah and take only a little bit longer. The ferries are new and well fitted with everything that the catamarans of Lomprayah do, but there is not anything to set one apart from the other. With Seatran, there are always three departures a day, which at some times could be one more than Lomprayah, making it maybe simpler to locate seats. Speaking of fares, you can purchase them on the 12Go.asia travel page for all three of these ferry companies that travel from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan. This trustworthy platform provides all ferries with results, makes it easier to evaluate the schedules, timetables and rates and provides peace of mind when booking. From Mae Haad, Seatran ferries also leave and arrive at Thong Sala. 

When deciding on which ferry from Koh Tao to Koh Phangan, you would like to bear in mind a few things; firstly, if the sea is too choppy, services may have to be cancelled for your own safety, this is more likely to happen when the weather may be erratic during the low season. Secondly, the water can be choppy even during comparatively stable conditions, and this is more emphasized while you're sailing on a catamaran opposed to a typical ferry. If you are susceptible to getting seasick, it could be a safer option to pick Seatran's ferry or Songserm's ferry!

Chumphon to Koh Phangan

Depending on the mode of transport you chose, the travel time from Chumphon to Koh Phangan will differ. All things considering, the entire trip would take 5 to 8 hours to complete. Usually, people who wish to visit Koh Tao would depart from Chumphon, for Koh Phangan, it is advisable to depart from Surat Thani as it is closer. 

The expense of the trip to Koh Phangan from Chumphon depends on the means of transport you chose for your journey. Songserm is the most economical operator: you plan to pay as little as 850 for your fare while commuting by boat. If you're after more upscale travel, though, The most expensive choice is to choose a Bus+ferry - a Bus+ferry one-way fare will cost as much as 1,150.
The route by boat from Chumphon to Koh Phangan is scenic since it blends transport and sightseeing to some degree.

Summary

You will have to take a boat or ferry if you want to come to Koh Phangan, if you do suffer from seasickness we would advise a slower boat such as the Raja, they are bigger and so more stable. The trip by ferry to the island is always breath-taking, especially if you are arriving during sunset. You can admire Angthong National Marine park along the way and get an amazing view of Koh Phangan from the ocean as you arrive.
Ferry Koh Phangan

 

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