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Koh Tao is a diving, snorkelling and pleasure-seekers paradise, giving the island a distinctly laid-back attitude and a plethora of activities.
There are a few things you should know before visiting Koh Tao: First and foremost, there is no airport on Koh Tao. To get to Koh Tao, you must travel via Surat Thani or Chumphon piers, or via Koh Samui Airport. This implies that if you're travelling from Bangkok or anywhere else on the Thai mainland or along the Andaman coast, you'll have to combine many types of transportation.
The Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao is where all the boats, ferries, and speedboats arrive and depart.
Lomprayah is a fleet of high-speed catamaran ferries. They take pleasure in providing you with a trip that is all about speed, elegance, and service. In the Gulf of Thailand, the company operates seven high-speed ferries, which allow for easier loading than traditional ferries.
Furthermore, the company provides additional services such as aircraft ticket buying, bus booking, and tour trips, among others.
Songserm is a shipping company that operates in the Gulf of Thailand. Joint Ticket is a corporation that specializes in boat and bus transportation. The company has grown and diversified its services throughout the years, becoming the first and oldest ferry company to transport passengers between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, and one of Thailand's most powerful bus and ferry firms. Songserm specializes in bringing tourists to Thailand's Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan islands, which are popular vacation spots.
Seatran established Seatran Ferry on July 24, 2002, with the primary goal of providing a new and improved transportation option to Samui and the surrounding islands for both local and foreign residents. The main objective was to provide better service and the greatest level of protection at a reasonable cost, as well as to support the eradication of transportation congestion between Samui and the mainland, which was a major setback in the development of Samui's tourism business.
Between these two neighbouring islands and Koh Tao, there are three boats that run. Lomprayah Catamaran, Seatran Discovery, and Songserm Express.
The two most popular boats, the Lomprayah Catamaran and Seatran Discovery take 2 and a half hours from Koh Samui to Mae Haad on Koh Tao. On Koh Samui, the boats depart from Maenam and Bangrak Seatran Piers. Seatran requires reservations at least one day in advance, whereas Lomprayah requires reservations two days in advance. We recommend making a reservation ahead of time, especially during peak season.
Both Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery depart from Thong Sala Pier on Koh Phangan and arrive in Mae Haad on Koh Tao in about an hour and a half. It's best to book at least a day ahead of time to ensure a spot. At 5:30 p.m, the last boat departs from Koh Phangan.
Because Chumphon is the nearest area of the mainland to Koh Tao, boat travel is the fastest and shortest option when compared to Surat Thani. Between the mainland and Koh Tao, three boats provide service: Lomprayah Catamaran and Songserm Express from Chumphon and Surat Thani, respectively. Seatran Discovery has a departure point at Surat Thani.
Night boats (sometimes known as "sleeping boats") and ferries are also available, with mattresses that provide varying degrees of bed-like comfort. These boats take about 6 hours to get from Chumphon to Surat Thani and 9 hours to get from Surat Thani to Chumphon.
The Lomprayah Catamaran is generally speedier so if the waves are choppy and you get seasick easily, Seatran Discovery may be a better option.
In any case, both vessels follow the same schedule. Just remember to make your reservations as soon as you've finalized your arrangements.