Koh Phangan is one of the most famous islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Whether you’re a certified backpacker or a casual tourist, this is definitely a place you shouldn’t miss.
There are 3 different ways to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan: via plane, bus, or train.
Option 1: Bangkok to Koh Phangan via plane
The easiest and fastest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan is by plane. Currently, Koh Phangan does not have its own operational airport yet, so you will need to fly via Koh Samui or other alternative routes (Surat Thani or Chumphon).
Total travel time is 2 hours via Koh Samui.
Via Koh Samui
The fastest flight route is via Koh Samui.
- From BKK Bangkok International Aiport, book a flight via Bangkok Airways to Koh Samui. Travel time is 1 hour and cost is around $80.
- From Koh Samui Airport, take a combined van + ferry trip to Koh Phangan.
Via Surat Thani
Another option is to fly via Surat Thani. This is a longer route but it’s also cheaper compared to above. In fact, if you book weeks in advance you may be able to grab a flight ticket at half the cost of flying via Koh Samui. Total travel time is 4 hours.
- From Don Muang DMK Airport, book a flight via AirAsia or NokAir to Surat Thani.
- From the Surat Thani Airport, take a ferry to Koh Phangan.
Option 2: Bangkok to Koh Phangan via bus
Taking the bus will take a significantly longer time, but it’s a cheaper option and there are night buses available so you won’t have to waste a whole day on the road. This is a popular among backpackers.
For convenience, there are tour operators that offer a combination of bus + ferry trip to Koh Phangan. There are different schedules and pick-up points in Bangkok, so you have flexible options.
This combo trip includes a bus ride from Bangkok to Surat Thani pier and then a ferry ride to Thong Sala pier in Koh Phangan.
There is also a direct bus-only trip to Koh Phangan, which is slightly more expensive.
Travel time is 10 hours for daytime buses and 14 hours for overnight buses.
Option 3: Bangkok to Koh Phangan via train
This is the most time-consuming way to get to Koh Phangan.
As above, we recommend booking a combination train + bus + ferry trip. You can also book these transfers separately.
This route includes a train ride from Hua Lamphong Railway Station in Bangkok to Surat Thani Railway Station, then a bus/van ride to Surat Thani pier, and finally a ferry ride to Koh Phangan.
Total travel time is 16.5 hours.
Which option is the best?
If you’re simply looking for an easy way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan, book a flight. If money is an issue, the bus is your next best option.
Here’s a summary of the 3 ways you can get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan:
|Flight||2 hours (via Koh Samui)||$100|
Arriving in Koh Phangan
Once you arrive in Koh Phangan, you’ll be met by local drivers offering motorbike taxi service to take you to your accommodation for a small fare ($3.15 per person). Further down the road, you’ll also find songthaews (shared taxi) which is cheaper and can take you around the island (around $1.5 per person).
Check in at your resort and discover that there are tons of activities you can do in Koh Phangan.
It’s easy to travel around Thailand, as long as you know the best routes for you. Here’s a relevant guide on how to get to Koh Lanta, another must-see in the country.
Things to Do in Koh Phangan
Here are some of the best things you can do in Koh Phangan:
- Join the Full Moon Party. The Full Moon Party is undeniably a rite of passage for the island’s visitors.
- Island hopping. Visit the neighboring islands including the Ang Thong National Marine Park and other beautiful spots.
- Diving. Koh Phangan shares similar dive spots as Koh Tao. For those who are into snorkeling, you can visit the beaches in Haad Salad and Haad Ya.
- Explore the island via motorbike. Experienced riders will appreciate the hilly slopes in Koh Phangan and views such as that in Haad Son.
- Food trip in a night market. Get your fill of delicious Thai food in Thong Sala.
Has this route guide from Bangkok to Koh Phangan been helpful to you? If you have questions or comments, let us know in the comment section below!
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Katherine Cortes is a long-time backpacker and a freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).