Welcome to my Ko Tao series!
On this first post, I will be sharing the most affordable way of traveling from Bangkok to Ko Tao. In my previous island journey to Koh Phangan, we almost visited Ko Tao because it’s only a few minutes boat ride away. However, for some reasons, we changed our minds and decided to just stay in Koh Phangan our entire vacation week. In the end, we had a relaxing and ultimate staycation and I loved it.
Ko Tao or “Turtle Island”
Therefore, this time, we mainly planned on staying a few days in Ko Tao alone. To give you a background, Ko Tao is a small island in Thailand, not very popular for beaches but mostly for diving. Unlike our journey to Koh Phangan where we rode a plane, then a bus and boat, this time we only took a bus, then a boat ride. We booked through Lomprayah services online and paid 1,200 THB per person for one way. Our schedule was at 9.00 in the evening, then, we arrived at 5.30 in the morning at the pier. Next, we rode the speedboat at 7.00 AM and finally, arrived at Ko Tao at almost 9.00 in the morning. So, it was truly an exhausting trip especially if you’re not used to long land and sea travel.
Another option for travelers is to fly to Koh Samui or Chumpon and from there, take a boat to Ko Tao. This is the most convenient and the fastest way but more expensive too. I opted to not fly this time because, one, we could save a little for the transportation and two, I think it’s more memorable to take the longer route. Although it was very tiring that we slept right after we arrived at our resort, I actually enjoyed the rides.
Anyway, let me walk you through how our journey went from our apartment in Bangkok to our resort in Ko Tao.
Bus at Khao San Road
Lomprayah’s office and their buses are located on Khao San Road. If you read my post about Khao San Road, this is where a lot of tourists usually stay, chill or party in Bangkok. We weren’t very familiar with the address sent to us by the bus company so to be safe, we booked a taxi through an app where we input the destination address. Then, the taxi driver dropped us to the entrance of Khao San Road and told us to walk the rest. Thank goodness for GPS because it led us to the right place after six minutes of walk.
It was almost 8.30 PM when we arrived so I was worried we might get lost and be late. To tell you about me, I hate to be late in any booked rides. This is after my late arrival experience in one flight before. The plane flew without us. The worst part is, it was on my birthday and the next available flight was on the next day. I cried buckets of tears that time and I promised myself, not to be late ever again.
So, no, we weren’t late but we only had enough time to spare to check-in. We went inside the office, wrote our names and nationality. The staff gave our boat tickets and stickers for the bus. Additionally, she gave us our return tickets and told us to show it to their office in Ko Tao on our return to Bangkok.
After checking in, all passengers were escorted to the buses. We had our seat numbers assigned already. The bus was quite spacious and they gave blankets for the cold temperature inside. There was only one stop the entire ride. It was the only time to go to the toilet, buy snacks and stretch our legs.
Boat at Lomprayah Pier
By 5.30 AM, we arrived at Lomprayah Pier. It was still dark and the boat’s departure was scheduled at 7.00 AM. So, there was a long waiting time at the pier. I found a vacant stool and slept while waiting.
The boarding time started at 6.30 AM. We were asked to prepare our tickets with our passport or identification card to show to the staff. They took photos of our passports which I think is a really good identification and safety procedure.
The speedboat was really fast unlike the boats we rode to go to Koh Phangan, Koh Samui or Koh Chang. There was no other place to stroll around except in your seats. Besides, we were pretty tired at that time so we tried to get some more sleep.
Arrival in Ko Tao
Finally, we arrived in Ko Tao at 8.45 AM, the same time on the ticket. (Hmm, not bad at all.) We disembarked the boat and exited the pier. At this same time, we were also looking for the resort’s staff who would pick us up. A little after 9.00 AM, we checked in at Ko Tao Resort and we were more than ready to take a plunge into dreamland.
The rest of our day after arrival was purely spent on recharging and sleeping. Once we were fully rested, we explored the resort, ate our first meal in Ko Tao and walked around the nearby shops and streets.
Overall, it was a taxing journey but like any other trips that I had, I survived. What I liked the most were the moments when I had nothing else to do but stare on the changing scenery outside. Sometimes, I would see trees, houses or just total darkness. I think it’s nice to not get distracted by televisions, phones or computers from time to time. Maybe, that’s why I love long travels like this.
Until my next Ko Tao post, guys. Thank you for reading!