How to travel from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui

Traveling from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui, can be an easy trip, once you know what to do. We share the best ways to travel between the two, including prices, times and our own experience.

Koh Phangan is known as a party destination, hosting full moon parties as well as being home to an array of great bars and restaurants. However, you may want to escape the noise for a little while, by visiting the stunning Koh Samui; known for its luxury hotels and picturesque beaches and truly one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.

How to travel from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui

How to travel from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui

Koh Phangan to Koh Samui by ferry

Although Koh Samui has an airport, Koh Phangan does not, meaning you will need to catch a ferry between the islands. 

There are four ferry companies available (at the time of writing in 2024), to choose from:

  • Seatran Discovery: This is one of our favorite options for the journey, offering comfortable rides. The ride takes 45 minutes, halving from Thong Sala Koh Phangan and costs THB 330B. These boats don’t tend to have too many issues in relation to running late or being overcrowded, like the others on this list. Seatran also offers pick up and drop off services to and from your hotel on both islands. Also, make sure to head to the second floor for the air-conditioned cabin.
  • Lomprayah High Speed Ferries: Offering faster rides, these boats take around 30 minutes and cost as little as THB 350. These are also fairly frequent. These speed boats leave from the Koh Phangan Lomprayah Office and arrive in Maenam Samui. It is important to note, Lomprayah use to run catamarans but since the changes of tourism levels in Thailand, they now just use the speedboats. 
  • Raja Ferry: Although this ferry is slower than the other options, it also holds vehicles; ideal for those looking to drive around Koh Samui. Passengers cost THB 400, bikes and motorcycles cost 700B whilst casts cost 1500B to get across. The journey takes 1 hour and 30 minutes but is more frequent than other options. 
  • Haad Rin Queen Ferry: This is a direct ferry from Haad Rin to Big Buddha Pier on Koh Samui. This a 50 minute journey, costing around THB 200. You travel in a wooden boat, so don’t expect comfortable seats (also wooden) and the ferry is a busy, popular route. This isn’t a bad option in low season, but we recommend avoiding in the busier seasons because it can get too crowded. 
Koh Phangan to Koh Samui by speedboat

Koh Phangan to Koh Samui speedboat

For a more luxurious, thrilling and faster experience, you can get a private speedboat across from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan and vice versa. 

These take around 30 minutes, which isn’t too different ton the ferry, but the ride is fun, you can get through the unsteady waves quickly and there are less people crammed onto the boat itself.

These can be more expensive though, ranging from THB 500 – 800, depending on the company you travel with. 

These can be booked via 12Go but also arranged with your hotel, especially if you are staying at a high-end hotel like the Banyan Tree Koh Samui. When looking at when to visit Koh Samui, we also recommend considering weather conditions for the journey, especially the booking luxury hotels in Koh Samui.

Koh Samui travel

Tips for catching the ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui and vice versa:

  • Wait times: If you ferry is due to leave at 11am, don’t expect it to leave at that exact time. Be patient with the ferries as they can often be delayed. Although frustrating, make sure to avoid booking a tour or reservation in your destination, to near the arrival time.
  • Booking tickets: You can book tickets for these ferries via their official website but it is also easy to book via 12go. This is one of our favorite websites to use because you can compare times and prices, to suit your itinerary. 
  • Luggage: You are allowed luggage on most of these ferries but packing lighter is always easiest. Some companies will charge a fee for heavy luggage and most will charge for larger items like bikes. However, most ferries will manage and load the luggage on and off the ferry for you.
  • Sea Sickness: So one of the biggest problems with getting the ferries around the islands in Thailand, is the sea sickness. Waters can be bumpy, the heat can be intense, which all adds up to sick passengers. We recommend taking some sea sickness tablets before hand, wearing wrist bands that can help with sickness and trying to stay quiet and calm on the journey. We usually pop in headphones and just try to focus on breathing, staying quiet and listening to music. When deciding when to visit Koh Phangan, it is best to think about the sea conditions during your travel; make sure to avoid monsoon season as ferries can be cancelled.
  • Where to sit?: Now this will vary depending on which boat you catch. However, if the option is to sit inside with a roof, or on the top of a boat, we recommend inside. You don’t want to be in the direct sun, even if your journey is just 30 minutes long (it never is just that length!
  • Snacks: Bring snacks and water for your journey, no matter which ferry you choose to take. Even with the shorter ferry, you can find yourself waiting for long periods of time, so bringing snacks to avoid getting hungry is always helpful. 
  • Wear a hat: Although most ferries have shaded areas, there is not much shade around the pier and getting on and off the ferry itself. Wear a hat to protect yourself; this is one way to avoid sea sickness too!
  • Arrive early: No matter which ferry you choose, make sure to arrive early. Most require you to arrive at least 30 minutes earlier, but the general rule of thumb is the earlier you are, the quicker you can board a ferry and get going.

Helpful Resources

Travel essentials:

What to pack

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