Koh Phangan to Koh Samui

Last updated on April 23, 2024

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Thailand is renowned around the world for its amazing beaches. White and golden sands, turquoise crystal clear water, diving opportunities, and spectacular scenery await you, and plenty of nightlife too if that’s what you’re looking for. Two of the best destinations in Thailand to experience all this and more are Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.

Koh Phangan has long been a popular backpacker haunt, best known as the home of the Full Moon Party. Yet it’s also developing into a family-friendly destination. Koh Samui, the larger and more developed of the two islands, boasts luxury resorts, vibrant nightlife, and a welcoming atmosphere. Why not explore both during your Thai getaway?

Read about:
Travel Options Between Koh Phangan and Koh Samui
Fast Ferries: Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery
Budget-Friendly Slow Ferry: Raja Ferry
Flexible Speedboat Charters
From Koh Phangan to Koh Samui During Full Moon Party
Combining Ferry and Land Transport
Arriving at Koh Samui Piers
Koh Samui Taxi Services and Costs


Thong Sala Pier
Thong Sala Pier, Koh Phangan

Travel Options Between Koh Phangan and Koh Samui

Situated just 15 kilometers apart, Koh Phangan and Koh Samui are ideally located for island hopping. With no airport on Koh Phangan, the only way to travel between the two is by boat. Ferries and speedboats make the crossing in 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the service you choose.

Fast Ferries: Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery

Flight and ferry from Krabi to Koh Tao
Lomprayah High Speed Ferry � OlegD / Shutterstock.com

For a quick and comfortable journey, opt for Lomprayah or Seatran Discovery. These reputable companies operate modern catamarans and high-speed ferries with excellent safety records. Onboard amenities include washrooms and snacks for purchase.

Both Lomprayah and Seatran crossings take just 30 minutes and cost around the same. The main differences are the vessel type and arrival pier on Koh Samui. Lomprayah uses catamarans and arrives at Nathon or Maenam Pier, while Seatran’s high-speed ferries dock at Bangrak Seatran Pier.

Ferry CompanyDeparture TimesDurationPrice (THB)
Lomprayah ⛴08:00, 11:00, 12:30, 16:00, 17:0030 min200-350
Seatran Discovery ⛴10:30, 16:0045 min330

For added convenience, book a combined ferry and land transfer ticket. Although pricier than a ferry-only ticket, this hassle-free option includes a van or taxi to your hotel.

Budget-Friendly Slow Ferry: Raja Ferry

Raja Ferry
Raja Ferry travels between Koh Phangan, Koh Samui and Donsak Pier, near Surat Thani © OlegD / Shutterstock.com

To save money, consider the slower Raja Ferry. These older but reliable ferries take 90 minutes to reach Lipa Noi Pier on Koh Samui. Onboard facilities are limited to washrooms, so pack snacks for the journey.

Flexible Speedboat Charters

Speedboats offer the most flexibility, allowing you to depart and arrive at various points on both islands. This eliminates the need to travel to the main piers. Although significantly more expensive than ferries, speedboats are fast and fun. Split the cost with friends or family for a more reasonable price.

OperatorDeparture PointArrival PointDeparture TimesDurationPrice (THB)
Echo Travel ⛴Baan Tai PierPetcherat Marina Bangrak08:00, 11:00, 15:00, 17:30, 19:3020 min500-600
Songserm ⛴Thong SalaPetcherat Marina Bangrak15:0020 min350

From Koh Phangan to Koh Samui During Full Moon Party

Full Moon Party Koh Phangan
Full Moon Party Koh Phangan © PinntoSlothbear / Shutterstock.com

During the famous Full Moon Party, most travelers journey from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan. However, if your trip coincides with this event and you need to travel in the opposite direction, don’t worry. Book your ferry ticket in advance, as services fill up quickly during this period. You’ll also find additional transportation options available.

The Haad Rin Queen Ferry, popular among budget-conscious backpackers, is notorious for its overcrowded and sparse wooden bench seating. The journey takes about an hour but can feel longer due to the cramped conditions. Departing from Haad Rin Pier on Koh Phangan’s southeast coast near the Full Moon Party site, this ferry arrives at Sunset Pier on Koh Samui, close to the airport.

Departure PointArrival PointDeparture TimesDurationPrice (THB)
Haad Rin Queen Pier ⛴ Koh PhanganHaad Rin Queen Pier Koh Samui09:30, 12:30, 16:0050 min300

While there are numerous ferry options, it’s always best to choose a reputable company. For budget travel, consider Raja Ferry. If you prefer a faster journey and don’t mind paying a bit more, Lomprayah or Seatran are excellent choices. Book tickets for all three ferry companies through 12Go.

Seamless Transfers: Combining Ferry and Land Transport

For a seamless journey from Koh Phangan to your Koh Samui destination, consider a combined ferry and land transfer service. This allows you to connect easily from the pier to your hotel or the airport without arranging separate taxis.

Several options are available:

OperatorDeparture PointDestinationDeparture TimesDurationPrice (THB)
Ferry+Taxi ⛴🚕Thong SalaKoh Samui Hotel Transfer10:30, 16:001h 45m450
Ferry+Taxi ⛴🚕Lomprayah OfficeKoh Samui Hotel Transfer11:00, 12:30, 17:001h 30m500
Ferry+Van ⛴🚐Thong SalaSamui Airport10:30, 16:001h 30m450

Arriving at Koh Samui Piers

Panoramic shot from a mountain in Koh Samui on March 23, 2023, highlighting the serene Nathon Bay, vibrant Nathon Beach, and structured Nathon Pier with a backdrop of the calm sea and lush coconut tree forest.
Aerial view of Nathon Pier amidst the lush surroundings of Koh Samui © suttirat wiriyanon / Shutterstock.com

Koh Samui has four main ferry piers, each situated at a different point along the coast:

  • Pralan Pier: Located on the northeastern part of the island
  • Nathon Pier: Samui’s largest and busiest ferry port on the west coast; the main car ferry terminal
  • Lipa Noi Pier: 20 minutes south of Chaweng on the west coast; arrival point for Raja Ferry from Koh Phangan
  • Bangrak Pier (Big Buddha Pier): On the north coast near the airport; arrival point for Seatran Discovery from Koh Phangan

Smaller piers, such as Petcherat Marina Bangrak, cater to specific ferry companies and tour boats.

When booking ferry tickets, note your Koh Samui arrival pier and choose accommodation nearby to minimize transfer times. Taxis are readily available at all piers to take you to your final destination.

Koh Samui Taxi Services and Costs

Songthaews are available in most places in Thailand. Here on Koh Samui © OlegD / Shutterstock.com

Koh Samui offers a range of taxi services to get you from the pier to your hotel or other island destinations:

  • Songthaew Taxis: Shared pickup truck taxis; affordable but make multiple stops; flag one down or have your hotel call
  • Shared Minivan Taxis: Affordable option, but make multiple stops; book in advance or at the pier
  • Private Taxi Cars: Most comfortable and convenient, but pricier; book online or at taxi stands

Shared Minivan Taxi Fares

Shared minivan taxis offer an economical way to travel from the pier to your destination:

  • From Mae Nam Pier or Nathon Pier:
    • To Koh Samui Hotels: 149 baht per person.
    • Departures every 1-2 hours from 6:30 AM to 5:10 PM.

Private Taxi Fares

For a more direct and comfortable journey, opt for a private taxi:

  • From Mae Nam Pier:
    • To Chaweng or Lamai Beach: 600-800 baht per vehicle.
    • To Bophut or Maenam: 400-600 baht per vehicle.
  • From Nathon Pier:
    • To Chaweng or Lamai Beach: 800-1,000 baht per vehicle.
    • To Bophut or Maenam: 600-800 baht per vehicle.
  • From Bangrak Pier:
    • To Choweng or Lamai Beach: 500-700 baht per vehicle.
    • To Bophut or Maenam: 300-500 baht per vehicle.

Booking Your Taxi

Consider pre-booking your taxi online or through your hotel. Avoid waiting times and the stress of negotiating prices. If you decide to get one at the pier, confirm the costs before setting off to prevent misunderstandings.

With shared and private taxi services connecting Koh Samui’s piers to various destinations across the island, you can choose the option that best suits your budget and preferences. Plan your transfers for a seamless start to your Samui adventure.

How long does the ferry take from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui?

The ferry crossing from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui is fast with Seatran (just 30 minutes) or opt for cheaper and slower Raja Ferry (90 minutes).

How do you get to Koh Samui?

Thailand’s second largest island has its own airport, so getting to Koh Samui is really easy from cities like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai etc. Flights can be pricey though, so you can save money by catching a ferry from the mainland or one of the neighboring islands.

When should I check in for my ferry?

Aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before departure. Check-in counters close 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.

Can I bring food on board the ferry?

You may bring your own food and non-alcoholic beverages. Light refreshments are also sold on board at a snack counter.

Is there luggage storage at the piers?

Yes, luggage storage is available at most of the major piers for a small fee. This allows you to explore the area more freely.

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Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun
About Kamolchat Thanaditsayakun

My name is Kamolchat - a writer with a passion for travel who loves sharing stories of new destinations and unforgettable adventures. I was born and raised in Thailand and I have always been captivated by the beauty and diversity of my homeland which inspired me to venture out and discover the world.

Over the years, I have had the pleasure of contributing to various travel publications and websites, such as Lonely Planet and Viator. I strive to provide an authentic representation of the places I visit, get into the heart of local cultures and finding authentic experiences that nourishes the soul.

As I continue to journey across the globe, I want you to join me in experiencing the wonders of our world through my stories. Together, we can learn, grow, and be inspired by the incredible people, places, and cultures that make our planet such an extraordinary place to explore.