Travel in Thailand is easy. There are usually several travel options per major route. Over the past few years several aviation companies have started offering a wide assortment of internal flights. And to add to the convenience, it is now possible to book your travel tickets for Thailand online.
The cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan still remains the bus and ferry. Internal flight prices have dropped considerably over the years but a joint airplane and ferry ticket is still at least 1,000 Thai Baht more expensive.
The train and ferry ticket is the compromise. You can get a sleeper on the train in a fan second class carriage and save 300 Thai Baht compared to the plane. The saving is quite small when you consider the length of the journey. The airplane-ferry option takes about 7.5 to 11 hours. The train-ferry option takes between 16 and 18 hours.
Cheapest Bus-Ferry Ticket
The ferry operators in the Gulf of Thailand are Songserm, Lomprayah, Seatran and Raja Car Ferry. These ferry companies all have partnerships with various coach companies to provide joint bus and ferry tickets that take you from Bangkok to Koh Phangan. The destination is always Thongsala Port. From here you will need to catch a taxi to your final destination in Koh Phangan.
Currently the cheapest bus and boat ticket is offered by Songserm and costs 850 Thai Baht for an adult and 700 Thai Baht for a child.
The bus leaves from the Khao San Songserm office in Bangkok. See the map below.
The coach leaves Songserm Office in Khao San at 18.00. The arrival time is 12.15 the following day. You travel overnight on an air-con coach and arrive at the ferry port in the early morning. Here you can find food and drink and a seat to doze away the travel fatigue. The ferry is a medium-sized boat.
The coach and ferry ticket is very reliable. They go in all but extreme weather conditions and usually arrive on time.
To book a cheap combined bus and ferry ticket from Bangkok to Koh Phangan follow the link below. There is often a small discount for booking 2 or more adults tickets.
Note about Ferries
The Songserm boat is the smallest. The next smallest is the Seatran ferry. Lomprayah uses a high speed catamaran. It is the fastest vessel plying the Gulf but bounces up and down a lot in choppy waters and causes travel sickness. The smoothest and safest ferry to take is the Raja Car Ferry. It is a big ship with plenty of seating inside and out, and the only option for those wanting to bring a car over to Koh Phangan.
Note about Valuable Possessions
Travellers taking overnight coaches down to the islands in the Gulf of Thailand have reported possessions being stolen. Main bags are stored either in the hold or on the lower deck of the coach. During the night these bags can fall prey to criminal scrutiny. So don’t leave money, cameras, smart phones, tablets or laptop computers in your main bag. Instead put them in your day bag and carry them on to the coach with you. If something is stolen, pursuing official channels of redress is largely pointless other than to get a police receipt for insurance purposes.