There are now 6 companies providing ferry services between Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. This means there is an excellent array of options now for getting between the two islands in the Gulf of Thailand. This is good news for people wanting to pop over to Koh Phangan to catch a Full Moon Party or for those needing to get to Koh Samui to renew a visa or do a spot of shopping. This post will focus on the options for getting from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui.
Lomprayah operates a catamaran ferry service between the islands. It is the fastest ferry service available. You will need to check which pier in Koh Samui is closest to your destination as there are 2 options.
Boats leave at 07.20, 09.00, 12.00 and 14.40 from Thongsala pier heading to Nathon in the south of Koh Samui. The journey takes just 30 minutes.
Boats leave at 11.00 and 16.20 from Thongsala pier arriving at Pralarn Pier in Koh Samui. This journey is slightly quicker – just 20 minutes. Pralarn Pier is at Maenam in the north west of Koh Samui.
Seatran operate a reliable ferry service with medium-sized boats. They have plenty of seating inside and there is a small shop where you can buy drinks and snacks.
The Seatran ferry leaves Koh Phangan from Thongsala Pier at the following times:
08.00, 10.30 and 16.30.
Journey time is 30 minutes. The ferry docks at Bangrak Pier in the north of Koh Samui near Big Buddha. From Bangrak you can get to Koh Samui Airport in 10 minutes.
The Songserm ferry is the smallest ferry to leave from Thongsala. The boat can rock quite a bit in rough seas. Be prepared if you get boat sick. The main advantage of the Songserm ferry service is that it is a little cheaper than using the Lomprayah and Seatran services.
There are 2 boats a day going from Thongsala in Koh Phangan to Nathon in Koh Samui. They leave at 07.00 and 12.30. The journey takes 45 minutes.
The Raja ferry service is essential to the Koh Phangan economy as it a ship with a large hold that can transport cars, motorbikes and trucks. It is the safest boat to use in bad weather and the only way to bring a rental vehicle to the island.
There are 3 ferries a day you can catch from Thongsala to Lipa Noi in Koh Samui. They depart at 07.00, 12.00 and 16.00. It is a long journey – it takes 90 minutes. Lipa Noi is just south of Nathon, the administrative centre of Koh Samui.
You can book the Raja Ferry in advance at their website: https://www.rajaferryport.com
Haad Rin Queen
The Haad Rin Queen is the only ferry service that starts from Haad Rin Pier. It is a small boat. You sit on deck and have an awning to protect you against the sun and rain. As you might imagine, the Haad Rin Queen gets very full just before and just after the Full Moon Party.
You cannot buy tickets for the Haad Rin Queen online. Tickets are sold at the counter next to the pier in Haad Rin. It is usually possible (outside peak times) to get a ticket on the day of travel.
Boats leave at 09.30, 11.40, 14.30 and 17.30. The journey time is 50 minutes. The Haad Rin Queen uses Big Buddha Pier in the north of Koh Samui. This is near Big C Supermarket, Tesco Lotus, Bangkok Hospital and Koh Samui Airport. A one way ticket costs 200 Thai Baht.
It should be noted for those arriving at Koh Samui Airport in the late afternoon looking to make it to Koh Phangan on the same day that the Haad Rin Queen is the last boat to leave Koh Samui for Koh Phangan. This boat is at 18.30.
Thong Nai Pan Express
The Thong Nai Pan Express runs only a seasonal schedule. It runs from January to October. During the rest of the year the sea is too rough for the small boat to operate.
The boat starts in Thong Nai Pan Noi and visits Thong Nai Pan Yai, Haad Than Sadet, Haad Thien and Haad Rin before heading off to Koh Samui. The boat docks at Maenam. The crew wait 90 minutes before doing the return journey to Thong Nai Pan.
The Thong Nai Pan Express leaves Thong Nai Pan at 09.00 and gets to Maenam at 10.30.
You can buy a ticket on the boat. Tickets cost 300 Thai Baht. No online ticket services are available.
The Thong Nai Pan Express offers the only scheduled ferry service for the remote east coast beaches of Koh Phangan.
Use the book buttons to check travel times and make online purchases of ferry tickets. If you are on a tight schedule and cannot afford missing a connection then use the bigger ferry companies – Lomprayah, Seatran and Raja.