It always pays to be at least a little organized when it comes to ferries. Book your ferry tickets from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao the day before through your hotel or guesthouse. Why? Well, most places will offer free transport to the ferry pier at no extra cost. How handy is that? Brilliant and helpful service if you ask me!
We did some research prior to purchasing our ferry tickets. There are a few different ferry operators that go from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao and we did not want to make the same mistake as we had done going from Koh Samui to Koh Phangan.
After much research consisting of which boat looked the biggest, safest, nicest, most comfortable, the Lomprayah Catamaran was selected.
On the website, the cost of traveling from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao one way was 600 Baht each. We then asked at our resort which ferry company we should use and how much a ticket would cost. They also said Lomprayah and said that the ferry was indeed going to cost 600 Baht. It was the same price with the free bonus of a lift to the pier. So we bought our tickets through our hotel and saved ourselves some hassle.
Lomprayah Catamaran goes twice daily from Koh Phangan to Koh Tao:
Departs KP 08:00AM Arrives KT 09:45AM
Departs KP 12:30PM Arrives KT 02:15PM
It was so easy, the receptionist made a call to the ferry company for us, requested two seats for the 12:30pm ferry, wrote a receipt out that we had to hand the company in the morning and then we were told to be at reception by 11:00am and we would be taken to the Thong Sala Pier. Nice!
Our last drive around the top and through the middle of Koh Phangan was memorable. The island really is beautiful. Although we certainly didn't enjoy the touristy Haad Rin area of Koh Phangan, where the full moon parties are held, (and quarter, half, new moon), we did enjoy our stay in our secluded area of the island.
Compared to the Haad Rin Pier, Thong Sala Pier was gloriously awesome! No mud to be seen, clean, orderly and comfortable. We walked over to the Lomprayah Catamaran office and handed in our receipt that the Utopia Resort had given us. The lady handed over two ferry tickets as well as stickers to wear on our shirts and stickers for our bags, that's if we were to put our bags with the other non-carry on luggage sized bags.
We waited for our ferry to arrive on comfortable seats in the waiting area whilst watching Muay Thai on the television and chatting to the odd person coming over to suggest accommodation on Koh Tao. We took all the flyers to look through once we were on the ferry.
We were both happy when we saw our transport arrive. The Lomprayah Catamaran looked new, spacious and very clean. Not only was there not as many half naked people hanging off the edge of the deck as there was on the Haad Rin Queen, but there also looked liked there were proper seats in the cabin. Phew! :Wipes Brow:
The Lomprayah Catamaran also had a cafeteria for passengers to purchase a number of goods at reasonable prices. Apart from the cafe, there were TVs throughout the cabin showing music videos for entertainment. The bathrooms on the catamaran were clean. Even the decking had proper chairs to sit on.
Because we were on a safe boat, as far as we knew anyhow, and the ocean wasn't rough, we were able to enjoy the beautiful view that was on offer. The Ang Thong National Marine Park really is gorgeous. Sometimes when you are a tourist going from one island to another you forget to take a break from your novel, take a look out the window and watch the world go by.
Arriving at the pier of Koh Tao was just like arriving at any other ferry pier on a tropical island. Lots of touts trying to get you to either catch their long tail boat taxi or songtheaw taxi, or stay at their hotel, dive school or shack, do their tour etc. If you are like us and you haven't sorted out accommodation then you have two options. Follow your gut instinct about a particular person and agree to something that is offered to you at the Mae Haad Pier or be like us and walk to the touristy area of Sairee Beach on Koh Tao wandering into potential accommodation to have a look around.
Directions to Sairee Beach from the Mae Haad Pier:
Walk out of the pier, take the first left, go past the touts and shops.
Take the second right, walk a little bit.
Turn left at a cafe called Cafe del Sol
And then keep walking for about 10 minutes. This is Sairee Beach.
Enjoy Koh Tao, Thailand!