Inter-island travel in Thailand is pretty well organised, thanks to the well-established ferry and fast boat network.
Travelling from Surat Thani to Koh Tao is no exception; however, you’ll need to pass through Koh Samui first.
Surat Thani To Koh Tao, Ferry Times, Schedule, Prices, Boat Timetable
It is recommended to purchase a bus and ferry ticket combo which will take you either from town, the bus station, or the train station in Surat Thani. The ferries depart Donsak and dock at either the Big Buddha Pier or the Nathon Pier at Koh Samui.
Once you are in Koh Samui, you will have to catch one of three ferries that will take you to the Mae Haad pier in Koh Tao. One ferry operator will take around 1.5 hours to get to Koh Tao; the other takes a little longer, but there is also a ferry that is the cheapest option of all; however, the journey takes around three hours.
Since the overall sea journey can take as long as three hours, make sure you bring along your medication if you are prone to seasickness. If you have a chance to book a faster catamaran, doing so may reduce your chances of getting nauseous.
Since you will have to take two ferries, whose schedules may be subject to change, it is always recommended to book your tickets ahead of time. This is especially important if you are travelling during the lunar parties, such as the Full Moon party, which means that the quicker ferries tend to get booked rather quickly. Once you arrive in Koh Tao, you can book a taxi. There are many found at the piers as soon as you get there.