There are numerous ways to get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta, depending on what budget and how much time you have to spare. Here’s a rundown of the quickest and the cheapest ways to get from Bangkok to Koh Lanta.
Quickest Way From Bangkok to Koh Lanta – Flight And Speedboat
The quickest way from Bangkok to Koh Lanta is catch a flight from Bangkok to Krabi Airport and then take an Express Transfer from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta which includes a minivan and speedboat transfer. Total time is around 3 hours from Bangkok to your Koh Lanta Hotel. The flight takes approximately 70 minutes and the speedboat transfer 1 to 1.5 hours. You can check Bangkok to Krabi Airport flight times and compare flight prices at 12Go.
I normally just hop on 12Go to find the lowest prices 12Go shows you AirAsia flights compared to other airlines – once you take the extra luggage costs into consideration, sometimes it doesn’t seem so budget!
Alternatively, you can catch a flight from Bangkok to Krabi Airport and get a private minivan transfer from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta. Total time is up to 5 hours from Bangkok to your Koh Lanta hotel. 70 minute flight plus 2.5 to 3 hours minivan transfer to Koh Lanta
You can also catch a flight and take the public minivan taxis from Krabi Airport to Koh Lanta. These leave Krabi every hour on the hour. You may have to wait at the airport until a seat is available on the next minivan. These minivans tend to get crammed full of people and luggage, so if you’re claustrophobic they’re not ideal.
Cheapest Way from Bangkok to Koh Lanta – Bus And Ferry
If you don’t want to spend money on a flight, you can catch a bus from Bangkok to Krabi over night which normally takes around 12 hours then from there get the public minivan to Koh Lanta. Alternatively you can get the bus to Phuket and then catch the ferry from Phuket to Koh Lanta. You can buy combination tickets for both these routes so that you know you’ll be automatically transferred between the different types of transport.
Buses Departing From Khao San – Be Careful
If you’re staying around the Khao San road area in Bangkok buying a bus ticket is easy. You just go in to any travel agent and they pick up around outside your hotel, then you follow the guide who direct you a short walk to your bus.These normally depart at 18:30. Be prepared for many stops on the way. Also, there have been numerous complaints about theft from backpacks on these buses so make sure your luggage is properly secured and locked up. These buses are only for Western travelers and Thai people are not allowed on them.
Buses From Southern Terminal – A Better Idea
A better option than the Khao San buses is catching a bus from the Southern Bus Terminal. They are a direct service to Krabi and stop only once on the way for food which everyone can enjoy for free. When you arrive on the bus you are normally given water, Pepsi and also a cake – the only downside is Thai Karaoke or a Thai Movie to endure on the TV.
When you arrive at the large bus station you have to proceed to the second floor where you buy a ticket, there are many kiosks and you need to buy from the kiosk with number 37, 38 and 39 sticker on. The buses departs every 10-15 minutes and you are issued the next available seat, starting around 19:00 to 21:00.
Alternatively, you can check Bangkok to Koh Lanta bus times, prices and book online using the search box below. All buses depart from the Southern Terminal.[12GoBangkokToKohLanta]
When you have you ticket you then follow the signs to the platform, only guest with tickets can go here. I had to go to platform 71 as visible on the ticket in the photo below.
The cost of the bus has not changed for many years, how ever there are a choice of buses the cheapest being around 700 Thai Baht, but this one I joined was a little bit more VIP with less seats and more leg room costing 920 Thai Baht.
When you arrive at the platform there are people sitting at a desk who will check you tickets and also check your luggage in. Then all you have to do is wait until your bus arrives, every bus has a piece of paper in the front window with the time of departure on. Then on boarding you can start to relax until they stop for food.
When the bus stops for food you are ushered into a large room where 6 people can sit at a table. The food is already prepared and there is one large bowl of rice and water. The Thai people usually take charge and offer you the plate of rice. If you have never tried this food before give it a try after all its free and if you don’t like it it will make the Thai people laugh and like you more.
Once you arrive in Krabi bus station – I departed at 19:20 and arrived at 06:30 ( depends on the driver if they like Formula 1 or not) you can have a coffee and breakfast whilst waiting for the public minivan taxi to take you to Koh Lanta. Tickets are bought at any outlet with a Koh Lanta sign outside. I finally arrived in Saladan Koh Lanta at 09:30.
You can also catch a ferry from Krabi to Koh Lanta which takes around 3 hours. It’s more convenient to just get on the public minivan taxi from Krabi bus station – otherwise you have to go from the bus station to the pier and then wait for the ferry.
When your traveling back to Bangkok on the bus you are picked up from your hotel by public minivan then taken direct to Krabi. The large bus departs around 16:00 and you shockingly arrive in the city at 03:30 at the Southern Bus Terminal. It is easy to find the taxi rank here and go to your hotel. If you are on a budget you may need to wait a few hours to check in otherwise you will be charged for the previous night. That’s why I fly to Bangkok, it’s easier and convenient.