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Koh Phangan’s best-loved Western-run hostel for backpackers, voted #1 on Trip Advisor! All our dorms and private rooms are bright and airy, equipped with A/C, large ensuite bathroom with hot water shower, and large private terrace complete with hammock! We're a small hostel (only room for 42!), so getting to know people is guaranteed. In fact, our friendly, sociable environment is one of the things we're most proud of. We really care about your time spent with us, and treat all our guests like family!


We also have...

  1. One of the best hostel pre-party atmospheres on the island with neon, black lights, drinking games, beer pong competitions and free body paint before every big event!

  2. Air-conditioned tiered level cinema room open from December 2015!

  3. Car & scooter hire

  4.  Friendly and knowledgeable staff

  5. Tour desk for all trips and activities on the island, plus onward travel tickets

  6. Huge open bar and lounge (don’t forget to sign our walls!), with a range of Designer Buckets and Designer Shots to knock your block off!

  7. Free WiFi in all areas and rooms

  8. All-day breakfasts

  9. The knowledge you’re secure! Free lockers and CCTV throughout the building

  10. The Baan Tai Backpacker Island Tour available from December!


Email us - reservations@baantai-backpackers - or book fast & direct with hostelworld! 


Getting to the Gulf of Thailand is easy and there are many options available depending on where you are coming from.




Many companies fly into the Gulf of Thailand, landing in either Chumphon, Surat Thani, or Koh Samui. Depending how much time and money you have you may wish to save time traveling by flying into one of these airports and then hopping on a ferry to the island. www.skyscanner.net is one the best flight search tools on the net. Companies like Lomprayah have also started offering flight and ferry packages at very affordable rates.




The train system in Thailand is safe, affordable and tends to arrive roughly on time. There are a number of daily trains departing from Bangkok heading south and all of these stop at both Chumphon and Phun Phin (for Surat Thani). Now you need to decide, day or night.

If you've never done the trip before, try to do at least one way on a day-train as the scenery is great, however if you've done the trip before, take the night train -- the sleepers, nothing fancy but it'll save you the cost of a hotel or guest house for the night. If you take the day train be aware that you will miss the last day ferry and your only option will be the night ferries to Ko Tao and Ko Phangan or to spend a night in which ever city you've stopped in. The train station in Chumphon is in the centre of town, while at Surat Thani it is at Phun Phin, some 7km from central Surat Thani -- public transport between the two is affordable and frequent.

The Thai train system has three classes -- first, second and third. First and second class have sleepers, third does not. Within first and second class you can choose between fan and air-con (we prefer fan) and also an upper or lower berth. If you opt for fan, we'd recommend going for a lower berth as you're then able to re-open the window behind the shutter, giving you a cooling breeze through the night (the attendant will close it when they make the bed). Lower berths cost more than upper berths. On night trains, bags are stowed in racks near your berth (within arms reach). We'd suggest chaining your bag to this rack and keeping valuables (passport, credit cards and so on) on your person. While theft is nowhere near as common on the trains as it is on the bus, it does happen, so be careful.

There are a range of trains that run this route, from "Rapid" through to "Special Express Diesel Railcars" and the general rule is, the faster it is, the pricier the ticket. Full fare and timetable information is avaiable on the State Railways of Thailand website.


Which night train?


If you're aiming for Ko Tao, the express #85 is an option -- it gets you into Chumphon at around 04:00 (leaving Bangkok at 19:15 the previous night) which leaves you at Chumphon three hours before the Lomprayah ferry leaves for Ko Tao. The later (and far more popular) Express Special Diesel #39 leaves Bangkok at 22:50 and gets into Chumphon at 05:52 the following morning -- this leaves you an hour to get to the ferry, which is more than adequate time, BUT if the train is delayed (not unheard of) you will miss the ferry and will have to take the afternoon boat.

If you're heading to Ko Samui which night train you take doesn't matter so much as there are far more frequent ferry connections out to Ko Samui from around Surat Thani. Despite these frequent ferry departures, the Express Special Diesel #39 from Bangkok remains by far the most popular choice.



The only Bus service that we will recomend is with Lomprayah. We have heard so many horror stories about private companies, VIP Buses and any other number of scams and simply avoid them all. The Lomprayah service is safe and reliable and will take you all the way from just off of Khao San Road directly to Koh Tao or Koh Phangan. Other services may be cheaper but not always reliable.

There are buses running from Malaysia to Surat Thani and we've heard are quite safe and reliable we have just never used them. Flying from Subang airport in KL to Koh Samui is much quicker and easier and usually inexpensive. Check out www.fireflyz.com to compare rates.




So you've made it to Chumphon, Surat Thani, or Koh Samui. Next is the islands =)

To Ko Tao you have three options, the Lomprayah high-speed catamaran (leaves Chumphon at 07:00 and 13:00) costing 450B and takes 90 minutes, and the Songserm and Ekawin Tours boats, both of which leave at 07:00, both costing 400B and take around 3 hours. The Lomprayah service is worth the extra money. You can pay a little extra to continue to Koh Pha Ngan on this route.

To Ko Pha Ngan, you need to go to Surat Thani from where Raja Ferry run four boats a day from Don Sak to Ko Pha Ngan and Songsern run one. There is also the night boat which leaves Surat Thani at 23:00 for Ko Pha Ngan (taking six hours). Note if you miss the 07:00 direct Songserm boat to Ko Pha Ngan, you may be able to go to Ko Samui, then grab an afternoon boat from there to Ko Pha Ngan. Again from here you can continue over to Koh Tao using either the Lomprayah, Seatran, or SongSerm ferry companies.

Both islands are easily accessable from Koh Samui as there are a number of ferry operators here. Songserm run three ferries a day between Nathon on Koh Samui and Thongsala in Koh Phangan and two a day between Thongsala and Ko Tao.

Seatran runs one ferry between Nathon on Ko Samui and Thongsala on Ko Pha Ngan
Raja run one ferry a day from Lipanoi on Ko Samui to Thongsala on Ko Pha Ngan
Lomprayah run two ferries a day between Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao
Ferries also run from Big Buddha Beach on Ko Samui to Haad Rin on Ko Pha Ngan


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