The Surat Thani airport is my favorite in Thailand.  This is due to its small size, laid-back feeling, and high ratio of coffee shops to customers.  However, getting from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok can be challenging.

In the following paragraphs, we will discuss getting from the Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok via public transportation.  Afterwards, check out our map and directions page for more travel information.

IMPORTANT UPDATE – During Covid times the shared van from Surat Thani to Khao Sok is running on a limited schedule. Please contact us for details.

Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok: the journey begins

After you exit the baggage claim area in Surat Thani airport, head to the transportation booths lined up against the far wall.  Find the booth selling shared van tickets to Khao Sok.  The cost is 300B/person to the Khao Sok bus station, or 350B/person to the resort.  Guests will need to contact the counter staff prior to 16:30, sometimes earlier.

If you come during low season, there is a good chance that this service will be unavailable.  However, a different bus operated by Pantip Travel makes regular trips between the airport and bus stations in Surat Thani town.  Travel time between the two is around one hour, and tickets cost 100B.

The bus from the airport will drop you off at the corner of Talad Mai Road and Nokkow Alley. This is directly in front of the down-town bus terminal. Once you get off the bus, people selling tickets will mob you in an attempt to sell you a seat somewhere. If you are in a hurry, or uncomfortable haggling, then it is easy to get a ticket from these guys. However, you will end up paying a premium price for a very standard trip.

Instead, walk two blocks north up Talad Mai Road, following the Pantip Travel bus.

Then turn right onto Talad Mai 33 Alley, and follow the alley until the you see the vans parked at the end. This is a local station, catering to Thais as well as farang.  Here, you will find various tour companies in competition with each other. As a result, prices are cheaper, and you may be able to find a non-stop van to Khao Sok.

Surat Thani
Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok
Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok

It takes approximately two hours to get from here to Khao Sok.  The van or bus will likely make many stops, as locals get on and off at random points along the way. Additionally, the ride in these vans tends not to be very comfortable.

 An attractive alternative

For travelers with a slightly larger budget, private transfers from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok are an excellent choice. Likewise, travelers valuing comfort and speed will be pleased with their choice to hire a car. A private car cuts travel time in half, for example. Whereas public transport takes a minimum of 3 hours, a private transfer reaches Khao Sok in about an hour and a half. Additionally, ride quality is much better. This is the result of better-maintained cars, and drivers who are not rushing to meet a deadline.

Recently, this author experienced first-hand the difficulties involved in getting from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok. It was a trip characterized by dishonesty and disregard for personal safety and comfort.  The details of the trip could fill another post, but a run down will suffice for now:

-Total travel time: 4 hours, 20 minutes

-Total cost: 450B/person

-Number of stops between Surat Thani airport and Khao Sok: 15

-Number of phone calls answered by the van driver en-route: 5

In conclusion, it might be possible to get to from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok quickly and cheaply, but the odds are stacked against it.  Every step of the way you will meet people trying to deceive travelers for their own ends, with no concern for safety or wellbeing. For travelers set on public transport, come prepared for a fight, and a long day. For those looking for a safer, faster, and more comfortable drive, contact us! Private transfers from Surat Thani airport to Khao Sok Riverside Cottages start at 2,000B.

The last word

Looking for a more classic mode of transportation?  Be sure to read our blog about coming to Khao Sok by train!

Our commitment to a great guest experience is genuine at the Riverside Cottages. As a result, we’ve prepared quite a few useful posts on our blog page. If you are planning a trip to Khao Sok, take a minute to browse the topics there.

You can find a full activities list and suggested Khao Sok itineraries on Riverside Cottages website, or read up on our Top 6 activities!  Once you’re in Khao Sok our staff will make sure you get the most from your time here!

We’d love to provide you with your perfect Khao Sok accommodation and help you explore the depths of Khao Sok jungle!