Catching the Chumphon Train is easily the best way to arrive in town, as the railway station is located just a few minutes walk from the centre and transport to the ferry ports for boats to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan leave from the station.
Chumphon Railway Station is a major stop on the Southern Line from Bangkok and all trains travelling both north and south will stop here.
Most of the faster trains take between 6 and a half and 8 hours to travel from Bangkok to Chumphon. If you are coming down to catch a boat out to the islands, it is best to catch one of the night sleeper trains, so you can be in town to be picked up by bus for the first ferry out to Koh Tao.
The Royal beach resort of Hua Hin is a popular stop for tourists heading north. All trains travelling up to Bangkok will stop at Hua Hin, which is between 4 and 6 hours away by train.
There are plenty of night trains that head to and from Thailand's southern city of Hat Yai.
If you plan to travel to/from Chumphon to Malaysia, the daily International Express Train is the easiest way to go.
This train now originates / terminates at the border station of Padang Besar so you will now have to take a KTM Komuter train if you are heading to Butterworth railway station (which is a short ferry ride from George Town on Penang Island).
Other alternatives are to take the train from Chumphon to Hat Yai, then take a Shuttle Train to Padang Besar.
If you do decide to travel to Chumphon by bus, be warned:
- the main bus station in Chumphon is around 7-8 kilometres outside of town, just off the northbound side of the highway to Bangkok.
From here you will have to get a motorbike taxi and that will probably cost you 80-100 Baht!
All buses that stop in Chumphon, will stop here at the main bus
station - so if you are sold a ticket for example, on a Bangkok to Hat
Yai bus, this is where you will be dropped off.
There are a few buses that do actually arrive at a small bus station in the centre of town, but there are only a few departures a day - 6 to and from Bangkok and 4 to and from Phuket.
These buses will actually have Bangkok - Chumphon or Chumphon - Phuket written on the side.
So be careful on what bus tickets you buy to Chumphon!