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Koh Tao

Practical information on Koh Tao

  • Family
  • Spa and massage
  • Romantic
  • Beach / Seaside Resort
  • Island
  • Water Sports
5 / 5 - 4 reviews
How to get there
5 hours from Chumphon by boat
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
3 to 5 days

Reviews of Koh Tao

Simon Hoffmann Seasoned Traveller
185 written opinions

Koh Tao, "Turtle Island," is an island in the Gulf of Thailand, world famous for its undersea diving locations that are rich in fish and coral species.

My suggestion:
If you want to avoid the crowd on the west side of the island and enjoy more peaceful and remote beaches, go to the South or East side of the island where the beaches are less crowded because it's more difficult to access.
My review

Coming to Koh Tao will undoubtedly be one of the best memories from your trip to Thailand. Imagine a postcard landscape of white sandy beaches lined with palm and coconut trees, turquoise water where a large number of fish live, and bungalows dot the landscape... I found all this magical!

Koh Tao is an amazing island where I had the chance to do a whole lot of different activities: diving and snorkeling of course, but even hikes in the jungle, walks along the coast, relaxing on the beach, etc .

Depending on the part of the island where you are, the atmosphere will be completely different: the west is largely urbanized and has quite a few restaurants, bars, hotels, and shops. The south is more tranquil, frequented by young backpackers from around the world sharing their experiences with their feet in the water. The east is still quieter and will delight families with children. Finally, the untamed north is more difficult to access, but a few luxury lodges have been built in the middle of the jungle and along the sea. It's up to you!

Romain Beuvart Seasoned Traveller
89 written opinions

Koh Tao is the smallest of the 3 main islands in the Gulf of Thailand, a divers’ paradise.

My suggestion:
When coming to or leaving from Koh Tao specifically, it is shorter to go directly through Chumphon rather than going to Surat Thani and then to Samui or Phangan.
My review

Koh Tao is a small island best known for its diving, and famous for its fish-filled waters where you can meet (although I didn't get the chance...) the whale shark, the largest fish in the world.

Koh Tao means "Turtle Island.". Even though they are unfortunately rare, it's still possible to come across one. And as for coral, it has suffered and I was disappointed with how it looked there. The only consolation was that I could see some small sharks, and many small curious fish that turn the other way as soon as you get to a place.

It's also a perfect idyllic setting for those on a romantic getaway.  On land, Koh Tao is a little peaceful place, where you can get around on foot or by motorcycle to really see everything. Its cliffs are made of large rocks to a great extent, bringing other destinations to mind, like the Seychelles.

Marine Faure Seasoned Traveller
48 written opinions

Koh Tao is an island in southern Thailand. Notice to those who love heavenly destinations!

My suggestion:
Feel free to get a room a little further from the beach for some peace and quiet.
My review
Koh Tao was my favorite Thai island. I thought about staying there for two days, just enough time to discover the island and leave, but I fell in love with this place, whose scenery seems to come straight from postcards from the most beautiful beaches in the world.
 
Koh Tao is the ideal place for a romantic getaway or a family trip: the long white sandy beaches, small coves, the restaurants and hotels with spas on the waterfront, the natural greenery, the chance to improve your diving skills, and exploring the sea floor...
 
I also took a yoga class on the beach, I relaxed for hours while sunbathing and sipping fresh fruit juices, I went for walks on the footpaths in the surrounding area, and to make a long story short, I had a very relaxing and enjoyable stay!
michael mamane Seasoned Traveller
76 written opinions

Ko Tao is an island belonging to Thailand, which is located off the coast in the south-eastern part of the country, between Surat Thani and Chumphon.

My suggestion:
I favour Ko Tao over her sisters Ko Samui and Ko Phan Ghan for her cool atmosphere and beaches. Choose to stay in the south of Ko Tao rather than at Sairee Beach if you want peace and quiet.
My review

I am a fan of Ko Tao. I like the island a lot and I returned there this year for the third time. In fact, I find that it has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday: beautiful beaches, superb scuba diving spots, an atmosphere that is both relaxing and festive, a people-friendly island, good bars and restaurants, etc.

I especially like to stay in the south of Ko Tao due to its relaxing environment and its many beaches, such as Shark Bay—where you can actually see some (harmless!) reef sharks—, Freedom Beach, Tanote Bay and Aow Leunk. The ideal thing is to hire a scooter, which will give you complete freedom to explore Ko Tao and get to the various beaches. For scuba diving, I usually go diving with the 2 schools run by the French in Chalok Baan Kao. They are really fantastic. There are many scuba diving spots; my favourite is Chumphon Pinnacle. Lastly, I really like the Japanese Gardens beach, but early in the morning or in the middle of the afternoon in order to avoid the hordes of tourists.