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Koh Tao

ABOUT KOH TAO

Amazing diving and so much more

With more than 35 dive sites, around 60 dive schools and notably inexpensive prices for diving, Koh Tao is Thailand’s diving mecca. However, Koh Tao has a lot more to offer and is the perfect holiday destination for backpackers, flashpackers and families alike. Spend your days relaxing at one of the beautiful beaches, indulge in the local culture by taking a Thai Cooking Class or be more active and choose from a variety of sports offers. Koh Tao is definitely worth a detour during your visit in Thailand!

WHAT TO DO ON KOH TAO

A small island with a lot to offer

Dive Koh Tao, Diver above Coral in clear waters

Scuba Diving is without a doubt the main attraction of Koh Tao. Not only are the conditions great virtually all year round, the prices to explore the underwater world are one of the cheapest worldwide. As a certified diver you can join our Fun Dive Trips for up to 5 dives a day or start diving on Koh Tao, even if you have no previous dive experience. Besides beautiful coral reefs you can also expect to see a variety of colourful fish, morey eels, small critters, schooling barracudas and if you are lucky you may be able to scuba dive with a turtle of even a whale shark!

Apnea diver during Freediving Course in Koh Tao Thailand

Freediving has become more and more popular over the past few years. Since 2016 we offer PADI Freediving courses, which require no previous experience and are a great activity for the whole family. During your freediving course, you learn how to relax and control your body and mind. You practice different apnea skills like static and dynamic apnea, free immersion and constant weight freedives. Find your personal limits and explore the underwater world in it’s most natural form – without any gear, on one breath!

Snorkeling on Koh Tao, Snorkeller behind fish

There are a variety of options to go snorkeling around Koh Tao. Join our daily snorkeling trip which will take once around the island, stopping at the top 4 snorkeling spots. Our experienced snorkel guide will jump in the water with you and look for turtles, reef sharks and colourful fish. Another option is hire a taxi boat or taxi car to take you to Aow Leuk or Tanote Bay and spend the day on the beach. Very popular is also a visit to Koh Nangyuan: take a taxi boat over to Koh Tao’s neighbouring island and snorkel on both sides of the beach connecting the two peaks of the island.

Cooking Class Koh Tao, students with chef during cooking class

Get a feel for real Thai culture as you experience it’s rich colours, unique flavours and smells. We offer 1 to 5 day cooking classes at Coral Grand and Montra Resort. For each class you will learn to prepare a complete 5-course meal for lunch or dinner. To recreate the dishes at your next dinner party or just for yourself, you will receive all the recipes in a small book and at the end of the class you be rewarded with a certificate. We guarantee that by the time you complete our cooking class, you will not only have learned a thing or two about Thai cooking but will also have had a fun and memorable experience.

Kayaking on Koh Tao, Kayak with island and ocean

Kayaking around Koh Tao goes perfectly with snorkeling as you can stop wherever you like and see what’s going on underwater. With a kayak, you can get to many places not accessible by car or by foot. Kayaks can be rented directly in front of our dive centre and many other spots along the beaches of Koh Tao. The south of Koh Tao is a great choice as there are a variety of bays and interesting spots to see all nearby, so you don’t have to paddle too far. Kayaking on Koh Tao is easy and relaxing, just remember to bring lots of water and sunscreen!

Rock Climbing on Koh Tao, Climber with ocean in background

Locals call Koh Tao ‘The Rock’ as the island is covered in large granite boulders. Rock climbing on Koh Tao offers great training grounds for beginners as well as more challenging walls for experienced climbers. Besides rock climbing you can also go abseiling and bouldering. Are you more keen to jump down rather than climb down? There are a few great cliff jumping locations as well, adding some extra excitement to your day at the beach or provide refreshment after a hike through the jungle. Ready for the adventure?

Hiking on Koh Tao, person in jungle of Koh Tao

Koh Tao is tiny compared to the neighbouring islands, but its hilly landscape offers great opportunities for hiking excursions. Explore Koh Tao by foot and see the island in a unique and peaceful way. There are numerous different hiking trails, many leading to an impressive view point or beautiful beach. If you do not want to go on hour-long walks but still enjoy a stunning view, you can also take a taxi or drive by bike to get to the viewpoints or at least close to it. Indulge in nature and if you time it right, get rewarded with a stunning sunset!

Flying Trapeze on Koh Tao, two flyers with sunset background

Flying Trapeze offers a fun, adventurous and exciting experience for almost all ages and fitness levels. First learn the positions and tricks on a ground level practice bar and watch your instructor giving an aerial demonstration. Then it is your turn, start swinging on a 10m high rig and maybe even attempt a catch? For the addicted, you can advance your techniques and learn more tricks with multiple lessons. As well as being great fun and exhilarating, trapeze is great for building strength and muscle tone. Feel the thrill and learn how to ‘fly’ in paradise!

Yoga on Koh Tao, Group performing yoga with ocean view

There are many yoga schools on Koh Tao, offering a variety of daily classes and even longer retreats. You will find what you are looking for, whether you are a total newbie or a teacher yourself. The yoga styles range from dynamic and energetic to relaxing and calming. Some yoga schools on Koh Tao also offer additional classes like meditation, Thai Chi, Qi Gong and many more. Depending on demand there is even a Yoga Teacher Training Course on Koh Tao. Stretch, strengthen, breathe and find your inner balance!

Muay Thai Boxing on Koh Tao, Monsoon Gym with people training

Get fit with Muay Thai, the popular Martial Arts of Thailand. The classes offered on Koh Tao are for all levels, from beginners looking for a great work out to experienced fighters who want to improve their technique. Take a few classes only or enrol in a full training program. Prefer to watch instead of practicing yourself? There are big Muay Thai boxing nights organised regularly on the island. The early fights are local kids, progressing over the evening to the big fights. Even if you have never attended a boxing match before, definitely check it out for an entertaining evening!

THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT KOH TAO

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When is the best time to visit Koh Tao?

  There is not really a best time of year to visit Koh Tao. Being a tropical island, the days can be rainy during the dry season and dry in the monsoon season. The weather can never be guaranteed but Koh Tao generally has calm and sunny days all year round. Being on the East coast of Thailand, Koh Tao is in a sheltered zone, so we do not feel the strong May-November monsoon, which affects the West coast of Thailand considerably. Koh Tao usually has a light monsoon season, which starts in mid-October and finishes by mid-December. Even during this period you can have the best days on Koh Tao. For diving conditions and visibility the same is true, we can never predict great or bad visibility at any particular time of year.  Just come to the island when you have time and if the weather is good enjoy it and if it is raining you can also enjoy it, its never cold !

What can I expect to see when diving on Koh Tao?

  Diving on Koh Tao offers a great variety of marine life, from small critters to the biggest fish in the ocean. The divesites close to Koh Tao all feature beautiful coral and countless colourful reef fish. You can also see stingrays, moray eels, sea snakes and if you are lucky turtles, schooling barracudas and the biggest fish in the ocean – the whaleshark. If you are more into the small stuff, you can hunt for nudibranchs, shrimp and pipefish.

How do I best get around on Koh Tao?

  The safest and cheapest way to get around is by foot. Koh Tao is a small island and you can reach a supermarket, restaurants and the beach within only a few minutes. You can also rent a bike, but be warned: the streets can be challenging if you are not a skilled driver and usual traffic rules do not apply here. The most beautiful way to see the island is by taxi boat. Hire one for the day and drive all around Koh Tao, stopping at all the stunning beaches. There are also many taxi drivers on Koh Tao, who will take you from A to B. Compared to other places in Thailand, taxi prices are quite steep so be sure to ask for the price before hopping on.

How is the nightlife on Koh Tao

Koh Tao offers a wide range of choices for your nights out. Along Sairee Beach you can find beach lounges with a relaxed and chilled vibe, many beachfront restaurants and a few beach bars playing music until late. Dance away on the beach or just sit back and enjoy the view, the choice is yours! It is not only in Sairee where you can spend a good night out. There are a lot of other bars spread allover the island where you can enjoy live performances, relax to Reggae tunes or party with house music.

Where should I go to eat on Koh Tao?

  You can find all different types of cuisines on Koh Tao. Most popular and also budget-friendly are the small Thai restaurants, serving local fresh Thai dishes. In the evening you can also grab a bite to eat from the  typical small food stands on the side of the road. Fancy Indian, Mexican, French or Italian food instead? Also not a problem on Koh Tao!

Are there any banks and ATMs on Koh Tao?

  There are several banks on Koh Tao, many ATMs, money exchange offices and even Western Union facilities. Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted, although in many restaurants they prefer cash.

What medical facilities are there on Koh Tao?

  There are several medical centers on Koh Tao. Emergency Services (SSS), hospitals and a recompression chamber can be found on the nearby island of Koh Samui, which is 90 minutes away by speedboat.

Do I need a visa to visit Thailand?

  For most nationalities it is possible to receive a 30 day visa on arrival if you fly in to Thailand or 15 days if you arrive overland. It is also possible to get longer visas, however the rules can change frequently. The best is always to check with the Thai Embassy in your home country before coming to Thailand as they will have the latest advice for you.

How to get to Koh Tao

By Ferry

If you are travelling from Koh Phangan or Koh Samui to Koh Tao, you can either take the Lomprayah or Seatran ferry. Both offer departures in the morning and afternoon.

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From the mainland coming from Chumphon or Surat Thani to Koh Tao, you also have the choice of taking a night ferry. The ride is longer than during the day but most of the ferries offer quite comfortable beds and air conditioning.

By Bus & Ferry

 The cheapest and easiest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Tao is by bus & ferry. The Lomprayah bus departs from Khao San Road in Bangkok at two times: 06:00 (arrival in Koh Tao 14:45) or 21:30 (arrival in Koh Tao 08:45). The bus ride is approx. 7 hours and they will take you directly to the pier in Chumphon for the catamaran departure to Koh Tao.

By Train & Ferry

 More comfort but worse connection you have if you travel by night train. It leaves Bangkok at 19:30 and arrives Chumphon at 04:15. Then the a minibus picks you up at Chumphon train terminal bringing you to the ferry which leaves 07:00.

By Plane & Ferry

 You can fly from Bangkok, Don Muang Airport to Chumphon Airport with Nok Air. The flight time is approx. 1 hour.  From Chumphon airport, you will be transferred  to the pier where you take the ferry to Koh Tao. Sailing time is approx. 1.5 hours between Koh Tao and Chumphon, transfer time from the airport approx. 45 mins. You can book the flight & ferry combined directly on their homepage.

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You can also fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui via Bangkok Airways. The flight is approx. 1 hour. This flight option is usually more expensive than flying to Chumphon but offers better connections and more options in departure times with flights leaving several times a day. In Koh Samui you have the choice between the Seatran and Lomprayah ferry which leave at around 08:30, 12:30 and 17:00. Sailing time is approx. 2 hours between the islands. Please check their websites for exact schedule. From the airport to the Seatran pier the transfer is approx. 10 mins, to the Lomprayah pier about 45 mins.

 We offer free taxi transfer from the pier at around 10:00 and 15:30. Upon arrival look for our staff wearing blue polo shirts, holding a Coral Grand sign. If you are arriving early in the morning or late in the evening please let us know and we will organise a taxi for you.

The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.

Wallace Stevens

21

Square Kilometers

35

Beautiful Dive Sites

20+

Stunning Beaches

1

Amazing Island