Koh Tao or ‘Turtle Island‘ is the smallest of the three famous islands on the southernmost coast of the Gulf of Thailand and it is different from other coastal resorts as it specialises in scuba diving. It boasts numerous diving sites to enjoy its rich sea beds and underwater life.
It houses a beautiful beach called Nang Yuan, although it can only be reached by sea renting a long-tail boat.
How to get
There are air-conditioned buses from Bangkok to Chumphon at Southbound Bus Terminal, where you can later take a boat to Koh Tao. Other companies leave from Khaosan Road.
A combined ticket is the usual option.
Tourism is the central pillar of the island’s economy and its population has grown alongside the beaches and the port. The main beaches are Sairee on the west coast of the island and Chalok Baan Khao Bay in the south.
Along with the service companies specializing in water activities such as scuba diving, free diving or snorkelling, you will find a wide and varied range of establishments catering for all your requirements in terms of leisure activities, accommodation and restaurants.
The most usual means of transport to get around the island is a scooter, although the best vehicle for this type of mountainous terrain is a quad and it is safer too, especially in the rainy season.
If you decide to rent a vehicle, don’t forget to check the tyre tread and test the rear brakes before clinching the deal.
Drive with the utmost prudence.
The island has a very hilly relief and if you stray just a few metres from the main road running north to south, the paths inevitably become very steep.
Although the monsoon season begins in May and ends in December, Koh Tao has its particular microclimate that is different to that of the other two islands, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui, making it an ideal place to visit from January to August.
The driest month is March.