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Koh Tao Island in Thailand

The islands of the Gulf of Thailand often have bizarre names. Ko Tao translates as “turtle island. It is listed as a resort area in Thailand, is popular with fans of diving and snorkeling. The original shape and beautiful beaches attract to the island of Koh Tao a large number of vacationers who appreciate the comfort, clean sea and wonderful nature.

Basic information about the island of Koh Tao

It is located in the Gulf of Thailand near the islands of Samui, Nangiuan, Phangan. There are two versions about the origin of the name. One claims that the land is shaped like a turtle swimming toward neighboring Ko Phangan. Biologists advocate a more prosaic version, pointing out that sea turtles came ashore to breed. In recent years, their numbers have declined sharply due to the presence of tourists and the deployed network of entertainment facilities, operating year-round.

There are almost no sights, but a well-developed infrastructure, there are stores, pharmacies, ATMs, cafes, clubs, hotels. With a relatively small area of 21 km², Tao is loved by tourists for its magnificent beaches and gentle sea. Even the prices, which are high compared to the mainland, are not frightening.


Koh Tao Island in Thailand

On the island is eternal summer, the change of seasons is marked only by rains and the excitement of the sea. Sometimes the winds come up, but they quickly die down and the sun comes out again. Average daily fluctuations are almost imperceptible, during the year the temperature difference is about 4-6 degrees. On average, it stays at +28-32 °C. The island of Koh Tao in Thailand on the map is in the subtropical zone, so there is a division into dry and wet seasons.

Sunny days prevail, and only from early October to December, nature is a little capricious, bringing rain clouds and raising the sea high waves. At this time on the beach is uncomfortable, but you can visit the few attractions or go on a sightseeing tour.


Despite the almost even temperature schedule, few people want to sit in a hotel room for half a vacation, looking out the window at the rain showers, so to visit the island of Tao in Thailand choose the dry season. It lasts from late December to mid-April.

From May to September the rainfall gradually begins to increase, but the weather is quite favorable. Prices are already going down, the number of tourists decreases, but for the rest of the season is also good. The most frequent rains come in October. They will last 2 months, during this time the island of Koh Tao is experiencing the rainy season, the sea is stormy, swim and relax uncomfortable.

Travel information about Koh Tao

Koh Tao Island - how to get there, rest

Tourist business brings a solid income and the island are trying to create all conditions for a comfortable stay. You can come here for a day or stay for a week. The main contingent are lovers of active recreation, the coast is considered one of the most successful places for water sports.


The island is mostly visited for a day from neighboring Koh Samui or Phangan to sunbathe or scuba dive. If an overnight stay or accommodation is planned, there are rooms to rent from locals, hostels, and hotels. The cost of accommodation ranges from 250 to 2,000 baht. The most unpretentious accommodation, a room with a fan and facilities on the street, will cost 250-300 baht. More decent living conditions can be obtained for 500 baht, the room has a TV, refrigerator, there is a civilized toilet. Hotel rooms start at 800 baht.

It’s worth noting that rooms are cheaper in the hostels.

Hotels on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand

The most popular hotels:

  • Jamahkiri Resort;
  • Koh Tao Cabana;
  • Beach Club by Haadtien.

To be more convenient to navigate, a map of the hotels of the island of Koh Tao is better to buy in advance in any travel agency in Thailand.


Moving on foot in the heat, even within a small area such as Tao Island, is not very comfortable. You can call a cab, but it is the most expensive form of local transport. In demand is the rental of bikes, daily rental is about 150 baht.

Keep in mind that transportation scams on rented motorcycles and autos are rampant here.

Experienced tourists recommend that before signing a contract to take pictures of the vehicle from several angles and carefully examine the documents. Otherwise, you will have to pay for the damage that was already there, but it will be attributed to the last customer. If there are photos and witnesses, then contacting the police will discourage easy profiteers or significantly reduce the cost of payments.

Boat-taxis are quite numerous, the prices are affordable, brought to any specified beach.

ATVs are available for rent, but demand is small because of the high rental price of 800 baht per day and bad roads. It is not possible to drive it everywhere, and to rent a vehicle and then walk halfway on foot does not make sense.

Koh Tao – entertainment and attractions

Until the middle of the 20th century, the island did not attract much interest, especially since it was a prison. After an amnesty was declared, some prisoners remained to live there, and settlers came from other areas of the country. Gradually it became clear that around there is a coral reef of amazing beauty with a huge number of sea creatures.

Divers began to come to the island of Tao, centers and schools for beginners were opened. Almost all beaches are working equipment rentals, with experienced instructors are trained for those who are ready to gain experience scuba diving, wants to see the rich world of corals and tropical fish.


Koh Tao Island, Thailand

Quiet contemplation of nature from an umbrella-shaded chaise lounge soothes the nerves, leading to a peaceful state. The beaches please cleanliness, clear sea, snow-white or golden sand, easy access to the water.

While Tahote harbor is a favorite destination for divers, leisurely lovers of leisurely activities enjoy the beaches:

  • Sairee Beach, the most crowded and bustling with working bars and cafes during the day and a fire show in the evening;
  • Mae Haad saves travel time by being within walking distance of inexpensive housing, stores, restaurants, and a chic stretch of sand;
  • Mango Bay is quiet, secluded and hard to reach, accessible only through the center of Tao Island;
  • Chalok Ban Kao is the southernmost, the second most popular because of the abundance of stores, cafes, nightclubs, famous shaped cobblestones and convenient for children shallow water;
  • Jansom Bay belongs to a private hotel, but the entrance is free, attracts fans of snorkeling;
  • Leuk Bay is devoid of noisy establishments, perfect for those who value silence and privacy.


Tao Island in Thailand

  1. The rock with the royal autograph is an indispensable object of all tours. King Rama V left his mural in the 19th century, it is preserved for posterity and is shown to all comers.
  2. The fisheries museum on the island is especially appropriate because fish is the basis of the diet of the islanders. Collections include gadgets for catching, a selection of rare sea creatures with a detailed story about each of them.
  3. The Conservation Center introduces the fascinating world of underwater life and offers an informative historical and biological tour.
  4. Near Sayri Beach there is a carcass of a huge whale.
  5. Diamond caves mesmerize with their beauty and mystery, and endless enthusiasts are constantly trying to get a stone to remember them by.
  6. Viewpoints are also considered a kind of landmark. Each of them offers a unique view, showing the beauty of the island from a new angle.
  7. Tours of the island’s settlements provide a unique opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of the island’s people.

The most popular activities are diving and snorkeling. The surrounding expanses are full of unsolved mysteries and amazing discoveries for those in the mood to explore the depths of the sea.

How to get to Koh Tao?

Tao Island, Thailand

The area of Ko Tao is small, it has no airfields and helipads, all communication with neighboring islands and the mainland is by boat or ferry. You can start from Surat Thani, Chumphon, or Samui.

From Bangkok, there are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways flights. At the airport they offer a comprehensive bus and ferry ticket. You can get to the pier on your own by bus or cab. There is no point in booking a ticket in advance, there are always free seats, ferries run regularly. About booking a hotel room should be taken care of, on weekends people in Thailand themselves are happy to relax, coming to the island of Tao and free apartments or bungalows may not be.

Koh Tao Island on the map

The ferry ticket costs from 300 to 700 baht, depending on the time and day of the week. A boat ride will cost 700 baht. The catamaran company Lompraya takes you to the island quickly and expensively. For those suffering from seasickness, this option is better left as an extreme one, the ferry is slower and quieter.

Holidays on the island of Koh Tao in Thailand will be remembered for the vivid impressions of the beaches, entertainment and luxurious nature against the backdrop of picturesque sea expanses.

Video review of Ko Tao

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