"Otherwise known as 'Heaven on Earth'" Top 5 Page for this destination Ko Tao by sugarpuff

Ko Tao Travel Guide: 219 reviews and 525 photos

Pure Paradise...

Dec. 2006 : I can't believe that we nearly didn't go here and it was only because fellow VTer 'QLittleStar' had been in Beijing a month or so before and had forgotten to buy a Starbucks mug that we ended up in Koh Tao! I hear you asking....erm...could you explain more please?!!! So I will!

I was going to be going to Thailand anyway and once we established where the other was going to be and when, I could make my travel plans. Q collects Starbucks mugs and had asked if I could buy one and meet her in Thailand to pass it over, and so after a few days in Bangkok, off I went to Koh Tao mug in hand. And what a surprise I had when I reached there....!

Due to it being monsoon weather we were plagued with dark clouds hovering over us on day 4 and so tried to beat the rain by moving onto the next island down (Koh Phangan). We succeeded for one day and then off we set again further south to Koh Samui for 6 days. But our hearts were still in Koh Tao and so we decided that we would skip Krabi and Phuket and make our way back to Koh Tao...and how wonderful it was to see it again!

March 2007 : We went back for 8 days to Koh Tao on another special flight deal I had found from Bangkok, but this time we went with two other friends. We had a blast as we did last time and now we are Advanced Open Water Divers....Yay!!! We pretty much followed the same pattern as last time, staying at the same bungalows, drinking and eating at the same places but this time we did a bit of exploring on the island and ended up at the beautiful Laem Thian Bay. Saw some black tip reef sharks, rays, eels, triggerfish..the list goes on..read my other pages to find out what we did!

October 2007: Charles and I just came back from our third holiday there this year! Went back to Koh Tao and did some more scuba diving. I also did some free diving which was very cool..its the same as scuba but without equipment, so it was learning how to hold and control your breathing! More to follow...

Getting around...

To get to Koh Tao from Bangkok like I did, you need to take a combo ticket, either bus and boat or train and boat. We took a bus through Lomprayah Travel Agency situated on Rambuttri Road, just behind Khao San Road which took about 8 hours to get to the pier at Chumpon via Hua Hin. Once at Chumpon, you need to wait 2 hours till 7am for the catamaran to leave for Koh Tao. It took about an hour to get there. The first stop, Nangyuan Island, with a triple-connecting beach is an amazing sight. You need to pay 100B just to land and you're not allowed to take any plastic containers of any kind onto it. There is only one dive resort there catering to all budgets though.

Chumpon details

Although I was only at the pier at Chumpon for two hours, I learnt that it is also called the Golden Gate to the South. It is located in the narrowest part of land in Thailand where the border with Myanmar (Burma) comes the closet. For me it was just a stopover whilst I waited for my boat to Koh Tao, but apparently, this province has one of the best preserved national parks in the south of Thailand. Chumpon is small and easy to explore and if you do hang around for a bit in this area it will become clear that its main source of income is from fishery...the smell alone should give the game away!

Many people come here from the islands or even the mainland to do their visa runs to Ranong, and again there are various travel agencies in Chumpon who can help you with that. I will give you details of places I have read about or from people who I know have used a specific company, under my transportation tips for Koh Tao. Any names and addresses I give you are well established places as I have taken their details from reliable brochures.

  • Last visit to Ko Tao: Oct 2007
  • Intro Updated Oct 8, 2007
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Reviews (25)

Comments (14)

  • junecorlett's Profile Photo
    Mar 9, 2009 at 9:08 AM

    Lovely tips. A bit more expensive these days...

  • towerflower's Profile Photo
    Jul 13, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    Thanks so much for all the info on Koh Tao. I'm headed there for 11 days this October and I can't wait!!!!!! I was planning on going to blacktip to dive but you may have changed my mind... Thanks again!!! ;-)

  • Jun 26, 2008 at 2:48 AM

    Thank you so much sugarpuff! Your Koh Tao info is spot on. I'm the owner of Lotus Bar and want to thank you for your positive feedback. Look me up when you return ask for Tony the drinks are on me! And check out my Indian restaurant Noori. :)

  • codrutz's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2008 at 11:39 PM

    Ko Tao looks like a dream. I can't really imagine how it's really to be there to scuba dive and to stay for a while. We are too used with our offices and Europe vacations. But Thailand and Asia generally is a totally different world. Thanks for sharing!

  • starship's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2008 at 11:14 AM

    Sounds like you had exciting trips to this island, especially the diving. I think you are brave! Great info. & photos here!

  • mvtouring's Profile Photo
    Feb 13, 2008 at 9:49 PM

    I still need to learn to scuba ;-)

  • GenuinelyCurious's Profile Photo
    Oct 11, 2007 at 10:27 PM

    300 Baht??!? That seems great. I'm moving there. Thanks for the tip

  • kelnsha's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2007 at 10:21 PM

    Great tips & photo! Cheers!

  • mollymoo0oo0's Profile Photo
    May 19, 2007 at 9:11 AM

    hi again, just spotted your scuba dive page (i'm sure i never read it before!) and it's a great read.... love the picture from Chumpon pier :) m.x

  • muddybok's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2007 at 5:41 AM

    Hi galfriend. You looks so "hot" with that big dive computer. :-> Wanna dive with me sometime?

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