"It is all they said it was." Top 5 Page for this destination Ko Tao by planxty

Ko Tao Travel Guide: 219 reviews and 525 photos

Small but perfectly formed.

I had long heard tales amongst travellers about the island of Ko Tao. Unlike it's larger, more commercial neighbour Ko Samui, and the infamous Ko Phangan with it's reputation for drink and drug fuelled lunacy especially around the full moon, Ko Tao was said to be a really relaxed place to go, and so it proved.

A small island in the Gulf of Thailand, it boasts, in it's 22 km. square, no less than 40 dive schools and it is the diving / snorkelling that attracts most travellers. The diving is very good with good coral, good visibility most of the year and an absolute plethora of fish and marine life. In a fit of midlife crisis madness, I decided, just after my 50th birthday to learn to scuba dive, and I did it. You will forgive me if I feel just a little smug here, I really thought it would not be possible at my age but now I have learned, I can't get enough of it.

Onshore you have effectively three choices. You can stay in MaeHat (Mae Haad), nearest the ferry pier which is terribly quiet and closes down at about 10p.m. You can move about a 20 minute walk along the coast to the main resort of Sairee, where most of the dive centres are, which is a bit of a party town and goes on half the night or, if your budget allows, you can move right out of town and stay in one of the many new resorts / spas that are springing up, seemingly without any planning regulation. Your choice.

What I would say is that if you want to visit, do it soon, as it is a pretty open secret now and, in search of the tourist dollar, it will undoubtedly go the way of so many others before it.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Great diving and as much or little nightlife as you want.
  • Cons:Infrastructure is still fairly weak.
  • In a nutshell:Come for the diving, stay for the fun.
  • Last visit to Ko Tao: Dec 2009
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (21)

Comments (3)

  • cal6060's Profile Photo
    Sep 11, 2013 at 9:13 AM

    Nice page on Koh Tao.. I have already booked the air ticket to Koh Samui next year April. I found your infors are quite helpful thanks

    • planxty's Profile Photo
      Sep 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

      Thanks so much for your kind comments mate. It is always much appreciated when people comment on your tips. You will love that part of the world, it is great. fergy

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    Jan 5, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    You did your first dive on your 50th Fergy..... Me too!! haha. Mine was on Pulau Tioman, Malaysia. Enjoyed your write up mate. Just going to have a squiz at some more :o) Hugs, Ann xx

  • dancinbudgie's Profile Photo
    Feb 5, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    I have really enjoyed reading these tips. They are informative and entertaining, a great combination! Thanks. Tracey


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