This small island is a bit of a tourist trap. The beaches are pretty and the bays are shallow and clear but that is where it ends. Double pricing-locals $0.66/tourist $2.90. The beach area is miniscule and overrun with tourists dumped there for 2-3 hours on boat tours. There is very little to do except sit in a single wildly overpriced bar, umbrellas, or restaurant. No drinks are allowed to be brought onto the island and have heard the same can apply for food so think about that. There are many other places far more interesting than this on the island.
Unique Suggestions: If you do go bring protection from the sun-umbrellas or hats as there is virtually no respite or shade anywhere that is free in this place. The sun is relentless.
Fun Alternatives: Rent a smaller boat for your snorkelling or boat trip and skip this place.
There are 7/11 shops everywhere in Thailand and Koh Tao is no different. I saw at least four in a small area of space. Anyway, the items in there are more expensive than on other islands and on the mainland. I dont understand why they are more expenisve than on its neighbouring islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Samui as I would have thought it would have taken the same trouble to get to any of the islands. The price difference is usually 2-5Baht on drinks and sometimes more on food. Water is still the same price though.
There are also little shops selling postcards, suncream, icecream and the likes and these too are more expenisve than other places. So wait till you get back to Bangkok to buy postcards of Koh Tao and buy all your suncream products on the other islands or in Bangkok or back home before you travel.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to buy something then of course buy it, but just try to be prepared for all eventualities when you are packing before you leave home. Every baht counts, right?! Also have a little look round before buying something as it may be a bit cheaper in a rival shop down the road!There didnt seem to be any bargaining happening in the shops.
i went to nangyuan as a day visitor. they charge 100 baht just to get on the island. cold drinks are double the price of anywhere else and the restaurant prices are exhorbitant. you may not use fins to snorkel there either, to hire a deckchair and umbrella is also ridiculously expensive. the little strip of sand gets very crowded and there was not even space for me and my beach towel. The coral reef there is known as the japanese garden, its quite a swim to get there and snorkeling without fins is very difficult, pity because the coral is beautiful there. no cans or plastic bottles are allowed to be taken onto the island.
BE WARNED! Scammed rental company will hold you at ransom for damages not caused by you!
This shop is directly opposite 4P Super Mall / next to Hippo Bar & next to Hippo Bar & Grill.