Ko Tao Travel Guide

  • Ko Tao
    Ko Tao
    by lotharscheer
  • Fishing boats at sunset .Koh Tao
    Fishing boats at sunset .Koh Tao
    by austarman
  • Creative with postcards.
    Creative with postcards.
    by Princess_Emily

Ko Tao Things to Do

  • Take a village stroll

    Sairee Beach has a wonderful village located directly behind it. It is actually quite expansive, and several times I must admit I Lost my bearings a bit. Great place to take a stroll, get a massage, grab a bite or a beer and see some life bands. There are several restaurants which play movies during dinner. This is also the area for ATM's, money...

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  • Snorkeling in beautiful Koh Nang Yuan

    For a beautiful day excursion, head out to the beautiful island of Koh Nang Yuan. Brillant for snorkeling, swimming or just chilling on the pure white sand beaches. The water is so clear it is like looking at an aquarium. You almost don't need goggles. For a killer hike, but a wonderful view, follow the signs for the viewpoint. It is quite the...

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  • Stick around for a beautiful sunset

    Sairee beach has the best sunsets I have encountered in Thailands. So stick around, grab a Chang beer and your camera, enjoy and thank the heavens above you got to experience Koh Tao.

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Ko Tao Restaurants

  • Best fried rice on the island

    Small fresh restaurant with amazing food. Everyone working on the restaurant are extremly nice and friendly. Chris and his wife owns the restaurant. Chris is very nice! Lots of food to choose between on the menu plus they have specials everyday. Great traditional Thai food. Fresh and clean toilets which I think is a big plus. Not expensive at all....

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  • The most beautiful location with the...

    MOOV Restaurant & Club is enchanting, playful & imaginative! ​By entering the first feeling was coming into little Morocco ! The design and decor Moroccan style, very cozy atmosphere.The garden is huge and a funny art playground.A big statue, like the once on Easter Island, named Hank, is residing over a gorgeous pond with little Aardvark...

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  • Mexican and a movie!

    This is a great restaurant in Sairee Village. Not only does it have solid mexican chow, which is kind of rare in the land of rice, BUT it also runs movies throughout the night. I love being able to chill on a cushioned chair or sofa, order some grub, and watch Hangover 2. Now that's my idea of paradise.

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Ko Tao Nightlife

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  • Come for a chat, watch sports or watch a...

    Choppers is an Aussie themed bar that is a sociable place. We ended up here quite a few times, especially when the weather was bad. Friendly staff who are always willing to point out that Happy Hour is on.When they show major sport matches they have the volume on. They have different food deals on every day. For some reason Happy Hour on a...

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  • Chilling beach-nights

    Just down of Sunshine Resort in Chalok Baan Kao is a cozy seaside Bar named exit.They play chill music, the ocean beats under your feets below, the make nice cocktails and aslo provide local herbes for those interested... the ambiance is alwas chill and people are friendly... good atsmpohere and a good alternative to the more buzzing Sairee beach..

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  • Every Night's Like New Year's Eve on...

    Sairee Beach has it all for party seekers... bars and clubs some with live music and DJs, other places have pool tables if you're not aiming at other horizontal "stick and ball" games.. ahem ahem... Some of the more popular spots are AC Party Pub, In Touch Beach Bar, The Deck, Dry Bar, Dragon Bar, Maya Bar... just start on one end of the beach and...

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Ko Tao Transportation

  • Joint ticket from BKK to Ko Tao

    You can purchase a joint ticket (VIP Bus + Ferry) to Koh Tao from BKK. It's about 7 hours road journey plus 2 hours ferry....Just go to any travel agent at Khao San road but if you want you can go direct to Lomprayah Ferries...they're one of the newer and bigger ferry operators around...and the tickets can be booked online. The joint ticket costs...

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  • A good way to arrive.

    There are several ways to get to Ko Tao from either Surat Thani or Chumpon (Chumporn) ranging from fast efficient catamaran vessels to slow overnight cargo boats with prices varying accordingly. Basically the faster the journey, the more you pay. I went to and from the island with the Lomprayah catamaran line which plies a route Chumpon - Koh Tao -...

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  • Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran

    The main pier at Koh Tao is located at Mae Haad Village. The Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran and most other boats land here. Standing around at the end of the pier are drivers from some of the island resorts waiting to provide transportation for the newly arriving guests. If you dont see a driver holding a sign with your name on it, dont worry there...

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Ko Tao Shopping

  • planxty's Profile Photo

    by planxty Written Jan 28, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    There are several minimarts dotted around Sairee but I found this one to be particularly good. From a relatively small premises, it seems to be able to supply just about anything you could want, and some things you probably didn't know you want. I cite as an example of this Swedish snuff. I really have no idea what that is all about. Prices seem to be about normal for the town.

    What to buy: Just about anything you need, food, drink, toiletries, household goods..............

    What to pay: Prices seem aobut normal for the town.

    Minimart, Ko Tao, Thailand.

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Ko Tao Local Customs

  • Shadowpuppets

    In the streets of Kho Tao there are a sect of traveling shadow-puppeteers who entertain the people of the island (not the tourists) with stories taken from Thai folklore. They are a delight to watch, intricate in their design and execution. The children gathered around were giggling and having a grand ole time. I of course could not understand a...

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  • Please don' t put toilet paper in the...

    Please, Please do not put toilet paper etc in the toilet. There is always a bin provided. Thai plumbing cannot cope and the toilet blocks. Which means that the toilet cannot be used until it is unblocked. This applies to most places in Thailand, but I came across a lot of toilet paper in the toilet in Ko Tao.Don't do it.

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  • Take off your shoes!

    Now, I'm used to taking off my shoes when entering other people's houses in China because mainly they have wooden floors and don't want them to get ruined and of course it is less sweeping they need to do after you have left! But in Thailand, it's a whole different ball game! In Thailand it is out of respect that they take off their shoes and I...

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Ko Tao Warnings and Dangers

  • Motorcycle renting scams

    We were conned by "Sairee Star travel" when we borrowed a dirt bike and I had to leave my passport with them as security.On returning the bike the boss goes over the bike with a fine tooth comb looking for faults and reasons to extract more money from you.He found a small scratch on the front gaurd which he said I put the there and ripped me off...

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  • It's just not worth it.

    The three scooters pictured in somewhat of a December deluge are obviously stationary and that is about the only way a visitor should interact with them. I am quite comfortable riding motorbikes and scooters as many of my other tips will show but I know when to take a bit of advice. The roads on Ko Tao are pretty bad and every expat I met had...

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  • Night boat

    The night boat from Koh Toa leaves @ 2100hrs. There are two levels. Upstairs with matresses on the floor or downstairs with cane thin matresses. My advice is to go downstairs, though dingier, you will much more room and maybe a better sleep. I did. When you get to Suratthanni...beware the mini bus drivers that keep your ticket then after dropping...

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Ko Tao Tourist Traps

  • Motobike Rental at Jitsin Petrol Station

    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.

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  • Ko Nang Yuan

    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,...

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  • Higher prices than other islands

    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...

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Ko Tao What to Pack

  • No Overstuffed Suitcases.

    No overstuffed suitcases, stop packing stuff your not gonna wear, and if your bags are overweight at the check in counter, you'll wind up paying for the extra kilos.If your planning on doing some island hopping, travel lite, would recommend a backpack for easy on, easy off, when boarding boats. T-Shirts, Shorts, Sandals, maybe a hat, definitely...

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  • Backpacks, flip flops & toilet paper!

    I've made the mistake before when I took a case around NY and Washington and Canada when i went 3 years ago and that was a BIG no no....so heavy...Then I went to Thailand for three weeks and took a backpack, packed way too many things and didnt do a test run of walking around the block with it the day before to test for weight and i ended up...

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  • Ko Tao Hotels

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Ko Tao Off The Beaten Path

  • Tanote Viewpoint

    There is a road from Maehead (pier township) that goes over mount Koh Tao to the east coast of the Koh Tao island.We were on a dirt bike but even still the road gets pretty bumpy and turns to dirt but if you persevere you end up after just a few km's at his fantastic viewpoint on the east coast of the island over looking Tanote bay.You can actually...

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  • Head over to Laem Thian

    Our diving instructor told us of a Bay on the other side of Koh Tao that could be reached via a bumpy path straight across the middle of the island. He recommended Laem Thian as he had been there the day before and had seen some Black Tip Reef Sharks and lots of other fish. He said the visibility had been superb. So we decided to follow his advice...

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  • Trek to Ao Leuk

    We had nothing much to do in the first afternoon we were there so we rode a motorbike to Ao Leuk. There was this part where you have to park your bike because the sandy tracks are simply too steep or dangerous to continue riding. We trekked for another 15-20 mins over steep sandy paths..it can be very steep going downwards....I had to take off my...

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Ko Tao Sports & Outdoors

  • relaxed Dive Sop in the south of Koh Tao

    A friend of mine gave me the tip to head to the south of Koh Tao where its not that crowded and busy as on the main beach Sairee. Following his advice I ended up in Chalok Baan Kao, the main beach in the south, walking around to check and find accommodation I met the guys from Alvaro Diving who helped me to find a place to stay without even asking...

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  • Blow bubbles and scare fish!

    I happened on this place by chance basically with no intention of scuba diving at all. Without wishing to bore you, I ended up training as an Open Water diver here and completed eight fantastic dives. I know that the island of Koh Tao qualifies more new divers annually than any other place in the world and the diving here really is great. With over...

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  • Japanese Garden

    Our full day snorkeling trip, booked in the lobby of our hotel, started at Mae Haad Bay main pier were we boarded the speed boat that would carry us around Koh Tao Island.The 4 planned stops were Ao Leuk Bay, Hin Wong Bay, Mango Bay, and the Japanese Garden.During our stop at Hin Wong Bay we had a very nice lunch onboard the boat. The basic...

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Ko Tao Favorites

  • Sairee beach

    Spending late afternoons on Sairee beach is a very peaceful thing to do as you watch the sunset over the fishing boats and pleasure craft just offshore. The BBQ meals on the beach of a night were my fondest memory as was the sunsets from the beach and resort pool.

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  • Mae Haad

    With this being the location of the main pier and all boats arriving on Koh Tao stopping here it's not surprising that the area is so highly developed, but it has also kept some of it's old fishing village charm.There is a Bank, ATM and Money Exchange service here, along with many Dive Offices, Travel agents, bike rentals, supermarkets, restaurants...

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  • Relax, relax and relax

    Ko Tao is a scuba diving and snorkeling island. It is a lot less of a party compare to Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. You really do get a chance to unwind and relax. Even the parties are chill. There is no constant hasstle to buy this or bargain. Stepping on to the beach for the first time. It truly felt like paradise.

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