A quick guide to exploring Koh Tao, Thailand
Six awesome things to do on this small-sized yet big-hearted island.
Koh Tao is a magical and mesmerizing destination. With vivid and clear-watered sight of the South China Sea to behold day and night, don’t be surprised if your vacation here is the best time of your life yet spent by the sea; think resting, playing and enjoying sun-kissed activities for as long as you are on the island. Because it can get super packed during peak seasons, it’s always best to make your bookings in advance. Now, here’s a quick guide to exploring Koh Tao like a champ.
1. Koh Tao is a heaven for those who wish to snorkel.
There are so many beaches located on the island to choose from for snorkeling and kayaking — the two main activities Koh Tao, nicknamed The Turtle Island, is known for. Some of the best spots include Sai Nuan Beach, Hin Tah Toh Cape and Laem Thian. Make sure to bring an underwater camera with you as you dive into the experience. The water is so crystal clear that no marine life can hide from your view as you take fort under!
2. Island hop to your heart’s content
To tour around Koh Tao to neighbouring islands, it’s best to take long tail boats and luxury speed boats. With a tour guide, you can enjoy your trip in an organized way to make room for your snorkeling plans; the more spots, the better! Most beaches located in the region are calm, quiet and safe (even for kids), with loads of aquatic species to see and interact with.
3. Ride around the island with your loved ones.
Some of the best panoramas on Koh Tao are best spotted on its winding roads. For this very reason, you should rent a motorcycle to get around, instead of taking tuk-tuk or taxi services. Imagine being able to make a pitstop to enjoy a beautiful moment with your loved ones, any time you fancy. And not only is riding convenient, it is also the cheapest mode of transportation around, costing only 200 Baht per day (that’s roughly around USD6).
4. Improve your eating habits on the go.
Fresh food comes easy on Koh Tao, so there’s no excuse to stop eating healthily on your vacation here. So many sideroad cafes are catered to fruitarians, vegans, and detox dwellers. Our best bet? Fruit smoothies and banana pancakes, which are as abundant on the island as pad thai. Some of the best spots are Maya Bar (where awesome DJs play good tunes), Fishbowl Bar (a hot spot for partying all night, we hear), and Lotus Beach Bar (hint: fire dancers).
5. Get a good massage to soothe your city worries away
If there’s one thing that you should live for in Koh Tao, it is super cheap massages. Everywhere you stop on the island, there is a massage parlour to greet your sight. Most joints are open 24/7, and typical Thai massage can cost as low as 200 Baht (USD6), so there’s really no reason to miss out on this! Nothing like a holistic session to end your day out in the sea.
6. Koh Tao is the best place for the annual Experience Festival.
It’s called Experience for a reason! It has been ten years since the music festival first established on the island, and the fun spirit hasn’t stopped. Expect non-stop psychedelic music, colourful decors and hospitable people from all over the world at this event, usually taking place on New Year’s Eve atop the island’s Magic Mountain. From the dance floor set on the mountain’s peak, you get to enjoy memorable sunsets and sunrises. If you plan to attend this festival, it’s best to visit Koh Tao at the end of the year. Be sure to book your trip in advance to avoid hiccups!