30 Aug Get Lost in Koh Tao, Thailand
After our short chilled stay on Krabi, we headed on a long enough journey to Koh Tao. Koh Tao is one of the islands on the east of Thailand and is known for its diving and very laid back vibes.
We took a bus from Ao Nang to the port in Krabi. It picked us up from our hotel and after about a 2 hour drive we arrived at the Lomprayah port where our Catamaran was waiting for us. The boat stopped first at Koh Samui, followed by Koh Phangan and lastly at our destination Koh Tao. It was very organised however we did have a bit of a long stay on Koh Phangan. All in all the journey took about 7 hours.
At the port in Koh Tao, we were picked up by the Ban’s Diving Resort mini van, that took us straight to our hotel near Sairee beach.
We stayed at Ban’s Diving Resort. This is the largest on the island and also the most reputable. It is PADI Certified and has some of the best instructors across the world. As we were also doing the open water diving course we got our room at a discounted rate. We paid a little more to have a nicer room, that was located right at the back of the resort and a pretty massive climb each day!
Food in Koh Tao is pretty good to be fair. Lots of variety and not as westernised as other parts of Thailand. I would recommend the following places:
This little cafe is about 3 minute walk from Bans and is vegetarian and vegan. THE BEST salad I have ever had – hands down!
This cafe has the best coffee on the island and is not ridiculously expensive either. We had the salt and chilli squid here too which was delish!
A family bistro with a massive Thai menu. Be sure to get there early in the evening. There tends to be a bit of a queue.
A lovely Italian restaurant that had amazing pizza! I don’t normally eat pizza but after almost a month of Thai food it was time to change things up. The dough balls are pretty famous but to be honest I wouldn’t rate them! We shared a vegetarian pizza and some handcut fries which was the perfect amount of food for two.
Things to do
Koh Tao is pretty suited for any type of trip. You have the beach, water sports and a pretty good night life too. We were here for 6 nights which I would definitely recommend if you plan on diving.
Hit the Beach
Koh Tao has one of the nicest coast lines with plenty of water sports on offer from kayaking to paddle boarding. There are tonnes of cafés and restaurants along the beach and the sand is really soft and white.
Koh Tao is most famous for it’s diving. This is probably because it is one of the cheapest places in the world to get your license, but also one of the best places to learn. We originally planned to just do the PADI Open Water Diver course but loved it so much that we moved straight on to completing the Advanced Open Water course too! You can read more about what we got up to in my post on Ban’s Diving Resort here.
Koh Tao Pub Crawl
Although we didn’t do this on this trip, I have done it before and it’s a pretty wild night! You basically pay 600 baht and get a tshirt and bucket at choppers bar which is where it starts. They take you around to some of the best bars in Sairee, finishing in Fishbowl which is right opposite Bans Resort (handy!)
Koh Nang Yuan Island and Viewpoint
There is a small island just off Koh Tao – Koh Nang Yuan. One thing I learned on one of our dives is that you can actually see both sunrise and sunset from the beach which doesn’t happen in many places around the world which is kind of cool. Last boat leaves at 5pm back to Koh Tao so if you want to watch the sunset here, you need to stay the night.
The viewpoint is on this island, but as we decided to do the second dive course we unfortunately didn’t get to pay it a visit.
I think Koh Tao has been my favourite island so far. I really enjoyed the diving course and getting our Advanced Open Water License was an added bonus. Don’t get me wrong it was pretty tiring. We were up very early every morning and there was a lot to learn but it was a nice change from chilling on the beach (my tan has suffered as a result however!)
Next stop… Koh Samui!