Photo courtesy of Dave Stamboulis
Spared the developers wrath that has destroyed nearby Ko Samui and Ko Phangan mainly due to its topography (think steep mountains), Ko Tao remains a gem in the southern Gulf of Thailand. The small... Read More
Spared the developers wrath that has destroyed nearby Ko Samui and Ko Phangan mainly due to its topography (think steep mountains), Ko Tao remains a gem in the southern Gulf of Thailand. The small island is extremely mountainous, jungle clad, and home to some of the country's most beautiful tucked in and hidden bays with some beautiful emerald water. Ko Tao, or Turtle Island as it means in Thai, is well noted for its diving, and there are many operations here giving PADI training and certification on all levels. The rise of budget airlines means that Ko Tao is no longer too far away for a short jaunt from Bangkok. Ideally, the fastest way here is to fly down to Surat Thani and then jump on an express boat to Ko Tao. Alternatively, bus or train to Chumphon, further north on the mainland, and then boat over from there. Plenty of boats also connect with Samui and Phangan for those who want to do a bit of island hopping.
Ko Tao Island
- Beaches: "If you are coming here to dive, it's preferable to hit Ko Tao from February through April, when visibility is at its clearest. During the December-January high season, the water and weather are actually more consistent on the Andaman side of the country."
- Best for Beaches Because: For stunning scenery, hiking, and some of Thailand's top diving, try Ko Tao.