Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a very beautiful island. The island was used as a political prison for 14 years during the mid 20th century until it received a royal pardon and "Turtle Island" was left uninhabited.

The first "backpackers" discovered Koh Tao in the early 80's and as word spread about this tiny island paradise so did it's popularity. It wasn't long before Koh Tao became a diving Mecca.

Not only is this lush, pistachio-coloured island blessed with crystal clear water and coral reefs shallow enough for beginners to explore; it's also is one of the world's popular places to get your open-water dive certification.

The island offers more than 20 dive sites, from the tranquil splendor of shallow-water coral gardens to a close encounter with a Whale Shark, Koh Tao provides diving adventure for divers of all experience-levels.

Once considered exclusively a dive destination, these days Koh Tao is nearly as popular with nondivers as it is with scuba enthusiasts.

Infrastructure on Koh Tao is still pretty basic, with much of the east coast only accessible by 4WD or boat, and 24-hour electricity only available in about 75% of the island.

All in all Koh Tao is a romantic place, where nights usually involve a quiet drink by candlelight on a cushion near the edge of the sea.

Beaches

Sairee Beach is the longest beach on Koh Tao by far the most popular, covered in white sand, fringed with palm trees and crystal clear water. It is almost three kilometers in length and located north of Mae Had, on the west coast of the island.

Chalok Baan Kao Beach is a rather shallow and popular bay located in the southern part of Koh Tao, about two kilometers south of Mae Had.

Tanote Bay is located in the eastern part of the island and is a little difficult to get to, however it is a beautiful bay and a great place for snorkeling.

When to go?

Sometimes it can be raining and pretty windy in October, November and December with the onset of the monsoon. The visibility is not always good for diving during Monsoon Season, although the shallower sites are still accessible and frequently dived all year round. The best time to travel here is normally from late January until September, if sunshine and good visibility in the water is important factors for you.