Koh Tao is a stunning yet tiny island off the southeastern coast of Thailand. A quick ferry ride from the mainland will bring you to this sought after oasis. Located just a short ride from the infamous Koh Phangan (see the Full Moon Party) and the busy vibes of Koh Samui, Koh Tao is world renown as being a tropical dream for travelers around the world. From scuba diving to kayaking to bar hopping, this teeny tiny island has everything you need for some fun in the sun.
In recent years the island has grown a lot in popularity, bringing thousands of travelers to the island each week. Most come for the world renown scuba diving, and stay for the beautiful scenery and relaxed vibes. The following are 6 spots everybody should see on their trip to Koh Tao!
1) RELAX AT SAIREE BEACH
Sairee beach is the most popular and busiest beach on the island, and spans almost 2 kilometers down the western coast. During the day there is a range of great restaurants and bars that allow you to sit on the beach while enjoying your meal. At night it is an ideal spot to watch the sunset, have a drink, and relax. It also has the sought after palm trees to try balance on for that perfect insta pic!
2) RELAX AT BANANA ROCK BAR
Down south of the island, Banana Rock is a bar that is difficult journey to get to but completely worth the journey. Make sure you have google maps ready! If the tides in you actually need to paddle through the water to get there which I loved. Here you can relax in the beautiful wooden bar, chill out on the sand next to the steps or even go for a snorkel.
3) SCUBA DIVE AT SHARK ISLAND
There are 60+ dive shops located throughout Koh Tao that are eager to scuba dive with you! Certified instructors from around the world will show you the beautiful ocean surrounding Koh Tao for some of the cheapest diving prices in the world (think $35 USD per dive!).
Inexperienced divers can go in discovery dives or get their open water / advanced certification. Certified divers can choose from a variety of dive sights and can easily view coral, fish, turtles, sharks, seahorse, and a variety of rays! Shark Island and Sail Rock are popular dive sites.
4) SKY BAR, NATURAL HIGH, & HIGH BAR
Not too far from Banana Rock is Sky Bar – you will more than likely see the signs for first. It opens at 4pm, making it an ideal place for an afternoon drink and view of the sunset.
The Natural High is a relaxing stop off – which you will need after the dangerous hills getting here. Reminder to where a helmet and don’t drive unless you are an experienced driver (accidents are extremely common here). The Natural High is a bar I could have spent all night in, but because we had to drive back, the decision was already made for us. If you want to enjoy some drinks in these bars – I suggest getting a taxi.
After the dangerous moped ride to the Natural High, we decided to take a taxi to the High Bar. Make sure that if you are going here for some drinks that you take a taxi. Mopeds are so handy to get around in Koh Tao but going to places like this with sharp bends and traffic it’s not worth the risk especially if you plan to drink. This place was a lot busier than Natural High but had a great atmosphere and beautiful view.
5) SNORKEL EVERYWHERE
With crystal clear waters, light colored sand, and few waves, Koh Tao is an excellent place for snorkelers of all experience levels! You can charter a daily boat to take you around to popular snorkel spots, or simply rent a mask and fins and go out on your own. Daily boat trips with small groups can be arranged as well, and often include multiple snorkel sights, tour guides, lunch, and equipment.
6) HIKE UP TO THE TANOT BAY VIEWPOINT
This was my favorite view point in Koh Tao. We stumbled on this place, by following the map and heading up any hills that looked like we were going in the right direction. Luckily we ended up here! You will see a “Love Koh Tao” sign along with the view of Tanote Bay.
ADDITIONAL KOH TAO TIPS:
- Be safe on your moped! Always wear a helmet, and never drink and drive. Mopeds are the perfect way to get around this small island and see all of the beautiful destinations, but you must be extremely careful on the roads. If you mostly plan to walk around the small town a moped is not necessary, but to explore the rest of the island a moped is the fastest and easiest form of transportation.
- Bring a snorkel everywhere you go as most spots are amazing for snorkeling, in particular, Tanote Bay!
- Get a map and use google maps if possible. Some places can be tricky to get to and one wrong turn can send you far away.
- John Suwan Viewpoint is a beautiful viewpoint that leads to the freedom beach. Be sure to wear running shoes and bring lots of water, it will be hot!
We hope that this article has helped inspire you to visit Koh Tao, Thailand. If you have any questions about the destination or have your own travel tips to share please leave these in the comments below.
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Our Top Places To Stay In Koh Tao
- Blue Tao Beach Hotel
- Oasis Hotel-Pods
- Cape Shark Villas
- Sai Daeng Resort
- Find the best price on hotels in Koh Tao
- Sign up to AirBnB with this link and receive a US $35 off your first booking
Read More About Thailand
- 3 Days In Chiang Mai
- Visiting The White Temple In Thailand
- 6 Reasons Bangkok Is More Than A Layover City
- How To Spend 3 Days On Koh Samui
We Are Travel Girls Contributor Roisin Traynor of CareerLifeTravel.com
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