Idyllic, tranquil and stunning
Koh Tao, which translates to “Turtle Island” in English, is a 21km2 island located in the Gulf of Thailand off the Eastern shore of the Thailand mainland. It is classed as a sub district of Koh Phanghan in the province of Surat Thani and is the smallest of the three islands found in the Gulf. Koh Tao is less developed than its bigger neighbours Koh Phanghan and Koh Samui but still has plenty to offer everyone.
Accessible by boat from Chumphon, Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Koh Phanghan, Koh Tao has become renowned as the premier scuba diving location in Thailand and is surrounded by crystal-clear blue waters, vibrant coral reefs and an amazing variety of marine life. In addition to the sea turtles which gave Koh Tao its name and which still regularly visit the island, you can also see stingrays, barracuda, a wide range of tropical fish and whale sharks around the local diving sites.
The island itself is encircled with white sandy beaches, fringed with palm trees and they are provided with a dramatic back drop by the green forests which cover large portions of the hilly landscape of the inner part of the island. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in Thailand and rarely get so busy that you can’t find a spot to lie back, relax and enjoy the sunshine.
The weather in Koh Tao is warm all year round, with the temperature staying around d 26 – 32°C even in January, which is the coldest month of the year. The hottest month of the year occurs in April, when the average temperature is 32°C. The weather is generally relatively humid, with October and November being considered the wettest months of the year due to the Monsoon season. Most months will see some rain, but February is generally considered to be the driest time to visit.
Koh Tao is host to numerous activities, both above and below the water. In addition to scuba diving, if you enjoy being in the water, you can try snorkeling, sailing, wakeboarding or kayaking. On land there are numerous cooking schools and Muay Thai training camps you can attend as well as plenty of options for hiking, rock climbing, abseiling and mountain biking.
On top of everything else Koh Tao has to offer, night after night it will give you some of the most picturesque sunsets you will ever see. Find your way over to Mae Haad or Sairee beach on the west side of the island at the end of your day and find a comfy spot to chill out and enjoy the view.