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Koh Tao

3.5 /5 35 votes


Best Time: December - September Read More

Ideal duration: 2-3 days

Nearest Airport: Chumphon Check Flights

"The Turtle Island"

Koh Tao Tourism

Koh Tao is an island in the Chumphon Archipelago group of islands in the southeastern part of Thailand. It has some of the best and cheapest diving spots in the world. On one hand, it has a proud and vibrant local culture, and on the other, has a relaxing atmosphere and an exciting night life.

Koh Tao, being synonymous to diving, requires four days if one wants to do a PADI or ISSI diving course. Most travellers come here for diving education. However, if you're here only to relax, a two-day trip works just fine. Koh Tao is known for its pristine white sand beaches, lantern-lit restaurants, delicious food, and of course, the abundant sea turtles residing on its shores, as suggested by its name. Koh Tao is known to be the laid back and less developed neighbour of Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. The island offers the visitors a chance to see the beautiful corals, bull sharks and if you're very lucky, whale sharks. Besides scuba-diving, swimming and snorkelling, the island has other attractions like hiking and rock-climbing on its eastern side.

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Shopping in Koh Tao

Koh Tao has plenty of shops selling clothes made by local as well as international designers at all the three top beaches - Sairee, Mae Haad, Chaalok Ban Kao. Swimsuits, hats, and other beach accessories are available here too. Souvenirs like coconut necklaces and printed t-shirts are also easy to find. The fresh markets of Koh Tao offer local foods and ingredients for foreigners interested in trying local cuisine.

Currency in Koh Tao

Koh Tao being a small island, the bars and local vendors prefer accepting cash most of the times. You can carry your debit cards to be able to withdraw extra cash because Koh Tao has ATMs all over the place.

Exchanging Money in Koh Tao

One can exchange currency at Koh Tao, but a better option would be exchanging it at Bangkok. While carrying credit cards, one should inform their particular bank that they're travelling to Thailand as the banks sometimes block the cards. ATMs are there all over Koh Tao, so withdrawing isn't a problem.

Daily Budget for Koh Tao

Koh Tao is known for its cheap accommodation and water activities. If you're looking for a relaxing trip by the beach and eating local, you will be done in THB 1000. Whereas if you want to visit bars and parties, then alcohol will have to raise your budget a little, and in such cases, you would require THB 1500 - 2000 approximately.

Religion of Koh Tao

95% of the population follows Buddhism, and a majority of the remaining follow Islam.

Koh Tao Customs

The essential etiquettes a foreigner should know while visiting Koh Tao are never to lose your temper, never point or raise your feet at anyone as feet are considered dirty, never wear shoes indoors. The people are expected to be polite and smile. Ideal clothes for this island would be cotton and linen casuals for both, men and women. Tips aren't the norm in Koh Tao. However, maids get paid less so one can tip them with about TBH 30.

Language of Koh Tao

Thai is the spoken language in Koh Tao. As with any foreign country, learning a few basic communication terms in the local language would be an advantage. The resort and restaurant staff will know English, but the local market vendors might not, so carrying an English to Thai dictionary could come handy at times.

History of Koh Tao

Before 1943, Koh Tao was uninhabited. The island was just a jungle with an abundance of turtles. Only fishing boats visited the local waters in search of fish. Between 1943 and 1944, it was also used as a prison for prisoners transferred from Koh Tarutao. However, these prisoners were then released, leaving the island deserted once again. Later in 1977, the first travellers came to Koh Tao to explore its pristine underwaters. Soon after that, the first resort, Niyom Bungalows, was built here, and since then Koh Tao is gaining popularity as a tourist destination.

Nightlife in Koh Tao

Koh Tao offers more than ten beaches and has a vibrant nightlife. There are a lot of beach bars and clubs to choose from. It also has weekly organised pub crawls which provide an excellent opportunity to meet other travellers. Some of the best bars are the Lotus Beach Bar and the Fishbowl Beach Bar, both situated in the centre of the Sairee beach.

Restaurants and Local Food in Koh Tao

Koh Tao offers a huge selection of Thai food, including large varieties of seafood. Barbequed fish, mango and sticky rice, grilled chicken skewers, spicy papaya salad are few of the most famous food among the locals and tourists. Most of the dishes in Koh Tao are served with sticky rice. However, Koh Tao offers a lot of other international cuisines too, ranging from Italian and French to Indian, Tex-Mex and Chinese.
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For Whom?

Diving enthusiasts

How To Reach Koh Tao

Koh Tao is a small island so one can reach by taking a flight to Koh Samui or Chumphon and then a ferry.

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Ask a question from the travellers who have experience.

Q. How is Koh Tao different from Koh Phangan and Koh Samui? Which of these is best for a budget travel?

Holidify 3 months ago
Koh Tao is the Smallest when compared to Koh Pha Ngan And Koh Samui. It does not have as many parties as Koh Pha Ngan has or neither does it have the luxuries of Koh Samui. Koh Tao is for a relaxed experience and vivid underwater scenes that mesmerise in every moment. Koh Tao would be the most Budget friendly place to travel.

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