Discover the breathtaking beauty of Ko Tao, a charming island nestled in the Gulf of Thailand. While it’s true that Ko Tao is famous for its crystal-clear waters and underwater wonders, there’s more to this paradise than just diving and snorkeling. This travel guide features two exciting outdoor activities, two must-visit places, and a unique tip to help you make the most of your Ko Tao adventure.
Of course, no visit to Ko Tao would be complete without exploring its vibrant underwater world. Scuba diving is a must-do activity, and with a plethora of dive sites for all skill levels, you’re sure to find the perfect spot. Take a diving course to learn the basics, then immerse yourself in the island’s colorful coral reefs, swim alongside turtles, and who knows, you might even get lucky and spot a whale shark!
While Ko Tao is mostly known for its water activities, there are also some great hiking trails on the island. One of the most popular hikes is to the John-Suwan viewpoint, which offers stunning panoramic views of the island. The hike takes around 45 minutes to an hour, depending on your fitness level. Along the way, you’ll pass through dense jungle and rocky terrain, so be sure to wear appropriate footwear and bring plenty of water.
Shark Bay is a small bay on the northwest coast of Ko Tao. Despite its name, it’s not actually a place where you’re likely to see many sharks. However, it is a beautiful spot for snorkeling. The water here is crystal clear and there’s an abundance of coral and marine life to explore. You can rent snorkeling gear from one of the nearby shops or bring your own.
Sairee Beach is the longest and most popular beach on Ko Tao. With its white sand and turquoise waters, it’s easy to see why. The beach is lined with bars and restaurants, making it a great place to relax and soak up the sun. If you’re feeling more active, you can try your hand at some of the water sports on offer, such as paddleboarding or kayaking.
Watch the sunset from Love Koh Tao
Love Koh Tao is a small bar and restaurant located on the southwest coast of the island. While the food and drinks here are great, the real highlight is the sunset. The bar has a prime location on a rocky outcrop, giving you an uninterrupted view of the sun setting over the sea. It’s the perfect spot to relax with a cold drink and watch the sky turn pink and orange.
The Great Banyan Tree
The Great Banyan Tree is a massive, ancient tree that is over 200 years old. It’s located on the grounds of a Buddhist temple in the center of Ko Tao. The tree’s roots spread over a large area, forming a dense network of trunks and branches. Visitors can walk around the tree and explore the temple grounds, admiring the intricate carvings and statues.
Mae Haad Pier Underwater Sculpture
The Mae Haad Pier Underwater Sculpture is an eerie and surreal art installation located just off the coast of Ko Tao. The sculptures, created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, depict a group of people waiting for a boat at a pier. The figures are arranged in a line, with some sitting on benches and others standing. Over time, the sculptures have become a popular spot for divers and snorkelers to explore. The underwater setting adds an extra layer of mystery and intrigue to this unique artwork.
Taco Shack Hostel is a great option for budget-conscious travelers. Located just a short walk from Sairee Beach, the hostel offers dormitory-style accommodation with shared bathrooms. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable, and there’s a communal area where guests can hang out and socialize. The hostel also has a small bar and restaurant, serving up tasty Mexican food.
Thalassa Hotel is a charming boutique hotel located on the quieter side of Ko Tao. The hotel has just 10 rooms, each decorated in a bright and cheerful style. The rooms come with air conditioning, private bathrooms, and balconies with sea views. There’s also a small pool and a restaurant serving up delicious Thai and Mediterranean cuisine.
Jamahkiri Resort & Spa is a luxurious resort located on the southern tip of Ko Tao. The resort offers a range of accommodation options, from deluxe rooms to private villas with their own pools. All rooms come with air conditioning, private bathrooms, and balconies or terraces with sea views. The resort also has a spa, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving up fine dining cuisine.
The Ozo Ko Tao is a unique and quirky hotel located right on Sairee Beach. The hotel’s design is inspired by a shipwreck, with rusted metal and salvaged wood used throughout the building. The rooms are spacious and stylish, with wooden floors, colorful murals, and funky decor. There’s also a pool, a restaurant serving up Thai and international cuisine, and a rooftop bar with stunning views of the sea.
Whether you’re a scuba diver, hiker, or beach lover, Ko Tao has something to offer. With its crystal-clear waters, stunning views, and laid-back atmosphere, it’s no wonder this island is such a popular destination. By following our guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your trip to Ko Tao and experience all that this beautiful island has to offer.