Most individuals who journey to Thailand need to spend not less than a few of their journey on a tropical island. The Kingdom of Smiles has no scarcity of paradisiacal islands to select from. The most effective Thai islands to go to is Koh Tao, “Turtle Island.”
Koh Tao is among the finest places to visit in Thailand when you’re on the lookout for a diving vacation spot, however there’s far more occurring right here.
I had such unbelievable experiences in Koh Tao and beloved scuba diving, seashore bumming, mountaineering, and wild nightlife. All this and extra await whenever you journey to Koh Tao. Right here’s my checklist of the perfect issues to do in Koh Tao that will help you plan your Thai island getaway.
1. Get Scuba Licensed
There are few locations on the earth higher to get scuba licensed than Koh Tao. There are tons of dive retailers on the island, and the competitors helps preserve costs down. You may get your open water certificates right here for simply round $300. What a deal!
In the event you’ve at all times been involved in scuba diving however have been placing it off, Koh Tao is the proper place to start out. It’s nice having the ability to study within the ocean, as there are spots which can be shallow sufficient to take action.
I for one am actually completely happy I discovered out within the ocean moderately than in a pool. It made the transition to correct scuba diving very clean and we had nice instructors.
Since there are numerous dive colleges on Koh Tao, it’s necessary to do your analysis and select the one which’s best for you. Two high contenders embody the highly-rated La Bombona and Dpm Diving (which additionally has nice lodging out there, check that out here).
Those that have already got their open water certification can add loads of different credentials right here, together with superior diver, divemaster, and extra. Many dive retailers additionally supply underwater images lessons when you’d wish to get into that. There’s little doubt that scuba diving is on the high of the checklist of issues to do in Koh Tao.
2. Unleash Your Inside Yogi
It’s not all about being within the water right here. There are additionally loads of issues to do in Koh Tao on land, together with working towards yoga. There are fairly a number of yoga studios in Koh Tao today, providing lessons of varied varieties and ranges.
It’s exhausting to consider a greater strategy to begin your day than with an ocean-view yoga class. In the event you’re pondering of turning your passion for yoga right into a job, you’ll be able to look into doing all your yoga trainer coaching right here as effectively.
Take a look at Shambhala Yoga on Sairee Seashore (round 300 baht per class) or take a look at Ocean Sound who supply scuba diving and yoga lessons.
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3. Go On a Snorkeling Cruise
You don’t should be a diver to benefit from the underwater world that surrounds Koh Tao. There are many snorkeling cruises for many who aren’t dive-certified however nonetheless need to admire the plentiful marine life.
Along with seeing turtles (which you’d count on on Turtle Island), you may also spot black-tip reef sharks and blue-spotted rays. I’m a giant fan of diving, however the snorkeling in Koh Tao is fairly superior as effectively. It’s definitely simpler and cheaper, too!
On this highly-rated journey, you’ll discover Koh Nang Yuan islands off of Koh Tao, have use of kayaks, paddleboards and snorkel gear, and luxuriate in a meal with drinks. Click here to study extra about this enjoyable journey.
In the event you’re on nearby Koh Samui, you are able to do a day journey to Koh Tao to benefit from the underwater world.
4. Feast on a Seafood BBQ
After taking a look at all these fish within the water, it’s time to eat a few of them again on land. There are many beachside eating places the place you’ll be able to select from a wide range of recent seafood and have it barbecued proper on the spot.
A seafood feast on the seashore is definitely some of the scrumptious issues to do in Koh Tao! Take a look at Family Kitchen or Barracuda for some tasty meals.
5. Play Mini-Golf
Probably the most enjoyable issues to do in Koh Tao is taking part in a spherical of mini-golf. Head to the Koh Tao Leisure Park to play a spherical on their 18-hole course.
You may play as many rounds as you want for about $5, so go forward and provides the “Goofy Golf” a strive. It stays open late and it’s flood-lit at evening, so this can be a nice strategy to spend a night out.
Along with mini-golf, additionally they have petanque courts, pool tables, foosball tables, a cinema, and a sports activities bar. Carry some pals alongside from the hostel for a tremendous enjoyable evening.
6. Eat a Banana Pancake
Seeing as how Koh Tao is firmly on the famed Banana Pancake Path via Southeast Asia, you must in all probability eat not less than one. There’s a motive yow will discover banana pancakes all over the place on this area. They’re candy, scrumptious, and tremendous low-cost, so why not?
Take a look at Coconut Monkey for extra of a restaurant model, or hit up any of the streetside distributors for a banana pancake crammed with Nutella, bananas and extra. At round 40 baht ($1.20), it’s a discount. Consuming a banana pancake is certainly some of the in style things to do in Thailand for backpackers.
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7. Hire Some Wheels
One of the simplest ways to discover Koh Tao is certainly with your individual two wheels. Most vacationers select to lease motorbikes, that are available and fairly low-cost. With a set of wheels, you’ll have the ability to hit all corners of the island simply with out having to fret about discovering a cab. Simply be sure to drive safely and at all times journey with a helmet.
In the event you’re not comfy on a bike, you too can discover bicycles for lease in Koh Tao. There are many good bike rides you’ll be able to tackle the island, and also you’ll get some train within the course of.
Take a look on the extremely rated Oli’s Motorbike Rentals or KP Travel and Motorbike Rental.
☞ Searching for an epic motorcycle journey? Don’t miss the Mae Hong Son Loop in northern Thailand, it’s a spotlight of any journey to the nation.
8. Take a Hike to a Viewpoint
Talking of getting train, there are a number of brief mountaineering trails in Koh Tao that take you to gorgeous viewpoints. A few of the finest embody the John Suwan Viewpoint and Fraggle Rock.
It’s finest to go out mountaineering early within the morning or later within the day simply earlier than sundown, because the noon solar might be intense. Everytime you go, working up an excellent sweat is among the high issues to do in Koh Tao.
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9. Take a Day Journey to Koh Nang Yuan
Simply since you’re already on a stunning island doesn’t imply you’ll be able to’t depart for the day to go to one other one. Close by Koh Nang Yuan is a tiny island that makes for an excellent day trip.
Along with enjoyable on the postcard-worthy seashores and having fun with some world-class snorkeling, you will get a pleasant adrenaline rush right here on the superior zipline.
Koh Nang Yuan is house to the world’s first island-to-island zipline, which options some fairly unbelievable views. Make sure you put it excessive in your checklist of issues to do in Koh Tao. Click here to learn about this amazing day trip.
☞ Searching for a surprising island with pristine seashores, however much less vacationers? Don’t miss all the unbelievable things to do in Koh Lipe.
10. Climb On Rocks…and Bounce Off Them
In the event you can handle to climb out of your seashore chair, why not give mountaineering a strive in Koh Tao? Whether or not you’re an absolute newbie or a professional, there’s a climbing route right here for you.
There are a number of retailers providing climbing programs on the island, so get on the market and provides it a strive. One other expertise value attempting is cliff leaping. After that critical exercise climbing, it’s tons of enjoyable leaping within the water and cooling off.
Take a look on the in style Koh Tao Climbing Project for extra particulars.
11. Hire a Kayak and Snorkel
A good way to spend a half day in Koh Tao is renting a kayak and snorkel and heading out by yourself. It’s not exhausting discovering a store that may lease the gear out to you for a few hours.
There are many bays within the south of the island the place you’ll be able to head out from – Jansom Bay, Shipwreck, Sai Nuan Seashore, June Juea Seashore, Viewpoint Cape, Cape Je Ta Kang and Freedom Seashore (to call a number of).
A day of paddling across the bay with a little bit of snorkeling blended in is difficult to beat. Wherever you exit in Koh Tao, you’re certain to see loads of marine life. The kayak/snorkel combo is certainly one in every of my favourite issues to do in Koh Tao.
Take a look at this day trip which features a boat tour, snorkeling, kayaks, and far more. Or, take a look at this awesome snorkel boat trip round Koh Tao!
*Observe: at all times examine the wind and sea situations earlier than setting off and search native recommendation about the place (and the place not) to kayak.
12. Drink a Bucket
When partying in Koh Tao (or any Thai island), the drink of alternative is certainly a bucket. The idea is easy – take a seashore bucket, and fill it with booze, ice, and some mixers. Add a number of straws (ideally bamboo or glass ones), and share it with pals!
Dipping your toes within the sand, dancing to some music, and sipping on a bucket with a few of your finest journey buddies undoubtedly makes the checklist of high issues to do in Koh Tao. Fishbowl is a well-liked spot to seize a drink.
13. Practice in Muay Thai
In the event you’re seeking to get into form, you must think about coaching in Muay Thai whilst you’re visiting Koh Tao. Even when you’re not into the concept of moving into the ring for an precise match, signing up for some Muay Thai classes is an effective way to get match. In spite of everything these banana pancakes and buckets, it’s in all probability not a foul concept.
Island Muay Thai on Sairee Seashore is an efficient place to strive.
14. Watch a Fireplace Present
You already know that previous saying about taking part in with hearth? Individuals in Koh Tao have by no means heard of it. One of many quintessential issues to do in Koh Tao is watching a hearth present on the seashore.
Each evening of the week, yow will discover seashore bars with hearth exhibits occurring. Seize a drink, pull up a beanbag, and sit right down to get pleasure from a scorching scorching efficiency.
Take a look at Koh Tao in our “Streets, Beats & Eats” sequence!
15. Be taught About Marine Conservation
On this tiny island that’s a very fashionable vacationer vacation spot, marine conservation is extraordinarily necessary. Fortunately, Koh Tao takes this subject very critically and there are numerous nice organizations exhausting at work there.
If you wish to study marine conservation, you must drop by Eco Koh Tao and the New Haven Reef Conservation Project. Each are doing nice work and have a wide range of programs and tasks you’ll be able to take part in.
16. Dive at Sail Rock
When you’ve received your open water certificates, you may as effectively stick round Koh Tao to do a number of free dives. The most effective dive websites within the space is certainly Sail Rock, so put a visit on the market on the high of your checklist.
Many of the dive retailers in Koh Tao supply journeys out to Sail Rock. You’ll get two dives, lunch on the boat, and loads of superior views alongside the best way.
17. Go to Ang Thong Marine Park
Probably the most in style day journeys out of Koh Tao is the Ang Thong Marine Park. This beautiful archipelago of islands is only a brief boat journey away, and nearly each tour operator runs journeys there.
On a visit round Ang Thong, you’ll get to get pleasure from some snorkeling and a brief hike to a stupendous lagoon. You’ll seemingly spot some wildlife as effectively, together with dusky langurs, hornbills, silver-haired bats, and hawksbill turtles. Go to Island Travel Tour Company for tickets – additionally they lease scooters.
18. Sip on Sundowners
After an extended day trip within the water or up on the rocks, the easiest way to wind down is with some sundowners on the seashore. Just about each bar on the seashore has an excellent Blissful Hour round sundown, so plop down in that beanbag and get your self an grownup beverage or two!
There are additionally a number of bars up the hill that supply a panoramic view of the sundown. Cruise as much as the aptly-named Sky Bar, seize a drink, and benefit from the present. (be aware: consuming at a sky bar can also be one of many high things to do in Bangkok – put it in your checklist for the capital!)
19. Take a Thai Cooking Class
While you depart Thailand, you’ll inevitably miss a number of issues in regards to the nation. One factor you’re certain to lengthy for is the meals. Thai cuisine is among the finest on the earth, so why not discover ways to prepare dinner it your self?
Signing up for a Thai cooking class is certainly among the best issues to do in Koh Tao. Learn to prepare dinner some traditional Thai dishes after which impress your pals again house along with your culinary prowess.
Parawan’s Thai House Cooking Courses are extremely rated on the island. Half-day lessons (3 hours) with 3 completely different dishes price round 1,500 baht ($45). Click here to study extra about this genuine cooking class in Koh Tao.
20. Celebration it Up on the Pub Crawl
In the event you’re seeking to let unfastened, have an excellent time, and meet fellow travellers, there’s nothing higher than the Koh Tao Pub Crawl. This epic pub crawl is a lot enjoyable that they now run it 4 nights per week!
Each Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, you’ll be able to be part of within the insanity and expertise a wild evening out in Koh Tao.
The pub crawl contains stops at a number of bars, a pool celebration, and a ridiculously enjoyable ladyboy cabaret present. The doorway price of about $15 will get you a tank high, a bucket, a number of photographs, and drink specials at each bar. In all my travels round Southeast Asia, the Koh Tao Pub Crawl stands out as some of the enjoyable nights out.
21. Be a Seashore Bum
After that jam-packed checklist, it’s becoming that the final spot goes to easily being a seashore bum. There’s a lot to see and do in Koh Tao that you just’ll have to take not less than a while in your journey to only do completely nothing and benefit from the seashore.
Whilst you’re sitting there in your seashore chair, why not go forward and plan your journey to the following Thai island? In spite of everything, each Koh Pha-Ngan and Koh Samui are only a brief boat journey away. There are such a lot of superior things to do in Koh Phangan, together with the well-known Full Moon Celebration. Or, strive your hand at digital nomad life on these stunning Thai islands.
The place to Keep in Koh Tao
There are some nice lodging choices on Koh Tao. Listed here are a few our suggestions:
1. Big Tree Boutique Hotel: situated close to Mae Haad Seashore, this stunning lodge affords parking, a backyard, and an onsite restaurant and bar. The fundamental rooms have balconies and personal loos, whereas the suites embody a kitchen. Click here for details.
2. MAR24 Koh Tao Hotel: situated close to Chalok Baan Kao Bay, this lodging has an onsite outside pool, a solar terrace and free pickup from the pier. Rooms have fan or air-conditioning, non-public loos, and complimentary snacks. Click here for details.
3. Treehouse Bungalows: these distinctive bungalows are situated close to Aow Leuk Seashore. Get pleasure from swaying backwards and forwards in your hammock on the deck, or hand around in the backyard. Rooms right here have sea view as effectively! Click here for details.
Able to Journey to Koh Tao?
As you’ll be able to see, Koh Tao affords much more than simply diving. There are such a lot of issues to do in Koh Tao that you may skip out on the diving solely and nonetheless fill loads of days there.
You shouldn’t try this, although, as a result of the diving is top-notch. So what are you ready for? Plan that journey of a lifetime and recover from to the Thai islands.