Koh Tao: A small island in front of the east coast of southern Thailand, a diving paradise or only destroyed reefs, beautiful beaches or run over by tourists. Anyone you ask will give you a different answer what Koh Tao is and I met alot of travellers who got stuck on Koh Tao years ago but also many who completely skiped the island.
So what is my impression of the island after 8 nights on Koh Tao?
First I must say that everybody seeking the Thai culture or who wants to escape home is probably in the wrong place on Koh Tao. It seems that there are more Germans than Thais and everything on the island is there for the tourists.
But for who is it the perfect destination?
All who want to learn how to dive, will get the cheapest diving certification in the world on Koh Tao and for advanced divers there are some still intact dive sites to do fundives. I completed my Advanced Open Water course at Crystal Divers and at the total of 11 dives I saw blue spotted stingrays, moray eels, schools of barracudas and giant groupers. A whaleshark unfortunately didn’t show up the days but overall the diving with a visibility of 5-25m was a great experience! Those looking for the ultimate dive should go to Sail Rock (from Koh Tao they don’t go there too often but from Koh Phangan they go daily!). Why it’s the best dive sight you can read here (coming soon!).
For all who wish to do some snorkeling can join on of the daily boat tours which bring you, with stops in 5 different bays, in one day around the island. The tour costs 500THB (about 13 €, you have to pay and addition 100THB – about € 2.50 for entry to the Nang Yuang Island) and includes mask and snorkel, lunch and fresh fruit for the day.
Otherwise you can reach all bays on foot or with a taxi and I recommend to go along the east cost to the Ao Leuk Bay, Ao Tanote Bay and Hin Wong Bay. All have still intact reefs and the last bay I mentioned is a “secret” bay, with not too many tourists.
Generally the level of prices on Koh Tao is approximately 1.5 times as high compared to the north of Thailand, but you also get everything you wish nearby on this small island.
I liked the island for sure – because of that I was too lazy to post something new – and will come back to stay here again! I added some pictures from my one day stop in Banglok in between of the two night busses from Pakse.