When you walk along endless beaches, climbing on those curved palm trees and breakfast in a beach restaurant with looking to the ocean, you know you’ve arrived in paradise. Koh Tao is not just the paradise for those who want to relax at the beach, but also for divers. Small bays surrounded by coral reefs make the island so attractive for diving and snorkeling. That was also the main reason why my colleague and I decided to go to Koh Tao instead of Koh Samui or Koh Pha-ngan.
After Bangkok and Krabi, Koh Tao was our third and last stop of our two-week trip around Thailand. It was the perfect place to take a break from everyday life, to leave all your cares behind and to calm down and rest. It was the perfect place to find peace and happiness. And it was the perfect place for wonderful beach strolls. In short: Koh Tao is a tropical dream.
All in all, we stayed in two different hotels to give our vacation a little variety and to see different spots of the island.
At first we stayed in the Simple Life Resort located at the southern end of Sairee Beach. Like the name says it’s very simple, but you can book diving and snorkeling courses at the reception. It has a small pool, a private beach and its own bar, but I recommend to go directly to Sairee Beach and in one of the beach bars to get an authentic atmosphere.
The other hotel was in the north on the other end of Sairee Beach and is called Palm Leaf Resort. It was a bit more expensive than the Simple Life Resort, but therefore we had our own bungalow and had breakfast right next to the beach. There was also a laundry service where we could wash our clothes. And the staff was also very friendly.
Beaches & environment
You find several beaches in Koh Tao, but the best one is definitely Sairee Beach. There are not just cozy beach bars and beautiful hotels, but also hammocks and great palm trees to climb and take photos of. You can really come down and relax. Unfortunately, the water is a little dirty at one spot. There was a drainpipe or something that was running into the ocean. Kind of sad, but you will see that Thais don’t know anything about recycling and how to save the environment. If you go further to the inland you will find piles of dirt and garbage.
Due to the tropical climate it is hot and sunny all year round. But Koh Tao also has a monsoon season. Find here a summarize of all seasons:
From February to May you can expect high temperatures and sunny weather. In this season it barely rains.
From May to October it can get really windy and is not a good time for diving since the waves can be big.
From October to February it is rainy season. This doesn’t mean that it always rains. Usually it starts in the late afternoon and occasionally there are some thunderstorms that pass by after an hour. The temperatures can drop, but it is still warm with 25°C (77°F).
Diving & snorkeling
Koh Tao is a paradise for divers. Every bay is wonderful for snorkeling and offers a breathtaking underwater world. You will find several dive shops along the beach walk where you can even book tours right away – and if you are early enough, you can even go on a dive tour the same day. I recommend a tour to different bays that also includes the island Koh Nang Yuan.
Koh Nang Yuan
This island is very small, but very beautiful. But the turquoise water and fine sand beaches have its price. It costs 100 baht (= 3€/3$) to enter the island and bottles are prohibited. Once there, you can snorkel, relax or walk up to the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint to enjoy a fabulous view over the island and the sandbank. Although there are a lot of people who dive and snorkel around the island, it was a bit disappointing. The coral reefs are mostly dead so don’t expect too much from snorkeling there.