Due to the fact that I simply fell totaly in love with Koh Tao I want to tell you what to do and must see in Koh Tao.
1. Rent a motorbike to get around and get to know the island
Koh Tao is only 21 squarekilometers small, so it is possible to get to know the whole island in a few days. The best way to get around is by motorbike. I can recommend Oli’s motorbike rentals. It is situated in Mae Haad, which is also the place where all the ferrys arrive and depart. You don’t need your passport as deposit but 2.000,00 Baht. I prefered that, because I really don’t like to give my passport to anyone else. The fee is about 250,00 Baht per day. So it’s very cheap. I have to warn you, the streets of Koh Tao, if you can call it that, are hell. Most of the time they only consist of crushed stones and have plenty of irregularities and huge road holes in it. It is not unusal to see injured people lying on the streets. We definetly chose the best day to rent a bike –> it was raining cats and dogs. This made the driving and it’s streets even more difficult then it was before but also even more fun. Fortunately my boyfriend is a great driver so we made our way to explore the bays of Koh Tao anyway, but when we told locals which bays we‘ ve visited they shook their heads in disbelief.
2. Explore the bays
Koh Tao has so many wonderful bays. Go and explore them. I am not a fan of long and crowded main beaches and prefer searching for little cute bays instead. I want to present you my personal top three:
- Thian Og Bay/Shark Bay
It it located in the south of the island and also the beach of one of Koh Tao’s most luxurious hotels the Haadtien Resort. Luckily it is open for public also, so we spent a wonderful day at this bay. The sand is as white and the sea as turquoise as one might imagine paradise. It was not as good for snorkelling as other bays because the water was too shallow but perfect for lying on the beach and getting a nice tan.
- Tanote Bay and Aow Leuk Bay
Unfortunately we visited the bays on a rainy day but nevertheless they were amazing. In Tanote Bay there is located the nice Poseidon Resort, which is a budget resort and has a nice beach bar. Sitting there you feel like a hippy and forget the time and the world around you. In Aow Leuk Bay I could see a little blacktip shark while snorkelling. This was such a unique experience I will never forget. Both bays are great for snorkelling and have nice reefs. It must be noted that Tanote Bay is really hard to reach, because streets are the worst.
- Chalok Baan Kao Bay
This is the bay where our first hotel was located. The bay and the area around it are not as crowded as the islands biggest beach Sairre, but still big enough to go out for a nice dinner in the evening and have a couple of drinks afterwards. The beach is nice and there is a good possibility for snorkelling.
3. Even if you don’t do scuba diving go out with a scuba dive boat just for snorkelling
I hate big excursions with a lot of tourists, especially I hate snorkelling excursions with big boats and a lot of tourists who drive out the fishes. So we decided to ask a diving school, if we could join them at their scuba dive excursion for one day. Most of the diving school have such offers. We chose the New Heaven Diving School Koh Tao. I really go into raptures about this diving school. They are dedicated to upholding responsible eco-tourism with marine conservation, safety, and quality. They also have a sea turtle conservation project where they prepare the little cutties to be released into wildlife. I love the idea behind this diving school and can definetly recommend it. The excursion was as great as the school itself. The fee was about 300,00 Baht each and we spent the day at the sea with about ten nice divers and their instructors. It was a cool and chilled atmosphere and we could snorkel at Shark Island, which is not reachable without a boat and Aow Leuk Bay.
4. Eat fish at Barracuda Restaurant and Bar
The restaurant is located in the area of Sairee beach and oh my god, the food there is delicious. It is not as cheap as other restaurants in Thailand but so worth it. Usually I am not a big fish eater, but I loved the barracuda and sniper there. You really should have dinner there when in Koh Tao, reservation recommended.
5. Spend as much time in the ocean as possible
Koh Tao is not known for one of the best diving spots in Thailand and Southeast Asia for nothing. If you have plenty of time you should make a scuba dive course. They are the cheapest of the world over there. If you don’t, spend as much time in the water as possible anyway for snorkelling and exploring. I could see a blacktip reef shark, barracudas, anemone clowns, a moray and a lot of cute and colorful fishes.
6. Climb up one of the View Points
It’s hot and it’s exhausting but it’s so worth it. We chose the John – Suwan Mountain View Point. As from here you can see the impressive scenery of Chalok Baan Kao Bay and Thian Og Bay. The View Point is located on a mountain ridge, at Chalok Baan Kao beach to the south of the island. It takes about 15 minutes to reach the View Point. The reward is a stunning view of the bay.