Koh Tao - beaches, hotels, transportation and entertainment

It is a beautiful place with a sandy coastline, coral reefs, hills and exotic coconut palms. More than 65% of the island is occupied by cliffs. The lower parts are covered with jungle, thickets of shrubs, and granite boulders are often found.

The shape of the island resembles a turtle. The turtles themselves, apparently due to the influx of tourists, are few. But there are two, frozen in stone. Their sculptures can be seen on Clock Town, one of the town's busy intersections, and on the beach near the harbor pier.

The Island Koh Tao on the map of Thailand

Ko Tao is a small green island in the Gulf of Thailand. It is 69 kilometers from the peninsula, if you count from the borders of Surat Thani province. And from the island of Samui - 64 km. At a distance of 700 km north of Tao is Bangkok.

Map of Koh Tao Island

Map of Koh Tao

Map of Koh Tao Island

To the east, about the same distance is the beach coast of Cambodia. And to the south of Ko Tao, at a distance of 35 kilometers, stretches the island of Phangan. The area of the island of Ko Tao - about 22 square kilometers, ten kilometers long and four - wide. The indigenous population does not exceed 2,000 people.

How to get to the island

There is no airport on Ko Tao. The closest ones are located in Samui, Chumphon and Surat Thani. These cities are connected by airlines to Bangkok and Phuket. The island itself can be reached by ferry or catamaran. They all arrive at the port, located in the bay Mae Haad Bay.

 How to get from Bangkok

Bus and ferry. The most popular is the bus. It goes to Chumcheon (6-9 hours) and then you take a ferry to the island.

Train and ferry. You can take the Bangkok-Chumphon train. There are ferry operator agencies on the train platform at Chumphon Station. You buy a ferry ticket and the operator arranges a free transfer to the pier.

Airplane and ferry. You can take a plane. It lands in Surat Thani or on the island of Samui. There are also ferry operators' tents at Surat Thani airport, and they will take you to Don Sak pier. In Bangkok you can also buy a so-called combined ticket. With this you only have to make connections, all schedules are accounted for and combined.

How to get from Koh Samui

Catamarans and ferries are also available from Samui and neighboring Phangan Island.

How to get there from Pattaya

From Pattaya you can get there by bus. It leaves from the North Station and arrives at Chumphon Bus Station. Take a cab to the pier, and from there take the nearest boat to the island.

How to get there from Phuket

If you need to get to Koh Tao from Phuket, it is recommended to do it via Samui island and from there by ferry.

The port of Koh Tao is always full of cab drivers ready to help you get there. And hotels send their agents to the pier. If you have a hotel booked, call ahead and let them know the time of arrival. You will be met and transfers will be arranged, most often free of charge.

How to choose a hotel

You won't have any problems with accommodation on the island. Hotels here cater to all tastes and wallets. There are more than a hundred of them. It is only worth considering that from late November to mid-March - the high tourist season in Thailand. And, starting from Christmas, the kingdom has the largest influx of tourists. Therefore, the hotel should be booked in advance.

Koh Tao Hotels

Hotels Ko Tao offers for every taste and purse.

Inexpensive hotels may be occupied for a few days before or after the full moon, this is due to the celebration on the neighboring island of the Full Moon Party (a three-day full moon festival).

For lovers of comfortable holidays Koh Tao provides luxury luxury luxury hotels. Luxuries are high-end, expensive, respectable apartments. The most famous are: Luxury Villas, Sairee Sunset Luxury Villa, The Place Luxury, Boutique Villas. Villas are located in very picturesque places. Usually there are several villas in a cozy estate. They have a swimming pool, sun terraces, etc. They have a view of the Gulf of Thailand, the mountains, the tropical garden. Everything is provided for the convenience of guests.

On the territory of the beaches can be created entire resort complexes. You will find almost everything you need for recreation: fitness centers, swimming pools, spas, tennis courts, cafes, restaurants. There are bungalows on every beach, from simple thatched cottages to cozy wooden dwellings. You can rent a comfortable house, located on a rock overlooking the sea. Or you can be on the front line, among the palm trees.

If you're interested in an economical option, consider the offers of ghosts.

Guesthouses are one- or two-story houses with 20-30 rooms. Often the owner's family also lives here, and there are few staff members. But you are provided with home cooking. It should also be noted that such budget accommodation is not subject to any classification, and health standards here too may not hold. But there is Wi -Fi, there are no problems with the Internet on the island.


Guesthouses are a budget option on Tao.

When choosing a hotel, consider its location. From the fabulous cozy houses on the cliffs, of course, offers a magical view. But you have to regularly overcome steep climbs, to get to numerous staircases. This will be difficult for people of age, with health problems, and young children.

Those who want to rest quietly, as isolated from the outside world, should prefer hotels, located away from the port.

An even more economical option is a tent. If you crave complete solitude and fusion with nature, go to the beach Cape Thian to an abandoned hotel. No one will disturb you here. Be sure to take care of enough fresh water. It will be possible to get there on foot, since the road is closed.

The administration of other beaches prohibits tourists to set up tents on their territories.


Tao is rich with cozy coves and beaches. Everyone will find a place to his liking.

Sairee Beach, Ko Tao

A stretch of sandy beach Sairee Beach, Koh Tao

Tourists who prefer to organize their vacation on their own (backpackers), choose the beaches Mae Haad or Sairee. Families with children will be fine on the beach Chalok or Jansom Bay. Romantics should choose remote beaches. Ao Leuk or Mango Bay.


  • Some beaches are private property. But they are also available to everyone.
  • Sometimes the administration of private beaches establishes certain rules of entry and behavior on its territory during the holidays.
  • Koh Tao resorts have a small number of sun beds, you have to sunbathe on a blanket. Affects the fact that 70% holidaymakers - divers and mostly in the sea on a dive. In this regard, on some beaches, you can feel how Robinson Crusoe lived.
  • Planning a noisy nightlife, incendiary discos, choose the beaches, located closer to the port.
  • Decided to go scuba diving, choose places where there is a diving center.

Infrastructure and prices

You arrive at the port of Mae Haat Bay. Next to the pier you will find Sairee Beach и Mae Haad. These are the areas with the most developed infrastructure. Here you will find most of the schools and centers teaching diving. A lot of stores, including 7/11. Beach wear is available, but prices are a little higher than on the mainland of Thailand.

There are also ticket agencies, Internet cafes, restaurants, bars, massage parlors. You can also use an ATM or an exchange office. There are branches of banks that offer more favorable exchange rates.

Koh Tao Island

Everything you need at your fingertips

The local cuisine will offer its delicacies to satisfy the hunger. All products are brought from the mainland, which affects the prices. Outdoor macashnikas (kitchens on wheels or mobile food outlets) are also popular here, but they are very few. Shakes in them you can taste for 30-40 baht (1$), juices - 30-50 baht (1.2$), fruit salads - 50 baht (1.4$). Delicious padtai - noodles with vegetables and nuts - 50 baht (1.4$).

But the cost of food in the cafe starts at 60 baht (1.7$). For coffee or tea you will pay 40 baht (1.2$). Drinking water is in short supply on the island. You'll pay 25-30 baht (0.85$) for 1.5 liter and 15 baht (0.4$) for a liter bottle. Massage services here are also a bit more expensive 250-300 baht (7-7.5$).

Transport in Koh Tao

On the piers of the island there are pickup trucks, and on the large beaches you can rent a water cab, it will take you anywhere in Tao. But the main modes of transport on the island are ATVs, motorcycles, mountain bikes and scooters.

motorcycle rental

Motorcycle Arcnda in Koh Tao, Thailand.

Without transportation, getting to and exploring the far corners of the island will be difficult. Here you will find a huge fleet of motor vehicles for rent. But you should use them if you are confident in your driving skills. The roads on the island are dangerous both in their quality, the steepness of ascents, turns and descents, as well as in the organization of traffic. Many of them are not concreted. Adrenaline rises even in experienced bikers.

If you decide to use local transportation, it is worth considering some tips when arranging a rental:

  • Never leave your passport as collateral for the vehicle, it is your main document outside your home country. Offer a photocopy of the document, driver's license, civil passport, you can bank card, preferably with a zero balance, or a deposit of about 3000 baht (85$)
  • Document all, even minor scratches and damage. Make sure that these are recorded in the rental agreement. Take pictures of the damage in front of your landlord.
  • You do not need an International Driving Permit (IDP) in Ko Tao, but you must have one. You will need it in order to recognize an insurance event that occurred during the operation of the vehicle.
  • First of all, carefully check the functionality of the brake system and lights.
  • The use of a motorcycle helmet, given the state of the roads, is vital.
  • Be prepared to go up and down some of the climbs on foot, transport can not pass them.
  • Remember, even a slight intoxication will lead to the refusal to recognize the accident as an insurance case. And such cases are not uncommon on local roads, even when sober.

Approximate rental prices for transportation: for scooter or motorcycle, you will pay from 200 to 300 baht per day (7-8$); for quad bike - from 600 to 700 baht (9-10$).

What to do on the island

Diving is what most tourists go to Koh Tao for. There are more than 50 diving schools with attractive prices, a variety of programs and courses. Teachers teach both the basics of diving and improve the skills of holidaymakers.

Snorkeling on Koh Tao

Teaching is in English, but there are Russian-speaking instructors. Teaching groups are small, only 3-4 people. Necessary equipment is provided by the school, sometimes it also provides accommodation for clients. Upon completion of training are certificates of different levels. They are valid in all countries of the world.

Nature herself has taken care of the conditions for diving: no strong currents, clear water, excellent visibility, fabulous coral reefs, a variety of marine life and flora.

Keep in mind that not far from the shore the bottom becomes stony and overgrown with coral. Therefore, it is better to swim along the shore.

  1. The island's beaches are also attractive to fans of snorkeling.
  2. You can also do freediving (snorkeling with breath-holding).
  3. Popular bouldering (climbing) - a series of short, but extremely difficult trails.
  4. Thai boxing schools.
  5. Schools and salons of Thai massage.
  6. Cafes and restaurants offer live music, fire shows, and more.
  7. Regularly held discos, popular among lovers of dance.
  8. With children, you'll also have a pleasant holiday: the beaches are clean, the atmosphere of the island is calm.
  9. And the thirst for adventure can be quenched by discovering uninhabited coves.
  10. And also windsurfing and water skiing.
  11. And, of course, swimming and getting a Thai tan.

If you want a break from the bustle of the city, plunge into the wilderness, you - on the island of Koh Tao.

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