About Koh Tao

Koh Tao (“Turtle Island” in English), is a small island with perfect beaches and excellent diving opportunities. It is said to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Sairee beach, on the west coast, is the longest on the island. For your ideal vacation rental, browse all the properties available on FlipKey.

About Koh Tao, Thailand

Koh Tao was uninhabited for centuries, although passing fishermen sheltered there during storms. European map makers called the island Pulo Bardia, which suggests that it was first settled by Malay-Polynesian peoples. It is part of the Samui archipelago, which includes Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Angthong Marine Park.

The locals may be Buddhists, or Muslims, but some still hold two rock gods in reverence. They believe that these two entities will protect them from dangers at sea and natural disasters. There is a Buddhist temple on Koh Tao, but that was only built a few years ago.

People began migrating to Koh Tao in 1947. Most of the people speak in the local dialect, so a guide might be a good idea if you want to get around easily.

There are a range of cuisines on the island. Sample the cheap local dishes which typically feature noodles or rice with meat or fish.

You can dive and swim with sharks and rays in the coral or relax on beaches. However you want to spend your time, there's plenty to explore.

What to do in Koh Tao

The main pastime on Koh Tao is diving. Snorkeling is popular, too. Try snorkeling with the green turtles for a once-in-a-lifetime experience! If you don't have diving certification, you can enroll on a course and who knows - maybe you’ll discover a new passion.

If water isn't your element, you can hike through humid coastal jungles. When you get back to civilization, you can hit the bars, or enjoy cocktails on the beaches as the sun sets.

The Buddha rock is another must-see during your stay. There are actually two rocks, one female and one male, on the east side of Chalok Baan Koa Bay. They are both treated with great respect by the inhabitants of Koh Tao.

Chalok Baan Koa Bay is the third largest beach on the island, where you can find a pharmacy (open all hours) and various restaurants, and bars.

Visit Angthong Marine Park to explore the wildlife, but remember to book tours in advance online.

Top travel tips for Koh Tao

When on Koh Tao, water taxi is perhaps the best way to travel. You can get on a pickup truck or motorbike if you prefer.

For about 1,500 Baht a day, you can charter a traditional long-tailed boat. The cost depends on the number of passengers so why not get to know some other visitors while you’re there and share the cost?

If you want to travel by road, hire an all-terrain vehicle.

November is the month of the monsoon, so try to avoid going there then.

The easiest way of getting to Koh Tao is by flying to Phuket or Bangkok. Take a bus and ferry to get to Koh Tao.

Koh Tao is well off the beaten track, so you will have an adventure for sure! It's especially good for water sports or relaxing on one of the long and beautiful beaches. Swim with the fishes (literally) and turtles for a memorable vacation. Start planning your trip today by searching the incredible rentals available on FlipKey.