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All you need to know to visit Koh Tao

Southern Thailand
700 km from Bangkok
Province of Surat Thani


Recomm. stay
2 jours minimum


Practical guide to go and visit Koh Tao

Koh Tao is an island like all places with a name starting with Koh ( it means island in Thai ). This is the number one place for diving in Thailand. The diving clubs are so numerous that it is almost impossible to make an accurate count of them. The the seabeds to explore here are sublime. With the calm turquoise water, the white sand beach and small islands off the coast it is a real postcard scenery.
The island has not finished his modernization accelerated by the arrival of tourists. Some parts of Koh Tao are still difficult to access by road. The beach with most tourists is Sairee Hat. Most of accommodations, diving clubs, restaurants and bars are there.
In the evening, sit in bars and restaurants on the beach. If you don't feel on holiday here, you will never. The beach is beautiful, the sea is calm and transparent with its wooden fishing boats painted in shimmering colors. Nightlife is here a lot less noisy than in Koh Samui and as for us more enjoyable. A small paradise island. because of its insularity and its ability to attract tourists from around the world, the prices in Koh Tao are significantly higher than in the rest of the country. But still is very affordable for western incomes.

The months of October and November are particularly rainy in Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Samui, better focus on other months of the year to come here.
koh tao

Accommodations in Koh Tao

Sleeping in Koh Tao is expensive compared to the rest of Thailand. Here cheap guesthouses are very rare, especially in Hat Sairee beach where most of the tourist stay. There is indeed a dozen cheap addresses (cheap for here) but the rooms are generally booked weeks in advance and they have no direct access to the beach. Arriving in Koh Tao in high season without an hotel booking means spending a lot of time walking from guesthouses to hotels before finding a room available. Note that Mae Haad, where the piers are is where you will most likely find a room if you have no reservation. This is also where the prices are generally the cheapest.

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My recommandations

People often ask me what accommodations I recommend in Thailand, here are my recommandations in Koh Tao.

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Practical information about Koh Tao

The island begins to be victim of its success. Many tourists arrive every day, so it is very difficult to find a room available at last minute especially duriing high season (November-March). Booking in advance is better (see our accommodation page).

To get there from Bangkok, the best way is to take a bus + ferry ticket. You can book it online HERE)

How to go to Koh Tao ?

The fastest way to go to Koh Tao is by combining a flight and a ferry trip. Either with a flight to Koh Samui then boat to Koh Tao or a flight to Surat Thani, Nakhon Si Thammarat or Chumphon then bus or van to the pier, then ferry. Nok Air and Air Asia offer flight + ferry packages to Koh Tao from Bangkok (Don Muang airport) that you can book directly on their websites. The solution to land in Koh Samui and then take the boat to Koh Tao is the most expensive. You can also take the boat to Ko Tao in Chumphon. There are trains, buses or flights to Chuphon from Bangkok. The cheapest is the train. Lomprayah and other companies also offer bus + boat packages from Khao San Road in Bangkok via Chumphon which you can book online HERE. The same companies have the same types of packages from Phuket, Krabi, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and many more. To go to Koh Tao by rail or by road, it is faster to go to Chumphon than Surat Thani.

Note that since Air Asia's direct flight Chiang Mai - Surat Thani has been moved and take off in the evening, it is no longer possible to connect their flight with a ferry. The best option, except if you're ok to spend the night in a hotel in Surat Thani< /a>, is to take 2 seperate flights with a stopover in Bangkok. Plan enough time between the 2 flights and take a flight from Bangkok which leaves from the same airport as the one where your flight from Chiang Mai will land (there are more flights to and from Don Muang). I would say count 2h30 between the 2 flights if you do not change airport. If you take the same company for both flights, they will probably be able to transfer your checked baggage automatically during your stopover if you specify it when checking in at the company's counter.

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How to get around in Koh Tao ?

Taxis in Koh Tao are generally pick-ups with a \"Taxi\" sign and an identity number or even personal cars. There are no taximeters on Koh Tao. Taxi can mainly be found in Mae Haad near the pier. They are quite expensive (from 200 to 300 THB to get to Sairee Beach and Chalok Ban Kao) and despite high prices, they often only leave when they are full or charge extra. Note that many diving clubs and some resorts offer free pickups. For longtails tours, you will easily find boat taxis along the beaches and at the pier. They offer trips around the island or to Koh Nang Yuan.
Of course you can also rent scooters and motorcycles in Koh Tao. The price is from 150 baht per day for a manual motorcycle up to 250 baht for an automatic one. Check the bike condition carefully before leaving and take pictures because damage on the vehicle could cost you a lot. And be careful on the roads, a part of the island has no real paved roads. Rental of mountain bikes is also more and more popular on the island.

Other places to see in Koh Tao

Moondance Magic View Viewpoint Koh Tao
Moondance Magic View Viewpoint
This point of view, very little known and a little lost outside the most popular corners of Koh Tao, offers an incredible dominating panorama. You can also go down to the sea and enjoy a small snorkeling spot.

Weather & climate in Koh Tao

Koh Tao has a tropical savanna climate. The island has only one month of true dry season (February). The climate is hot and humid for most of the year but the island is on average less humid than Phuket. The rainiest months are October and especially November. The rest of the year, given the tropical climate, showers are brief.

The best mome,nt to come to Koh Tao is from January to April but Koh Tao is also enjoyable during the months of July and August. At this time of the year Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao are the islands of Thailand where the weather is the best. The months of October and especially November (sometimes until mid-December) are not recommended for a stay in Ko Tao.

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When to go to Koh Tao ?

quand partir à Koh Tao

How to ask in Thai to go to Koh Tao ?

I want to go to Koh Tao / Yak paï ti Koh Tao.
Where is Koh Tao ? / Koh Tao you ti naï ?
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