Koh Tao is one of the smallest islands in the Gulf of Thailand. Back in the '40s of the XX century, the island remained uninhabited, however, today it becomes one of the major travel destinations in southern Thailand.
In the previous post, I began the series of articles presenting ideas on how to spend time actively while visiting Koh Tao. Here you can find the rest of inspiration and advice - what to see, where to eat and how to spend your leisure time on the island of Koh Tao. So, let’s get started!
■ Take a hike through the mountain areas covered with tropical jungle
Koh Tao still remains in the development phase - currently, there are only a few main, paved roads. Back in the '30s, Koh Tao was a prison; tourists and travellers began to arrive on the island 50 years later - in the '80s of the twentieth century. All this makes that getting around the highly mountainous island is a bit difficult. The main means of transportation here are scooters, but due to the quality or quantity of roads, and mountainous areas, you should exercise caution and common sense when driving.
Walking tours through the mountain areas, almost entirely covered with tropical vegetation, may also provide interesting and at the same time completely different experiences. It’s necessary to have a cap on the head, sunscreen, mosquito spray and one bottle of water in your backpack. However, the views and experiences while trekking will compensate all of your efforts: imagine for instance fresh bananas growing on the roadside trees, different varieties of palm trees, colourful butterflies or local houses located between the tracks.
■ Explore Thai flavors
Thai cuisine has stolen many hearts, and Koh Tao is definitely a place where you can taste some of the best traditional Thai dishes. Pad Thai with vegetables or seafood, Tom Yum soup, fried rice, curry with shrimps served in local bars or hipster pubs and restaurants - everyone will find here something best for themselves.
The majority of places are located near the Sairee beach, however, a lot of them could be also found in more remote parts of the island. It's worth to choose a place for a dinner or drink in a spontaneous way. The guarantee of a good choice? The only one free chair around the kitchen!
■ Spend your time active and learn a new sport
Many people come to Koh Tao to complete a diving course and obtain a dream Open Water Certificate. In this regard, the island is popular due to the great conditions for diving, good quality schools, and the relatively low costs of the certificate. Other popular sports activities on the island include paddle surfing, snorkelling and yoga classes.
■ Explore the underwater world in the crystal clear sea
The best places to dive or snorkel on Koh Tao are among others Tanote Bay in the East of the island and Mango Bay in the North. You do not need to be a fan of watersports, to be able to admire the diversity of the underwater world in the sea waters surrounding Koh Tao. Sea creatures often pass just above your feet covered with bright colours.
With a bit of luck and if you swim a bit further into the sea, you have a chance to stand eye to eye with the larger sea creatures - typically these will be turtles and, according to some stories, from time to time also sharks (these are recognised especially in the Shark Bay in the South part of Koh Tao).
■ Watch the sunset on one of the beaches
On Koh Tao, there are many hidden beaches with dense vegetation, where you can get through the thousands of wooden stairs from the hill. Each of them is even more intriguing during the sunset. Attractive viewpoints are located also on the peaks - e.g. there are many open-air cafes where you can admire the landscape of the island of Koh Tao.
You can find here long sandy beaches with wooden swings, comfy pouffes and low tables where you can just sit, try local dishes and watch some of the best sunsets on the island.
Have you ever been to Koh Tao? If so, what places or activities do you recommend the most? If you have a plan to visit the island soon and want to ask any additional questions, leave your message in the comments below - I'd be pleased to hear from you!