Koh Tao, which translates locally as "Turtle Island", is a small Thai island with many natural delights that await your discovery. There are beaches of golden sand, secluded bays with clear water. You’ll soon realise that Koh Tao scuba diving is incomparable to other islands and is a paradise underwater as much as it is above.
Koh Tao is a much smaller island than its neighbours in the Chumphon Archipelago, and this is reflected in its charming, laid-back atmosphere. Discerning guests are very welcome - you’ll find that the island’s friendly welcome is complemented with increasingly upmarket facilities that coexist thoughtfully with the stunning natural beauty.
Sandy beaches and outstanding Koh Tao diving
Koh Tao scuba diving is some of the best in the Gulf of Thailand due to local and international environmental organisations working hard to protect the ecosystem. Koh Tao is a significant breeding ground for hawksbill and green turtles and, if you’re lucky, you may get to see them for yourself. There is also a chance to see whale sharks and bull sharks around the Chumphon Pinnacle dive site.
Your Koh Tao holidays don’t need to be just about the water-based wonders. Visit Wat Koh Tao, a Buddhist temple where you can meet monks and get an insight into their serene and ritualised way of life. Go jungle hiking to reach amazing view points such as John Suwan and Koh Nang Yuan for unbelievable vistas of the island. You can even add rock climbing and bouldering to your list of things to do in Koh Tao.
Why not make the most of your time in Thailand and enjoy an island-hopping holiday? You can take a ferry from Koh Samui to Koh Tao which is just a one and a half hour crossing. Alternatively, for a complete contrast to the relaxed island life, consider including the vibrant capital city of Bangkok or Chiang Mai in northern Thailand with its indigenous hill tribe communities and misty mountains for a complete contrast to the relaxed island life.
Great sample itineraries
Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries for Koh Tao holidays. With so many options for your Koh Tao holiday package, we recommend you talk to one of our Destination Specialists to make the perfect tailor made holiday just for you.
Our favorite hotels
Let us help you find the perfect accommodation in Koh Tao. For inspiration from our experts, browse our favourite places to stay in Koh Tao - we are here to help you find the perfect hotel.
Explore Koh Tao
Koh Tao is known around the world as being a haven for divers of all abilities. Divers flock here for the spectacular sites beneath the warm waves, but also because it's probably one of the most affordable places to participate in the sport. Sairee beach is the main town and has a true community feel – it's a great place to sample local cuisine and participate in some souvenir shopping. The fresh seafood here is not to be missed, with many restaurants which will tempt you in with their catch of the day.
Street food stalls are dotted throughout Thailand's streets in every city and town and offer a great way to taste authentic Thailand.
With such a wide choice of idyllic places to visit in Thailand, why stick to one when you can visit two or more islands to see even more?
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“Do not underestimate the strength of the sun - take lots of sunscreen with you, as purchasing it in Koh Tao and other parts of Thailand is a very expensive option. Wearing a t-shirt while snorkelling is also recommended.”
“If you have ever wanted to learn to dive - do it in Koh Tao. With over 80 dive schools on this tiny island, prices are kept low - whilst standards are very high.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your Koh Tao holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions. Koh Tao island also seems quite keen to celebrate international days, including St Patrick's Day!
Koh Tao is a fun and very laid-back place to celebrate Songkran, the Thai New Year.
Koh Tao Underwater World Festival
Koh Tao also has its own little festival in June: Koh Tao Underwater World Festival focuses on the island’s conservation efforts and features beach clean-ups, live music, information stalls and, importantly, the release of turtle hatchlings.
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