DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand [With Suggested Tours]

By Lyza Paloma December 26th, 2015 Posted in Asia Travel Blog, Destination, DIY Travel, Travel Blog, Travel Guides One Comment

Do you want to travel to Koh Tao, Thailand? Here’s our DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, with suggested tours.

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand
Photo by Valeriy Ryasnyanskiy on Unsplash

Located in the Gulf of Thailand is a small but breathtaking island, Koh Tao. The “Turtle Island” is surrounded by abundant marine life and crystal clear waters making it one of the best diving destinations in the world. You can get a PADI license here for an affordable price. Read more of our guide to know what to do, where to stay, and where to eat.

Things to do in Koh Tao, Thailand

1. Enjoy Sairee Beach

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand
Photo by Stephanie Ecate on Unsplash

One of the most popular and accessible beaches in Koh Tao is Sairee Beach. The waters are calm and warm and it’s really good for swimming. There are also many restaurants and bars nearby so if you are done enjoying the waters, you can grab a drink. Nightlife is bustling here compared to other beaches.

Suggested Tours: Ferry & Bus Combo Ticket between Nakhon Si Thammarat (Airport) and Koh Tao by Lomprayah

2. Get a PADI License

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand
Photo by Wouter Naert on Unsplash

One of the things listed in our travel guide to Koh Tao is getting a PADI License. PADI means Professional Association of Diving Instructors. In Koh Tao, you can learn how to dive from well-experienced instructors and be given diving certifications recognized internationally. It’s pretty cheap to learn here compared to other islands. Plus, the view and the marine life is so worth exploring.

Suggested Tours: Nava Scuba Diving Experience at Koh Tao

Transportation Tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest way to book the Trains, Buses, Ferries, Transfers on this route, we use 12Go.Asia to compare the prices!

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3. Visit Nang Yuan Island

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand
Photo by Darren Lawrence on Unsplash

A separate smaller island from Koh Tao is Nang Yuan. With clear waters and an abundance of fishes, it’s one of the best spots to snorkel. You can also hike on a hill to check out a spectacular view. Come here early morning to avoid the crowds.

Suggested Tours: Snorkeling Adventures in Koh Tao and Nang Yuan

4. Hike to John-Suwan Viewpoint

Koh Tao is not a barren island with only white sand and waters; it also has hills and luscious jungles. It’s not an easy hike uphill and would take 15 – 30 minutes, but the panoramic view of the island and the sea are worth it. I don’t recommend you to wear flip-flops as it not that durable, and it may be harder to climb. This will give you the best view of the sun setting or rising.

Suggested Tours: Ferry & Bus Combo Ticket between Nakhon Si Thammarat (Airport) and Koh Tao by Lomprayah

5. Snorkel at Ao Tanote

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand
Photo by Fabio Achilli CC BY 2.0

If you want to be away from the crowds, go to Ao Tanote Beach. There are still a few restaurants and resorts nearby, but definitely not as jam-packed as the other beaches. It’s definitely a great place to snorkel as there are many colorful fishes and corals. Indeed, a breathtaking place to visit in Koh Tao.

Suggested Tours: Snorkeling Adventure in Koh Tao

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Where to stay in Koh Tao, Thailand

Budget Hotel

The Miracle Guesthouse & Diving

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Set in Ko Tao, 300 m from Mae Haad Pier, The Miracle Guesthouse & Diving features free WiFi access and free private parking. Every room includes a flat-screen TV. You will find a kettle in the room. Each room has a private bathroom with a bidet and shower, with free toiletries provided.

Price: Starts at USD 28 for a Double Room

Mid-Range Hotel

Simple Life Cliff View Resort

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Located in Koh Tao, 0.8 mi from Jansom Bay Beach, Simple Life Cliff View Resort provides accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. Guest rooms are equipped with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a fridge, a kettle, a shower, and a desk. At the resort, each room is fitted with a private bathroom.

Price: Starts at USD 113 for a Superior Double Room

Luxury Hotel

Phandara Luxury Pool Villas

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Located in Koh Tao, 1.4 mi from Jansom Bay Beach and 1.1 mi from Mae Haad Pier, Phandara Luxury Pool Villas provides accommodations with free WiFi, air conditioning, and access to a garden with an outdoor swimming pool. There is a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer in each unit, along with free toiletries.

Price: Starts at USD 336 per night for a Villa

Where to Eat in Koh Tao, Thailand

The Gallery Restaurant

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Address: 20/27 Moo1 Sairee soi 1, Moo 1

Located in Sairee Beach is a Thai Restaurant, the Gallery Restaurant. Thai food is exceptional, according to visitors. Healthy options and vegan options are available. Our travel guide to Koh Tao recommends you to choose the “Trust the Chef” in the menu.

Barracuda Roof Top Restaurant & Bar

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Address: 9/9 Moo 1, Above the Coffee House

If you are craving delicious fresh seafood, Barracuda Roof Top Restaurant & Bar is the place to go. Their seafood platter is absolutely worth devouring. Plus, it will offer you a great view of the sea, especially during dusk; it’s also quite affordable.

FIZZ beachlounge

DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand

Address: Sairee Beach, Behind Silversands Resort

Enjoy the food and drink, the view, and the vibe at the FIZZ beach lounge. Sit on a bean bag by the beach and enjoy your Thai or international food. It’s a great spot to be alone or with friends when you are in Koh Tao.

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About the Writer

Lyza Paloma

Hey, I’m Lyza! I once was a person who just imagined going to places “one day” but decided to pursue my dreams. My first travel abroad was in Japan, solo, last 2018, and fell in love with the journey since. I aim to visit 10 countries before turning 30 and 2 new places in the Philippines every year. Besides traveling, I love organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends. Follow my adventures through my Instagram.

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One thought on “DIY Travel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand [With Suggested Tours]

  1. I heard about Koh Samui but never hear about this island before. Nice photos though but would it be too commercialized and crowded? I just went to Rawa Island (Johor, Malaysia) last weekend, a very nice & beautiful island also….

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Written by Lyza Paloma

Lyza is a native of Leyte who spent 10 years studying and working in Cebu before working for Two Monkeys Travel. She decided to stop daydreaming and started to pursue her dreams of traveling to the Philippines and the world. She has already been to 4 countries in Asia and 18 provinces in the Philippines. She’s flexible and can travel solo, with friends, or family. Besides traveling, she loves organizing trips, taking pictures, reading, and making new friends.

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