Koh Tao is one of the most remarkable places I have seen in Thailand.
It has high mountains to walk, adventurous roads to drive on with an off-road scooter, hidden places to find and lots of underwater beauty.
We heard from the locals that many years ago the beaches in Koh Tao were filled with turtles, but as more tourists came the turtles got less and less.
We met a Norwegian girl who has been coming to Koh Tao for the 5th year in a row. She is spending her time diving, hiking and hanging out with her local friends, and when we met her she told us very excitedly how amazing it was to swim with a huge turtle for the first time and that it was well worth waiting and searching for.
Although Koh Tao has changed a lot in the last few years, it is still stunning and surprises you every day with something new.
There are a lot of resorts and diving schools near the ferry dock and they are very easily reachable. But if you want to get out-of-the-way and find the spots that make Koh Tao this magical island you have to drive a little bit to reach your goal.
There are a lot of places very out-of-the-way, out of the touristy areas and in the middle of the jungle. Koh Tao is quite a big island and when you really want to explore it I suggest to rent a scooter.
NOTE: One more thing about the scooters in Koh Tao. Whenever you say anywhere in Thailand you drove in Koh Tao everybody is happy to rent you another scooter.
It´s Crazy! The main road is ok. All the people watch out for each other and you can even see 7-year-old girls driving with two sisters on one scooter.
The problems are all the other roads.
Koh Tao has a heavy rainy season and that’s way a lot of the roads are really heavy-duty to drive on. That’s the way on this island you get all scooters with off-road tires.
You will need a few days to get use to the tires and the roads. Also when the tires are not funny to drive on the concrete road in the jungle you will need it!!!
Places you should see
Best bay on the island
Best bar on the island
When you going to drive to mango bay by your own don’t be afraid the street looks worse than it actually is to drive. Here is a video from our drive from mango bay back into civilisation.
On the way to Mango bay you will pass a viewpoint for which you have to pay a few Baht to see it. Then they road gets worse and ends suddenly.
From this point you have to walk.
In Mango Bay is one resort, to walk down to the sea you have to pass thousands of stairs (and its is a whole worse on the way back).
You can find your self a nice spot to watch the sunset or take the boat to the beach.
At the beach you will have to pay 200 Baht entry fee because it is a private resort beach.
Mango bay is an adventure
We had quite an adventure going to shark bay. We took the road which was most difficult to drive because we didn’t know that there was an easier way! The road that goes directly from the main road to Shark Bay is really ok but from the Tanote Bay road to Shark Bay is something completely different. Sometimes you are really not sure about how safe the whole situating is anymore but it was good fun.
Shark Bay with Shark Island at the front is beautiful. It has white sand, crystal clear warm water and a stunning veiw to the island.
At 420 its time for the high bar. The name of the bar comes from the excellent place the bar is located. It is high up in a mountain and the view is fantastic. It is not the cheapest bar but you can get good food, great drinks and some of their local specialities.
At this Reggie bar are always a lot of people. It is near the “centre” of Koh Tao where most of the resorts and diving schools are located.
When you want to meet new people and like a nice drink you should definitely go there.
Camel is a really cool guy we meet on our first day. He has a small open bar on the beach of Mae Haad bay. There are always people who now the area well and come since long time to Koh Tao.
Do you want something special and unique? Welcome to Siam Tattoo.
Boo is one of the best tattooist’s in whole Thailand and you can’t put his work into words.
He has his own style and chooses his clients.
Boo is an unbelievable great artist who is married to a Canadian woman and lives on Koh Tao.
Also if you don’t want a tattoo you should check out his place and maybe you are allowed to see how a really bamboo tattoo gets made.
Honestly I can’t say more about him, he does such fascinating, unbelievable beautiful work you just have to see it!
This is a funny story. A few people told Raymond about this bar. You have to hike there and then go down with a rope and you should reach a really cool bar.
For some reason Raymond forgot about it until some one else mentioned it when we were in Koh Lipe.
It should be a really nice Reggie bar but we never have seen it.
We update that when we are in Koh tao again.
Koh Tao is a beautiful island with a lot to explore. Hundreds of backpackers come and do their diving licences every year. You have party people, you have laid back places and you have amazing landscape.
Koh Tao is definitely very affordably like most of Thailand and will give u an unforgettable holiday.