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Ko Tao

  • gijsvanpelt

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2008
    Posts: 13

    Hi

    To start with, very nice and informative site!!

    I am planning to finish my trip through thailand by hitting one of the thai islands. this for about 8 days, dont want to do too much of hopping btween islands, and ko tao will be my preference. Will 8 days be to much for a small island like tao, or will there be plenty to do, have diving plans as well.
    And you know any nice resorts there, don't mind if it's a bit upscale, as long price and quility equalls.

    THANX

    #1 Posted: 13/6/2008 - 19:02

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  • somtam2000

    admin
    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7061
    Total reviews: 24
    Places visited:
    At least 113

    Hi gijsvanpelt,

    Thanks! -- glad you like the site.

    I've got two personal favourites on Ko Tao -- my budget option has always been Hin Wong Bungalows on the east coast of the island -- especially in July through Sept when the water is super calm. It's a very isolated spot, well away from the hordes...

    At the other end of the budget scale (and on the other side of the island is Ko Tao Cabana -- it's a bit pricey, but well appointed and close to lots of bars, restaurants etc.

    You'll find write-ups for both in the accommodation section for Ko Tao.

    #2 Posted: 13/6/2008 - 19:16

  • SBE

    Click here to learn more about SBE
    Joined Travelfish
    14th April, 2008
    Location Global Village
    Posts: 1951
    Total reviews: 5
    Places visited:
    At least 2

    Ko Tao isn't that small. Lots of walks and different beaches to explore. Sairee Beach has a fair bit of nightlife in the evenings...restaurants, bars etc and there are often parties. So I'd say there's plenty to keep you occupied for 8 days.

    I've only stayed in budget places so can't really help with accommodation recommendations but you could start by having a look at the Ko Tao section of this site....there's a pretty long list of places to stay there with descriptions.

    #3 Posted: 13/6/2008 - 19:24

  • gijsvanpelt

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2008
    Posts: 13

    thanx for your quick responses, the selected places do look nice. and worth concidering.

    After some further reading, some say this island is overspoiled with tourist, 'aka' the new samui. i have been on samui before and absolutely do not want that, just a nice and calm place to relax is what i am looking for, I am staying there from 9-16 of july...

    regards,
    gijs

    #4 Posted: 13/6/2008 - 20:46

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1306
    Total reviews: 61

    Well the east coast bays are not over-run with tourists, particularlt Hin Wong. I reckon it's got to be one of the most laid back bays in the southern Gulf islands.
    Here's what I wrote after my last Tao visit:
    I hired a bicycle and checked out AO HIN WONG first. It is on the northern half of the east coast and is accessed by a relatively short mainly dirt road from Sairee village. This has some killer slopes and very rough sections so be very careful if you are on a motorcycle. I saw a local and his passenger have a small come-off here - these guys ride those roads every day. The bay itself is relatively small with two bungalow operations, both of which had elevated restaurants and bungalows. I bought a super-cold beer off the friendly folk at GREEN TREES which had bungalows for 200 baht. The other place looked a bit further upmarket, but not super flash. There is no beach here, but heaps of big granite rocks for sunning and the bay itself is great for swimming (I didn’t have my snorkel gear or lap-swimming goggles but the underwater scene appeared to have lots of interesting rocks and sections of coral for snorkelers). The water is deep at all tides. There was only a handful of people in the restaurants and sunning/swimming - the perfect get away from it place.

    A couple of years back some Brits told me of an idyllic stay they had in one of the several small bays in the SOUTH WEST CORNER OF THE ISLAND - the area south of the main town, which is known as the HAT SAI NUAL-AO KUL JEUA are. So I spent the best part of a day exploring this on foot. The place which appealed most to me here was the area around SUNSET and MOONDANCE bungalows, because it had the nicest section of beach (Kul Jeua), some funky looking inexpensive bungalows with ocean views, could be accessed by a fairly flat rough dirt road from near Chalok Ban Kao (some of these bays are best accessed by long tail which can get expensive) and was populated by a handful of those Euro young couples and families who seem to specialise in finding out of the way locations.

    Further south on this track I found the best positioned restaurant in Tao. This belonged to VIEWPOINT BUNGALOWS and was one of these places built on stilts over the seaside rocks with the water actually sloshing below at high tide. It is right on the western end of the south coast, with fabulous views of Ban Kao’s beach, headland and the surrounding hills and mountains. Viewpoint is more a flashpacker place with good looking seaside bungalows at 800 baht and a nice little section of sand, but despite being a bit upmarket, I had the best value (and tastiest) meal of my whole LOS trip here, a sweet and sour chicken with rice (yeah, I know, it’s not Thai) for 60baht.

    I reckon there are enough different beaches and bays around Toa to easily fill 8 days. Make sure you take a trip out to adjacebt tiny Ko Nangyuan for a loveley beach, good snorkelling.

    #5 Posted: 14/6/2008 - 10:43

  • frenchmonke-
    ys

    Joined Travelfish
    14th June, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Koh Tao is NOTHING like Koh Samui - I live in Tao and love it, hate Samui.

    The busiest area on the island is Sairee Beach - a 1.7km long stretch of soft white sand. On a busy day, there might be a hundred people spread out over this area - hardly crowded. In the evenings it's busier as many congregate around one or two top night spots here. I wouldn't stay in the beach cottages in Sairee as it's too loud at night, but there are quiet spots (like Jitsun village) inland a little from there. That's as busy as it gets - I like to party in Sairee every so often, but I prefer quiet nights elsewhere most of the time.

    Hin Wong is beautiful and there's a dive site available right there, but there's no diving infrastructure to speak of on this side of the island. If you plan to do diving and want a quieter vibe, I would suggest going to one of the dive schools in Mae Haad for your diving like Master Divers - they have all the usual facilities, plus a fast RIB that can take you to any dive site you choose (most dive sites on the east side of the island are ignored due to the fuel costs in getting there in a large dive boat from the west side of the island). It's also a small, quiet school with a friendly vibe - I often stop by there for a beer and a chat with staff and the divers. They are also considerably cheaper than the few dive schools on the east coast.

    Where you choose to stay on the island is up to you - Master Divers is one of the few schools that doesn't insist you stay in their resort, and encourage you to find your perfect place on the island to stay. They'll pick you up or diving in the morning and take you back when you're through for the day, depending where you choose to stay it will either be by road or by boat.

    I would suggest staying somewhere in Chalok Baan Kao - far enough from the more crowded areas, close enough to island infrastructure so going out for a beer in the evening to watch the sun go down isn't a two hour trek! freedom beach is particularly beautiful, as is shark bay (where snorkelling late afternoon you'll see plenty of young grey reef sharks and black tip reef sharks, sometimes a few other breeds) nearby. Both places have bungalows available to suit any budget, both places are quiet and beautiful, both places are easily accessible.

    Hope that helps you. Whoever told you that Tao is like Samui though is either given to sensationalism or has poor knowledge of one or both places. Koh Tao is beautiful, which is why most people who go there for an Open Water course to stay for a week end up living there permanently.

    #6 Posted: 14/6/2008 - 11:18

  • frenchmonke-
    ys

    Joined Travelfish
    14th June, 2008
    Posts: 2

    Koh Tao is NOTHING like Koh Samui - I live in Tao and love it, hate Samui.

    The busiest area on the island is Sairee Beach - a 1.7km long stretch of soft white sand. On a busy day, there might be a hundred people spread out over this area - hardly crowded. In the evenings it's busier as many congregate around one or two top night spots here. I wouldn't stay in the beach cottages in Sairee as it's too loud at night, but there are quiet spots (like Jitsun village) inland a little from there. That's as busy as it gets - I like to party in Sairee every so often, but I prefer quiet nights elsewhere most of the time.

    Hin Wong is beautiful and there's a dive site available right there, but there's no diving infrastructure to speak of on this side of the island. If you plan to do diving and want a quieter vibe, I would suggest going to one of the dive schools in Mae Haad for your diving like Master Divers - they have all the usual facilities, plus a fast RIB that can take you to any dive site you choose (most dive sites on the east side of the island are ignored due to the fuel costs in getting there in a large dive boat from the west side of the island). It's also a small, quiet school with a friendly vibe - I often stop by there for a beer and a chat with staff and the divers. They are also considerably cheaper than the few dive schools on the east coast.

    Where you choose to stay on the island is up to you - Master Divers is one of the few schools that doesn't insist you stay in their resort, and encourage you to find your perfect place on the island to stay. They'll pick you up or diving in the morning and take you back when you're through for the day, depending where you choose to stay it will either be by road or by boat.

    I would suggest staying somewhere in Chalok Baan Kao - far enough from the more crowded areas, close enough to island infrastructure so going out for a beer in the evening to watch the sun go down isn't a two hour trek! freedom beach is particularly beautiful, as is shark bay (where snorkelling late afternoon you'll see plenty of young grey reef sharks and black tip reef sharks, sometimes a few other breeds) nearby. Both places have bungalows available to suit any budget, both places are quiet and beautiful, both places are easily accessible.

    Hope that helps you. Whoever told you that Tao is like Samui though is either given to sensationalism or has poor knowledge of one or both places. Koh Tao is beautiful, which is why most people who go there for an Open Water course to stay for a week end up living there permanently.

    #7 Posted: 14/6/2008 - 11:20

  • gijsvanpelt

    Joined Travelfish
    10th June, 2008
    Posts: 13

    Thanx for all your quick responses.

    This will make my stay on tao much more relaxed. great tips you have given me. After all your tips and advises have found some great affordable accomodation. THANX and report when I have returned!

    #8 Posted: 14/6/2008 - 21:00

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