On the beach of Koh Tao
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Taken on: 23rd April, 2008. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See Miek37's page of Flickr
Read more about Ko Tao
Cashew shaped Ko Tao, or Turtle Island, is one of Thailand's top diving locations, with plenty of amazing dive sites within easy reach of the Gulf of Thailand destination. Whale sharks are seasonal visitors and this is probably one of the few places in the world where you can see these gentle giants while scuba diving. But Ko Tao also has plenty to offer non-divers, with an array of non-water based activities such as hiking and yoga. Those willing to escape from the congested diver hotspots are rewarded with gorgeous beaches, great viewpoints and hospitable locals.
But it hasn't always been snorkels and sunscreen here. In the past, Ko Tao has been a pirate's hideout, a layover for fishermen, a prison and a badly-kept hardcore backpacker secret. While some say the island took its name from its turtle shape, others say it was named for the turtles that used to breed plentifully in its waters. Today, the turtles largely go elsewhere and instead thousands of recreational divers ... Read our complete Ko Tao travel guide