Ko Tao is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Tao as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Tao’s different areas.
Thankfully Ko Tao is hardly a shopping metropolis but if you’re looking for clothes, jewellery, diving equipment or groceries, we’ve got you covered — it’s always a good idea to know the best spots to buy your bananas. Or cheapest wine!
Clothes and jewellery
In Sairee, check out Alila and Zunami, located opposite Choppers. Alila sells fashion and accessories and is one of the few places where you will find something a bit different from the run-of-the -mill stall-type fare. At the opposite end of the road, close to the main road, you’ll find an interesting T-shirt shop opposite a lovely jewellery and fashion shop. In the evening, the next road along becomes walking street and a great Western-brand clothes stall and a few jewellery stalls set up to tempt you with their wares too.
In Mae Haad wander down the road and you will come across Flip Flop and Treacle boutique (T: (080) 700 6232), which specialises in swim and beachwear for both men and women. The collections are limited and all items are handmade to a very high standard — you won’t find anything like this anywhere else. If you have forgotten your swimmers, then this is the only place to get Western-sized wet gear.
On the opposite side of the road and close to the top of the hill you will find a handmade jewellery shop that’s a veritable Aladdin’s cave for any shiny-things lover — it also sells bags. If you are staying in Chalok Ban Kao, you’ll find they have another store there a little before the 7-eleven but on the opposite side of the road.
Closer to the bottom of the hill you will find Molecule Clothing (T: (077) 456 774) which specialises in shorts, cargo shorts, trousers, T-shirts for men and women, as well as skirts and trousers for women. These clothes are hard-wearing, multifunctional and ideal for travelling.
Given that Ko Tao is home to great diving and 40 or more dive centres, you would expect a huge range of gear available to purchase and you wouldn’t be disappointed. Mae Haad is your place to be for gadgets, accessories and all main dive gear across all major dive brands. Each individual dive centre is likely to have a small selection but in Mae Haad everything that is available is just a stone’s throw away. Head to the down road and on your left you will see Aquamaster (T: (077) 456 782) on the right; continue down the hill to find Dive Supply (T: (077) 456 162) and Ocean Store almost diagonally opposite each other.
Supermarkets and food shopping
For the Sairee based, 4p (T: (077) 607 830 / (077) 601 839), opposite the petrol station, is where you will find the largest range of goods, with a number of smaller shops around it. This spot kicks off the start of the small walking street, which runs every evening and has a few food stalls and some jewellery and clothes too. It’s not worth coming from the opposite end of the island for but if you are around it’s worth a look. At the end of walking street closest to the beach you will find another little supermarket which on the whole tends to be the cheapest place to buy wine.
In Mae Haad, first you have Pen Wholesale (T: (077) 456 335/(077) 456 207), which you will find on your left when coming from Sairee. It’s pretty much opposite the temple. Apart from the usual supermarket range it’s also a main building supplier — for Mae Haad it’s also the cheapest place to buy wine.
Heading along the main road, just after the first right hand turn into Mae Haad you’ll find POD (T: (077) 456 148 / (089) 590 6668), your local butcher and grocer. If you are here for a while, this is not the cheapest place to shop but they do have the widest range and Western veggies too. Search out the local veggie shops for your staples, which tend to be just off the main strip, as they will be cheaper.
On your way out of Mae Haad, on the corner of the last right hand turn is Chaiwat (T: (077) 456 493/(077) 456 686). This has a range of standard supermarket fare but also where you will go to buy pots, pans, glasses, small furniture items and stoves. Heading into Chalok you will find Aukotan (T: (077) 456 027), with the usual supermarket fare plus stuffed toys, bedding and hardware supplies.
By Ayesha Cantrell
Last updated on 11th December, 2014.