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.
Use the quick links below to jump to a particular section of our sights and activities coverage for Ko Tao.
What’s it like to dive on Thailand’s Ko Tao? The island really does have something to offer every level of diver; many divers flock here for all sorts of levels of training, and also to just enjoy fun ... Read more about What's the diving like on Ko Tao? .
Ko Tao attracts more families each year and I would think that most parents, divers or not, might be surprised by what’s on offer diving wise for their little mermaids. Here’s a wrap on what kids can do and expect when it comes to scuba diving on the ... Read more about Can children learn to scuba dive on Ko Tao? .
Doing your open water course here on Ko Tao will take 3 and a half days. But what if you don’t have that long? Learning to dive is best taken at a relaxed pace but if you are really short on time there are a number of things that you can ... Read more about Learning to dive on Ko Tao with limited time .
So you have run the gauntlet of choosing a dive centre on Ko Tao. You have decided whether you want to take the SSI or PADI course. What should you expect while you are studying how to ... Read more about Learning to dive on Ko Tao .
As if choosing a dive centre on Ko Tao wasn’t a big enough task in itself, you are then likely to be asked if you would prefer an SSI or PADI course. Here’s what you need to ... Read more about Should I do PADI or SSI? .
Thailand’s Ko Tao has somewhere in the region of 40 dive centres, so choosing one can feel daunting, particularly if you have never dived before. As with any choice, you need to keep in mind what you are looking for during your experience; don’t waver or compromise, and you should get what you want. So, what should you be looking for when it comes to diving on Ko ... Read more about Choosing a dive centre on Ko Tao .
I have made Thailand my home, I live on a small island called Ko Tao off the east coast and teach travellers to scuba dive. Many people comment on how lucky I am but luck really has nothing to do with it. My response is always the same, you can do it too, and it's true. ... Read more about Become a dive instructor on Ko Tao .
The most popular sites, including Chumphon Pinnacle, Sail Rock and Southwest Pinnacle, are some kilometres from the island, where fish gather in larger numbers. Many other sites are a matter of 20 minutes' away and offer great training and fun diving too. Diving visibility and weather conditions tend to be best around the middle of the year. The monsoon kicks into full swing in November and ... Read more about Diving .
If I had 100 baht for each time someone asked me which is the best beach on Ko Tao then I wouldn’t need to work again. The answer isn’t that simple and like anything in life it depends on your definition of best. The simplest thing to do then would be to work our way around the island on a little tour to give you the facts to decide for ... Read more about What's the best beach on Ko Tao? .
Ko Tao is dotted with beaches and bays and picking where to go snorkelling can be difficult; what you choose to do will depend a little on how much time you have and what you want to both see and ... Read more about Where to go snorkelling on Ko Tao .
As a going away gift for my first backpacking trip one of my comical mates gave me a travel tips book. This wasn’t your normal travel manual by any means. It included topics like how to stop a runaway camel and how to avoid dying in an airplane crash. The best way to avoid crashing in an airplane apparently according to this book is not to fly. Therefore the best place to see a whale shark is ... Read more about How to see a whale shark on Ko Tao .
Ko Tao is named after the turtle, but this is due to the island’s shape, rather than an abundance of real live turtles. But there is a place you can see them these ... Read more about Turtle conservation on Ko Tao .
You’ve completed your Open Water Course and fallen in love with diving, so what should you do next? There seems to be a dizzying array of options. Here’s a rundown of your choices on Thailand’s Ko ... Read more about Which diving course should you take after Open Water? .
Visitors to Ko Tao are sometimes a little perplexed by the notion of beach dogs or street dogs, who often have names but no specific owners. They’re well looked after, well fed, sociable and roam with ... Read more about Ko Tao Animal Clinic .
Having travelled with a sports fanatic I know how important seeing the game, match, fight, race or whatever can be. I don’t understand it, but know to some it’s like air. So when you’re travelling to Ko Tao, where to go when you really can’t miss… that ... Read more about Where to watch sport on Ko Tao? .
Personally I would say, “No way Jose!” to anyone contemplating the undeniably risky method of getting about by motorbike on Ko Tao. However it would then be fair to accuse me of a certain amount of hypocrisy as I do indeed own and drive one. Well, chances are that unlike me — I own my own bike — you will be renting one. So what’s the ... Read more about Should you rent a motorbike on Ko Tao? .
Boat trips can be organised from virtually any beach on Ko Tao, through any travel agency or most hotel receptions. Trips tend to leave around 10:00 and return by 16:00. Costs vary, with a longtail typically charging around 550B per person, and a big boat around 650B. The advantage of the latter is more shade, but the longtails tend to visit more beaches. If you are hiring a whole longtail, be ... Read more about Boat trips .
Ko Tao Leisure Park is great for families with kids in tow but also has something to offer those bored of the beach, or just looking for something different to do. It’s also great for those days when it’s not quite sunny enough to roast in the sun or when you have over-roasted and want a bit of time away from the ... Read more about Ko Tao Leisure Park .
Never heard of bouldering? If you took a guess… you’d probably be right. It’s all about climbing boulders. And Ko Tao is becoming increasingly popular with the bouldering community due to the quantity and variety of granite boulders here to ... Read more about Bouldering .
The hardest thing about walking to viewpoints on Ko Tao is not always the uphill trek but finding the path. The island has some great lookouts worth getting out of your hammock for; here’s your guide to getting to some of the best of ... Read more about Hiking to viewpoints .
A large stone bearing the initials of King Rama V, who visited the island in 1899, is located at the south end of Haad Sairee. A small plaque decorates the memorial at the highly-revered site -- don't even think of adding your own initials. The stone isn't worth a special trip, but do check it out if you happen to be passing through. To get here, walk to the south end of Haad Sairee along the ... Read more about Famous stones .
You could be forgiven for thinking that Ko Tao is just about diving and partying, with no thought to healthy lifestyles and fitness pursuits, but you’d be wrong. Here’s a wrap on fitness activities on the ... Read more about How to keep fit on Ko Tao .
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 ... Read more about Basic shopping on Ko Tao .
Diving is not the only adventure sport on Ko Tao — climbing is one that’s often overlooked, but is great fun. It may not be as exhilarating as rock climbing in Krabi, but Ko Tao is home to more than 60 routes, of varying degrees of ... Read more about Climbing on Ko Tao .
If scuba isn’t your thing but you love the simplicity of snorkelling then free diving might just be for you. Free diving or breath-hold diving had been around for eons — it existed long, long before scuba. Traditionally it was a way of collecting sponge and fishing, but free diving has evolved into a competition sport and an alternative to scuba for exploring the underwater world. Being a ... Read more about Free diving on Ko Tao .
Arguably Thailand’s perfect all-round island, Ko Tao is best known for its outstanding diving and idyllic beaches and bays. On a recent visit we did both some scuba and beach lounging, but an unexpected highlight proved to be cliff jumping into a gorgeous emerald cove near Laem Thian point on the island’s east ... Read more about Cliff jumping on Ko Tao .