Koh Tao, Thailand: where it is, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Koh Tao, in Thai language, means "turtle island" and is so called because of the hundreds of turtles that came to lay their eggs on its beautiful beaches. Today, unfortunately, these wonderful reptile specimens are fewer and fewer and even if they continue to nest here, Koh Tao has more tourists than turtles. In fact, in recent years the small island was discovered by international tourism and about 200.000 visitors each year arrive here attracted by one of the most beautiful tropical seabed in the world and beautiful bays with crystal clear water. The courtesy of the local inhabitants, the good food and the relaxed climate complete a fantastic setting, make it one of the most popular destinations in all of Thailand. Few parties, few night clubs and zero fuss, this small island is a haven of tranquility and relaxation. Here's where it is, when to go and what to see



Index

  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where it is
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. 9 things to see: beaches and places of interest
  5. What to do in Koh Tao: excursions and tours
  6. How much does a holiday in Koh Tao cost? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments
  8. Request a personalized quote

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: 1.382
  • Capital: Mueang Surat Thani district
  • Languages: Thai
  • Local currency: baht (€ 1,00 = Thb 35.883,00)
  • Weather: tropical-monsoon, hot all year round and with a long rainy season
  • vaccinations: vaccination against yellow fever is mandatory for all travelers over the age of one year from countries where transmission is at risk (Central Africa and South America), and for all travelers who have even passed only for more than 12 hours in the airport of a country where yellow fever is at risk of transmission.
  • Entry requirements: passport with residual validity of six months and two free pages. Visa not required for tourists if the stay is less than 30 days
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where it is


    Between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator, Koh Tao is a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, in the Gulf of Thailand (or Gulf of Siam), 70 km east of the coasts of the provinces of Chumphon and Surat Thani. Together with Koh Nang Yuan, it forms a small archipelago extending over an area of ​​21 sq km. In its widest part it measures 3,4 km and in the longest 7,6 km. There is no airport and the only way to get there is by sea in about 2 hours by boat from Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.



    How to reach us

    • From Milan: to get to Koh Tao you must land on Koh Samui, which is the closest airport. From Milan you can book with Air Italy, make a 2-hour stopover in Bangkok and continue with Bangkok Airways for a total of about 14 hours of flight. Or you can choose Singapore Airlines with a stopover in Singapore of 3 hours and arrival in Koh Samui in 15 hours. Once in Koh Samui you have to move by ferry: the boats of the Lomprayah company depart from the Nathon Pier (on average 2 hours of navigation, costs from 600thb / € 16,00). Flight from Milan to Koh Samui starting from € 492,00
    • From Rome: you always land in Koh Samui, you fly with Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong, but here the stopover is very long and you arrive at your destination only after 23 hours of travel. Once in Koh Samui you have to move by ferry: the boats of the Lomprayah company depart from the Nathon Pier (on average 2 hours of navigation, costs from 600thb / € 16,00). Flight from Rome to Koh Samui starting from € 506,00
    • From the main European capitalsFrom London, Malaysia Air connects Koh Samui via Kuala Lampur with a stopover of 1 hour and 20 minutes and a journey of 14 hours. From Paris, you can choose Thai Air, via Bangkok with a stopover of 1 hour and 30 minutes and arrival in 14 hours as above. Singapore Airlines connects Munich with a 1 hour stopover in Singapore and arrives after 12 hours. Once in Koh Samui you have to move by ferry: the boats of the Lomprayah company leave from the Nathon Pier (on average 2 hours of navigation, costs from 600thb / € 16,00).

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: it is tropical-monsoon, therefore influenced by winds, hot all year round and with a long rainy season, due to the monsoons, which runs from May to mid-January, and a drier season, from mid-January to April. The driest months are February and March, with average temperatures of 32 °, but some sudden thunderstorms are always possible in this area.
    • Best time: certainly the months of February and March are the best both for what concerns the rains and for the humidity, which becomes bearable compared to the rest of the year.
    • Period to avoid: the whole period of the rainy season and especially the months of October, November and December, when the rains can be torrential
    • Advice: the public health standard is very good, the private one is excellent but it is advisable to take out health insurance before leaving, which includes the advance of any expenses. The meteorological situation can be monitored through the local website www.tmd.go.th updated also for areas at risk of seismic or tsunami. Petty crime is quite widespread throughout Thailand and particularly in tourist areas. It is also advisable to be particularly cautious in Koh Tao, where there have also been episodes of disappearance of Western tourists, and to register on the Farnesina website before leaving.

    9 things to see: beaches and places of interest

    1. Koh nang yuan: they say it is one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world and even if it is not really in Koh Tao (about 12 minutes away) it is the most beautiful beach of the entire archipelago. White sand, no cars, no smog, no street vendors. It deserves more than one visit and perhaps worth the stay.
    2. Muang Bay: in a very isolated and peaceful area, this bay offers a landscape of long rocks, lush hills and tropical nature. The shades of the waters in this bay range from deep blue to emerald green and are always very clear and the proximity to the coral reef makes it suitable for swimming and snorkeling.
    3. Fun: getting there is quite complicated, the road is rough but panoramic and comes out between two plantations of coconut palms. The beach is wide and sandy, with minimal services and very wild. Wonderful waters.
    4. Thanote: on the east coast of Koh Tao and accessible by taxi boat. Thanote is a very picturesque, postcard-worthy bay nestled in the hills covered in lush tropical vegetation. Here you can go snorkeling and scuba diving by accessing directly from the beach, enjoying crystal clear water and underwater visibility that can reach 30 meters.
    5. Hin Wong: on the east coast of Koh Tao, Hin Wong is a bay surrounded by rocks and dense vegetation. Much appreciated by snorkelers, you can spend a whole day exploring the bay without ever leaving the water. Famous for the Hin Wong Pinnacle, a large table-shaped rock formation surrounded by large rocks. Very known for its beautiful corals and a very diverse marine life.
    6. Sareee: 1.5 km of white beach, it is the most popular and frequented by tourists. Sairee has many services, bars and restaurants and is the ideal place to enjoy a relaxing sunset. The area north of Sairee is very quiet, the south area of ​​the beach is more lively with small parties and bars with live music.
    7. Thiang Ok: one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Tao and worth a visit for its tropical beauty and sharks. The beach, in fact, is commonly called Shark Bay due to the presence of small sharks that have their natural shelters here.
    8. Jansom bay: the small beach is private and you pay Thb200,00 (about € 5,50) per person to enter, but you can use the sun beds and umbrellas. The absolute peace, the rich backdrops and the vegetation make it very appreciated by those seeking only tranquility.
    9. Sai Nuan: a bit difficult to reach, after a rather uncomfortable road you have to continue on foot for about three hundred meters, with the jungle on either side and in the middle of nowhere. Splendid place, with services, bars and bungalows and a turquoise sea that contrasts with the white of the sand.

    What to do in Koh Tao: excursions and tours

    How much does a holiday in Koh Tao cost? Prices, offers and advice

    Il fairly low cost of living, compared to European standards, it allows you to take a holiday without spending crazy money. A return flight from Italy, taken well in advance, can cost around € 500,00. The hotels on the island are of a good standard and of all prices: the average cost is € 50,00 per night in a double room. The local cuisine is truly excellent (to try absolutely is the Pad Thai based on noodles, eggs and fish) and to eat you can find street vendors offering tasty quick dishes, or restaurants with complete menus for no more than € 20,00. We do not recommend renting a car due to poor road conditions, better local taxis that can get anywhere with a few baht. If you prefer a tour operator that organizes everything, you can opt for one of the small all-inclusive resorts scattered around the island. Thailandweb offers flights from Italy, transfers and accommodation from € 1.300,00, while Hotelplan starts from € 680,00 per person excluding flights.



    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 42,00 per room -
    • starting from € 500,00 -
    • 15 days / 14 nights from € 1.630,00 per person -
    • Custom quote: to request a personalized quote


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