The premier way to travel to the amazing dive island of Koh Tao is by ferry. And the good news is the PhuketFerry.com schedule to Tao Island is daily, with good quality, frequent trips from Phuket, Phi Phi Island, Krabi, Samui, and Koh Phangan. It's a real joy to travel by inter-island speedboat & ferry, and they are pleasantly modern, safe and quick. The views of a thousand islands outside your speedboat & ferry window makes the journey so special. Check the speedboat & ferry information on Koh Phangan trips to see if your trip is a bus/speedboat & ferry package, as some trips will involve a transfer across the relatively short width of Thailand, wich is really scenic and pleasant. Each speedboat & ferry is very safe and strong, plus they're frequently carrying around 180-300 excited travelers to their destinations. The pier at Koh Tao is called
Koh Tao ("Turtle Island") is an amazing island of about 21 square kilometres, sitting just north of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. It is one of the best places in the world for scuba diving for beginners to the greatly experience, issuing more dive certificates to new divers than almost anywhere else in the world. Speedboat & Ferry travel is frequent from Phangan, Samui, and Suratthani, which makes Ko Tao surely as accessible as it is beautiful. And just how beautiful; crystal clear waters, mountainous island terrain, hidden beaches awaiting discovery, and exotic accommodation to retreat to at the end of your intrepid island exploring days.
Koh Tao Diving Paradise
Koh Tao is a glorious year-round diving location, attracting divers of all levels to its coral-lined, fish-abundant shores. The ferries and boats each day bring new underwater adventure seekers. Apparently, only Cairns in Australia hands out more PADI diving certificates each year, which is testimony to the dive paradise that Koh Tao has become. In some of the busiest beach areas you can find dive centre after dive centre lining up to provide you with an unforgettable dive experience. Out in the waters, you can find barracudas, sea turtles, stingrays, reef sharks and there's even been some rare sightings of whale sharks. The great thing about Koh Tao diving is that underwater visibility remains great all year long (approximately 20-40m apart from perhaps November). Convincing enough? Surely Koh Tao is worth a visit.
Koh Tao Beach Life
Most beach activity revolves around two main beach areas in Koh Tao; Sairee Beach and Chalok Bay. Sairee Beach is just north of Mae Haad Pier, which is where your ferry will arrive/depart from. Sairee Beach is long, sweeping, and so beautiful with its golden sands and turquoise shores. Many of the dive centres, restaurants and shops are found here just off the beach, and when evening comes the nightlife is fun and lively too. Chalok Baan Kao Beach is just a small trip to the south of the ferry pier and is much more relaxed and still really tropically special. PhuketFerry.com recommends picking up your snorkelling gear and renting a long tail boat around the Koh Tao shores where you'll discover some stunning hidden bays to snorkel around.
Getting Around Tao
Koh Tao is one place where hiring a motorcycle is a good thing to do, that's of course if you can and you have the necessary skills. Getting around Koh Tao on a motorcycle is fun, there's lots of cool little scenic viewpoints and hidden coves to explore. A lot of rental scooters have off-road tyres so you can navigate the dirt tracks to places such as Freedom Beach, Mango Bay, Shark Bay, Hin Wong Bay and Tanote Bay. Be careful though, because the roads are basic and need to be navigated with caution. Simply get a map, a water bottle and apply your sunscreen, and off you go. Make sure you check out John Suwan Mountain Viewpoint in the south and Fraggle Rock in the north for some pretty stunning views.
Koh Tao Cuisine
With Koh Tao becoming one of the tropical diving destinations of the world, many restaurants and bars have sprung up over time that make Koh Tao a really nice place for eating and drinking. Lots of good Thai food options are available, maybe try the Phad Thai (stir fried noodles with prawns), Krapaew Gai Khai Daow (chicken with spicy chilli, basil leaves and fried egg), or Gaeng Kia Wan (Thai green curry). They're delicious! Naturally, seafood is both cheap and incredible too, whether barbecued, boiled or deep fried. The island bars of Koh Tao are fun and lively. Most have some kind of happy hour or special theme night so it's good to check out when stuff is happening early on during your stay. Most bars are likely to close at around 1am leaving the nightclubs to keep you dancing till bedtime or morning comes.
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