Koh Tao: The Turtle Island
Divers paradise in Thailand…
The island of Koh Tao, which literally means Turtle Island, owes its name to the many sea turtles that still inhabit its waters. The beautiful island is only 21 km 2 and the local population lives mainly from fishing and growing coconut trees, but in recent years tourism has started to play a vital role in the economy of the island.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand about 1 hour boat ride from Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan, Koh Tao has become famous for its beautiful beaches and clear blue sea, while all around overlooking the tropical greenery. For its natural beauty, even more enriched by the coral reef that surrounds, Koh Tao is the destination chosen by all those who not only love to practice snorkelling and scuba diving , but in general all kinds of sea sports.
The village of Ban Mae Hat on the west side of the island is the landing point of the boats that make the transport between the various islands of the archipelago. The bustling town is the only shopping centre of the island where you can find many local restaurants and more and more also those Western, internet cafe’, tourist agencies, souvenir shops and a typical and colourful local market. Less than 1 km from the coast it come to the small island of Koh Nang Yuan, formed by the union of three small islands joined by a sandbar. To the south of the island it is rather the granite promontory of Laem Tato, who hides a sanctuary very dear to the people, and an attractive location for a walk.
Snorkeling and diving in Thailand
Thanks to the clarity of its waters Koh Tao is not only one of the most active centres of diving in Thailand, but in the world ! Second only to Cairns in Australia. The best dive sites are located off White Rock, Shark island and the Pinnacle of Chumpon. In the sea around Koh Tao you can admire a multitude of marine species including grouper, parrot fish, angel fish, stingrays and often peaceful whale shark (species totally harmless).
In the island there are several reason for this dive centres, professional and above all affordable ! The comprehensive range has in fact created a healthy competition and a corresponding fall in prices. In addition to diving in Koh Tao you can go almost anywhere you snorkelling, either independently or by targeting the various agencies that offer tours of the island from 350 Baht per person.
Ao Mae Hat
This bay is located just north of the town of Ban Mae Hat, it is characterized by a long sandy beach and offers numerous reef suitable for snorkelling.
Hat Sai Rin
Further north, after a promontory, is the one that is the longest beach and lively Koh Tao , characterized by many resorts , dive centres, mini-market, coffee shops, bars and restaurants of all kinds. The vibrant night-life of Koh Tao has its centre here: you start with the bar at sunset play music c hill out while having a drink at the beach lying on the typical oriental cushions and continue into the night with 1 or 2 discos playing until 3am. In Koh Tao is never too late, because the next day you have to prepare for diving and for all other entertainment. In our opinion, the night life of Koh Tao is one of the most pleasant of all the South east Asia, the atmosphere is really cheerful and informal among young people from all over the world. Precisely for this reason the island is considered an ideal destination for a honeymoon in Thailand .
Among other bays that are worth a visit to Koh Tao include: Ao Hin Wong, Ao Tanot, Ao Leuk, Ao Thian, The island of Koh Tao is still very large, with a day or two of hiking, you can visit all sights.
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