Everything You Need to Know About Koh Tao, Thailand

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You’ve finally decided to make the leap: you’ve packed all your bags and decided to become an expat in South East Asia.

Before settling down in one place, you’ve decided to explore what the region has to offer. After exploring, you’ll figure what place you like the best and decide that’s where you want to be.

One of the first destinations on your list is Thailand! You’ve heard of its amazing food, friendly people, and famous landscapes and historical sites.

In addition to exploring mainland Thailand, you’ve decided to also check out a couple of islands while you’re there.

If you’re having trouble deciding between all the wonderful islands, I’m here to tell you everything you need to know about Koh Tao. If you’re into swimming and other water activities, this might be your pick!

In this brief article, I’ll go over what the island is most famous for: snorkeling and diving.

Koh Tao Overview
You can find Koh Tao on Surat Thani’s east coastline with its two neighbors Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.

When you translate Koh Tao into English it means “Turtle Island” since this place used to host many turtles. In fact, many people claim that the shape of the island itself is similar to a turtle when seen from Koh Phangan.

You can find beauty throughout the island from the beaches and tropical forest to waters and below. This island is blooming with coral reefs and various thriving sea life in the clear, warm, blue water.

Its’ no wonder it brings in thousands of travelers, aquatic enthusiasts, and tourists every year.

While some islands are known for their party atmosphere, you can come here and relax. Or, if you’re coming from a party island, you can take time here to rest.

This place has developed so much since travelers started coming here over thirty-five years ago. It is now one of the top destinations for divers.

Everything You Need to Know About Snorkeling in Koh Tao
What makes Koh Tao the destination for snorkeling is the island’s weather and water conditions. Most of the year, you can expect to see clear blue shallow water and relatively calm water. It makes ideal for snorkelers who want to get the most out of their days on the island.

There are a few different ways you can book a snorkel tour on the island
Big Boat Tours
There are about ten different snorkeling companies that offer the same services and program. They leave in the morning and return you just in time for dinner on the island.
The price includes a guide, transportation to and from your accommodation, equipment, and lunch.

Longtail Boat Tours
If you’re not into big boat tours, this one might be a better option. You can gather a small group together to split the cost and have more flexibility in your schedule. You might be able to visit other spots that big tours usually don’t take you.

Luxury Speed Boat Tours
For the best comfort and convenience, you can hire out a company to take you on your own private tour. You’ll have the flexibility of a longtail boat tour but with the swiftness of a speedboat.

Snorkel Independently
If you want to have a solo day, you can take a hike into different parts of the island that have watering holes or rent a kayak for the day.

Everything You Need to Know About Diving in Koh Tao
The dive centers are one of the best in the world here in Koh Tao. It’s no wonder since it offers a variety of courses from beginner to professional.

Here are a few dive courses you can sign up for if you have a few days to spare:
Open Water Course
The Open Water Course takes less than a week to complete. The certificate is recognized around the world and is the foundation course for others. Once completed you’ll be qualified to dive down to eighteen meters.

Advanced Open Water Course
This course building on what you learned in the Open Water Course and deepens your expertise and underwater episodes. By the end of the course, you’ll be qualified to dive down to thirty meters and have more maneuverability skills in the water.

Rescue and EFR Courses
This course is only for those who have their Advanced Open Water Certificate. In this course, you’ll be challenged to help others in underwater emergencies. Having a CPR and First Aid/Secondary Care certificate is a prerequisite to the course.

Professional Level Diving Courses
If you’re looking to settle down in Thailand, Koh Tao has many long-term diving opportunities available. The diving community offers affordable accommodation with your fellow divers and cheap food to buy and share.

If this article has convinced your aquatic self to come to Koh Tao, then you’ve made the right decision!

Enjoy the beaches and wealth of diving adventures waiting for you!

This article is written by Paul Young promoting Ferry Samui’s travel services from Bangkok to Koh Tao