Koh Tao Vacations

Once a detention site for political prisoners, Koh Tao, on the southern coast of Thailand, north of Ko Samui and Ko Phangan, now only hosts voluntary detainees sticking around for diving lessons at outfits like Big Blue Diving, and full moon parties. Literally, its name means Turtle Island, it's accessible only by boat, and is popular with Thais as ... Read more
it is with foreign tourists. Most hotels are centered around Sairee Beach and Chalok Bay.

Koh Tao places to stay and top hotels

Koh Tao things to do and experiences

  • Mango View Point
    10.01 review
    Outdoors, Scenic Lookout
    Popular withBackpackersOutdoorsy
  • Freedom Beach
    10.06 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure
  • 7 Eleven
    8.01 review
    Shopping, Convenience Store
    Popular withBackpackers
  • Koh Nang Yuan
    10.05 reviews
    Outdoors, Beaches and Watersports, Scenic Lookout, Beach
    Popular withOutdoorsyAdventure


Koh Tao


Average temperature( / )

Average precipitation (mm)

Top Koh Tao restaurants

Koh Tao

Show Nearby Places


Koh Tao reviews & trip reports

  • 9.8
  • 8.7
    Adventure Travelers
  • 7.3
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 6.8
  • 5.6
    Green Travelers

Member Reviews(42)

Write a review
San Francisco, California, USA
Community Manager

This is a great spot to learn how to scuba dive in Asia, or just chill out with other backpackers. Quieter than other island experiences but still easy to meet others.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackersSolo Female Travelers
Queenstown, New Zealand

Just a couple hours away by ferry, Koh Tao is one of the most picturesque islands in Thailand. This island is excellent for a day trip and offers everything: superb beaches, world-class scuba diving, and unbelievable panoramas. The beaches are perfect for unwinding and enjoying the cool water. While Koh Samui is, by all accounts, a laid-back island, Koh Tao takes stress-free beach life to the next level. I’ve found it’s a perfect getaway from the island.

Recommended for:Budget TravelersBackpackersAdventure TravelersSolo Female Travelers

Koh Tao is by far one of my favorite islands in Thailand. the small charming island is known for its diving excursions and famous diving schools.

Our trip turned from 4 days to 3 weeks as we quickly fell in love with this fun little island. We took our dive courses at Bug Blue Dive School. Setting and staff were OUTSTANDING and made our stay that much more enjoyable. We quickly became friends and enjoyed KohTao as locals. Venturing the island has no ends, while it’s small, there is something hidden down every alley, and every dirt road. From like “main intersection” with the 7-11 heads towards big blue diving, you’ll come pass and alley way that hides a Mexican restaurant st the end. Amazing owners from Lake Tahoe with some comfort food to fill your bellies!

Many more hidden gems await your finding, but you’ll have to visit for yourself!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBackpackersAdventure Travelers

Amazing city with lots to offer. Big night life, creat scuba license opportunity.

Menlo Park, California, USA

One of my favorite if not favorite Thai island. It has a little bit of everything that each of the other islands offer - idyllic white sand beaches, lots of adventure sports and tons of fun nightlife. A great way to spend a holiday or a backpacking trip.

Recommended for:BackpackersAdventure Travelers
Burbank, California, USA

Great island to go to if you're wanting a pretty secluded getaway, or even travelling solo to get your scuba certification!

Recommended for:Budget Travelers
San Francisco, California, USA

Cheap relaxed diving island. Sairee beach is dive school by day and party central by night. There are a couple bars that have fire dancing shows on the beach each night that are really impressive. Mostly a young crowd but welcoming to everyone.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersBackpackersAdventure Travelers
Melbourne, Australia

Koh Tao is such a beautiful island. I would go back here any day. Apart from the fact that diving is huge here and the cheapest place in the world, beaches are pristine, the locals are friendly, the best massaman curry is made here (I ate the same one 3 days in a row) and there are countless bars to drink at, this is also a beautiful island to chill out on. Whale sharks are also frequently sighted in season.

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsBudget TravelersFoodiesBackpackers
Sydney, Australia

In my opinion the crown of the gulf-coast islands of southern Thailand, tiny Ko Tao trumps it neighbors Ko Pha Ngan (too druggy and party-ridden on the main beaches, a little dull off of them) and the resort-heavy Ko Samui. It's a shame that Ko Tao is always touted as just 'the diving island', because while it certainly DOES have some wonderful submarine life offshore, it's also a thoroughly relaxed, friendly, and livable place. The snorkelling directly offshore (and on the day-long snorkelling tours they run here) can be a little sad, as you get to see how beat-up the Earth's great coral reefs have become with human development, but there's still some good spots to be found. Much more compact than the larger islands, Ko Tao nonetheless has some fine nightlife at the main beach, and down at the even lovelier Chalok Bay, but if you want to get away from it all, Ko Tao's windward side offers ample opportunity. A highlight of Southern Thailand.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBackpackersNightlife LoversOutdoor Enthusiasts
Pyeongtaek, South Korea

Koh Tao is a small island with a hundred-plus things that you can do to occupy yourself with while you're there. There's cheap ways to get your scuba certification (about $300 for an open water four day course) and cheap places to stay. The locals are incredibly friendly and the island has amazing restaurants and bars all along the coast. A good time to go would be in April during the water festival/New Years. There's great hiking opportunities and boat tours.

Recommended for:Adventure TravelersBackpackersBudget Travelers