Your best guide to Ko Tao (the Turtle Island)

Mango Bay, Ko Tao ©

As one of the most scenic and most popular islands of Thailand, Ko Tao (which is also known as the Turtle Island) is a very attractive holiday destination. I am absolutely sure that tourists who visit this wonderful island will enjoy their vacation. The island is situated on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Administratively it belongs to the province of Surat Thani.

What could be a bigger evidence of the attractiveness of the island than the fact that the economy of Ko Tao is based almost exclusively on tourism. One of the major activities offered by this scenic island is practicing scuba diving. So, if you want to make great dive experiences, I suggest you to choose Ko Tao. In order to help you make the right decision, I will present you some useful information relating to the island. This article will serve as your best guide to Ko Tao (the Turtle Island).

Basic information

As I already mentioned it, the island is situated in the Gulf of Thailand, on its western shore and it belongs to the province of Surat Thani, more precisely to the district of Ko Pha Ngan. The island got its name after its shape resembling to a turtle. As a coincidence, Ko Tao is also a major breeding ground for two species of turtles: the Green Turtles and the Hawksbill Turtles. Tourism plays an important role in the lives of local people. It is considered the major source of income. The popularity of the island has begun growing in the 80’s and since the 90’s it has become a major dive site for many tourists. Besides, the beaches are also gorgeous. If you would like to avoid peak seasons, skip the period between December and March and July-August.

Mango Bay, Ko Tao ©


Ko Tao is primarily known for its fantastic dive sites. Scuba diving and snorkeling are both very popular activities here. There are dozens of great dive sites around the island and the schools are well equipped. Besides, the beaches are extremely attractive for the lovers of sun and sea. The most famous place for visitors is considered Sairee with 1.7 km of white sandy beach.

Ko Tao ©Retinafunk/Flickr


The most popular activity for tourists on Ko Tao is scuba diving. The island is well-known for its several gorgeous dive sites. Some of the best sites where you can practice this great sport are the following: Red Rock, Mango Bay, White Rock, Green Rock, Twins, Hin Wong Pinnacle, Sail Rock and so on. Whether you prefer to admire the colorful underwater life, coral reefs or huge rocks, you will find all of these at Ko Tao’s dive sites. Other popular activities which can be practiced here are rock climbing and hiking.

Ko Tao vegetation ©Camille Chenchei/Flickr


The majority of the hotels are centered in Chalok Bay and Sairee Beach. Sairee Beach is considered the largest beach at Ko Tao. It is the most popular place for tourists. Some of the best hotels at Sairee Beach are the following: Blue Wind, Ko Tao Resort, AC Resort, Koh Tao Coral Grand resort, Silver Sands Beach Resort and so on. As for the hotels in Chalok Bay, some are the following: Freedom Beach Resort, Woodlawn Villas, Sunshine Resort 2 and others.


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