Koh Tao Island (Turtle Island, aka Ko Tao) is part of Thailand's Chumphon Archipelago (Surat Thani Province) in the Gulf of Thailand. The island has land area approx 21 km2 (8 mi2) and a population of around 1500 (plus 3-5,000 workers from Burma). The access to Koh Tao is from Koh Samui Island (distance approx 50 km / 30 mi) via regularly scheduled ferries. Another popular destination located in close proximity is Koh Phangan Island.
Ferries and day tour boats link Koh tao with Surat Thani (4-9 hours ride), Chumphon (2-3-7 hours ride), Koh Samui (2,5-hour travel), and Ko Phangan (2-hour travel). The ferries dock at Ban Mae Haad (Ko Tao's largest settlement). Ko Tao Island's economy is based on tourism, and specifically on snorkelling and scuba diving training. In the period 1933-47, the island was used as a penal colony. The tourism industry started to develop in the late-1980s. As a scuba diving destination, Ko Tao is popular since the early-1990s.
Among the island's most popular dive sites in Chumphon Pinnacle (to the west) featuring a series of coral pinnacles housing species like batfish, brindle bass (aka brown spotted cod / giant grouper), barracudas, snappers, moray eels, giant kingfish (trevally), blennies, harlequin sweetlips, scorpionfish, stonefish. Marine life also includes sharks (whale-leopard-bull), manta rays, sea turtles (hawksbill-green), hard corals (130+ species), reef fishes (220+ species).
In the surrounding waters (at ~30 m / 100 ft depth) can be found an artificial reef with the 2011-sunk shipwreck of HTMS Sattakut (large amphibious ship / US-Navy landing craft). Other popular diving sites on Ko Tao are Southwest Pinnacle (4-30 m / 13-100 ft water depth), White Rock (with 2 pinnacles separated by a sandy channel), Shark Island (whale-reef-leopard sharks, coral garden.
Koh Tao is also popular as a vacation travel destination with numerous affordable hotels, budget spa resorts, bars and restaurants, dive schools, great scenery (lush forests), white-sand beaches, and crystal clear waters. Tourist attractions also include rock climbing, hiking, mini-golfing, bouldering, fun activities (like cooking classes). The longest beach (Sairee) is 1,7 km long.
|Date / Time||Port|
|11 Apr||Departing from Koh Samui Island, Thailand|
|12 Apr||Koh Phangan Island, Thailand|
|13 Apr||Koh Wua Ta Lap Island, Thailand|
|14 Apr||Koh Tao Island, Thailand|
|15 Apr||Koh Thalu Island, Thailand|
|16 Apr||Pattaya, Thailand|
|17 Apr||Koh Samet Island, Thailand|
|18 Apr||Koh Mak Island, Thailand|
|19 Apr||Sihanoukville, Cambodia|
|20 Apr||Koh Rong Island, Cambodia|
|22 Apr||Arriving in Koh Samui Island, Thailand|
The 11-day roundtrip from Ko Samui was priced from USD 6600 per person.