Introducing Ko Tao
First there was Ko Samui, then Ko Pha-Ngan; now, the cult of Ko Tao (‘Ko Taoism’ perhaps?) has emerged along Thailand’s crystalline gulf coast. Today, thousands of visitors come to worship the turquoise waters offshore, and quite often they stay. The secret to Ko Tao’s undeniable appeal? Simple: although the island is only 21 sq km, tiny Tao sure knows how to pack it in – there’s something for everyone, and nothing is in moderation. Diving enthusiasts cavort with sharks and rays in a playground of tangled neon coral. Hikers and hermits can re-enact an episode from Lost in the dripping coastal jungles. And when you’re Robinson Crusoe-ed out, hit the pumpin’ bar scene that rages on until dawn.
Many years have passed since the first backpacker came to the scrubby island and planted a flag in the name of self-respecting shoestring travellers everywhere (hello pizza parlours and ladyboy shows), but fret not, there’s still plenty of time to join the tribe. Ko Tao has several years to go before corporate resort owners bulldoze the remaining rustic cottages, and visitors start discussing stockholdings rather than sea creatures spotted on their latest dive.
Best places to stay in Ko Tao
Thailand - Ko Samui & the Lower Gulf (Chapter)
This family of spectacular islands lures millions of tourists every year with their powder-soft sands and emerald waters.
Ko Tao destination guides
Southern Thailand Sojourn
From Bangkok nightclubs that never close to laid-back beachside drinks on Koh Tao, experience the energy of southern Thailand. Hike through the magnificent lowland rainforest of Khao Sok National Park, where tigers still roam, or laze in a riverside hammock. This is your trip—so tread your own path.
Thailand Island Hopping
Relax under swaying palm trees then jump into crystal-clear waters—spend time island-hopping through the best of Southern Thailand's islands. The itinerary changes seasonally but you'll get a memorable experience no matter what time of year you visit. Snorkel the warm waters and meet the friendly locals while enjoying this tropical paradise.