Thought of as the baby of Ko Samui and Ko Pangan, Ko Tao is a stunning tiny little island in the south of Thailand! It’s famous for diving and is where we have chosen to come and get out PADI’s (diving license). Getting a night train to Chumpon from Bangkok at 7:30pm we connected with a ferry at 7am, this was a high speed cat which raced across the choppy waters of the gulf of Thailand, making a few passengers go through several shades of green! We arrived at 10am and learned quite quickly how busy the island can be. The pier was bustling with tourists coming and going as well as boat crews unloading supplies from the mainland. We grabbed a taxi (a converted truck) to where were staying and held on tight!
After napping in the room for an hour or two we went out to explore a little, and found the island to be absolutely stunning. We arrived in the south of the island and were met with giant boulders, crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches with a band of coral reef encircling most of the coastline. Naturally we went to get our feet wet, and discovered quite how hot the water is! I can only describe it as getting into a perfect bath! We took a quick paddle, until I hit a patch of dead coral and found that due to my general heavy footed clumsiness most of it was coming with me – embedded in my feet.
After lazing on the beach for a little we strolled around the town and had a look for food – the food available is exactly what you’d hope it to be; fresh and local! It’s a little more expensive than in the mainland, but that can happily be overlooked because it is so damn tasty!
The first place we stayed was fairly basic with a fan and cold shower as well as being a long walk to the beach. However, we were lucky enough to find Ko Tao diving resort, a hotel and diving school which offers free accommodation to anybody who is studying their PADI course with them. We instantly booked this and arranged our transfer! The rooms are stunning with air con, hot water and it looks like a five star hotel! To have it all included in the price of a intensive dive lesson package with a diving license it seems to be the perfect place to be learning how
Overall Ko Tao is a little sleepy, but absolutely beautiful! Our time had been mainly spent wandering around beaches and doing a little exploring! But we loved being able to take some time to relax and enjoy a slower pace than Bangkok where we had just come from!