Koh Tao - Turtle Island
Koh Tao is a small island covering 21 square km, located 44 km North of Koh Pha-Ngan (the fullmoon party island) and 45 km North East of Koh Samui. It is rumored that during the 40's it was used to hold political prisoners captive. Koh Tao's boom started when it was discovered by the diving industry. It is a paradise for both beginning and experienced divers, and also the largest dive training center in Southeast Asia. Sea turtles are ever present around the island's shores, and more turtles are expected to thrive in the coming years. The "We love Koh Tao" foundation has been turning their efforts toward bringing more turtles to the island, and last year they released 300 baby turtles into the beaches.
Although the island of Koh Tao is a beauty in itself, the most spectacular scenery can be found in the underwater world. This is the primary reason why the island has become a mecca for scuba divers across the world. Coral reefs, deep off-shore pinnacles and rock formations can be reached within ten minutes by boat. Here you can find rocks that come alive through sponges, anemones, soft and hard corals around Koh Tao island. Lucky divers and snorkelers can even spot the massive, harmless whale sharks in season, or manta rays and turtles while swimming among schools of exotic fish. To those unwilling to scuba dive but dying to see the underwater world, snorkeling gear is available all over the island. With a water temperature between 27 - 30 degrees Celsius one easily falls in love with the sea.
As for those who don't like water sports and only plan to stay for a day or so, the Thai food on the island is amazing. Pizza or a tender steak with good wine are some of the more popular dinner choices. The sunsets of Koh Tao are known as some of the most spectacular to watch, and places to relax and view them while having a sundowner are easy to find.
Although Koh Tao is remote to a point (90 minutes) from the mainland, there is an abundance of ATM's on the island located in Chalok Ban Khao, Sairee Village and Maehaad town. All the ATMs accept international credit card withdrawals and are rarely offline. There are also licensed currency exchange facilities throughout the island as well as two Siam City Bank exchange facilities again in Sairee villege and Maehaad town. Credit cards, particularly Visa and Mastercard, are widely accepted throughout the island.
Check the XE.com Universal Currency Converter for the rate of exchange on
The climate on Koh Tao is generally pleasant all year around, with temperatures varying from 25 to 34 degrees Celsius. From February until October, the temperature averages of 32 to 38 degrees, but from July until September, there can be some heavy showers, which for the most part seem to hit early morning or late afternoon.
There are three seasons…
Warm season from February until May
Rainy season from the end of September until November
Cooler season from October until January
The tropical climate is quite humid all year round, but fortunately Koh Tao, being a tropical paradise also gets a refreshing sea breeze every now and then stretching in from the Gulf of Thailand. If you are planning a trip to Koh Tao soon and want to plan your diving and vacation a little better, you can check out the weather forecast at KohSamui.org