Koh Tao: The turtle island, a hidden gem of Thailand

Koh Tao, also known as the ‘Turtle Island’ gets its name more from the islands shape than the presence of the shelled living beings on the island. The mountains here represent the shape of a turtle’s shape.

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Places to see in Koh Tao

Koh Nangyuan
The island of Ko Nang Yuan located off the northwest coast of Ko Tao is a pleasant, place to spend the day. The island is formed by three separate rocky ridges connected by a three-pronged white sand beach, a great deal of which is sunken at high tide.

Sairee Beach
Sairee beach is the most popular beach on Koh Tao that is not much overcrowded. This is a splendid beach to relax or take a plunge. The water is sparkling clear and the waves are slight. The palm trees are lined up and down the beach that will guard you from the sunburns while you enjoy reading or dozing or chit chatting. There are also many restaurants and clubs found up and down the beach where you can have delicious food, drinks and relax.

Enjoy the famous sunset
Enjoy the beautiful view of sunset at any of the beaches of the Koh Tao and get relaxed as never before.

Chalok Baan Kao Viewpoint
This place is one of the best viewpoints to observe a beautiful sunset on Koh Tao. This viewpoint has lots of hundred years old giant cycads which give spectacular view. At this viewpoint, you can see an amazing view of mountains embracing the ocean.

Mae Haad Beach
Mae Haad is the major suburb on Koh Tao. This is the place where all boats disembark. Many of the diving schools and travel groups have their workplaces here. You also relax here in to the various restaurants and bars of the village.

Yaai Mae and Taa Toa Spirit Rocks
The local people here respect and worship two rock spirits called ‘Hin Taa Tho’ and ‘Hin Yaai Mae’ as they believe them to be Gods who will guard them from the natural catastrophes and bad fortune in particular when migrating by sea. This spirit abode is a place for the people to show their reveres and worship to these rock spirits.

Ao Leuk
Ao Leuk is the next bay to the south of Tanote Bay you can reach this place by a longtail boat.

Whale skeleton at Sairee View Resort
There is a resort on the northern side of the island named the Sairee view Resort that stores a whale skeleton. It is a 6 meter long whale shark skeleton. The story goes that the whale skeleton was located in a very enormous cave beyond up the hill from this particular restaurant. But no one knows how it came there, a queer story indeed.

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Activities in Koh Tao

Diving
The underwater scenery is the original Koh Tao attraction. Sharks, stingrays, pufferfish, groupers and triggerfish are just some of the locals. Close encounters with everyone’s favorite big fish at “Shark Point,” near Chalok Baan Kao Bay. Tanote Bay – to the east of the island, has some of the best snorkeling sites.

Quad Bike to explore the island
You can hire a quad bike and go exploring all over the island.

Shooting
Now all this serene and peaceful exploration is very nice and all, but why not try something a little bit different? Let’s think outside the box, outside the typical paradise box… Ever shot a gun? Well I have. Head on over to the Koh Tao Shooting Range and have a go on one of the targets!

Fishing
Hire a local “long tail” boat, or take a trip with one of the local tour operators, who also offer more sophisticated tackle. Night fishing is also available.

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Places to eat in Koh Tao

Eat Sea food at Sairee Beach
Sairee Beach is definitely the most popular area as the buzzing action happens down there. It also has incredibly fresh seafood too; all served beach-side which just supports its authenticity.

The Whitening
The Whitening is Koh Tao’s most beautiful and romantic restaurant. Snuggled on the beach in Mae Haad and set alight with many candles and small white fairy lights. The food here is delicious (if a bit expensive). They have a huge menu mainly for the Thai dishes and grilled meats and sea food.

Yellow Rice and Chicken
While going to Chalok Baan Kao, just before the T-junction towards the Autokan, you get this eating place. Less than even $2USD, the appetizing meal of yellow rice and crispy chicken will make you have a return trip back here for a dinner.

Lung Pae
Lung Pae provides you fantastic location along with delicious food. It’s situated up in the jungle with spectacular views overseeing the Chalok Ban Kao. As it is situated in a remote location, the eatery also provides a free taxi facility that will pick you up and drop you off back later.

Reasons to Visit Koh Tao
Tiny “turtle island” Koh Tao is a top destination for scuba divers though even non divers are easily drawn in by the island’s beauty and its inhabitants charm.

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