Koh Tao Island has developed into an important stop on the backpacker trail around South East Asia. Whilst the island is perhaps best known for its Scuba Diving and is commonly referred to as a ‘Diving Mecca’, there are many reasons why visitor numbers are continuing to grow.
The Islands in the Southern Gulf of Thailand have a relatively predictable climate with hot sun, sandy beaches, warm tropical waters and an abundance of daily trips and Island activities to choose from. Koh Tao has evolved from a ‘party island’ into a popular location for families, flashpackers and sports enthusiasts alike.
There are now many luxury resorts available that cater to families but the largest visitor demographic are backpackers. With a large gathering of backpackers looking for accommodation, Koh Tao provides a range of hostel accommodation to meet the demand, from Bungalows and Rooms to Air Conditioned Dormitories.
One important consideration is location on this 21km square Island. Whilst the beach parties, fire shows and Koh Tao pub crawl may be located in Sairee, it may not be everyone’s idea of paradise to be living in the middle of it.
Chalok is based at the southern end of the Island and enjoys beautiful beaches and provides a more laid back lifestyle whilst the east coast is dotted with sandy beaches in the various bays.
Mae Haad is where all the ferry and boat piers are located and is a bustling village. Upon arrival visitors are faced with calls from taxi drivers ready to transport them around the island. Most of the main resorts send their private shuttle service 4 x 4’s to the piers to collect their guests upon arrival by ferry.
With Mae Haad situated next to the ferry piers, unsurprisingly there is a wide choice of local hostels available. One of the most popular is Koh Tao Central Hostel located on the down road and within 100 metres of the main pier. Providing large dormitory style rooms with air conditioning, security, free wifi and much more, it provides safety and comfort to all its guests.
Most visitors to Koh Tao count their length of stay in days rather than weeks but don’t be fooled by its small size. There is a wide range of activities and hiring a scooter is essential if you plan on visiting all the favourite viewpoints and appreciating this small tropical island in all its beauty.