Ko Tao was the next island we visited on our backpack trip after Ko Pha Ngan. This is my favorite island in Thailand. It was getting better every island. The island is smaller and even prettier! High on our bucket list was snorkeling. And this really was the place to be to see coral and fish in every color possible. We had to get rabies vaccinations thanks to playing too rough with a puppy, so we had to stay longer! No problem at all this time!
There are way to many perfect beaches on Ko Tao. I really didn't had time to visit every beach, so I'm sure I missed a lot of good beaches. There's still so much to see, I will be back on this island for sure!
This beach was on walking distance from our hotel. It's the third largest beach and it's a very wide beach. It slopes down very gently and therefor it's ideal for families with kids. You can also snorkel here, but you have to walk a fair bit before the water is getting deep enough. When arriving to the beach you can find a cool reggae bar at the right side where you can lounge all night (look at 'Bar Cabana Marley', below). They have relaxed music and cocktails. There's also a small massage stand where you can have great traditional Thai massages for just 200฿ for a whole hour. You'll hear the waves hitting the beach. Access to this beach is also very easy, no steep roads.
This is the best beach for snorkeling! At least, I think so. Ao Leuk is a very pretty beach. The road to it is steep just as on the rest of the island, so be careful. We managed to drive our off road motorbike back to the main road without burning our legs. To access the beach you have to pay a small fee (200฿ for 2 persons). But in reward we got 2 sunbeds for the whole day, an umbrella and 2 cooled drinks. So it wasn't a bad deal. At the right side of the beach there's a coral reef. Lot's of beautiful fishes and coral can be seen here. We could spend hours just snorkeling and nothing more. There's also a good restaurant at the right side with a great view over the water. We did see a baby shark from here.
Tanote beach is famous for the big rock in the middle of the sea where you can climb on and jump off. The water is very deep here so you don't need to worry about hitting the ground. Also here you can snorkel very good and there are some restaurants on the beach.
This is where all the boats arrive on the island. It's the port town where all the piers are. If you walk all the way to the south there's a little beach where you can swim. Here's also a shipwreck from 1962. It's an interesting place to snorkel. To find it you need to get in the water as far south on this beach as possible and swim just to the left around the corner. Here you can find the shipwreck. Look at the map below for the exact location. Also a great beach to eat some dinner and see the sunset.
During our visit to Ko Tao we stayed in Aukotan Place. We first checked the reviews and they were all very good, so we knew this was a place we would enjoy. The fun thing about this hotel is that it has indoor grass in all the main areas. How cool!
It also has:
Check out the pics below to get an impression.
This small pizza restaurant opened the week we were here. The owner is a very kind Dutch/Italian Rastaman. The pizza's are so good! One of the best I've ever tasted. You can do takeaway or sit in the restaurant where he has Bob Marley music playing on a beamer. So relaxed!
This restaurant is located in the main town of Ko Tao, where all the boats arrive. Although we love Thai food, after two months we wanted something else. We thought we had an ordinary burger, but it was a masterpiece. Very delicious, with homemade sauce. So good! Also served are French dishes.
This Thai restaurant was very close by our hotel Aukotan Place, on walking distance. It serves Thai food, which we both love very much! Yummy!
This relaxed bar is located on Ao Chalok Baan Kao Beach. Right when you enter the beach it's at your right side. They play reggae music in the evening and it has a super relaxed vibe. You can just chill and get drinks here until it get's dark. We spent some relaxed nights here. Look at the picture to find it.
At the right side of Ao Leuk beach you can find this restaurant. It's the one with the magnificent view. You can't miss it. Although the reviews are mixed, we had some nice food here. And nothing can beat the view you have from here!