Koh Tao: The Diver’s Paradise in 2021, Thailand

by Tsvete Popp

This post is part of the series Thailand

Other posts in this series:

  1. 3 Week Thailand Itinerary
  2. Wat Arun: The Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand
  3. Wat Pho: The Temple of Reclining Buddha in Bangkok

We visited Koh Tao for the first time in 2018 during our island hopping in Thailand. The island became our favourite some three years ago! In 2021 we decided to visit the turtle island for the second time but this time we had the unique opportunity to have the whole island just for us two… Koh Tao was probably the emptiest place we visited during the pandemic in 2021. Almost all the resorts and diving schools were closed, there we only a few locals and some bored dogs on the beach … To be honest, it was the perfect time for snorkelling and diving without the masses!

Koh Tao is known to have some of the best snorkelling spots in Thailand and Southeast Asia. Some of these snorkelling places can be easily reached by walking, hiking, or scooter but for some, you will need to take a taxi boat. The best way to explore the whole island is by booking an around-the-island snorkelling trip and to see a bit of everything. You can choose between a shared boat which costs about 800 Baht per person, or a private longtail boat for about 2.400 Baht. Longtail boats can be hired anywhere from Saire Beach and you don’t have to book in advance.

Here are the best places for snorkelling around the island:

The Best Snorkelling Spots Around Koh Tao, Thailand

Sairee Beach Koh Tao is a huge 2km stretch of sand located on the West side of the island. Many people visit Koh Tao to go diving, so all the best diving shops are located along Sairee Beach. It’s also a super popular place to chill and spend the day sunbathing. You can pop into one of the cool restaurants for lunch so you don’t have to go too far. There are swings and oddly shaped palm trees along the beach that make for a perfect photo opportunity and the ideal place to base yourself for your Koh Tao visit.

 

Many asked about our accommodation in Koh Tao. From a backpackers’ paradise, Koh Tao has become a major hub for diving in Southeast Asia which means that the island is getting more and more expensive. Compared to 2018, we saw clearly more luxury hotels and resorts and despite Covid-19, the prices were still high. But we were lucky enough to find Aiya Resort Koh-tao which is located within a walkable distance from Sairee Beach. Aiya Resort is one of the few resorts where you will have everything you need for a reasonable price. Its location is perfect, its amenities too! Finding a good hotel on Koh Tao could be a hustle, but this time we made the right choice.

Where to Stay in Koh Tao

As you would expect from a major tourist destination in Thailand, Koh Tao has no shortage of options when it comes to accommodation. As always, I’d suggest you stay somewhere central, to make accessing all the attractions as easy as possible.

There is a really wide range of accommodation on the island of Koh Tao. Whether you are a backpacker, a family with children, or an individual traveller, there is no doubt you will find a perfect place to stay here. From backpacker hostels to bed&breakfasts, bungalows by the sea, yoga retreats, and luxurious 5-star hotels, everything is available here.

Koh Tao

You can find alternative hotels in Koh Tao here.

You can find apartments in Koh Tao here (Airbnb + up to 41 € off).

Read more reviews and compare Koh Tao hotel prices here.



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Enjoy the day!

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