In years past, it would be fair to say that there wasn't much to do on Koh Tao other than diving! Well years have past and now there are many of things to do and get involved with on Koh Tao:
A few years ago Koh Tao had no ATMs. Now, you cant walk 5 minutes without seeing several. With most machines, you can use any major type of card, Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, Plus, etc. There are Thai banks on Koh Tao where you could cash travelers cheques, as well as licenced money changers.
There are a number of clinics on the island staffed by medical professionals. We have one doctor on the island for serious emergencies. More importantly there are 2 diving medical facilities on the island with an international staff of highly trained professionals able to treat any diving injury. There are dozens of pharmacies on the island able to fill out any prescription and offer you all of your western style hygiene products.
There are about six 7-11 stores. No Starbucks, McDonalds or Burger King, and we like it that way.
We have one big department store with a fix-it section to get all the bits and bobs to make any backpacking repairs you might need. Most of the local artisans still operate in the same tiny stalls they've had for years: they carve, braid, string, and twist up jewelry during the day and sell it at night. There are clothing stores selling everything from cheap t-shirts to the latest fashions. CDs and DVDs can be found in most trafficked areas. Sunglasses can be bought on every street corner. All sorts of diving equipment can be found at competitive prices. You can buy any size backpack or bag you might need for your trip in one of the many bag shops. There is a custom wetsuit shop who can make you a diving wetsuit designed like your favorite superhero.
2 real estate agents on the island can help you find your own personal piece of paradise. If you think this doesn't apply to you, wait until you get here. 90% of the full time residents came here for a 4-day stop, and just never left.
The island offers a wide range of nocturnal activities perfect to celebrate finishing your Open Water course. Sairee beach is the heart of Koh Tao's nightlife. There are about 5 beach bars along Sairee beach, including Big Blue's Beach Bar. These 5 bars are all located right on the waters edge and are the perfect place to grab a cocktail or post-dive beer and watch the sun go down. Sairee beach faces west and has magnificent sunsets year-round. About 10pm most of these bars close up, and anyone looking to stay out later can head down the beach a bit further. Theres a variety of late night clubs which stay open late, some even until the sun comes up. Fortunately, they're far enough down the beach that you can come back and get a quiet night's sleep once you've had your fill.
Once a month, a place a resort on Koh Tao hosts the hilltop party. If you're in to a really long, steep hike, and then partying with a few hundred people in a clearing on the top of a mountain, then this is for you.
Theres also several pool halls on the island with quality regulation pool and snooker tables.
Koh Phangan Full Moon Party
Koh Tao gets very quiet around the full moon, as every party person in Thailand heads to the world famous Full Moon Party in Koh Pha-Ngan, the island right next to Koh Tao. A popular option to avoid being room-less in Koh Pha-Ngan is to actually stay on Koh Tao and just take the FullMoon "party boat" over. The boat leaves here at 6pm, gets you right to the party beach by 7:30, and lets you go all night and then brings you back at 6am. No worrying about trying to find accommodation at one of the worlds biggest parties.
So if you're in to chilled nights on the beach with friends, or all night parties, Koh Tao does offer it all.
So many destinations to go out and explore your own taste of Koh Tao. Make sure you take a snorkel mask & fins so you can jump in the water for a snorkel wherever you go. Most poular destination is to Koh Nang Yuan which shouldn't take you more than 20 minutes to get to. Also recommend Paddle Boards. They seem to be getting more & more popular by the year! A trip round the island is a full on mission. Could take you as long as 10 hours so think twice before attempting that kind of trek!
Muay Thai Kick Boxing
Kick a Friend Today. Thai Kick Boxing (known as Muay Thai) is a sport that is quickly gaining popularity around the world. The Island Muay Thai training center trains fighters from first-timers to pros. Some of the staff have competed and won nationally. They can show you some basic moves in a one-day training session, or get you fight ready in a month. They have matches about every 3 weeks which usually draws a huge crowd of locals on fight night.
Thai Cooking Classes
There are many great restaurants here in Koh Tao, a number of which are owned by western entrepreneurs which gives authenticity to our western food! Thai restaurants are also very popular, extremely tasty and very affordable. Which has led to a demand in Koh Tao for authentic Thai cooking classes. There are several places on the island you can take a cooking class where you will do everything from going to the local market to buy the ingredients to cleaning, splicing & dicing, cooking & the real secret- spicing!
Koh Tao has some of the most amazingly tranquil spots for Yoga. There are several Yoga centers on the island in a variety of settings from mountain retreats to deserted sandy beaches. Some of our staff have been to these and we can tell you about them so you can decide which one might be right for you.
Being a tropical island you would expect a lot of activities to revolve round water sports. Koh Tao can offer you aqua-based adrenalin in the form of wind surfing, water skiing, wake boarding, kayaking & everybody's favourite tubular activity- snorkeling. You can hire a private longtail boat to take you to any number of secluded bays and beaches scattered all around the island, or sign up for chartered trips which leave daily and hit all the popular spots! We can help you with booking any watersports activity you're after.
Koh Tao has always has some amazing rock formations just right for climbing. But not until 2008 has someone mapped out the best sites on the island and cleared some paths to make the sites accessible. Our staff can point you to this company who can take you to the best climbing spots on the island, as well as rent you all the gear you need. Climbing courses available for beginners to advanced.
Designed to help you learn in a safe way while your Instructor takes you through all the steps from knowing safe wind directions and conditions for kiting, recognizing hazards from shore, set up a trainer kite, basic kite flying skills with trainer kite, twist and untwist the lines while flying the kite, walk and change directions while flying the kite, know the wind window & preflight check of equipment and settings. Everything you need to become a Kits Surfer.
Spa & Massage
Get your aches and pains manipulated away, leaving you with extra vitality and an overall feeling of calm and well-being. If you really want to indulge, why not go for a herbal steam sauna or a body wrap with papaya and carrot. Prices start at 100 baht for simple waxing up to 990 baht for the 3 hour 'Island Experience' which includes herbal steam sauna, skin treatment and foot massage. Relax. Unwind. Massage, meditation, sauna.. Treat yourself to a day of relaxation.
Mini Golf & 10-Pin Bowling
The most unique bowling alley in Thailand. Games are played on hand-built lanes with regulation pins. Your score is relayed by the friendly guy at the end of the lane who signals your score with one hand as he sets the pins back up with the other. Maybe the only manual bowling alley in the country. Too classic to miss. Next to the bowling alley is an 18-hole miniature golf course. Featuring volcanoes, castles, tigers & monkeys this is perfect for the kids & kids at heart.