what are you going to do?Things to do on Koh Tao

Koh Tao: Stylishly Popular

One of the appealing aspects of Koh Tao for backpackers is its well-developed infrastructure. The island boasts a network of well-paved roads that make it effortless to navigate and explore. Numerous shops, ATMs, pharmacies, and 7-Eleven convenience stores are scattered across the island, ensuring that backpackers have access to essential supplies and daily necessities. These convenience stores, in particular, are a mecca for travelers seeking quick snacks, refreshing beverages, and other travel essentials.

 

Massage, Spa and Wellness Centers

Thai massage
Being stretched out during a Thai massage.

Koh Tao, has become a popular destination for travelers seeking relaxation, natural beauty, and wellness activities. The relaxation and rejuvenation needs of weary holidaymakers are offered in abundance by places on Koh Tao. Massage shops, often located near popular tourist areas, provide a range of massage therapies, including traditional Thai massages, which are renowned for their therapeutic benefits and relaxation techniques. After a day of exploring the island or engaging in adventurous activities like snorkeling or diving, backpackers can indulge in a soothing massage to unwind and revitalize. Many resorts and wellness centers on Koh Tao offer yoga and wellness retreats. Join a yoga class, indulge in spa treatments, or take part in meditation sessions to relax and rejuvenate amidst the island’s tranquil atmosphere.

Yoga

Yoga pose
Yoga practice in the shade of a coconut tree

The island offers a range of yoga studios, retreat centers, and resorts that cater to both beginners and experienced practitioners. Yoga classes on Koh Tao are often held in stunning settings such as beachfront locations, lush gardens, or open-air shalas with panoramic views of the ocean. The island’s tranquil atmosphere and serene environment make it an ideal place for practicing yoga and meditation. Many yoga schools and retreat centers on Koh Tao offer a variety of yoga styles, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Yin, and more. Some establishments provide multi-day retreats that combine yoga, meditation, healthy meals, and other wellness activities to provide a holistic experience. Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a curious beginner, you’ll likely find a suitable yoga class or retreat on Koh Tao to enhance your well-being and connect with like-minded individuals.

 

Snorkeling or Freediving

Snorkeling with fish
Snorkeling with fish is guaranteed on Koh Tao

Freediving and snorkeling are both extremely popular water activities in addition to scuba diving, but they differ in certain aspects. Freediving is a form of diving that relies on breath-holding rather than using breathing equipment like scuba gear. Freedivers typically use fins to swim and dive to various depths while holding their breath.

The main focus of freediving is on breath-holding techniques, relaxation, and diving skills. It is often practiced as a sport or recreational activity and can also be used for underwater photography, marine exploration, and spearfishing. Snorkeling, on the other hand, is a water activity that involves swimming at the water’s surface while wearing a snorkel, a breathing tube that extends above the water. Snorkelers use a mask to see underwater and usually wear fins to enhance propulsion.

Unlike freediving, snorkeling does not involve diving to great depths or holding one’s breath for extended periods. It is a popular recreational activity, on Koh Tao allowing people to observe , coral reefs, baby blacktip reef sharks and turtles as well as incredible underwater scenery without the need for extensive training or specialized equipment. Koh Tao offers some fintastic snorkeling spots including Shark Bay, Hin Wong Bay, Freedom Beach and Ao Leuk, just a handful of the island’s many beautiful bays and beaches.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver or snorkeler, you’ll find opportunities to engage in freediving and snorkeling adventures while visiting Koh Tao but please make sure you follow safety guidelines, and be aware of any local regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Kayaks and Paddleboards

Koh Tao is a great place for paddle boarding and kayaking as you venture from one beautiful bay e island offers several bays and coves that are perfect for water activities like paddle boarding and kayaking.things to do on Koh Tao

Paddle boarding is quite popular on Koh Tao due to its calm warm waters. You can rent paddle boards from various beachfront shops or resorts and explore the coastline at your own pace. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, you’ll find suitable areas for paddle boarding around the island. Kayaking is another fantastic way to explore Koh Tao’s bays and discover hidden spots. You can rent kayaks and embark on a self-guided adventure, paddling from bay to bay. Some popular bays to visit include Sairee Beach, Chalok Baan Kao, and Tanote Bay, or head out to Koh Nang Yuan and travel island to island! You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy scenic views, visit secluded beaches, and even snorkel or swim in the crystal-clear waters along the way.

It’s important to check the weather and sea conditions before heading out for paddle boarding or kayaking, as strong winds or rough seas can affect safety and make it more challenging. Additionally, it’s recommended to wear appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets, especially if you’re not an experienced swimmer.

Kitesurfing

Kite boardinng
A kite boarder gliding across Sairee Reef.

While Koh Tao does offer kite surfing opportunities, it may not be as widely available or developed as in some other popular kitesurfing destinations in Thailand, such as Koh Phangan or Hua Hin. The availability of kitesurfing facilities, equipment rentals, and instructors may vary throughout the year as weather conditions obviously play a crucial role in kitesurfing, but head to Sairee Beach where you can find a good kitesurfing school. Typically, the wind conditions are more favorable during the months of June, July and August, providing better opportunities for kitesurfing.

Hiking

A view of Nang Yuan from a hiking viewpoint on Koh Tao.

Hiking around Koh Tao over the hill’s and through the jungle to get to incredible views of Koh Tao has become increasingly popular over recent years especially since Social Media hit the scene and people do what they can to get that perfect Instagram shot! Bring proper shoes, lots of water & a camera. Some viewpoints around Koh Tao haven’t become famous yet but they will! Its just a matter of time & Koh Tao will become very well known for its natural beauty. Oh wait!

Renting a motorbike

girl on scooter
Motorbikes for rent on Koh Tao

If you want to get around yourselves and  are looking for a safe and honest place to rent a motorbike or looking for information for onward travel when leaving Koh Tao then we definitely recommend Island Travel as your first point of call. Trusty helpful staff and everybody’s first point of call when it comes to Visa information or Visa extensions.

The Flying Trapeze

swinging on the trapeze
Catch me FFS!

Did you know there was a Trapeze School here? Your chance to Tarzan through the air being towards the outstretched hands of your catcher and fall 10 meters below, safely of course as you are tied to a harness & winch & land on a huge acrobats net! An incredibly different experience and super popular with the kids if you are looking to keep the kids out of your hair for a few hours. With instruction on safety measures, including the rigging, safety harnesses, and nets and being shown how to use the ladders and ropes and how to develop basic swinging techniques, such as knee beats and pendulum swings, you will learn a variety of trapeze tricks and maneuvers, including knee hangs, backflips, somersaults, and various aerial poses.

Depending on your level of proficiency and the type of trapeze, you might also learn catch and release moves, where you swing from one trapeze bar to another and are caught mid-air by a catcher.  To do this though you may need to engage in conditioning exercises, such as core strengthening, stretching, and upper body workouts to build the necessary physical skills.

It’s important to note that it’s best to contact them directly or visit their website for detailed information about the courses they offer.

Rock Climbing

climber
Rock climbing on Koh Tao

If you are looking for a bit of physical exercise but hiking and swimming doesn’t float your boat then there are a myriad of other activities you can engage in while you are holidaying on Koh Tao. One activity that seems to have really taken off recently is rock climbing. You’ll find some pretty impressive rock formations that attract climbers and abseiling enthusiasts on Koh Tao. The island has climbing routes suitable for various skill levels, from beginners to experienced climbers. You can book climbing tours or hire a guide to explore the cliffs and enjoy the thrill of climbing and abseiling. There are a selection of climbs from beginner to experienced all over the island. Climb to the top, check out the view, then abseil back down again. Another top spot for you Instagrammers out there!

Muay Thai, Jiu Jitsu & MMA

Grappling
Jiujitsu with 10th Planet

Koh Tao has several training centers that offer Muay Thai classes and programs for people of all skill levels. The most well-known training center on Koh Tao is at the Monsoon Gym & Fight Club, which is also the home of 10th Planet  Jiu Jitsu, both of whom employ experienced trainers who can guide you through the training process. Training programs cater to both beginners and experienced practitioners who can choose from daily drop-in classes, short-term courses, or longer-term training programs that span several weeks or months. The training typically includes various aspects of Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu such as technique practice, pad work, bag work, sparring, and conditioning exercises. They have experienced Muay Thai and Jiujitsu trainers who can provide guidance and support during your training. These instructors often have a background in competitive MMA and can help you improve your technique, conditioning, and overall skills teaching you how to use  the boxing ring, punching bags, training mats, and other necessary equipment.

In addition to formal Jiu-Jitsu classes, some gyms on Koh Tao might offer mixed martial arts (MMA) training, including grappling and submission techniques. If you’re interested in expanding your martial arts skills beyond Jiu-Jitsu, it’s worth exploring these options as well.

Getting higH!Legalize weed

Weed is legalized in ThailandFor those seeking unique experiences, Thailand and Koh Tao also presents an interesting feature—marijuana shops. While the legal status of marijuana in Thailand is subject to certain restrictions, some shops on the island cater to individuals looking to explore this aspect of Thai culture. These shops offer a variety of marijuana-based products, such as edibles and smoking accessories, providing ‘pot heads’ with an opportunity to delve into the local cannabis scene.

Please note Big Blue Diving is a weed free zone. We do not allow weed to be smoked anywhere on Big Blue premises or boats.