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Koh Tao At A Glance: Overview, Tourism And Transportation

 August 1, 2014  /  Comments Off on Koh Tao At A Glance: Overview, Tourism And Transportation

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Koh Tao is a popular island in Thailand; it’s a part of the famous Surat Thani Archipelago. The island measures 21 square kilometers. Administratively, the island forms a Tambon within Koh Pha Ngan district in Surat Thani Province. According to the latest estimates, the island is home to 1,382 people, the main settlement area is Ban Mae Hat. Koh Tao derives its name from its first settlers who named the island after its geographical shape (a turtle-like geographical shape).

Coincidentally, the island has been (and is still) a crucial breeding ground for Green turtles and Hawksbill turtles.

Koh Tao At A Glance Overview, Tourism And Transportation

Shipov Oleg/Shutterstock.com

Tourism

Koh Tao is best known as a tourist island. Every year, tourists flock the island to snorkel, scuba dive, hike, rock climb and do many other fun activities. The most popular tourist destination on the island is Sairee which is located on the island’s west coast. Sairee is popular for its extensive white sandy beach stretching 1.7 kilometers. The beach is also popular because of its facilities, i.e. nearby restaurants and resorts.

Chalok Baan Khao located on the southern end of the island has become increasingly popular among tourists who prefer quiet and serene environments away from crowds. The island is also a popular tourist destination because of its numerous beautiful granite boulders nesting in the forests and beach. The boulders attract very many tourists interested in rock climbing in Thailand.

It is important to note that Koh Tao isn’t as developed as islands like Koh Samui and Koh Pha Ngan. The island is, however gaining popularity at a very fast pace among backpackers who are after ”cheap” scuba diving certification. For the past few years, the number of young tourists has been increasing, the most popular destination being the island’s top scuba diving spots.

The island is also a popular tourist attraction because of its parties, events and nightlife. The island is home to over 50 bars and nightclubs offering both modern and traditional Thai entertainment. The accommodation also stands out as a tourist attraction given the fact that there are more than 150 luxurious resorts and hotels offering world-class accommodation facilities.

The island’s vast fish species also attract many game fishermen. Some of the fish species targeted by game fishing tourists include; sailfish, marlin, cobia, barracuda, king mackerel, snapper and trevally.

Transportation

Like most islands in Thailand, Koh Tao is served by a poor internal road network dominated by motorbikes offering transportation from one part of the island to the other. Ferry transport connects the island to the outside world. The island is served by many ferry companies from other islands such as Koh Samui (approximately 2.5 hours away) and Ko Pha Ngan (approximately 1 hour away).

Most ferries to the island drop off passengers at Ban Mae Haad. Ferry journey timelines depend on ferry companies, among other factors such as ferry type, stopovers etc.

It is important to note that Koh Tao doesn’t have an airport, however, there are airports near the island i.e. Chumphon Airport. Tourists interested in using air transport can fly to Chumphon, Samui or Surat Thani, and then take ferries or speed boats to the island.

John Chen is a travel writer currently located in Bangkok, Thailand. He likes writing about Thailand and he writes not only about traveling in Thailand, but also about business, culture, economy, education and food.

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  • Published: 3 years ago on August 1, 2014
  • Last Modified: August 1, 2014 @ 5:23 am
  • Filed Under: Travel

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