One of Thailand’s most sought-after islands and the highest revenue grossing one on the tourism front, the picturesque Ko Tao does not cease to mesmerize visitors with its host of things to do in Ko Tao and places to visit in Ko Tao. The evolution of this island from being a quaint fishermen-inhabited settlement to a full-blown tourist destination is evident in the myriad Ko Tao points of interest. The range of Ko Tao Attractions is a beautiful example of nature blending with other things, presenting a unique array of experiences.
To get the best of Ko Tao, Surat Thani Province, Thailand here’s a list of what you must have on your itinerary. Let's explore top tourist attractions in Ko Tao:
1. Get enticed by the waters at Koh Nang Yuan
Probably all the pictures you have seen and got tempted to plan a trip to Ko tao are that of this beautiful island of Koh Nang Yuan. Located within Ko Tao’s proximity, this island received a huge footfall from visitors from there as well as Koh Samui. The island is a promising place to spend an entire day at replete with activities ranging from hiking, being a beach bum, watersports like snorkeling and diving along with ziplining. Look forward to hiking up to the vantage point if you fancy beholding a panoramic view of three islands!
2. Enjoy the beach life at the Chalok Ban Kao
If you think hiking mountains, swimming in the sea and then just being a beach bum with a drink, followed by some scrumptious indulgence is what a good day looks like, you must have the Chalok Ban Kao on your itinerary. Amongst activities, snorkeling is one of the most popular on this island, owing to its idealistic shallow waters. The island is comparatively quiet where you can seek tranquility, a breath of fresh air from the island’s rather commercial tourism.
3. Indulge in some retail therapy at the Mae Haad Port And Beach
If you are looking for a place to buy the perfect souvenirs to take back home, the Mae Haad Port And Beach is abundant with options. Apart from local handmade souvenirs, you can buy some really cool beachwear and jewelry to adorn your outfit. Featuring a shipwreck, this place is also ideal for a fascinating session of snorkeling. The Sai Nuan Beach is a wonderful idea if you wish you go farther from the crowds. With limited vehicles, this island is mostly trodden on foot and bicycles.
4. Relax and rejuvenate at the Spa Aurori
What is a trip to Thailand without trying out its signature massages?! The Spa Aurori is one place that must be on your Ko Tao Trip Planner if an invigorating massage is what you need. A sensory delight, this spa will welcome you with its earthy aromas and soul-stirring music. Impeccable hygiene and a very friendly staff amplify a visit to this spa. All this at very reasonable rates surely makes this a must-visit in Ko Tao! Along with spa therapies they also have regular salon services.
5. Align your mind, body and soul at the Watkowtahm Yoga Retreat
While India is the land where yoga originated, Thailand sure has improvised it in many ways to add to the rejuvenation people associate with at the mention of the country. Literally translating to Mountain Cave Monastery, the Wat Kow Tahm Yoga Retreat is a certified international meditation center. The indigenous form of Thai meditation is what you will learn here. Its serene location above the bay of Baan Tai adds to the entire experience, truly one of its kind.
6. Get your adrenaline rushing at the John Suwan Viewpoint
Scenic views of the Gulf of Thailand dotting the Bay of Thailand are the surreal views that will be your reward for a nature trail that is pretty tough. As you make your way through a gamut of folders in the cover of some dense forests, you will await the summit bequeathing those spectacular views. Make sure you are wearing appropriate footwear to ensure a safe and fun hike. The trail does not take too long to cover and definitely worth the views!
7. The Sairee Viewpoint for panoramas too real to believe
As you explore the beautiful island of Ko Tao, you are most likely to realize that there is no dearth of vantage points here. Of the many, the Sairee Viewpoint is especially notable for unparalleled views of Jansom Bay’s east coast. With its location on Ko Tao’s northern tip, rest assured, you are sure to catch some awe-striking views. Irs location also boasts of some diamond caves around it which you can later explore. Easily, a half day can be spent here, if not more.
8. Soak up some sun at the Ao Tanot Bay
The Ao Tanot Bay is one place that beckons ultimate leisure in Ko Tao. Spend the day soaking up some sun at these powdery soft sands and watch the azure waters break into scintillating waves. It is a small beach, mostly visited by visitors to snorkel followed by some sunbathing. Afternoons are the best time to visit this beach when you can also follow up your activities with a beautiful afternoon siesta. If you plan to go, do so on a motorbike, for the lovely ride and views!
9. Watch sea turtles and sharks at the Shark Bay
The Shark Bay derives its name from the fact that this is one place where you spot sharks and even get to see some sea turtles. The blacktip reef shark indigenous to this region is what one must look forward to here. Apart from seeing these two, the bay is just fine to enjoy some sea breeze. There are a few resorts in the vicinity where you can grab a bite before you set out to snorkel the bay.
10. Snorkel a while away at the Jansom Bay
One of the most picturesque bays you will come across in the whole of Ko Tao, the Jansom Bay holds credit for its pristine beauty. Due to its abundant natural beauty and a scope for good activities including snorkeling, the bay is flanked by a handful of luxury resorts and apartment that you can check into if you prefer something quiet and scenic. This is also a great point to take expeditions to the neighboring beaches. The bay is also counted to be one of the most romantic places in Ko Tao.
11. Party the night away at the Lotus Beach Bar
You’ve got to party when you are in Thailand and it better be a beach party! Beaches of Ko Tao are dotted with a number of bars and nightclubs, leaving you spoiled for choice for the best things to do in Ko Tao at night. Each having its distinct appeals, the Lotus Beach Bar is what is a sure shot winner for many visitors. With reasonable alcohol prices, this bar also boasts of a very friendly staff. Fireshows and some amazing music make the Lotus Beach Bar a must-visit place in Ko Tao!
12. Go for a dive at the Sail Rock
It is no news how diving is one of the most sought-after activities in Ko Tao. There are plenty of diving spots and diving excursion tour companies that will offer a good choice of locations and packages. A scenic and enthralling boat ride of ninety minutes from Ko Tao will bring you to Sail Rock. The most preferred dive here is that of a full day one as it gives a better scope to cover the area at its best. Rising some eight-odd meters over the surface of the water, the Sail Rock is a mesmerizing site, to say the least.
13. Enroll for a Thai cooking class
Healthy, flavorful, aromatic and easy are some words to describe Thai food. Shaping the world cuisine scene in a pivotal manner, Thai food is indeed making tables turn and how! Enrolling for a Thai cooking class in Ko Tao has more advantages than one. Not only are you learning from someone supremely local but also basking the pleasure of cooking with fresh produce, which is indeed one of its kind. Some classes are conducted in unique outdoor locations further adding to the whole experience.
14. Embark on a boat excursion at the Ang Thong National Marine Park
You may have undertaken a handful of boat excursions while in Thailand, but the one to the Ang Thong National Marine Park will outbound all your expectations. Comprising a whopping forty-two archipelagos, this national marine park is home to some of the most diverse flora and fauna along with aquatic animals. The setting is nothing short of a dreamland with lifesize limestone cliffs, powdery-soft white sands and sparkling blue waters that invite you for adventure and recreation. The forests here will delight you with the number of refreshing waterfalls sprawling across the area.
15. Seek spiritual solitude at the Wat Khao Tham
There are a couple of temples or wats as known locally all across Ko Tao, but if you are looking for a less touristy wat to visit, the Wat Khao Tham is what you must choose. There is a lovely vantage point here from where you can see panoramic sights of the region along with a landmass believed to be that of a Buddha’s footprint. For a more spiritual experience enroll for a meditation session here. Beware of a dangerous brown-colour dog here!