We catch a flight from Chiang Mai directly (north of Thailand) to reach Koh Samui. We don’t want to stay there too much as as think about another island, Koh Tao, famous for beautiful sandy beaches, great snorkelling and diving. Islands in Thailand can offer the best (wonderful beaches, ideal weather, cheap stay..) and the worst (bad development of polluted islands and tensions between irrespectful tourists and money-oriented locals).
Koh Tao, paradise on earth
After a quick stop in Koh Samui as our plane from Chiang Mai lands here, we take a ferry to Koh Tao. We chose this island as it seems to be quieter than Koh Pha Ngan and its famous crazy “Full Moon Party” and less developed as Koh Samui, should be more nature and less tourists and big hotels. You have to be aware that Thai islands are very popular and it can create a deep gap between young tourist that just come here for cheap alcohol and locals that just think about getting as much money as possible from them. Not so friendly atmosphere…
But we finally make it to Koh Tao! Exhausted after a full day filled with many transports (flight, bus, ferry, taxi…), we arrive at Koh Tao at night time. Finally arrived, are these supposed ti be holidays?! We’ll find out that South of Thailand is very different from North, from every point of views.
At Koh Tao, after comparing the prices and the comfort of hotels, we quickly realize it is much more interesting to pay a lttle bit more expensive hotels for very high quality (all the more as we don’t stay more than 4 days there). Of course much cheaper than what we know in our Western countries. So after staying the first night in a very average hotel, we head off to a much better hotel after a quick look on internet and in tourism offices. A small difference of price for a big difference in comfort. Dream big in Thailand! Details of the hotel at the bottom of the page 🙂 Our holidays in Koh Tao can begin!
Here we don’t rent scooter as we have been told of the local mafia: you rent almost broken motorbikes and when you give it back you are charged or your bond is kept for damages you have never done! It did happen to us but it happened for other travellers, so as everywhere, be cautious when renting and always take pictures of the vehicle before taking it! It can avoid you many problems…And as locals are not particularly pleasant here, you never know!
After all these pretty negative remarks we have to say the island is just a beauty. Hopefully the bad development of urban constructions hasn’t damaged Koh Tao’s coast line yet and we hope it will stay like that! We decide to go for a snorkelling trip and the under water life is very lively here, and the island is famous for diving as well. Still quite a lot of tourists in the good spots but diving is recommended and is actually a good place to pass the PADI certificate. For us relaxing in Koh Tao was a good way to finish our trip to Thailand after long walks in Bangkok or in the north of the country. You have to possibility to lie on the beach, read a good book drinking cocktails…well these are holidays, not travelling and sometimes it is good as well!
Where did we sleep?
- We spent several nights at Ko Tao Paradise Zone Resort. Honestly one of the best hotels we have been with an incredible view of the bay and the beach from the swimming pool. Indeed the hotel is located on the heights of the island (you even need to take a small shuttle to go to the village as it is a bit far away just walking). According to us, if you decide to stay for a few days, it is an excellent quality-price hotel and you will remember its comfort for a long time!