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Koh Tao (Turtle Island) a small isolated island situated 45 kilometers to the north of Koh Phangan. The island is famous for its rich sea coral reefs and inhabitants and secluded beaches set in a laid-back atmosphere. Ideal for snorkeling and diving, there are numerous diving schools scattered around the island that have always attracted diving students.

The Island is famous for the vibrant marine life and dive scene that co-exist here; and with a great variety of dive sites to choose from, all abilities are catered for. There are snorkelling, fishing and boat trips that are inexpensive and take in sights such as Shark Island and unique Koh Nangyuan; the only three islands joined by one sandbar in the world! There are also other water sports including waterskiing, wake-boarding and kayaking.

Land based activities are plentiful with mountain biking, rock climbing, para-gliding, trekking and lots of walks with viewpoints. If you're experienced on a motorbike, it's also a fantastic place to see from the saddle.

Koh Tao has a vibrant nightlife, with several big parties going on every month and loads more clubs and beach bars. Had Sairee, Mae Haad Village and Chalok Baan Kao are the main areas, so Coral View Resort is never far from the action. Venus Park is the biggest bash, off twice a month just out of hearing distance from Haad Sai Daeng.

If you're looking for the quieter side of life, Koh Tao has a variety of Spa's, herbal steam saunas and numerous traditional Thai massage, Tai Chi, Yoga, Reiki and Reflexology practitioners and schools. Or there's always great value shopping and a wealth of restaurants in the main village of Mae Haad.

The most popular beaches on Koh Tao are Mae Haad, which is also the main village, Sairee Beach on the west and Chalok Baan Kao in the south.

Accommodation ranges from simple thatch roof cabana-style bungalows to air-con bungalows, however living is still quite basic and you should expect electricity to run only through the night, even in the more luxurious rooms.

All the beaches have a variety of restaurants, supermarkets and bars, Although nightlife relies on parties held on alternate nights by the few beach bars. Life is much more low-key than Samui, especially since most people are up early for diving!

Weather on Koh Tao is generally very, very agreeable with a temperature of around 25 degrees C. in the cool season (from November to February) to highs of 35 degrees plus in the hot dry season (from March to June. Although humid at times, the heat is never oppressive, cooled as Koh Tao is by the gentle sea breezes from The Gulf of Thailand.

With exceptional underwater visibility, Koh Tao is one of Thailand’s finest offshore diving spots with main attractions such as White Rock, Shark Island, Chumphon Pinnacle, Green Rock, Sail Rock and Southwest Pinnacles. The stunning viewing point is a spot where visitors can see three connecting beaches stretching beautifully to the horizon.

Scuba diving is by far the biggest attraction on Ko Tao. Diving in Ko Tao is easy, fun, and you can see turtles, stingrays, barracuda, lots of small fish, reef sharks, and there is a very small chance of seeing a whale shark.

Nearly any time of the year except November is good diving weather in Ko Tao, In November, the visibility is reduced and the seas are choppy, but diving is good by the standards of many other destinations. When diving is good, the visibility can be 40+ meters. Average visibility is around 15-20 meters.

To reach Koh Tao you can either buy a joint bus/boat or train/boat ticket from any travel agent in Bangkok. Take the bus/train to Chumporn and they will transfer you to the boat to Koh Tao. Or you can fly to Koh Samui and take the boat from there to Koh Tao. Please note that the last boat from Koh Samui to Koh Tao leaves at 12:30 PM.

Songserm Travel provide a daily boat service which leaves from Na Thorn Pier at 10:30. You can catch a minibus from Koh Samui Airport to Na Thorn Pier. (If you catch the first Bangkok-Koh Samui flight, you should be able to catch this boat)
Lompraya Catamaran high speed boat provide a daily boat service which leaves from Wat Pra Lan pier at 08:00 and 12.30

From Tha Thong Pier, Surat Thani, Songserm Express Boat, Surat Thani-Koh Tao, 8:00 - 14:30, 455 baht/trip. Koh Tao-Surat Thani, 10:30 - 16:30
Night boat from Ban Don Pier, Surat Thani, Surat Thani-Koh Tao, 23:00 - 6.00, 400 baht/trip. Koh Tao-Surat Thani, 21:00 - 5:00.

Songserm Travel provides a daily boat which leaves Ta Yang Pier at 7:0. They also provide regular buses from Chumporn Train Station to their office (about 1 km) and at 06:30, a bus from their office to the pier in time to catch the 07:00 boat. The journey takes 3 hours.

Lomlak high speed boat provides daily service from Tung Ma Kam Noi Pier at 7:00 and 15:00. They also provide a bus service from Kao San Road to Chumporn leaving daily at 21:00, telephone 02- 280-0887, 02-280-1035 . Boat agents are available at Chumporn railway station. The journey takes 2 hours.

Ekawin high speed boat provides a daily boat which leaves Ta Yang Pier at 7:00. The jour ney takes 3 hours.

At Bangkok's Hualamphong station you can purchase train tickets that include a bus from the Surat Thani train station (Phun Phin) to the Ban Don pier and then a ferry to Koh Phangan. These generally cost around 30 to 50 Baht more than baying each ticket separately yourself.

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