If you've ever wanted to swim in the deep ocean and get close up to tropical fish and colourful coral, Koh Tao might just be the perfect place to start. As the diving epicentre of Thailand and one of the most popular dive spots in the world, Koh Tao caters for beginners, professionals and anyone else who has wanted to experience life beneath the waves. With the surplus of diving shops on the island you'd wonder if there was anything else to do but of course such a stunning setting contains plenty of other attractions.
Mae Haad and Haad Sairee function as the two main tourist hubs, both littered with a range of Koh Tao hotels. Almost every other shop in this part of the island is diving related and if you're looking to get a PADI certificate, the chances are you won't find one cheaper anywhere in the world. The dive sites surrounding Koh Tao are extremely varied which makes it an ideal base for divers of any experience. Mango Bay is a great place for beginners with dives from five metres to 15 metres while Chumphon Pinnacle is one of the best known sites for experienced divers reaching as low as 35 metres. Many visitors sit in their Ko Tao hotel dreaming of catching a glimpse of the elusive whale shark and if you're hoping to see the majestic fish the best time to visit would be in the low season between March and May.
If the non-divers amongst you are still reading, there are plenty of other excellent reasons to visit this lush island. Some of the harder to reach beaches on the southern and eastern sides of the island are peaceful and isolated and a far cry from the dive-centric western beaches. Many of these offer spectacular views of the ocean as well as great swimming and can be reached from any Ko Tao hotels for a day trip via a four wheel drive truck.Image from victoriapeckham
Hotels in Koh Tao start at AU$25 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.