Koh Tao is a real divers’ paradise, well, any water sport to be exact but diving is the life there. Mae Haad Pier is located just in the middle of the town and from the first steps you take it immerses you into a very vibrant place. You will find bars, restaurants, stalls and lots of people mulling around there. We used Airbnb to find a place to stay since hotels can be very pricey and chose a great location right in the middle of town. Just a 5 minute walk to the Mae Haad Beach, lots of scooter rentals, crepe stalls and my personal favorite, an awesome bakery with fresh and warm buns every morning????
To be completely honest, if you are short on time, but desperately want to visit both Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, do not bother. Just choose one and squeeze everything you can of it. It is impossible to experience either island fully in one or two days.
For me, Koh Tao stays as an undiscovered gem, even though we saw quite a few spots while visiting. My biggest goal was to take a dive course, which turned out was just out of reach because we lacked the time. We got around the island on a scooter and that only took us about a day and a half. With all my heart I encourage you to get off the beaten path and discover something unique. It is worth seeing something different that is not on a map or in a guide book. Whether it be siting in complete silence with only trees making sounds behind your back. Carrying your scooter over a hole in the “road” that did not exist on any map. Walk up a hill because apparently it is too steep for two to drive up it on a scooter. Drive up skinny side walk type roads where a car would not even fit and a scooter has to be at full power to climb.
It is all about adventure????
Beaches of Koh Tao
Mae Haad Beach is located in the middle of town. It is a place with a vibrant atmosphere which offers everything you need from restaurants, bars, street food, hostels, shops, hotels and rentals to places selling diving excursions or diving courses.
Sairee Beach is the longest beach on Koh Tao and probably by far the most popular. It attracts lots of tourists from the whole island. Great snorkeling spot and in the evening a great place to watch the sunset with a drink in your hand.
Haad Tien Beach is covered with this fine white sand and the turquoise water invites you to stay a little longer. We got there by accident and even though the beach turned out to be private and you have to pay, it was time and money well spent.
Sai Daeng is a charming little beach with crystal-clear water and stunning views of Shark Island. Great snorkeling spot with the island being accessible by kayak. Sai Daeng is part of two resorts, but tourists are welcome and it is free of charge.
West Coast Viewpoint located right in the middle of Koh Tao. Gives you a fabulous view of the northwest coast. Up there you will find a platform with a couple benches and mini bar offering cool drinks like coconut water or cold beer.