Koh Tao is an island in Southern Thailand that is known for its inexpensive scuba diving and bouldering. Backpackers from around the world come to discover the beautiful beaches and nightlife.
Koh Tao is Small, With an Even Smaller Backpacker Hub
Most of the backpackers that travel here stay by Sairee Beach, which is maybe a .3 mile radius. It is awesome because you become friends with people really easily. You also run into people that you have previously met, which, depending on your night could be really awesome or really embarrassing.
The bad is that because of its size there is not a lot to see and do. Another negative is the wifi sucks all around the island. I am chalking it up to so many of us are trying to connect at one time and the routers can’t handle it. Is routers the correct word? Who knows.
Koh Tao is Backpacker Haven
And holy hell, it’s a hot one. I have never seen so many beautiful men & women in one area in my life!
But, if you’re looking to experience true Thai island culture, Koh Tao may not be for you. Koh Tao is full of tourists, as are most islands and provinces in Thailand, but the difference is we are all squished into one small area. There is maybe 1 Thai to every 20-30 backpackers.
Because it is so touristy, it is more expensive. Hostels, alcohol, food- everything. Even prices at 7/11, where we buy water, snacks and alcohol (and the occasional toastie), are at an influx of about 10%. There are a lot more western restaurants than little Thai restaurants. So depending on what type of food you want to eat, this may be your favorite or least favorite foodie place.
Koh Tao is a Party Island
Koh Tao is deemed a party island like Ko Pha Ngan, for good reason. Imagine Full Moon party type scene weekly here. There are the famous fire shows on the beach, dance clubs along the beach and bars for all tastes. One of my favorite things to do here was to watch the sunset with a couple cans of beer and my book.
I loved meeting people from all over the world at the beach or in the cafes, but for the first time on my travels, I met some very obnoxious backpackers. Like the infamous ‘English Lads’ that fellow travelers seem to despise (think obnoxious fraternity guy that you pretend to be friends with but secretly hate). I don’t know if it’s because they felt confident surrounded by 100’s of other travelers instead of Thai’s or if they are always like this… But I was shouted at from across the street on multiple occasions. It was always a group of guys in their 20’s either asking me where I was going, where I was staying or they would shout Nationalities at me to try and guess where I am from (each time German and British). Guys, I don’t know where you are from where this tactic works, but being shouted at from across the street is never flattering.
Think about what you are looking for in your travels before coming to Koh Tao.