The island of Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand, around 75 km off the east coast. The nearest port town on the mainland is Chumphon. It is quite a small island being around 21 sqkm, but despite it’s small size it has a lot to offer. Diving is the main tourism industry on the island, with there being a large number of dive schools.
Davy Jones Lockers’ dive center is at the north end of Sairee beach. It’s around 5-10 minutes drive from Maehadd pier or 15-20 minutes walk along the path locally known as the “yellow brick road”.
Koh Tao has 3 main town areas, the largest being Sairee Village. The boats come into the town of Mae Haad, which is also the islands main shopping area, and the smallest town is Chalok, this is a nice area to relax, with lots of cafes and small restaurants, and it boasts some amazing beaches. The 3 areas are all linked by one main road that runs north to south on the island.
The easiest way to get around the island is by motor bike, bike rentals are available from as little as 150 THB a day. Just be careful as many people think Thailand is a great place to learn to ride them. However some of the roads are not in great condition and very sandy. The other option is to use some of the Taxis which offer a reasonable rate to get anywhere on the island. Prices can vary from diver to driver however, and may cost more at night.
All the towns in Koh Tao have a wide range of bars and restaurants with a good range of global cuisines. Thai food is the cheapest, however if you are craving some home comforts then there are many restaurants that can accommodate your needs. There are also lots of street food carts around which can give you a nice authentic Thai meal or snack for a low cost.
Here is a list of average food and drink prices to help you budget:
There are many services offering trips to Koh Tao. The boats come from Chumphon and Surat Thani (stopping at Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan)
Bus and trains direct from Bangkok to Chumphon depart twice daily. There is a free shuttle service to the ferry to catch the short ride over to Koh Tao via high speed catamaran. Bookings can be made online at 12Go.asia with instant ticket confirmation.
Flights direct to Samui, Chumphon or Surat Thani can be arranged from Bangkok and other origins. From there is just a short hop over on the high speed catamaran to Koh Tao. Take a look at AirAsia, Bangkok airways and Nok air website for flight details.