Is your bucket list calling you off the beaten path? Way off the beaten path? Maybe even, say, under the sea?
Koh Tao, Thailand is the perfect stop for anyone reading our Singapore Travel Blog that is looking for a true well-rounded experience.
When traveling to Thailand many think of Bangkok for the bustle, shopping, nightlife, and cuisine. The northern route to Chiang Mai is worth the journey for Thailand’s picturesque cultural sanctuary. Or there are those who flock south to Phuket, widely accepted as the coastal destination for vacationing tourists. All beautiful and worth the visit, but for a one-hour flight and a three-hour ferry south of Bangkok, visitors can exchange these tourist havens for an unforgettable adventure in the Gulf of Thailand.
Known as the drinking island with a scuba problem, Koh Tao is a must for anyone looking for a spectrum of activities in a single stop. Resorts, long-term rentals, bungalows, hostels – whatever your style, Koh Tao offers something for all types of visitors without the inflated pricing of famous destinations. The same goes for activities. Coastal beauty, adventurous hikes, and exceptional local cuisine are just the beginning. Spend an afternoon learning how to defy gravity with Flying Trapeze Adventures. Muay Thai is the combat sport of Thailand and you can watch a local fight or take some weekend lessons. Yoga retreats offer beginners and advanced yogis breath-taking views while meditating on the beach or on the water, using paddleboards. If you can time your trip, you’ll want to experience the night life starting on Koh Tao and then over to the neighboring island, Koh Phangan, for the cyclically reliable, not-to-be-missed, devastatingly fun Full Moon Party. All of these will surely cut a few lines off your bucket list, but above all, the true calling to Koh Tao is the scuba diving.
While there are many choices on the island, Big Blue Diving is highly respected, award winning, and one of the largest scuba operators in the world, yet they somehow provide an individualized experience. New, nervous students enter the diving program and in a few short days will comfortably witness some of the most spectacular diving in the world. Most students who go through this program end up extending their trip, to their own surprise, to go the professional route. Big Blue offers training in a number of specialties all the way to instructor for those considering a new career. Divers can even put their skills to use by joining Big Blue’s conservation crew to help make a difference, both on the island and world-wide. Recreational divers won’t be disappointed. Koh Tao and the surrounding area boast a myriad of dive sites for all levels. At almost any given time divers can swim with whale sharks, turtles, groupers and countless variety of other amazing sea life that just is extremely different compared to those viewed in Japan‘s aquarium. Train to be a more advanced recreational diver and you’ll explore wrecks and marvel at the underwater world through incredible visibility, even at 60 – 90 feet, if you dare.
Whether planning a once in a lifetime vacation or building a destination portfolio you won’t be disappointed. This locale is an impressive one only those in-the-know travelers can truly appreciate. Koh Tao is big enough to host some of the best variety an adventure addict could ask for in one stop, yet small enough to be the local island experience true nomads crave.