Underwater paradise in the Gulf of Thailand

Crystal clear water, landscape splattered with prehistoric limestone cliffs, seas brimming with colourful fish, turtles and mata rays… it’s hard to believe that this island in Thailand is only a few hours boat ride from the infamous home of the full moon party at Koh Phangan.
Koh Tao is no secret, infact it has been on the tourist radar since the first hippie pioneers arrived in the 1970’s, it has however had the ability to keep a substantial amount of its natural beauty and refrain from turning into some of its neighbours.
A major reason people flock to this stunning location is the fact that Koh Tao is Thailand’s number one destination for people learning to scuba dive. The island is full of qualified instructors; whether you want to gain your PADI certificate or simply snorkel with the underwater wildlife, this place has it all!
You have a few options on where to stay, you can opt for the centrally located Sairee beach where a majority of backpackers and scuba junkees spend their time, or you can choose from one of the numerous secluded beaches around the island which all house beach bungalows starting from as little as $10 per night.
Lay back and soak up the sizzling sun or dive deep and discover some breathtaking underwater sights, no matter what you decide one thing is for certain – Koh Tao is definitely one to add to your itinerary.
Words and pictures by: Kelsey Purnell