KOH TAO

Thailand Koh Tao, “Turtle Island” is an island in Gulf of Thailand located near the western shore of the mainland and covers an area of about 21 km².

Koh Tao was named by its first settlers for the island’s turtle-like geographic shape. Coincidentally, the island is an important breeding ground for Hawksbill turtles and Green turtles.

Today the economy of the island is almost exclusively centered on tourism, especially scuba diving and snorkeling and has become increasingly popular especially with backpacker crowds in search of relatively inexpensive scuba diving certification.

The most popular place is Sairee on the West coast, which has a white sandy beach of 1.7 km interrupted only by a few huge boulders and a scattering of medium budget resorts and restaurants. Chalok Baan Khao, to the south of the island is becoming increasingly popular for those wishing to escape the crowds. Ko Tao, attracts a growing number of climbers who visit each year to enjoy the adventurous aspect of their sport and is increasingly becoming a mecca for game fishermen on a budget. Species targeted include marlin, sailfish, king mackerel, cobia, barracuda, trevally and snapper.

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Chumpon Pinnacle, a dive site to the west of the island has a reputation for divers in search of both whale sharks and bull sharks.

Ko Tao is accessed from Samui and Chumphon on the main land by high speed ferries.

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