island is well known for scuba diving and snorkeling.
Also offers some hiking, rock climbing and bouldering.
The most popular place for tourists 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. Chaloke Baankao, to the
south of the island is becoming increasingly popular as
an alternative for those wishing to escape the crowds.
A multitude of beautiful granite boulders, which nestle
both in the forests and on the beaches of Koh Tao, attract
a growing number of climbers.
Tao is less developed than Koh Samui and Koh Phangan,
but has become increasingly popular especially with
the mid-20s backpacker crowd in search of relatively
inexpensive scuba diving certification. For the
last two years the demographics of the island has
seen an age increase with many of the visitors that
first visited the island over ten years ago are
now returning with their families.
of December 2005, Koh Tao had about 150 resorts offering
accommodation and approximately 50 bars/clubs. Most
of the resorts are still bungalow-style, not hotel/resort
style. As of 2007 there is a trend to more upmarket
resorts which do not concentrate singularly on diving.
Free WiFi is provided in increasing numbers and even
the first sailing charter company on Koh Tao has opened.
Tao is increasingly becoming a mecca for game fishermen
on a budget. Species targeted include marlin, sailfish,
king mackerel, cobia, baracuda, trevally and snapper.
conditions have improved dramatically in the past
few years with the continuing education of locals
by the dive community. The El Nino weather pattern
of 1997 caused a warming of the waters which resulted
in the loss of a great deal of the shallow corals
near the island. Since then, the recovery has been
swift and dramatic. And with help by island conservation
groups the island environmental outlook is strong.
Pinnacle, a dive site to the west of the island has
a reputation for divers in search of both whale sharks
and bull sharks. However, because of the warmer water
temperatures over the last year a great amount of bull
sharks have migrated to cooler waters.