Koh Tao

Discover Koh Tao Adventures, Beaches, and Beyond with Songserm


Jun 14, 2022 - 7 min read

A paradise hiding in the heart of the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao – or ‘Turtle Island’


has etched its name in the hearts of those who have been lucky enough to witness its beauty. The island stands as a testament to the sheer splendor of Mother Nature, offering a unique blend of fascinating history, stunning beaches, thrilling adventures, and much more.

A Glimpse into Koh Tao’s Past

The charm of Koh Tao extends far beyond its clear turquoise waters and scenic landscapes, its rich history adding an extra layer to its allure. Its name, translating to ‘Turtle Island’, was inspired by the island’s turtle-like geographical shape. Over time, the moniker took on a more literal meaning as sea turtles found refuge in its inviting shores.

Koh Tao has seen a dramatic transformation from its somber past as a political prison in the 1940s to its current status as a vibrant travel destination. It wasn’t until the 1980s that adventurous backpackers stumbled upon this tropical paradise, igniting a tourist boom that led to its evolution as one of the world’s top diving spots.

Embarking on the Journey with Songserm Ferries

The journey to Koh Tao is an adventure that sets the stage for the experiences that await you. Your voyage begins with Songserm Ferries, Thailand’s experienced ferry operator, offering a safe, comfortable, and scenic ride from several departure points.

From the mainland, you can board our ferries in Surat Thani or Chumphon, or even hop aboard from neighboring islands Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. As you sail across the tranquil waters, soak in the breathtaking views before finally setting foot on the mesmerizing island of Koh Tao.

Immersing in Koh Tao’s Activities

Koh Tao offers a variety of activities to match the interests of every traveler. Here’s a deeper dive into some of the most popular ones:

  1. Scuba Diving: Koh Tao is a diver’s paradise, boasting over 25 dive sites, each offering a unique underwater spectacle. Whether you’re a beginner or a certified diver, schools like Big Blue Diving or Roctopus Dive are ready to guide you through your underwater journey.
  2. Snorkeling: If diving is a step too far for you, snorkeling offers a great alternative. With snorkeling tours, you get to explore the island’s stunning coral reefs and swim among vibrant marine life.
  3. Hiking: For those who prefer land-based adventures, Koh Tao’s hiking trails are a treat. The trail to Mango Viewpoint, for instance, will reward you with breathtaking panoramic views of the island.
  4. Rock Climbing: Offering both natural and artificial climbing routes, the island is a haven for climbers of all levels. Companies like Goodtime Adventures offer guided climbs and instruction for beginners.

Exploring Koh Tao’s Beaches

Each beach in Koh Tao possesses its own unique charm. Let’s delve deeper into what some of the top ones offer:

  • Sairee Beach: As the longest and most popular beach, Sairee buzzes with energy and life. Its white sand stretches for nearly 1.85 km, housing a variety of restaurants, bars, and resorts. During the day, its azure waters invite you for a swim or snorkeling. When the sun goes down, the beach transforms into a hub of nightlife, with fire dancers lighting up the evening.
  • Freedom Beach: Nestled at the southern end of the island, Freedom Beach is a tranquil escape from the busier parts of Koh Tao. Its crystalline waters are perfect for snorkeling, while its rocky terrain makes it a great spot for a bit of solitude while you read or sunbathe. The beach can be accessed by a longtail boat or a challenging hike.
  • Shark Bay (Thian Og Bay): Known for its resident blacktip reef sharks, Shark Bay offers an exhilarating snorkeling experience. The bay is located in a protected cove, providing calm waters for you to swim with these harmless sharks. The sandy beach is also perfect for sunbathing.
  • Ao Tanote: Known for its picturesque coral reefs, Ao Tanote is a snorkeler’s paradise. In addition to the abundant marine life, the bay is framed by lush hills, providing a serene atmosphere for relaxation or a picnic.

Insider Tips

Koh Tao promises the best experiences between February and April when the waters are calmest, and visibility for diving is at its peak. Remember to respect the island’s environment and wildlife, particularly when interacting with marine life.

Koh Tao is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered, and Songserm is here to be your trusted partner in your journey. We are committed to making your island adventures as unforgettable as the destinations we help you explore.