Koh Tao is a small tropical island located in the Gulf of Thailand. It is pretty well known as a holiday destination among the backpacker community but increasingly with honeymooners and even couples with families. Whilst initially Koh Tao was known as a diving island there is plenty to do in Koh Tao in or out of the water.
Learn to scuba-dive
Koh Tao is the undisputed king of open water certifications, in fact more divers are made in Koh Tao than anywhere else in the world. There are over 38 dive shops on the island (which is impressive when you consider the island is only 21 km² big).
The considerable competition between dive shops coupled with the cheap cost of running a business in Thailand makes Koh Tao one of the cheapest places in the world to learn to dive. Even if you already know how to dive there are some great dive sites located just off the shores including a couple of shipwrecks, pinnacles and easy shallow dive sites with plenty of fish to see. This well-established diving community and general relaxed feel to the island makes Koh Tao a great place to do a divemaster course.
rockclimbing whilst not as popular as diving is becoming quite a sought after activity in Koh Tao. Koh Tao has plenty of granite boulders and cliffs which are the ideal training ground that anyone wanting to learn how to rock climb. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to pick up the skills necessary to climb up sheer cliff walls and then abseil down taking in some of the impressive views of this beautiful tropical island.
Muay Thai Kickboxing
The national sport in Thailand is kickboxing. If you go on holiday there or visit any city in Thailand sooner or later you’re going to encounter a Muay Thai fight. Fighters train from a very early age, from four years old in fact, and now you can train with them. In Koh Tao is a very cool kickboxing school where you can train with Thai fighters and learn the techniques that have been passed down through the centuries.
If you properly devote some time to it and you get really good you can actually learn enough to get in the ring and fight a proper Thai professional fighter in front of a crowd of about 200 people. It’s a really cool experience everyone has their betting and supporting new and there’s probably no better way to get really fit and explore the culture of Thailand.
If Yoga is your thing then there’s a fantastic Yoga Sala located just off Sarie beach called the Shambala Yoga Centre. Every day you can drop in and take part in a yoga session in beautiful surroundings and the coconut trees by a white sandy beach taking guidance from yogis who studied in India and even when on tour with Tiger Woods!
Free diving is a sport involving new swimming underwater holding your breath. Doesn’t sound that impressive until you consider how long you can go underwater and how deeply can go. At a free diving school in Koh Tao you can train with professional free divers in advanced breath hold techniques enabling you to swim 30 m underwater on a single breath of air. The course takes about two days and teaches you advanced breathing techniques and is as much about the mental preparation as well as the physical act of holding your breath.
These are our top five activities you can do in Koh Tao many of which you can do with xtreme gap year and adventure gap year’s company, however there are plenty of other activities you can do in Koh Tao: for instance we didn’t mention the amazing beaches, snorkelling, restaurants, spas to name a few.
Koh Tao is easily accessible by boat from Koh Samui and with international flight connections via Bangkok.