Thailand 2002

Bangkok Travel Blog

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Koh Tao

The Kingdom of Thailand lies in Southeast Asia, with Laos and Cambodia to its east, the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia to its south, and the Andaman Sea and Myanmar to its west. The country's official name was Siam (Thai: สยาม; IPA: [saˈjaːm], RTGS: Sayam), until 24 June 1939.

[1] The word Thai (ไทย) means "freedom" in the Thai language and is also the name of the majority ethnic group.

Koh Tao or Taa Toh Lagoon Dive Resort, south of koh tao, the best spot for diving"Turtle Island" is located 40 km northeast of Koh Samui
and 60 km from Chumpon.   

The tropical island has a rich rainforest, white sandy beaches and crystal clear water for perfect diving conditions.

Paradise Realized!

Taa Toh Lagoon is located on the southern side of the island.

 

We offer all PADI, SSI & CMAS scuba diving courses from beginners to instructor, as well as daily dive trips to the most spectacular dive sites in the Gulf of Thailand.
All dive teams and classes are kept in small groups.

The idyllic resort is ideally located with view at the lagoon of Taa Toh. The dive school is next to our beachside restaurant which serves Thai and international cuisine.

Our priorities are your safety, providing top brand lines of equipment and lots of fun.

The big lagoon has 3 private beaches and an amazing view from the peninsula. 

Hin Taa Toh in Thai means Buddha Rock. It is the only one of Thai cultural significance giving Taa Toh Lagoon the magic touch of Asia.

The other side of the lagoon, called Aow Taa Chaa, is just a 3 minute walk away from the resort and is a fantastic snorkeling location. 

Lucky people can see harmless reef sharks during sunset hours.

Koh Tao, little more than 21 km², is located about 70 km east of the coastline between Suratthani and Chumphon, in the Gulf of Thailand.


Koh Tao means Turtle Island, because in the past the waters in the area had been rich with sea turtles, nowadays they have mostly moved on to other breeding grounds.
Initially the island was not inhabited, there was only the occasional fisherman from the neighboring islands, looking for shelter in a storm or just taking a break before continuing his tiresome journey.
On June 18, 1899, His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V 1868-1910) visited Koh Tao and left as evidence his monogram on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach. This place is worshipped even today and should be treated with respect.

From 1933 on the island was used as a political prison. In 1947, Khun A-Paiwong, prime minister at the time, pleaded and received a royal pardon for all prisoners on the island. Everybody was taken to the Suratthani shore and the "Turtle" was abandoned again. But not for long. In the same year Khun Ueam and his twin brother Khun Oh reached Koh Tao from the neighboring Koh Phangan by trying out their traditional sail boat, for that time a quite long and dangerous journey. Even though the island was still under royal patronage, it didn’t stop these pioneers claiming themselves a good piece of land on today's Sairee Beach. Having brought their families over, they began to cultivate and harvest the excellent soil. The first generation of today's community had settled!

They lived a very simple and tough life harvesting coconuts, fishing and growing vegetables, which were also traded with Koh Phangan.
Despite the difficulties in reaching the island, the population then grew steadily.

In the eighties the first travelers discovered the island paradise and their special "backpacker-network" quickly made it widely known and a popular destination. As a consequence, bigger, faster and safer boats were used to allow easier access to Koh Tao.
During the past ten years the reputation of Turtle Island's natural beauty, especially its marine life and coral reefs, spread the world over and the number of paradise seekers increased rapidly.
It soon became one of the major dive sites in Thailand, attracting beginners and professionals alike. The local businesses expanded immediately to catch up with the needs of the new clientele. The island today, though still remaining an absolute paradise, caters for all tastes and budgets.
If you are interested in more historical details and stories about the Turtle, go to visit Khun Orawan at Seashell Resort, Sairee. She is the great-grand daughter of Khun Ueam and will be more than glad to give you further information.

The Beaches

Mae Haad
All boats arrive here.
Naturally highly developed, but still managed to keep some of its old fishing village charm. Money exchange, post office, government office & health center are in Mae Haad. Most dive centers have an office here, lots of travel agents, email services, supermarkets, bike rentals, good restaurants and party venues. A few up-market resorts are located on the southern end .

Sairee Beach
Sairee's white sandy beach stretches about 1.7km over most of the west coast, interrupted only by a few huge boulders. Mae Haad is only a 10 min walk away. Being the most popular area on Tao, Sairee offers a huge range of accommodation, dive centers, restaurants, shops, beach bars, travel & email services, nurseries, etc.  You also find here the Fishery Museum, the Rama V rock and on the way to Mae Haad the police station, the public school and the temple.


June Juea Beach
South-west coast, best reached by foot or longtail, two simple, small resorts, a real getaway.

Cape Jeda Gang
South-west coast, taxi boat recommended, one resort, simple huts & solid bungalows. Can't get it more private.

Tanote Bay
Best reached by taxi or boat, this is one of the more remote bays, only a few small resorts and excellent snorkeling. German dive school and a watersport center with kayaks.

Hin Wong Bay
North-east coast, abundant coral reefs in a natural pool, four small hillside resorts and one diving school.

Ao Leuk
On the way to Tanote bay, you can experience real solitude and serenity. You can swim or just sit in crystal clear water surrounded by fish. Three small, simple resorts in a breathtaking surrounding. No luxury.

Sai Daeng Beach
With only two resorts nestled into an idyllic landscape & a sandy beach, it's not only famous for its beauty similar to Ao Leuk, but also for being closest to one of Tao's prime dive & snorkel sites: Shark Island.

Thian Og Bay
Next to Chalok Baan Kao.
Huge private bay with one resort, a hillside spa, a dive school and a mountain top restaurant/bakery. Lots of Black Tip Reef Sharks.

Chalok Baan Kao
Third largest beach, located on the southern coast facing Phangan and Samui. This bay is smaller than Sairee, but offers a similar range of accommodation, eateries and nightlife. It is beautifully framed by Taa Toh lagoon to the east and Saan Jao beach to the west. It also connects with Thian Og bay and Sai Daeng beach. The rock formation at cape Taa Toh resembles a sitting Buddha, this is best to be seen from the viewpoint opposite.

Koh Tao Attractions

Let's start at Sairee, or better say Jor Por Ror bay at its southern end, there you'll find the before mentioned (in the beginning.

..) Rama V rock, right in front of that is the Fishery Museum, small but still of interest. Behind that, a bit uphill is the Fishery Conservation Unit, where marine life is observed and cultivated.
Next stop could be at Sairee View, a beautiful hilltop resort in the north end. Not only can you overlook the whole east coast till Jansom bay, the owner has also a gigantic, whale skeleton on display. Close by you can visit the mysterious diamond caves.

Another great panorama you'll have at Two View, the highest peak of Koh Tao, best take a taxi towards Tanote Bay, get off at the signs and walk the rest, it's really worth it.
From there you could walk straight down to Sairee, or if you want to see more, walk back the way you came with the taxi, follow the sign leading to Ao Leuk and be rewarded with a refreshing swim in one of the most beautiful bays.


A day tour could start at Chalok Baan Kao's east end. There you find stunning viewpoints in every direction. To the east you see Thian Og bay, to the north you overview Chalok and to the south you see both bays together.
All routes involve steep walking, but you won't regret it.
  Next proceed on the beach to the west side of Chalok, cross the concrete bridge leading to Saan Jao. Take a break at the Viewpoint restaurant with the best angle of the Buddha Rock. Then climb the stairs behind uphill and follow a shady path down to the next bay, June Juea. This is where the real trekking adventure starts and proceeding is recommended only for the sportive and healthy ones.
The path goes very steep uphill and enters thick jungle. After a while you reach Cape Jeda Gang. Time for another refreshment. Check out the view and the huts on the cape. From there uphill again, stay on the coast side path until the next bay, Sai Nuan. Up again, through stick and stones, pass the "Lost Hippie's Totem" and finally arrive in Jansom bay from where it is only 10 min walking through three resorts to reach Mae Haad (and a taxi). This trip should take from Saan Jao about three hours without breaks, so don't start too late.

 

 

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Koh Tao
Koh Tao
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From 1933 on the island was used …
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Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²,…
Koh Tao, little more than 21 km²…
My dog !!!! My fire !!! waiting th…
My dog !!!! My fire !!! waiting t…
THE MOON !!! JA JA JA !!!
THE MOON !!! JA JA JA !!!
Koh Tao Port !!!
Koh Tao Port !!!
Samui airport !!!
Samui airport !!!
Ñam Ñam Ñam !!!1 jejejejeje
Ñam Ñam Ñam !!!1 jejejejeje
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photo by: Deats