About Koh Tao

Congratulations, you finally made it to the paradise island, Koh Tao that I have been promising you all this time. It’s time to find yourself a nice white sand beach, drink a Mojito and relax, but I would strongly recommend that you first settle into your accommodation.

Some of the bar tenders don’t use measuring spoons when they prepare your cocktail and the next thing you know, you’ll be making friends with everyone from fellow travelers, the DJ’s or the locals, wandering away in the islands entropy of relaxation, partying or even a good old game of four-in-a-row.
Scuba Diving Ko Tao

If you are anything like me, setting in and letting the family know I’m still alive and well, might be first thing to do among many on the island. Don’t worry as most if not all accommodation on the island has decent enough Wi-Fi for you to do so and you can easily get all the necessary log in details at receptions.

Another option would be to find a cellular store and getting yourself a sim card with lightning fast connections and at a bargain of a price, unlimited data so that you can post the 100 and something selfies you’ve taken on your journey thus far and make all your friends back home a little bit jealous – Note: you have to present your passport to get a sim-card in Thailand.

Once you’ve posted your selfies to social media with a geo-tag, it’s time to do one of two things;
Taking an ice cold shower as you’ll soon realize just how bad the humidity can get, but don’t worry.
It took me about 3-4 days of somewhat sleepless nights to get fully acclimatized to the weather.

The second of which would be to find the closest restaurant or bar to sit down, familiarize yourself with your new surroundings and have an ice cold Chang or Leo beer while listening to the faint crashing of the ocean’s waves.

You’ll soon find out for yourself why many call Koh Tao the drinking island with a diving problem as it’s looks can deceive you in many ways but it will hint and wink at you with a smirk on its face and quietly chant you, inviting you to embrace the lifestyle fully.

During the day most part of the island except the pier will be relatively quiet and peaceful where the hundreds of scuba divers can be seen every so often on the back of trucks with their half put on wet-suits on their way to the pier to go diving for the day and most others going about their business as you would expect people to, greeting you with an excited smile on their face.

At about 4 in the afternoons, there is a hint of excitement in the air as most bars and restaurants only open then, again emphasizing the layed-back and easy going way of life.
This is when the streets will start to get some life as tourists will only have recovered from the previous night’s pub crawl.

Before you think the island is a strictly drinking island, I’ll definitely prove you wrong later in my blog.

However, as soon as you’ve watched the sun set with awe, the breath-taking effect it has on the islands hillsides and the clouds, it will have you feeling euphoric and at peace but, don’t get too attached to that feeling as soon after this, it’s most definitely party time as most divers come back from the world of water to quench their thirst, get the salty sea water taste from their mouths replaced with that of beer and talk each other’s ears off about the nudi-branchs or whale sharks they saw and go on to complain that the water visibility wasn’t 30 meters today. This, is Koh Tao island at its best if you ask me as it is the time where I made friends that I’ll most definitely keep for life over a beer or seven.

If the party is your scene, you will soon hear whispers of the legendary Sairree beach, the island’s “party capital” found to the south of the island with its many, many places to grab a dinner for the night, watch a fire show or go clubbing until 4 AM.

For the best and affordable dinner before a long night of partying I would strongly recommend Farango’s 90 Thai Baht margarita pizza, it will most definitely be the best margarita pizza you’ll ever have eaten as well as make sure your stomach doesn’t start screaming at you in the middle of night.

Another option for food would be the many food stalls that are lined along the alley ways and streets, one in particular stood out to me: a man wearing sunglasses at night screaming; “Pancake!” …”Pancaaaake!!” as he invited me and my friend over to eat at his food stall as we were sitting opposite the street from him, in Farango’s.

Too spite his appearance, I have to say that I judged a book by its cover as his food was better in variety and taste compared to the other street-food stalls.
After you have lined your stomach with some great tasting food, it’s time to explore the nightlife for yourself and see what all the fuss is about. Feel free to walk into any bar and hang around for a bit to see what the bar is all about before you decide to only hangout at one bar, go and explore!
With different bars catering for somewhat various types of crowds I have some suggestions for you to give you an idea of the variety of bars and pubs so that you won’t waste of moment of valuable party time, these include;

  • The legendary fishbowl: great for live bands and beer pong.
  • Leo bar: Great for dancing and clubbing as well as watching fire dances on the beach.
  • Lotus bar: a wide open spaced bar with an iconic palm tree bending 90 degrees as it hovers over the waves, trust me that it is a sight to behold with it’s neon lights and awesome fire shows.

One thing that was strongly realized for me about Koh Tao is that there is a definitive distinction with the island’s night life as I strangely found myself sitting in smaller, cozier bars where the conversation was audible and where I didn’t have to wake up with a sore throat from raising my voice as often.

One of my three favorite places to frequent were Buddha view bar in Buddha view, located in Ban Chalok. The bar has been refurbished and overhauled since the last time I vested but it is still a great place to make friends with fellow tourists and to learn more about diving in the process.
Another thing that makes this bar a favorite of mine was that I could sit at the bar and order my food instead of having to take a walk to the restaurant.

If you do decide to visit Buddha bar, be wary of the bar lady: Somruthai or Som for short as eventually she’ll start pouring your drinks stronger and stronger.
However, she was my go-to island guide if I needed to find out anything and everything about the island.

Another place was a chance happening as me and my friend Ed were browsing for new places to eat and drink, a small gem by the name of Sheet-Metal bar, only a couple minutes by foot from P&N guesthouse.

If you fancy tasting strange but delicious Thai fruits and snacks, Love dogs, want to play a round of pool or try your luck with Jenga for a free drink then this is my top pick.
The bar is nice and cosy and built almost completely constructed from re-used materials giving it a very rustic sort of feel with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

As I mentioned before with trying your luck, the bar lady: Nuchy, as kind and welcoming as she is can be quite the force to be reckoned with as she’ll most likely offer you a free shooter of her choice to get you to say yes to either a round of Jenga or Four-in-a-row with a wager, ofcoarse.
If she wins, you’ll have to drink two shots of Thai Whiskey while she only drinks one shot, catch being that you pay for all three shots.

If you do somehow manage to win and aren’t too drunk already to have passed out, the tables turn.
To comfort you for losing the game, there are always the two adorable dogs that have no issue introducing themselves to you and loving you with all their heart.

Last but certainly not least is Chill-out Beach Bar, located right next to JP Resort’s restaurant.
This bar is one of the best to absolutely relax while sitting right on the beach and looking out over the light blue sea whilst living up the vida la loca slowly sipping on your mojito, laying on a hammock.

The Bartender: “Mei” as he likes to be called is amongst the friendliest bartenders I have ever met as he’ll feed you something he likes to call “Medicine” and of-coarse drink with you while he screams “Party! Why not.” You have to see this for yourself.

When nightfall comes however, the vibe does escalate as Rasta like music will be played by my friend, the French DJ: “Niz” as he brings even more life to the bar.
He is also very knowledgeable on Thailand’s visa runs, should you ever need to do one.