KOH TAO, Thailand

Phone code 077, $1US=38B, June 1, 2006

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Koh Phangan General | Hat Rin | Thong Nai Pan | Photo: Taka's 2006

A small island off from Chumpon, E coast of Thailand peninsula, N from Koh Phangan. The most famous island for diving. The diving spots around Koh Tao are best in Thailand. The most famous thing to see Whale fish, the biggest fish. You can swim with it. Unfortunately some of the beaches are being polluted due to the sewer from hotels. You may not be able to enjoy clean beach and water on this island. However if you take a tour/diving courses, you still can enjoy the wonder of underwater world.

Photo: Sairee Beach

Access: Boats connected from Chumpon(from N) and Donsok(Suratthani, from S) via Koh Samui and Phangan. If you come to the train stations or bus stations in Chumpon/Surat Thani, the travel agents near those transport hubs will organize your boat and the transport to the pier.
From BKK, many tourist buses are running from Khaosan with the connection to a boat to this island. This is the easiest and cheapest way.
A night boat comes from Surat Thani.

Orientation:
All boats arrive at Mae Haad, the west part of island. The main and the most popular beach is Sairee Beach, just N from the boat piers. The 2nd popular beach is Chalokbankao Bay, S part of the island accessible by songthaw(pickup).
The island is very small. You can go to the most of the places by pickup. Or you can walk for 1 hour. Renting a motorbike is also popular.

Diving Season: Feb - Sep
Peak: Season: Feb - Mar, Aug Off season: Oct - Jan
i No information office.
Free booklet, Koh Tao Info
. Excellent book available from many travel agents or/and dive shops on this island. Good map, the list of accommodation and much more.
Web site: www.Koh Tao-online.com
$ Krung Thai Bank and ATM: at the main pier. 9-16:00, official bank rate, cash advance without commission. TC/Cash $1=37.92/37.75, 100yen=33.83/33.53, C$34.28/33.97, Euro=48.94/48.72, A$=28.35/28.14
Many travel agents
offer exchange services but with lower rates and 2-5% lower than bank rates and cash advance with 5% commission.
M0 Post office: From the main pier, walk straight up and turn left at T section. Post office agent.
M1 Telephone: No telephone office. Many card phones available in the main town.
H Nursing units: There are a few on Sairee Beach. Simple treatment can be given at many pharmacies 8-22:00.
H1 Clinic: walk straight from the main pier and turn left at T section. It is on the left side. We have not check if a doctor is on duty or not, but nursing care can be given.
@ Santa Travel: Mae Haad 8-21:00, 2B/min, web camera and headphone
@ Koppeel: Chalokbankao bay 9-19:30, 2B/min, serving drinks

Local transport
The island is small. You can walk to most places within 1.5 hurs.
Rental motorbike: 150B/24hrs from many GHs, travel agents, etc.
Taxi: Available until 23:00 from the pier. The fare may be doubled after dark. You have to bargain.
From Mae Haad
To Sairee or Chalokbaan Kao
30B/p
To Tonate Bay:
50B/p or 200B/car
To Hin Wong Bay
50B/p or 100B/car
To Ao Leuk/Thian Og
40B/p or 80B/car
From Sairee

to Chalokbaan Kao
50B/p
To Ao Leuk
60B/p or 120B/car
Long tail boats
. The fares must be negotiated.
From Mae Haad pier
To Chalokbaan Kao
150B/p
To Nang Yuan
50B or 100B/boat
To Tanote Bay
100B/p or 300B/boat
Going around the island
800B/3p or 1000B/4p

Accommodation
There are many rooms on this island however during high season it Rooms get full fast. Arrive here as early as possible. During high season, rooms run by diving shops are only for people who dive.
LOW MID HIGH

HOTEL CODE
Mae Haad Bay South (bay at the pier):
No reasonable rooms, too much over priced.
S from the main pier. Turn right as you land.
h
M1
Tao Siam Guest House agent: at a shop opp from Songsern office, T077-456215, f ab TV(E) fr d300, a/c d600B No review yet. This shop is just a agent. They will take you to the hotel. According to their information, it seems to be the best accommodation on this island. Please report if you stay here.
h
M2
Save: f ab 350B C3 old rooms.
h
M3
Kalaphang Dive Resort: T077-456058, f ab old 300B C3, a/c new d1000B C4
h
M4
Utopia Suites: T09-8165654, www.utopiasuites.com, f ab d400(HS600), HW d600(800), CTV d800(1000), a/c d1200B(1500) C4 Very clean large rooms.
h5 Blue Diamond Resort: T077-456255, f ab 400 mos-net, large d600 C4, PCH garden view
h
M6
Koh Tao Beach Side Resort: f ab large old 500B C3, beach front large d1000, a/c d1500B
h
M7
Koh Tao Royal Resort: T077-456156, f ab 950, a/c d1500(LS 25% off) C4
h
M8
Sensi Paradise: T077-456244, www.kohtaoparadise.com last hotel on this beach. There is a sign but DO NOT follow the sign. Instead walk on the beach to S. or go through Koh Tao Royal Resort. f ab 450(only 4 rooms far from the beach), HW? fr 900B+ R C4. High class resort. The reasonable located rooms start from 900B.
Mae Haad Bay North (bay at the pier):
N from the main pier. Turn right as you land. The road goes up a hill.
h
M11
Mr J Bungalow: T077-456066, f ab 350, TV(E) d450B, a/c fr d800B C4. large rooms. Some have CT Rec
h
M12
Baan Tao Bungalows: T077-456201, f ab 300B C3 lOld bungalows
h
M13
Queen Resort: T077-456001, moo_mmm@hotmail.com, on the hill between Mae Haad Bay and Sairee Beach. f ab 400 C3 large rooms with sea view
h
M14
LV Dive: T077-456039, lvdiveshop@hotmail.com, f ab TV(E) d450 C3, HW fr d700 C4, large porch a/c d1200B C4 large rooms with sea view
h
M15
DD Hut: T077-456366, deedee_hut@hotmail.com, f ab d2-300 C2, old PCH, fr HW large d800B C4, sw some rooms have sea view
h
M16
View Cliff: T077-456353, viewclifftao@hotmail.com, f fr CTV ab d800(1500), a/c 1300(1800), HW d1800(2300) C3 large rooms with sea view
Sairee Beach
A wide and long beach. Good place to watch sunset.
Listing from S to N. The northern end is an area for resort hotels. We do not cover this area.
h
S1
Ocean View Bungalow: T077-456446, f large ab d300B+ C3 No character, d400 C4 Nice
h
S2
In touch Beach: T077-456514, f ab 300-700 C2-4, PC. cheaper ones are small, expensive ones are large comfortable rooms.
h
S3
AC Two Resort: T077-456195, f small ab 300, comfortable 400 C2. no a/c room despite of their name. basic and old.AC resort has a swimming pool but not a same management.
h
S4
AC Resort: T077-456197, acresort@yahoo.com, old f ab 300 C2, large 600B C3, TV d800 C4, a/c TV(E) fr d1500B+ C4 sw. no a/c room despite of their name. basic and old.
h
S5
Koh Tao Island Resort: T077-456295, small f ab d400 C2, large 800B C4 beautiful garden
h
S6
Cabana 2: T077-456601, f ab d400 C4 large rooms but no character
h
S7
SB Cabana: T077-456005, f ab d300 C2, beach d600 C4, a/c d1500B C4, HW TV(E) fr d1800B C4
h
S8
Sairee Cottage: T077-456374, khamphon94@gmail.com, small f ab d300 C2, beach d500 C4 PTC, a/c HW bf d2200B C4 Rec
h
S9
Seashell Resort: www.kohtaoseashell.com, f ab back d450(hS550), garden front d700 PTC

Chalokbankao Bay
Small bay, S side of the island, 3 km from the main pier.. It used to be a beautiful long beach but by sewer the beach has been polluted . But you can find many reasonable accommodation here. Communal taxi/bike taxi
30B/p
Listed from W to E
h1 Laemklong: T077-456084, reaf-rider@hotmail.com, f ab d200B C2, large d300B C3. Rooms are nice size. The bungalows on the hill has nice balconies. Rec
h2 Sun Shine 2: T077-456154, f ab d350+ large rooms, HW d700, a/c d1200B+ C4, PTC Rooms are nice size and good garden. All rooms garden view. Rec
h3 Sun Shine: T077-456155, f ab old d250 C2, new large d350-400B C3, HW d750 C4, a/c d1200B+C4 No view
h4 Buddha View: f ab 300B C? Mainly only for divers.
h5 Carabao: T077-456206, info@carabaodiving.com, f sb 200B. C2 Divers' accommodation.
h6 Tropicana: T077-456167, www.koh-tao-tropicana-resort.com antropicana1@hotmail.com, f ab d400 t500, HW d500, a/c d1000B+ C4. Rooms are clean and large. Very relaxing garden and restaurant. Highly Rec
h7 J.P. Resort: T077-456099, rooms on the hill, f ab d4-500 New near beach s/d 1200B C4. Rooms are Ok .
h8 Porn Resort: T077-456044. f ab small 300, large d500 C4 Bungalows on the hill. Large and beautiful room with excellent view. Highly Rec.
h9 Big fish: T077-456150, k_see@yahoo.com, f ab d500 C43, large d500 C4. not bungalows, rooms in a building.
h10 Koh Tao Cottage: T456-134, divekto@samart.co.th, f ab 550-780 fr C4. Divers accommodation. More than 3 days 20% off, and with dive 30% off Rooms are good but over prices.
h11 Aud's Bungalow: f ab 300 C1 small old bungalows. Completely over priced.

If you go further E.
3 more hotels. 2 of them (Taa Toh Lagoon info@taatohdivers.com and Freedom Beach Resort) are on the hill one on another beach.
h20 Rocky Resort: on Ao Tian Og Beach, Walk E from Aud's Bungalow, you will see "No entrace" sign on the left. Enter there to a beautiful beach which is facing E. Go to the N end of the beach. f ab d4-500 C2, d800B C4 Rooms are old but huge with excellent view to the beach.

Chalokbankao Bay W side
From Leamklong, walk along the edge of the rocky beach to Taraporn Restaurant. Walk throught this restaurant to reach another GH area.
Listed from Taraprn Restaurant as you see.
h12 Taraporn Bungalows: f ab d3-400B C2, large terrace with CTH Too old and too expensive
h13 View Point: W end of the bay T077-456444, f ab d2-300B,d800B C4, a/c 1200B+ C4 R
h14 Orchard Cliff Bungalows: take steps next to View Point restaurant to the top of the cliff and pass the garden. f ab small 250, large d350 C3, view PCH
h15 Sunset: side of the cliff. f ab d4-400B C4 small porch CTH. view
h16 Moon Dance: on the beach, f ab d2-300B C2 pC small rooms

Restaurant
Cheap restaurants are on the small road along the beach in the main town, specially between 2 piers.
Non cold water
5B, cold water 10B
Main Rd. from the main pier.
r1 Cafe Del Sol: Very popular, Cafe/western. Good American breakfast set with 90B. Highly Rec.
Sairee Beach
r2 New Heavy Cafe: in the village, almost N end of Sairee Beach, near 7 Eleven, cafe Good coffee and coffee

Transport
The cheaper boats, slower they run. There are a few piers at Mae Haat. A few boats depart on the same time. If you have a ticket, please make sure which is your boat.
The fares, including the transport to the pier, are same as ones sold at the piers but if you buy one at the pier, you may get free transport on Koh Samui or discount coupon for the boat from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui.
To BKK(Khaosan):
Express boat+VIP bus
, 850B dep10:00 arr 23:00 (scheduled as 20:30)
fast boat+VIP bus,
650B dep14:00 arr 7:00


Boat:
To Chumpon:
2-2.5hr
10:00
(550B), 14:30(400B),
To Koh Phangan: 1-1.5hr
9:20
(170B), 9:30(250-280B), 10:00(200B), 15:00(250B)
To Koh Samui:
1.5-3.0hr
9:20
(280-300B), 9:30(400B), 10:00(300B), 13:00(400B)
To Suratthani:

10:00
(550B) night boat 21:00-6:00 500B
To Krabi:
10:00(700B) To Koh Phi Phi: 10:00(850B)

Train
ta Train Reservation Songserm Express:Their boat leaves at 14:30 arriving Chumpon at 17:30. The fares below include 500B(boat,bus to the train station booking) and a train.

time
Chumpon -
BKK
ac berth
upper/lower
f berth
upper/lower
ac / f seat
R 174 19:35 - 05:15 1100/1150B 950/1000B - / 850B
R 168 20:15 - 06:15  1100/1150B 950/1000B - / 850B
E 86 20:45 - 06:15  1170/1240B 990/1040B - / 890B
R 170 22:52 - 08:00 1100/1150B 950/1000B 900 / 850B
E 84 23:45 - 08:45 1170/1240B - / 890B

time
Chumpon -
Hat Yai
ac berth
upper/lower
f berth
upper/lower
ac / f seat
R 171 22:15 - 06:10 1122/1172B 942/992B 892 / 842B
SP 35 22:30 - 06:28 1222/1312B
SP 37 23:10 - 07:15 1202/1272B - / 902B

time
Chumpon -
Sungaikolok
ac berth
upper/lower
f berth
upper/lower
ac / f seat
R 171 22:15 - 10:35 1154/1204B 1014/1064B 954 / 914B
SP 37 23:10 - 11:10 1294/1364B - / 974B

time
Chumpon -
Butterworth
ac berth
upper/lower
f berth
upper/lower
ac / f seat
SP 35 22:30 - 11:55  1294/1364B

Sight
Diving is the biggest attraction.
There are many different dive spots around the island.
Cost at
Buddha View Dive shop on Chalokbankao Beach www.buddhaview-diving.com or www.buddhaview-diving.com/japan buddhajp@samart.co.th
If you book at their office on Khaosan Rd. BKK, you can get discount. Koh Tao Information. 1F Bayon bldg. T02-6293824,
Open water
7800B
Trial dive half day 1600B

Advance course with 5 dives
5600B
Big Blue
Mae Haad office T077-456-050, BKK office 02-6293830 info@bigbluediving.com for Japanese info@kotao.com

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