How long to stay in Koh Tao?

How long to stay in Koh Tao?

Koh Tao beckons with its abundant natural beauty if you seek a fantastic adventure off the beaten path. Despite being tiny at just 21 km², this island gem boasts lush landscapes and remote corners, adding a sense of exploration to every journey. This intimate scale sets Koh Tao apart from larger destinations, offering travelers a more immersive experience.


How long to stay in Koh Tao?

If you want to make the most of your trip to Koh Tao, we highly recommend spending at least five days on the island. This will give you just enough time to explore the island's main must-do and discover some hidden gems off the beaten path. And, of course, give you time to plan some diving in Koh Tao! 


Tiny Island of Big Adventures

Looking for things to do on Koh Tao? This island paradise has a little something for everyone!

So, how long should you stay in Koh Tao based on what you want to do?

Start your adventure by hitting the pristine beaches, where you can bask in the sun, dip into crystal-clear waters, hop into a kayak or onto a paddleboard, and glide along the island's picturesque coastline. Fantastic snorkeling spots are just a stone's throw from the shore! With its warm, shallow waters, even first-timers can enjoy colorful marine life. Don't miss out on favorite snorkeling spots like Tanote Bay, Shark Bay, and Aow Leuk.

If you're all about beach hopping and snorkeling, 3 full days in Koh Tao should be just fine, but you might find yourself wanting more!

Great Snorkeling in Koh Tao


Of course, no visit to Koh Tao would be complete without Scuba Diving! The island is renowned as one of the most budget-friendly spots globally for diving certification. While the PADI Open Water Diver course takes three days, you might want to extend your stay. Why? Well, chances are you'll fall head over fins for the underwater world and want to dive even more! If you're not yet ready for a full diving course, you can opt for Discover Scuba Diving, a thrilling one-day program packed with adventure and fun, offering supervised dives to explore the incredible underwater world.

If you're a beginner diver eager to become certified, spending 5 full days in Koh Tao should be okay, but don't be surprised if you find yourself craving more!


Koh Tao colorful reefs


If you're a certified diver, your main interest will likely be diving and exploring the underwater world. With over 25 dive spots available, staying a week or more allows you to fully immerse yourself in diving experiences and pursue multiple specialty courses or fun dives. Popular spots like Chumphon Pinnacle and Southwest Pinnacle offer opportunities to spot Whale sharks, while the HTMS Sattakut Wreck is perfect for earning wreck diver certification.


Whale shark at Chumphon Pinnacle Koh Tao


But the adventure doesn't stop there!

Koh Tao isn't just about the water—there's plenty of adventure on land, too. Lace-up your hiking boots for scenic trails or test your skills on rugged rock climbing routes. Don't forget to seek out the island's stunning viewpoints for jaw-dropping panoramas that will take your breath away. And be sure to carve out time to explore the unique beauty of Koh Nang yuan—a true tropical paradise. 

  • Koh Nang Yuan welcomes visitors from 10 am to 5 pm, so be sure to plan your visit within these hours to avoid being turned away. One of the most popular ways to get there from Koh Tao is by hiring a long-tail boat, these traditional wooden boats, equipped with propellers attached to long poles. To catch a ride, head to one of the western beaches on Koh Tao, such as Sairee Beach. The typical rate ranges from 100 THB to 180 THB for a one-way trip. Also, remember there's an entrance fee of 250 THB for Koh Nang Yuan.

If hiking, rock climbing, and taking in stunning viewpoints are your thing, 3 full days on Koh Tao should be just right for you. Add another day for a visit to Koh Nang Yuan, but be warned, you might find yourself wanting more: Koh Tao offers over a dozen viewpoints scattered across the island, each offering jaw-dropping panoramic views in every direction. 

Koh Nangyuan, Koh Tao

After a day of adventure, satisfy your cravings with traditional Thai flavors or something more western, Koh Tao has something to satisfy every palate. Then, make sure to seize the golden hours with cocktails in hand as you watch the sun set over the horizon. It's the perfect way to unwind and savor the beauty of Koh Tao's tropical paradise.


Getting to Koh Tao from Bangkok

Getting to Koh Tao offers several options. You can fly to Koh Samui, Chumphon, or Suratthani or opt for surface transport like buses or trains via Chumphon or Surat Thani. Regardless of your choice, the final leg of the journey will involve a ferry ride to the island.


Fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui

This is the fastest way to Koh Tao. Bangkok Airways offers flights from Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK) to Koh Samui. Departure times vary between 06:00 and 20:05. Check the ferry timetables before you book your flight. Lomprayah Catamaran provides high-speed ferry services three times daily from Koh Samui to Koh Tao. The boat journey takes around 1:45 hours.


Fly from Bangkok to Chumphon or Suratthani

From Bangkok's Don Muang Domestic Airport, you can fly with Thai AirAsia to Chumphon or Surat Thani, then catch a ferry to Koh Tao. Flight schedules usually align with ferry departures, but there might be some waiting time between arrival and departure. 


Bus and Ferry combined ticket (most popular)

Lomprayah provides VIP night bus and ferry packages to Koh Tao, featuring modern coaches for an 8-hour journey from Bangkok, Khaosan Road to Chumphon. Following this, high-speed ferries transport you from Chumphon to Koh Tao in around 1:45 hours. 



Travel south to Chumphon, where overnight sleeper options are linked to morning ferries to Koh Tao. Ferry tickets can be purchased at the train station (Krung Thep Aphiwat) in Bangkok, Chumphon, or online before your journey. Delays are possible on this train.


Best sunsets at Sairee Beach Koh Tao

Our bottom line

Koh Tao is truly a paradise for sea lovers, adventurers and those seeking a laid-back island experience. This tiny gem offers something special for everyone. Its breathtaking natural landscapes, warm hospitality, and special vibes make it a destination unlike any other.

In fact, it's hard to put a limit on how long one should stay at Koh Tao. We recommend keeping your itinerary flexible to allow for extra exploration time. Once you experience the charm of Koh Tao, you may find it difficult to leave – consider yourself warned!

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