Escape to Ko Tao, Thailand
It’s not often that you visit somewhere and you get the chance to stay for as long as you please. The plan for our 2 month trip to Southeast Asia was to not have a plan. As a self-proclaimed Type A traveler (here’s proof), I struggled without an itinerary but ultimately it worked out for us – especially in Ko Tao, Thailand.
The situation is a simple one to understand: the water was crystal clear and perfect for diving and snorkeling, the food was amazing (it is Thailand after all), and our lodging was absolutely stellar. The original plan was 3 nights then after the first full day we realized we were idiots for considering leaving and extended to 6.
There’s a lot to see on Ko Tao for it’s very small size. We loved buzzing around the island on scooter and exploring the sites. Our favorite beach ended up being Aow Leuk Bay with amazing snorkeling right from the beach and a few restaurants overlooking the gorgeous beach.
As I mentioned, our hotel Aminjirah Resort ended up being a total WIN. Since our visit was during the low season we were able to get a free upgrade by going for their mystery room and ended up falling into an oceanfront dream. The folks that work there are awesome too as is the on-site restaurant! I’d definitely recommend the property. I loved drinking margaritas by the infinity pool and spent many many hours reading my kindle from our balcony. It was perfect.
Ko Tao’s diving scene is world famous and one of the reasons for fairly large expat population. Our diving instructor lived in the City of London full time as a student but took 3 month breaks to dive in Ko Tao (good life, right?), surprisingly though her story was common on the island. For those looking to escape away for awhile, consider Ko Tao because you’ll likely find a ton of like-minded new friends!
We choose to dive with Big Blue Diving school because of it’s great reviews and dive school schedule. I’d previously gotten my Open Water certification so while Dan worked through all his swimming pool testing I napped/read/ate/swam the days away. (I told you this situation was perfect!) Once he completed his course we did a few open water dives together which was really fun and a first for us as a couple. The visibility wasn’t as stellar as usual (a number of storms passed through, churning up the water when we first arrived) but we did see sea turtles, reef sharks and tons of amazing coral. So beautiful!
While the other groups of divers returned to the boat, I snapped this shot of Big Blue’s live-aboard captain drying his clothes. I loved the simplicity of the situation and wanted to make sure I never forgot:
Ultimately I’d recommend Ko Tao to folks that: a. have at least 10 days of vacation, simply by the complexity of getting there (there’s no airport on the island, instead you have to take a ferry from Ko Samui) and b. have a love for being on/under/near the sea and c. you appreciate a slower pace on island time!
When’s the last time you had a serious ESCAPE and where did you go!? I’d love to hear your story!