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วันอาทิตย์ที่ 30 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2554
Koh Thao ( Thao Island )
Koh Thao ( Thao Island )
Tiny “turtle island” Koh Thao is a top destination for scuba divers though even non divers are easily drawn in by the island’s beauty and its inhabitants charm.
The tiny island of Koh Thao ("Turtle Island"), 45 km north of Koh Phangan, is one of the top scuba diving destinations in Thailand, if not the world. In fact, only Cairns, Australia issues more PADI certifications than Koh Thao. While some globetrotting SCUBA snobs may express disappointment, the shallow, crystal clear waters of Koh Thao feature abundant marine life and considerable coral that are certain to please both beginners and experienced divers, particularly as the island itself is so spectacular and the atmosphere on Koh Thao is so relaxing. What’s more, the island, which is the site of important breeding grounds for Hawksbill and Green turtles, is now a center for environmentally friendly diving practices, including the reintroduction of hundreds of juvenile turtles to the island's ecosystem and efforts to preserve and grow coral reefs.
Non-divers can appreciate the beauty of Koh Thao, which seems relatively devoid of inhabitants while the majority of visitors are spending their days underwater, by taking a boat trip around the island to visit Koh Thao’s many gorgeous beaches and bays, hiking to the summit of the island, studying yoga, or simply relaxing in a hammock and enjoying the view of nearby Koh Nang Yuan, a spectacular attraction in its own right.
Over the past decade Koh Thao has transformed from a sleepy, yet popular place to get a scuba certification to the second most popular place in the world to do so. Once a destination almost exclusively for scuba divers and those looking to get away from it all, Koh Thao is now also a destination for wild 20-somethings to warm up before or unwind after neighboring Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party. Fortunately, despite its quite small size, most of the beaches around Koh Thao have retained a charming, laid back atmosphere and bungalows ranging from ultra-basic thatch roof to chic and boutique are available for those on any budget to enjoy the beauty of one of Thailand’s most spectacular islands.
Hotels in Koh Tao
Beaches and Bays at Koh Thao
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'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 Thao, 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 long tail, 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. ●Aow 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 Thao'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.
While there are numerous clinics on Koh Thao at Sairee Beach and Mae Haad, the closest hospitals are on Koh Samui and mainland Chumphon.
Electricity, supplied by generators, is very expensive: switch off the lights, fans, and air conditioning when leaving your room.
Don't throw paper or other things into the toilets: the pipes are easily clogged and very difficult to clear.
Exercise extreme caution when driving motorbikes on Koh Thao.
Avoid drinking the night before scuba diving.
Wear mosquito repellant with DEET, particularly around dawn and dusk.
Koh Thao is a fragile ecosystem hosting over 100,000 visitors a year: please DO NOT LITTER: even cigarette butts and plastic wrappers from water bottles take a heavy toll over time
Water is scarce: don't leave it running, especially during showers.
Don't throw anything at all into the sea!
While diving or snorkeling, look, don't touch; this includes turtles, coral, and any other marine life!