After travelling South East Asia for two months, we decided to mix up the pace of hitting city after city and instead end the trip with a week-long vacation hopping islands in Thailand.

The first island we graced with our presence with was Koh Tao, which is about a 12-hour bus and ferry journey from the capital of Bangkok. Out of all the islands we visited, Koh Tao is definitely the least populated of the bunch and is mainly considered the best place for diving. A trip here will deliver on that peaceful island experience that we all long for but it also has the potential to be as action-packed as you please. This is my thoughts on what Koh Tao has to offer:

Mountain Hiking

There are so many view points along the island that are well worth the hike but if you are strapped for time or don’t have the energy then I would definitely recommend visiting Chalok view point because it offers a really beautiful overview of the green forestry below whilst also offer gorgeous views of the endless blue ocean. We were quite lucky that we did our morning hike to Chalok view on a relatively cool day when the sun wasn’t beating down on us as mercilessly as normal, but despite this we were still terribly hot, tired and sweaty during the uphill terrain so do remember to pace yourself and bring lots of water!

Photo by Darren Lawrence on Unsplash

Sairee Beach 

The island’s main beachfront strip is where everyone from across the island gathers for evenings of loud music, cheap cocktails and fire dancing! At the Lotus bar, they even offer a fun and (mostly) harmless game of fire limbo with free shots and not burning your face off as the reward for making it under. If that isn’t really your thing then don’t worry because there is a more tame social scene to be found during the day as the clubs become relaxing beachfront restaurants, perfect for a morning coffee or a spot of brunch. You will also stumble across some fun rope swings on the beach and you can join in with a yoga class as the sunsets if you want to really relax.

Photo by Rebecca Cairns on Unsplash

Restaurants and Coffee Shops 

The island’s main pier is filled with many cute little wooden shacks that have great priced food and drinks and just a really lovely, calming atmosphere. Most places will play some old western acoustic songs that you probably haven’t heard in years and it will take you right back to your childhood. The best part is that at the back of most shacks they open up directly onto the beach and trust me when I say, nothing beats enjoying some good food with a light breeze cooling you off as the waves crashing nearby in a soothing rhythm.

Photo by Nguyen Bui on Unsplash

Tattoo Shops

If you are feeling a little adventurous or daring and fancy getting a little holiday ink then you really do not need to look far to find a tattoo shop in Koh Tao since the entire island is covered in them. This is great because it means there are masses of options so you can look around for the best facility and prices until you are fully content. Getting a tattoo can be a lovely travelling memento of your time away and for me, I find it holds a lot of meaning as to what a certain place or trip signifies in my life – but of course, that’s personal and tattoos aren’t for everyone! If you do want to get one then do take precautions wherever you end up going by making sure new and clean needles are being used and if a place or person gives you a bad feeling about it then just get up and leave – always trust your gut!