Koh Tao, or Turtle Island, is a beautiful island just 21km², 70km north of Koh Samui and takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes by speed boat, the fastest and most comfortable way to get there. Koh Tao & Koh Nang Yuan feature a wide range of shallow sites suitable for both snorkeling and scuba diving, with beautiful soft and hard coral, clear water and a wide diversity of marine life. It is because of Koh Tao’s position away from the mainland and being surrounded by a deeper sea bed that it sees the best visibility found in the Gulf of Thailand. To ensure you get the best water conditions available, we snorkel different parts of Koh Tao at different times of the year because of tide changes. Typically we visit the western and southern sides of Koh Tao during October to March, which features Koh Tao’s longest and most beautiful beach, Sairee. During April to September, we tend to stick to the northern and eastern coasts of Koh Tao, which features stunning undeveloped boulder-lined bays and tropical rainforest.
Note: this is a rough guide and where we go is subject to change depending on the daily weather and water conditions.
Accompanying the change in snorkel sites, we also change our restaurant. Both have different locational features that make for a pleasant and fun experience. October to March, we take our lunch along the idyllic palm fringed at PD Restaurant. April to September sees us visiting a wonderfully charming restaurant nestled into the hillside of Mango Bay.
Koh Nang Yuan is where we usually visit in the morning, as we find this major attraction to be much quieter in the morning than it is in the afternoon. Koh Nang Yuan is often featured in the top 10 paradise islands of the world and its easy to see why. 3 small rocky islands connected by sand and covered in dense tropical rainforest, features some of the best snorkeling and diving to be had in the area. Japanese Garden snorkel site, named so as the coral below the surface represents the style of a Japanese Garden, features a variety of friendly and colorful marine life at shallow depths ideal for underwater photographs and free diving to take a closer look. Koh Nang Yuan also features a fantastic view point where you see over the whole island and to Koh Tao (pictured above), which takes approximately 45 minutes to climb to the top, take some photos and walk back down again. Other features include the two connecting beaches, zip lines (about 1,000 Baht) between theislands and a beach bar for those who want to grab and cocktail or a fruit shake.
Nang Yuan Island has some rules to maintain its condition as one of the treasures of Thailand: