Koh Tao - FAQ
We have a friend visiting Koh Tao! This isn't the first time, but it's the first time we haven't been there to host. As I answered questions about the island, I decided it would be a great time to add a bit more and make this into a full blog post.
Q: How much for two eating and drinking for six days?
A: Approximately 2,800THB per person. That includes one expensive, for Koh Tao, but delicious meal. I based this on an example meal schedule including my favorite places to eat. The estimate includes a non alcoholic drink per meal. I'll add another post about where to eat that will include prices and favorite dishes.
If you are looking for alcohol, the kind you drink will determine the cost. Local beer is around 100THB a bottle. Happy hour (2 for 1 price) is from 5-6 at Fishbowl. Many places around the island will have different specials as well.
Q: Are there alternatives to getting around other than motorbikes or taxis?
A: Transport is limited. Walking, motorbikes, or taxis are it. (no public transport)
Q: How long will it take to walk from one side of the island to the other?
A: According to google maps…
Northeast - EastBan’s to Hin Wong Bay - 45minutes (paved but steep)
North - Ban’s to Jim Bar - 1.25 hours (about half is still dirt and super steep)
Southeast - Ban’s to Tanote Bay- 1.25 hours (paved but steep)
South - Banks to Chalok - 45 minutes (paved and relatively flat)
Here is the thing, it is REALLY hilly and I don't think google maps doesn’t take that into account. Besides going south to Chalok, there are very steep hills any which way you cross the island. So that being said, I would definitely add extra time to any of these estimates, maybe even double it.
Q: Where can we snorkel? Is snorkeling at shark bay fun? Will we lose limbs?
A: Once you’ve been diving you may decide to pass on snorkel since you can’t get as close. Just in case though, there are many places to snorkel on the island. Sairee Beach - simply walk north up the beach as far as you can… then pop in and snorkel near the rocks. If I were going to pick one place to go to snorkel, I would choose Hin Wong Bay. I think it’s prettiest.
Yes, snorkeling at Shark Bay is fun, HOWEVER, it’s not guaranteed that you will see sharks and there aren't a load of things to see aside from them. It’s also hard to get to via roads. The only times I've been there snorkeling I was in a long tail boat taxi. Even if you DO go to Shark Bay and DO she sharks, you won’t loose any limbs. It’s hard to get close enough for photos let alone close enough for them to eat you up.
Q: Where to go to sit and look at waves & relax?
A: I actually love Sairee Beach. You can walk a few minutes up the beach and find less busy spots. If you want super chill beach time, pretty quiet, try Chalok. If you hit up Chalok, drop into The Cove restaurant at Assava Diving Resort. Great folks!
Q: What about the wild dogs I have read about?
A: You will see dogs all over the island, even in restaurants. Most of them are harmless. Where you will need to be aware is if you decide to walk across the island. You will be going through some areas where there aren't houses or businesses to the side of the road, just jungle. Out in these areas, the strays tend to pack. I’ve not heard of anyone being attacked, but I would warn you to pick up a heavy duty stick that you can use along with yelling to scare them away should you come across them. (and it can double as a walking stick to help you up the steep hills!)