If you wish to get to Koh Tao from the mainland you really have two choices, by ferry or speed boat. Ferry transportation is simple and departs mainland Thailand from Chumphon and Surat Thani directly to Koh Tao. Ferry services from Surat Thani are almost every hour and the journey takes roughly two and a half hours.
The sea voyage is most enjoyable and the ferry will take you past numerous tiny islands dotted in the Gulf of Thailand. Ensure that your ferry docks at the appropriate pier as Koh Tao has one, with the main one being Mae Had Pier.
The ferries are modern and well equipped so you can enjoy a meal and a drink on your passage, each boat can hold between 200 / 300 passengers so you will have plenty of new friends to meet on your trip.
If you wish to travel on from Koh Samui to Koh Tao then there is a regular ferry service that connects the two islands. If you are going directly to Koh Tao from mainland Thailand then the best point of departure is Chumphon. The voyage is roughly three hours long and the service can vary depending on the season.
Koh Samui is one of the most popular of Thailand’s islands that tourists wish to visit . This is partly due to its fantastic long sandy beaches but also because it is a lot less hectic than say Phuket or the other tourist magnets.
The island is stunningly beautiful and everything on Samui is connected by a winding 55 kilometer road that circles the island. The interior of Koh Samui is basically jungle, so all life exists around the shoreline.
Chaweng Beach and Lamai are the two largest towns which most people flock to, but even here life is relaxed and laid back. Most tourists spend their evenings dining at the many great seafood and barbeque restaurants or shopping at the markets and independent local stores.
Recently Samui got its first mall, Central Festival. But as befitting island regulations it is only three stories high and quite sedate. Apart from the shopping outlets there are a number of coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Although Samui is the staging post for many Full Moon Party goers, normally the island is too quiet for them and they only spend one or two days visiting.
Koh Tao or Turtle Island is a scuba diver’s paradise. It has idyllic white-sand beaches and warm crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
Koh Tao is relatively a new destination for tourists but now supports a good selection of places to stay from 5 star hotels, to budget beach shacks.
Koh Tao is really a beach lover’s paradise and for those who love everything connected to water. At night most of the action happens around Sairee Beach area, where numerous bars and nightclubs are located.
Dining experiences are varied and offer everything from noodle shops to international cuisine. As you would expect from an island, there is a wonderful selection of seafood restaurants offering the daily catch.