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Koh Tao

Between the mid thirties and late forties Koh Tao was used as a political prison due to its isolation.

A royal pardon ended Koh Tao's claim of being a prison and was left as a deserted paradise.

Soon after this, the island was settled by Thai fishermen and coconut farmers. From these modest roots, the families grew and became an established community.

Koh Tao remained virtually hidden from foreign interest until the eighties, where the first intrepid travellers found its beauty.

Only ten years ago horses and buffaloes were used as the main form of transport and dive shops were just starting to become established.

Since this time the island has been open to the influences of tourism but is still viewed as one of the least developed and most beautiful of the Gulf's holiday islands.

Koh Tao lies in The Gulf of Thailand, part of the South China Sea, on the eastern coast of the country.

Approx. 600km from Bangkok, Koh Tao is easily accessible from all parts of Thailand.

Just 80km from the port of Chumphon, 110km from Surat Thani and just 65km from Koh Samui.

Neighbouring islands include Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Phangan and also Ang Thong National Marine Park.

Map of Koh Tao

There is a wide selection of restaurants on Koh Tao to suit all palettes. Cuisine is generally of a high quality and excellent value for money.

Here are some of the restaurants and pubs we can highly recommend, frequented by our SJ staff, local expats and our customers.

Barracuda Restaurant & Bar

Barracuda Restaurant & Bar, serving fresh fish & seafood in the heart of Sairee.

Open everyday from 4pm to late for food and drinks.

Located next to The Queens Cabaret, Lotus Street, Sairee.

Some Sundays they have an amazing Sea Food Brunch which you must book in advance due to popular demand, also the raspberry mohiotos are a must...

check out their facebook group here

Hippo Bar and Grill

Hippo, a local favorite, specializes in charcoal BBQ steaks and juicy ribs. It has a varied menu with plenty for everyone to choose from including huge salads, Thai food, pasta dishes and good old home style deserts like apple crumble cakes, not to mention the best chicken fajitas on Koh Tao.

The Happy hour is from 10-12 where all cocktails are 99 baht including fresh raspberry daiquiries and mojitos. For those not looking to drink alcohol, the ice cream 'Hippo shakes' are thick and delicious.

On top of that, you get free WIFI and funky tunes. 

Check out their facebook group here


Choppers is Koh Tao's Premier Pub. They have superb live music every night and cover every major sporting event on our 16 LCD's screens and 2 giant projector screens.... With Choppers being ideally located in the heart of Sairee Beach.

Choppers is the most popular pub on the island. It shows all major sports events live on several flat screen TVs strewn across the pub, serves excellent food and has live music every night of the week.

Check out their facebook group here

Fizz Lounge Bar

Fizz bar really do have it right, they are right on the beach, have great tunes always playing in the back ground, its breezy, comfortable and great for sunset then into dinner.

They have a great selection of Thai and Western dishes including starters through to some great main meals. 

Prices for dinner are mid-range and its great value for money.

Check out their facebook group here

Fizz is the best place on Sairee Beach to watch the day go by into the evening with chilled music and a cold drink.


There used to be a time you needed to make sure you had cash money before coming to Koh Tao, these days are long gone now and money is readily available on the island. Bangkok Bank on Koh Tao

Koh Tao has three full service banks - Siam City and Siam Commercial Bank are open from 9.00am 3.30pm Mondays to Fridays. Bangkok Bank is open seven days a week from 9.00 am until 16.00 pm.

There are also numerous ATM's and exchange booths around the island so money is easily accessible on Koh Tao. In case you would like to get money from overseas, Western Union outfits can be found here as well.


Koh Tao currently does not have a full service hospital, but there are  clinics with qualified doctors. These clinics can take care of minor surgery and non life threatening medical conditions.Emergency clinic on Koh Tao

The nearest private hospitals are in Koh Samui and can be reached by speedboat in less than 2 hours. Evacuation by helicopter is also possible in extreme conditions.
Recompression Chamber

Diving accidents are easy to avoid. Make sure you get the right training, always dive within your limits and properly plan and conduct your dive profile. We minimize the amount of divers per group for safer control and supervision and EVERY ONE gets to use for free dive computers, which are much more accurate and safer than dive tables.

But however rare, accidents do happen and on Koh Tao there are  two companies that deal with decompression and diving accidents.

A monoplace chamber is located in Sairee, but can only treat minor diving accidents. The nearest full service decompression facility is in neighboring Koh Samui, the SSS Chamber. Decompression accidents are rarely life threatening and evacuations from Koh Tao are easily organized.

Scuba Junction is proud to be one of the first sponsors of the SSS chamber on Koh Tao and as a member our divers have following benefits through us:

All Intro Level courses (Intro, DSD and OW) 6 hour free decompression treatment, after wards extra hours (in case needed) are discounted to 5,000 THB (normal rate is 40,000 THB per hour).

Advanced courses and our fun divers have all treatment in the decompression chamber at the discounted rate of 5,000 THB per hour.

The amount of treatment you need depends on the nature of the problem, most cases need 3-6 hours of treatment.

Most travel insurances cover nowadays scuba diving up to a depth of 30 meters at no extra charge so it is worth checking out different policies before chosing your insurer.

For those diving reguraly, Divers Alert Network offers all inclusive diving insurances at an excellent rate.  DAN is active worldwide and has three main major hubs:

DAN Europe, DAN Asia and DAN Americas


Road conditions on Koh Tao range from basic concrete to interesting!

Most main areas of Koh Tao have concreted roads, but you still need to watch out for potholes on bad concrete and on dry days (the majority of the year) concrete can be covered with dust. Your wheels can easily spin and you can lose control and fall off even when driving slow.

The "interesting" roads can range from dirt tracks to roads that resemble a dried up river bed.

Because of the lack of drainage, dirt road conditions can change significantly after heavy downpours.

If you are renting any sort of vehicle we would suggest that you check conditions prior to going to the more remote areas around the island.


Not surprisingly diving is the largest activity on Koh Tao. Because divers are usually either in classrooms or underwater during the day, Koh Tao normally has very empty beaches which are ideal for the sunseekers looking for peace and quiet.

The great thing about Koh Tao now is there are so many other activities to do, for those not diving or having a day off diving there is something for everyone. Natalie Alderton the Manager / Partner of Scuba Junction loves to escape the office and gets envolved in any sport she can, her favourites are pilates, yoga, trapezing and fitness classes!

Also available to do on Koh Tao are snorkeling, rock climbing, tai chi, massage courses, thai cookery, meditation courses and watersports including wakeboarding and sea kayaking.
For those looking for night life, Koh Tao has regular beach parties.


Shambhala Yoga Centre - Blue Wind

Shambhala yoga centre offers a variety of Hatha yoga styles led by Internationally qualified and experienced teachers in a spacious peaceful setting.

All levels of yoga practioners are welcome! All equipment are provided on site. Shambhala yoga centre is located above Blue Wind Resort on Sairee Beach. Private tuition is also available.


No class

You can read more about it here

Phone: +66 (0)8 44 40 67 55
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Apnea Total Free Diving School



Located on Koh Tao, two hours north of Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand, Apnea Total has been opened since 2003. Monica, Eusebio and their Apnea Total instructor team will teach you the proper breathing techniques to feel comfortable and safe in the water.

You will discover another dimension where you can move around freely and become one with the sea. By training your body and your mind, you will experience new sensations without the aid of artificial breathing equipment.




Gym & Fitness Koh Tao 

Being on holiday doesn't mean that you cannot be healthy, come and visit our custom made air con gym - the only one on the island. With two floors, a generous amount of cardio machines and a weight room to suit every man and woman.

We even have our own protein shake counter and many many supplements to help you obtain your maximum goals for that day.

Hours of business are to suit the tourist, locals and divers, after all this is a divers island, visit our website here or email us direct with any queries

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Bowling and Mini Golf

A great holiday activity for all the family, mini golf, its really for everyone, so much fun, it's been done

really well and offer's a variety of challenging slopes, steps, bridges and even a castle to explore!

If that's not enough then try the bowling, there are no computerised machines here to count your scores...come and try your luck, you can also try petanque and pool or enjoy a beer at their bar if that's all too much.



Fairy Tao Wedding

A FairyTaoWedding, will do all we can to make planning your wedding as easy and fun as possible. We've done it ourselves and know it can be extremely overwhelming, and when you're thinking of doing it on a small island in Asia, the stress can increase ten-fold.... but it doesn't have to be that way!

During the early stages of your marriage preparation, we are here to answer all your questions about getting married in Thailand, explain the legal obstacles that need to be met and design the perfect wedding ceremony for you. As your wedding date approaches, we'll do everything to ensure your day goes seamlessly.


Bike and Car Rental
Motorbikes are widely available for rent on the island. Mostly semi and full automatic scooters and bigger off road bikes.

Driving license and helmets, or proof of prior experience in riding bikes is not required. Combine this with the conditions of the roads (see Roads section above), it is not surprising to hear, that there are many bike accidents.

Most accidents are the result of people falling off the bike. Repairs to bikes may be very expensive, so please check any damage on the bike before renting and read the rental contracts and more important, drive CAREFULLY !!

If bikes sounds too risky, stick to taxis or you can rent one of the Quad bikes that are now available on the island. These still provide the same enjoyment as a motorbike but are normally safer than motorbikes and are better suited to the bad road conditions.

Currently car rental is very limited, but sometimes available. Most people normally rent car taxis. There are many taxis on the island, both car and motorbike.

Car taxis usually have the word "Taxi" on the side, or carry a large number on their side. Motorbike taxi drivers wear red vests.

Motorbike taxis and taxi ranks can be found next to all the 7-Elevens on the island (Mae Haad, Sairee & Chalok Ban Khao).

Several resorts and dive centers offer free taxi service during the day, Scuba Junction is one of these.

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