Nestling in the azure waters off the western shoreline of the Gulf of Thailand, tiny Koh Tao island is famous as a scuba diving, snorkeling and partying destination for adventurous vacationers looking for a taste of paradise. It has a few small resorts that offer Koh Tao destination weddings.
Getting to Koh Toa
Travel options to the island from Bangkok for your beach wedding are numerous, suit all pockets and involve various combinations of land, air and sea. Many travel agencies based at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport offer combo trips to Thailand’s popular southern islands, and taxi drivers based at the airport know which city centre agencies give the best service, although the flight/ferry option involving Koh Samui’s airport is the fastest way to go.
Bangkok Air and Thai Airways both fly to Koh Samui, connecting with morning ferries to Koh Tao or the one afternoon boat which leaves from Nathon Pier at 17:00. However, these two carriers are the most expensive. The budget flight option from Bangkok’s secondary airport, Don Muang, is offered by Nok Air with flights to the southern coastal town of Chumphon and its bus/ferry connection with the island. Another option is to take the Air Asia flight to mainland Surat Thani for its ferry service.
The true value for money option and a good way to see something of rural Thailand involves taking a comfortable VIP coach from Bangkok via one of two specialist agencies, Lomphrayah or Songserm. Both companies offer an online booking service for combination coach/ferry trips taking around nine hours from start to arrival on Koh Tao. The long way round, but the cheapest form of travel, is by sleeper train from Bangkok to Chumphon for the 05:30 early ferry.
Diving and other things to do in Koh Toa
Divers based on Koh Samui or Koh Phangan and wishing to vary their experience on Koh Tao’s famous dive sites can take a day trip by catamaran or book an all-inclusive diving charter. Travel times to the island vary between one and three hours, depending on the speed of the boat.
Tiny Koh Tao is given over to a combination of watersports and the hedonistic delights of parties, food and the inevitable buckets of inexpensive alcoholic concoctions. The best way to get around is by bike or scooter, and local boats ply the luscious, tropical coastline and call at the best dive sites. Metalled roads are a rarity, and most rental scooters are equipped with off-road tyres suitable for the rough, uneven dirt trails. The most spectacular spots on the island are only accessible on foot.
A variety of accommodation and entertainment venues to suit all pockets can be had, from small beachside resorts, eatieries, bars and guesthouses up to luxury all-inclusive spa accommodation. The island is popular with party people and, although its full-moon events are suspended at present, it’s hoped by locals and visitors alike that this is just a temporary glitch. In any case your wedding may just perfect in this tropical island.
For such a tiny island, Koh Tao offers an amazing selection of dive sites, with its equally impressive number of dive schools giving both free diving and scuba diving instruction at all levels. With the exception of the month of November, diving here is great all year round, with visibility often exceeding 40 metres and a wide range of watery species inhabiting the reefs. For those equally interested in marine conservation, a major attraction is a private underwater tour of nearby Ang Thong Marine Park, especially when it’s combined with a wedding and honeymoon package.
Other island activities include trekking and walking in the tropical jungles covering the hillsides, and outdoor adventure lovers will find abseiling, bouldering, rock climbing, mountain biking, rope routes, cliff jumping and other exciting challenges. Less strenuous pursuits offered include island cruising, Thai cooking classes, massage and yoga retreats, sailing, fishing and just lazing around on Sairee Beach enjoying the warmth and sunshine with new friends.