ABOUT KOH TAO SCUBA CLUB
From the moment you arrive at Koh Tao Scuba Club, you will be treated to a team of professionals that love to dive and excel at providing you with the best experience you could possibly gain whilst diving around Koh Tao. We have our own boat and since we do not share her with anyone we get to choose the dive sites we wish to visit on a daily basis. We provide you with a diving experience which is as close to boutique as you could possibly get, without being boutique (at the end of the day, if we do everything for you, you will never learn the correct way to manage your own equipment).
Since Koh Tao is so small you will find us perfectly situated close to the pier on the up road, therefore access to any location during your stay whether that is the heart of Sairee or Chalok it is only a matter of a few minutes walk along the beach. We have a vast array of accommodation available within the Mae Haad area, which are ideally placed, guaranteeing a peaceful night’s sleep away from the late-night bars. All you need to bring is a smile and a sense of adventure. We look forward to greeting you at Koh Tao Scuba Club.
ABOUT KOH TAO
During the years of 1943 and 1944, the island was used as a political prison with prisoners of the Borawadesh Uprising transferred here from Koh Tarutao. The prison itself was located in Mae Haad Bay in an area of about 35 rai. There were fifty-four political prisoners with fifty other inmates and fifteen wardens. According to the prisoners, the island was a living hell with its shark-infested waters, and daily life was a constant struggle for survival. Malaria was rife and they were often starved.
In 1944, the prisoners were released and everyone returned back to the mainland leaving the island deserted once more.
The First Pioneers
In 1947, twin brothers, Ta Euam and Ta Oh came to the island from Koh Samui. The first ‘pioneers’, they sailed here in a traditional boat with two masts and handmade sails made of woven palm leaves and cloth. They brought with them a supply of rice, and on arrival, they cleared some land and used what was left of the demolished prison to build a temporary shelter. Later, they brought their families here and settled on the north of Sairee Beach. Six years later, others mostly from Koh Phangan arrived here to start a new life. They lived simply and sufficiently by fishing and cultivating the land for coconut plantations, rice paddies and orchards. At that time there was an abundance of turtles, so many in fact, that at certain times of the year, the beach became black.
In the middle of 1977, the first travellers came to dive and explore the undiscovered and pristine underwater world. They arrived on fishing boats and the boats which then transported coconuts. In 1984, the first resort on Koh Tao was established in Thian Og Bay. Called Niyom Bungalows, the rooms were just 30 Baht per night. Since then, the island has changed from one of fisherman and gardeners to a place of tourism which now offers the infrastructure, facilities and choices of activities to serve about 350,000 travellers each year.
Information courtesy of Koh Tao, A Complete Guide. For further information go to
HOW TO GET TO KOH TAO
VIP Coach & Ferry
The Lomprayah company offer good service at an affordable price.
They have their own coaches & catamaran style ferries so the service & connection from bus terminal to the pier is seamless requiring little or no effort on the part of the traveller.
The coach will stop once for thirty minutes during the seven hour road trip to Chumpon, a good time to stretch your legs and grab a quick bite to eat before the journey continues.
The Lomprayah coaches do have on board toilet facilities & seats that do recline a little.
However they are not "sleeper" buses - as we are often asked this question.
Departure two times daily;
06:00 arr. 15:00
21:00 arr. 09:30 (next day)
Train & Ferry
There is a vast train network across Thailand & Thai train travel is relatively cheap compared with many countries.
Back to our topic of getting to Koh Tao by train & ferry, the best way to do this is to take night train 85 dep. at 19:30 from Bangkok - Chumpon as this connects perfectly with the 07:30 Lomprayah ferry Chumpon - Koh Tao.
The Lomprayah office is located at Chumpon train station & their shuttle buses are waiting for the passengers arriving with train 85.
Flight & Ferry
Koh Tao is in close proximity to three neighbouring airports Koh Samui, Surat Thanni & Chumpon.
Koh Samui Airport is "home" to Bangkok Airways & Thai Airways (operating from BKK Suvarnabhumi) and is the closest and most convenient for getting to Koh Tao. Bangkok Airways fly direct to Samui more than 20 times daily, some of these flights connect very well with ferries going to Koh Tao.
We've seen a boom in recent years of the use of Surat Thanni Airport due to the choice of high quality budget airlines that now operate from there.
Surat Thanni Airport have Air Asia, Nokair & Thai Lion Air (operating from DMK, Don Meuang).
Also Thai Smile (the budget subsidiary of Thai Airways operating from BKK, Suvarnabhummi).
If you wish to reach Koh Tao on the same day as arriving to Surat Thanni Airport aim to land around 12:50 (lunchtime) as then you can connect well with the 13:30 Lomprayah bus & ferry service to Koh Tao, you'll find this route featured in the trip search widget which will enable you to submit an inquiry with us to take this option.
Chumpon Airport has fewest flight arrivals, just two flights per day from Don Meuang (DMK) which are operated by NokAir.
One of these flights, NokAir DD7618 connects quite well with the night car ferry to Koh Tao allowing time to stop in town for some dinner, perhaps at Fame Tour or Farang Bar where you can also arrange a transfer taxi to the car ferry pier area to catch your ferry.
The airport is approx 1 hour from the Lomprayah pier & approx. 50 minutes from the car ferry piers (Tha Yang) just outside Chumpon Town.
Lomprayah & Seatran operate daily coach & ferry services
Seatran Dep. 08:30 arr. 18:30
Lomprayah Dep. 10:00 arr. 18:45
There are five direct flights daily to Samui with Bangkok Airways, three of which connect well with ferries to Koh Tao.
Lomprayah & Seatran both operate coach and ferry services
Lomprayah Dep. 07:00 arr. 14:15
Seatran Dep. 08:00 arr. 15:00
Seatran Dep. 11:00 arr. 18:30
Lomprayah Dep. 12:30 arr. 19:00
There is one non stop Bangkok Airways flight per day PG 266 that connects well with the pm
Seatran & Lomprayah service to Tao.
From Koh Phi Phi
Ferry - Bus - Ferry
Koh Tao can be reached in one day dep. 09:00 to Krabi / VIP bus to Donsak pier / Lomprayah to
Koh Tao arr. 19:00
From Chiang Mai
Air Asia operate a direct flight once a day into Surat Thanni which is priced very attractively although a private taxi (approx. 2000 baht) will be required to make the last Lomprayah ferry at 16:05 from Donsak to Koh Tao to arrive same day.
Another option is the Bangkok Airways flight PG 252 through Bangkok & onto the conveniently located Samui airport then Tao can be easily reached by the last Seatran or Lomprayah ferry options of the same day.
The airport closest to Patthya is called Utapao, it's approx. 30 minutes taxi ride for around 800 baht, or 200 baht in a minivan.
There are flights daily from Utapao - Samui with Bangkok Airways but unfortunately the flights land late afternoon so it's not possible to connect with a ferry to Tao on the same day.
From Surat Thanni
Lomprayah & Seatran companies both offer departures throughout the day which can include transfers to their piers at Donsak from town, airport or train station.
From Surat Thanni town centre pier area known as Bandon pier there is at least one night ferry each night.
There are several different ferries ranging from old to new.
One company called Ko Jaroen run every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
This is a good standard car ferry that we can recommend it has bunk beds and air con, their schedule is pretty much fixed unlike the other ferries who's departure days can vary.
Lomprayah offer two departures daily which can include transfer from train station or airport.
Dep. 07:30 & 13:00
Car ferries run every night except Sunday. The car ferries are good standard these days with bunk beds and A/C.
The car ferries depart from an area 30 minutes from town called Tha Yang Pier.
From Koh Samui
Our largest neighbouring island from which ferries start running at 8am through the day until 5pm, journey time approx. 2hrs.
Lomprayah operate using two piers in different locations, Maenam & Nathon so be sure to confirm which pier you are departing from with your travel agent.
Seatran pier is located in Bophut, just 10 -15 minutes (300 baht taxi ride) from the airport making it a convenient inbound ferry option to Tao if you have just landed at Samui.
On Samui Island Lomprayah & Seatran both offer Minivan transfers from hotel / airport to pier for 150 baht per person.
From Koh Phangan
Our closest neighbour, just a short hop approx. 1 hour away. Many of the ferries that travel from Samui stop on the way at Phangan.
The main pier that Seatran & Lomprayah use is located at Thong Sala.
The ferry companies here don't offer a minivan transfer service but there are many taxis, songthaews (open taxi with two benches) there to provide service to Thong Sala.