First days on Koh Tao | The Top Ten
Finally getting round to updating you on what’s been happening on Koh Tao, in the gulf of Thailand! I’ve packed a lot into my time here already so I’m going to keep it concise is with The Top Ten. I hope you enjoy!
1. Simple Life Divers
Simple – without a doubt – hits the top spot. This is the dive school and centre which has supported me through my Emergency First Response (EFR), Rescue and Divemaster Training courses (so far). They’re professional, friendly and extremely helpful – I couldn’t recommend them more. Do you want to discover scuba diving? If you have any questions, please get in touch right here.
2. Yang’s Restaurant
Woop woop! I don’t know where I would be without Yang’s! These guys have fed and watered not just me, but all of my colleagues from pretty much the moment we set foot on the island. A bit of an institution; the portion sizes are generous and prices are cheap. With Thai, Western and pan-Asian options, it’s my all-round winner for anybody looking for good food on a budget.
3. Koh Tao For Sale
A Facebook group has been set up with island hoppers in mind, and I love it for the sustainability aspect. Pretty much everything can be saved from landfill – I actually bought peanut butter, pesto and a half bottle of shampoo for way less than they cost in the shops. From clothes to scooters, home-furnishings to dive kits and accessories, you can pick up literally anything under the sun from your neighbours on Koh Tao.
4. Zest Cafe
What a find! Zest is a reasonably priced coffee shop and sandwich bar with a wonderful selection of vegan/veggie/gluten free options and a high standard for every dish. Paninis, bagels, baguettes and fresh salads are just a few of the options available on their extensive menu. I’m loyal to their little cafe on the Up Road in Mae Haad, but I’ll be sure to check out the larger venue at the bottom of Sairee ASAP.
5. Koh Tao Cinema
Koh Tao Cinema is located in The Hacienda – right beside the crazy golf course, pool tables and sports bar. This dinky little room hosts a projector and eight large sofas. One cinema ticket is 50thb, but you can then use it towards buying a drink or food at the bar. The cinema shows a variety of films from new releases to kids shows, advertised on a daily basis via their Facebook page. If there is something specific you want to see, you can message them directly. So far, they’ve presented The Big Lebowski and a private screening of Chasing Coral – for folks at Simple Life – at my request!
Available everywhere on Koh Tao, a shake a day keeps the hunger away. Available in a wide variety of flavours and freshly made, they’re ideal to cool down and energise between meals. There are fruit smoothies, milkshakes, lassies (blended with yoghurt) and iced coffees to choose from. I’m particularly fond of banana and peanut, though the coconut shakes are great for re-hydrating and also super tasty! Just let them know if you want a little less sugar in yours – they’re automatically made with a generous amount.
7. The Queen’s Cabaret
A right of passage in Thailand, the ladyboy cabaret show is a must see, more than once! On Koh Tao the show starts every night at 10.20pm at the far end of Sairee. There is no ticket price to enter but you do have to buy at least one drink in the venue. Soft drinks start at 150thb and alcoholic drinks are around 250thb, which contributes to the cost of the show. Dancing, singing and acting are a big part of the performance, with a little bit of audience participation thrown in. Guaranteed to make everyone smile!
A bit of an obsession of mine… There are portable pancake vendors dotted all over the island. Quite like crepes, with savoury or sweet varieties, there are any number of fillings available to satisfy your on-the-spot craving. I’m a huge fan of the banana and nutella one, topped with a drizzle of condensed milk which takes it to a whole other level of delicious.
Hail hail electrolytes! The tap water on Koh Tao is not safe for drinking, so it’s bottled water all round. You can order large vats of water to be delivered to your home, or buy bottles at shops around the island… But it’s important to know that all of this water is straight H2O. The treatment process removes everything, including the salts, sugars, and minerals which contribute to healthy body and brain functions. Queue ELECTROLYTES! Returning many of the necessary nutrients to the water, these sachets of dissolvable goodness promote focus and keep light-headedness at bay.
10. La Pizzeria
I know pizza is a big thing all over the world, so I didn’t think I would struggle to find some. I did, however, expect to struggle to find good pizza. Coming from Glasgow and our incredible Paesano pizzerias, I have high standards which are hard to meet. La Pizzeria makes a strong effort. With a huge variety of toppings, calzones and delicious starters, the authentic Italian sourced ingredients and the best garlic mayo out are just a few reasons why I love this place. They also deliver on the island if you message their Facebook page, and if you collect 10 pizza box vouchers you get a free margherita, or 170thb off a pizza of your choice. Brilliant – more pizza!
Well that just about sums up my top ten stand out experiences of Koh Tao so far! Look out for the upcoming posts which go into a bit more detail about each of these features. If you have any questions about diving, Koh Tao, travel, or anything else, please drop me a message on my contact page, I would love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading!
Please check out my Instagram for more inspiring content.
Likes and shares are always welcome!