I spent a week on Koh Tao with my sister, and it was absolute paradise. We stayed in this little cabin only steps (maybe 10, to be precise) from the beach and the bright blue clear water. Our cabin was part of the Big Blue Diving school, and we got to stay there because I was taking my Open Water Diver certification. Most of the scuba schools on the island provide well-priced accommodation for people taking their programs, and the programs are so cheap on Koh Tao that it’s worth it to take a certification.
Besides me taking my course, we didn’t do much for our days on the island. We drank a lot of local beers, watched a lot of absolutely unbelievable sunsets, read on the beach and went swimming when it got too hot, made friends with the island’s golden retriever, and ate delicious food at cute beachy restaurants. Despite the bumpy overnight bus + ferry to get there and back, every second was worth it. We had an amazing time, did some bonding (especially when Lindsay came out on the dive boat with me to watch me go on some deep sea dives, then subsequently get sick in the water with all my gear on), and left feeling refreshed and happy. What we did not do was take a lot of photos of anything besides the sunsets.
Big Blue Diving: This school was close to the beach, had a lot of really cool instructors, and I felt safe and knowledgeable by the end of my course. Plus, we really liked our accommodation and met some cool people.
Portobello Bistro: You’re not coming to Thailand to eat Italian food, but in case the mood ever strikes you, this place is awesome. It’s a little fancier than some of the other places and has a lovely atmosphere.
Bang Burgers: This little hut on the side of the island’s main road serves up delicious burgers and fries. We came twice for the sweet potato patty veggie burger.
Zest Coffee Shop: This place was great for breakfast, we went several times and enjoyed it every time.
The Queen’s Cabaret Show: This cabaret was a lot of fun – high energy, amazing dancing, great costumes, and you get to experience something different. It’s free, but you have to purchase one drink to get in.
Note: I went to Koh Tao, Thailand in late April, 2015.