Koh Tao: An Introduction

One of the most popular diving destinations in all of South East Asia, the tiny Thai island of Koh Tao provides great diving for beginner and seasoned diver alike

Koh Tao is a very special place to me. I lived there for six months of 2004 when I was doing my PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor course and teaching afterwards; and before that, I’d lived there for two months in 2003 when I originally arrived on Koh Tao to do my PADI Divemaster course. I’ve done literally hundreds of dives around the island, so I know Koh Tao’s dive sites very well. This is a multi part guide to learning to dive on Koh Tao and to its best dive sites.

During my time on Koh Tao, I also met a lot of people who’ve been living there for over a decade and seen Koh Tao transform from a virtually uninhabited rock to the hugely popular scuba diving destination it is today. Koh Tao currently certifies something like 7000 new divers a year, which makes it the most popular place to learn to dive in the whole Asia-Pacific region except for Cairns in Australia. Yet the great thing about the island is that it never feels crowded, like in Phuket or Pattaya or Samui – and for all its rapid growth, Koh Tao retains a real Thai village charm. In previous years Koh Tao’s reputation was always as a place to scuba dive with little other attraction – these days, that’s all changed. I’ve written a brief guide to Koh Tao for non-divers over on my sister site Travelhappy. Here I’ll concentrate on what makes Koh Tao diving great.

[Koh Tao article list]

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