Taxis on Koh Tao to be fair aren't cheap
One of the reasons for this is they do not have meters and all prices for journeys are now fixed and for sure must be amongst the most expensive in the world per km.
What this means when you arrive at Koh Tao is that unless you have also booked in to go diving with Davy Jones Locker and have pre arranged your free pick up from the pier (you can call the dive shop office on 077 456 604 if you're reading this on the ferry on your way here) then you will either need to take the 20 minute walk along the beach road from the pier to the Guesthouse or take a taxi from the pier. The price to get a taxi from the pier to Sairee is 440 baht, but that price is for the taxi regardless if there is 1 or 8 people on it, so if you are heading here and planning on getting a taxi it's worth asking other travellers if they are also heading to Sairee and sharing the taxi, as otherwise all of the taxi drivers will be happy to take 1 or 2 customers each for the same price.
What's Koh Tao like, is it just for divers?
Koh Tao used to be a place that people only ever visited if they wanted to come diving, also to get here it only used to be accessable by coming by boat from Surat Thani, Samui or Phangan, so it was a bit of a trek to get here. Now however with ferries also between Koh Tao and Chumphon, Tao is now either the first of the 3 islands here that people arrive at when travelling down from Bangkok or the last island they get the chance to see after visiting Samui or Phangan on their way back up to Bangkok.
Is breakfast included in the price?
Sorry no, but breakfast isn't far away, you can get breakfast either in the DJL Restaurant where you get a discount on food when you show your room key when ordering and is almost opposite the hostel or head down to the New Heaven bakery a further 30m away.
Is there a free taxi from the pier?
No sorry, unless you are going to be diving the the DJL dive school as then we can arrange for you to be collected by their taxi for free, if not then a taxi from the pier should only cost you 50-100 Baht,if you are planning on diving with DJL then let either ourselves or the dive school know your ferry arrival details in advance to arrange your pick up.
Can I bring 'guests' back to the room?
No, non guests of the hostel aren't permitted into the rooms.
Are bedding & towels included?
You'll be given your bedding when you check in and then it will be changed on a request basis. A towel and a blanket are included in the room cost and you can change your towel on request also, and blanket if you are staying for a while.
What happens if I lose my key?
There is someone onsite 24hrs a day and so you will be able to get in, however the loss of your key will mean you will lose your key deposit of 1,000 Baht.
Will you hold my booking?
We'll hold pre booked beds up until 8pm to allow for people arriving on the late Lomprayah ferry coming from Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, then all unpaid for beds will be made available for rental. You will be charged for the balance of your first nights stay if you either fail to turn up for your booking or do not give 24hrs notice before cancelling your booking. If you are going to be arriving late or want us to hold your booking as you are arriving from the night boat and want to be able to check in as soon as you arrive then let us know if possible and then the reception staff can be informed to expect you to arrive.
Do you take credit card payments?
Not at the moment, possibly in the future.
Is there a locked door/curfew policy?
No you don't have to be back by any time, all we do ask is that noise be kept to a minimum after 11pm as many people who are diving early in the morning need to get to sleep early, also as a courtesy to our neighbours.
Most people enter Thailand by flying into Bangkok. From Bangkok there are three main options for getting down to Koh Tao island.
• The fastest but most expensive route: Fly to Samui.
You can pickup flights from Bangkok direct down to Koh Samui from around 4,000 baht, depending on the season and the time of the flight. From Samui take one of the high speed ferries across to Koh Tao island (Lomprayah Catamaran or Seatran) - these cost about 550 baht per person and take about an hour and forty five minutes.
If you shop around you may even be able to get a flight direct from your country of origin to Samui, cutting out the Bangkok bit. You can book flights on the internet directly with Bangkok Air.
- If you want to get to Koh Tao on the same day as you arrive in Samui ensure you have a flight arriving by 3:30pm as the last ferry over to Koh Tao departs Samui at 5pm. This is a Lomprayah ferry, however Lomprayah aren't listing this ferry on their website at present. You can book this through the 12Go.asia website.
• Flying to Chumphon or Surat Thani
Budget flights from Bangkok to Chumphon are available through the Nok Air company who also offer flights to Surat Thani.
• The compromise : Train to Chumphon
Thailand has a great rail service. From the airport you can get a meter taxi to the main Hualamphong train station in town (costing about 400 baht) or you can now take a train from the airport to the main train station. From Hua Lamphong train station you can catch a comfortable overnight train down to Chumphon. You can get a bed in an air conditioned carriage for less than 1,000 baht, waking up fresh at your destination in the morning!
From Chumphon you take a high speed ferry to Koh Tao island the same morning. This will take about an hour and forty five minutes to get to Koh Tao, however be aware that the train will arrive in Chumphon usually between 4 and 5am and then there is a 30 minute transfer to the pier in Chumphon and then the ferry doesn't depart until 7am (during high season the Lomprayah company do often put on an additional earlier ferry).
You often have to book a couple of days ahead especially around weekends & holidays and you have to book at least one week in advance when booking trains through the 12Go.asia website, if you are traveling in less than a weeks time then you can also drop into a train station to see if they have tickets available.
• The budget route : Bus from Bangkok
Even this isn't too bad. From the airport get a meter taxi to Khao San Road or a train to close to Khaosan Road and then take a metered taxi from there. The Lomprayah and Seatran combined bus and boat tickets depart from around Khaosan Road and will take you directly to Koh Tao. This will be an overnight bus ride to Chumphon or Lang Suan in the case of Seatran, then boat the rest of the way and should cost around 1000 baht all in.
Every travel agent will be able to book these tickets in for you or you can book it in again via 12Go.asia.
If you are coming from the south or the islands on the west coast
You can catch a ferry from Surat Thani, or just outside at Don Sak pier. You can catch either a ferry with the Songserm Express company, which depart at 10:00 or take the Lomprayah service from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, again you can book this in via 12Go.asia. There are also night boats that run providing the weather isn't too bad which depart at 23:00. The cheapest option is the night boat, followed by the somewhat misleadingly named Songserm Express which takes about 6 1/2 hours. The Lomprayah catamaran service is the quickest but also the most expensive option, but is our recommendation for this trip. If you are planning on traveling through the islands and then onwards up to Bangkok then enquiring about the Lomprayah's Buffet Ticket is worthwhile as you will save money and be able to stop off at Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Hua Hin on your way to Bangkok.
Booking in advance online links
If you would like to book your travel arrangements before arriving in Bangkok, which is advisable especially in high season and around the Full Moon parties on Koh Phangan.
You can book in all Train, Bus & Boat tickets via 12Go.asia they will give you up to date availability and they don't change their prices around the Full Moon Parties.
Remember however you must book 84 hours in advance for train tickets. If you are booking on the 12Go.asia website you can see the different schedules for ferries and buses etc You can also book in the Seatran bus and ferry tickets just 12 hours in advance and the Lompray bus and ferry tickets just 48 hours in advance through the 12Go.asia
- As general travel advice ensure to keep your valuables on you in your hand luggage as there have been numerous reports of people having things stolen especially on the overnight buses used by the Songserm company.
Yes there is scuba diving going on every day, but there are also plenty of parties and other events happening and here are some of them.