As borders open up and entry restrictions disappear, travellers and ocean lovers are finally making their way to the islands of Thailand for diving adventures. While the island of Koh Tao is known for its top-rated scuba diving courses, there are so many other things to do on Koh Tao. With new shops, activities, bars, and restaurants opening up after the storm that was Covid, everyone is sure to find something they love.
Enjoy Thailand’s Best Beaches and Snorkeling - with far fewer tourists
The beaches of Koh Tao have had plenty of rest, water, and sunshine. Like any of us, it means they are simply glowing! The secluded white sand beaches of Koh Tao are ready for your relaxation time, and their pristine turquoise waters are full of fish to play with.
- Sairee Beach – the island’s west coast beach used to be very bustling and busy, but is now a very chilled and walkable destination. Enjoy a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) ride or a tropical cocktail on the beach at sunset.
- Laem Tien – Head down to this remote nook of the island to find pristine, calm waters, You may even spot some lazy turtles or shy baby sharks.
- Chalok Bay – Enjoy the island’s quietest, most picturesque bay, with its beautiful resorts and shallow, warm, turquoise waters.
Can’t decide which beach to visit? Give them all a try by snorkelling on Koh Tao with Oxygen Tours, who offer beginner snorkelling trips to a variety of the island’s beaches and reefs.
#2 Try the Best New Restaurants on Koh Tao
Koh Tao offers some of the best Thai food in Thailand–in fact, quite a few new Thai restaurants have opened during Covid like ChuChu’s–but quite a few ex-pats joined the ranks of restaurant ownership during the quiet of Covid.
Along with world-class Italian Restaurants like Thaita and fine dining experiences at The Gallery, Koh Tao’s welcomed new additions are some of the island’s bests! Be sure to check out some of these newcomers:
- Charcoal Bay Wine & Grill Fresh seafood and a large selection of world class wine, all situated on Koh Tao’s sunset beach? Yes, please!
- Milk&Honey Koh Tao’s newest Middle Eastern restaurant has beautiful decor, friendly staff, and most importantly – delicious, flavorful food. You’ll find yourself coming back for more of these authentic, rich dishes.
- Smoking Dead Craft Bar and Grill – not only is this Koh Tao’s only Craft Beer bar, but it also offers a menu of fresh, flavorful Thai food and western bar snacks. Make sure to find them in their new location – on Sairee beachfront next to Fizz. It’s a great place to watch the sunset over a craft beer and a bite.
- High the Moon – This brand-new art house and cafe has amazing burgers and offers up an epic view of Koh Tao’s jungle mountains and beaches.
#3 Jump into Koh Tao Nightlife
Don’t be fooled into thinking Koh Tao has lost its party side after Covid, there is still a solid night out available if you’re keen. The difference is, with many of the staple dance halls re-opening their doors, post-Covid Koh Tao has also switched things up, offering stylized, colourful, and playful bars and lounges. Some new additions are:
- Boujee Buckets Feeling a bit fancy and colourful? Kickstart your night – or keep it going strong – with this upscale take on the classic bucket cocktail. Enjoy all the fun without the hangover.
- The Local – Hang out with locals and try your chance at pub quizzes, rock and roll bingo, and karaoke. This is also a great spot for live music in Koh Tao.
- Arcadia – Get out and play with arcade games, pool and air hockey tables, and gamer-themed craft cocktails.
- Sunset Beach Club – Mae Haad now has its own beach club to rival Maya Beach Bar, a staple of Sairee Beach. These newcomers have found themselves a great spot in the southernmost corner of MaeHaad beach where you can swim and enjoy tunes, you guessed it, take in the unmissable Koh Tao sunsets.
#4 Reach New Heights in Thailand's Newest
Rock Climbing Mecca
Thailand’s rock climbing scene used to be centred around rock climbing in Krabi, but Koh Tao is fast making its way up the list of climbing destinations in Thailand. Offering panoramic ocean views and a variety of rock surfaces, climbing clubs and companies are re-establishing existing rock climbing sites and are routing new lines every week. Be among the first to try them out!
- Good Time Adventures – get started with a course at the first rock climbing school on Koh Tao, where you can learn climbing basics and sign up to join their climbing adventures throughout the island.
- Koh Tao Climbing Club – come play for free with local fanatics who will show you what Koh Tao climbing life is really about.
- The Bunker Koh Tao – a climbing gym, hostel, and cafe with friendly staff and a local vibe. The Bunker is a great place to meet people and train for some of the outdoor routes around the island.
#5 Complete your Open Water Scuba Diving Course
Scuba diving shops are open and are keeping the standard of training as high as its ever been. Many dive centers have moved locations over the last few years with some of your favorites moving a bit closer to the beach, or updating their facilities for incoming dive students.
We’re very proud to say that Hydronauts has moved from the walking road in Sairee to a beachfront resort in Chalok Bay. We took a big step up, took on some new business partners, and moved into the resort that was once known as Buddha View Diving Resort.
Doing your Open Water course with Hydronauts means you’ll still receive the same tech-forward, innovative and fun training we’ve always had but in a very different setting. We’re now the proud owners of an on-site purpose-built training (and post-dive swimming) pool, beautiful hotel rooms and dorms, a new beach bar which we lovingly named Hydrate, a new dive boat (featuring the best bean bag cushions on the island), and a weekly barbecue to dig into the restaurant’s epic Thai and Western food.
Our instructors are hand-picked and highly trained and specialize in teaching nervous students and focus on the safest methods of teaching. We continue to teach courses in our state-of-the-art, regularly maintained equipment featuring wing and backplate configurations and long-hose, short-hose regulators.
So, why not give scuba diving a try?
No previous experience is required to participate in the 3.5-day Open Water scuba diving course. You’ll learn everything you need to know to explore the underwater world and your scuba diving certification is internationally recognised.
If you’re short on time, why not give our one-day Try Diving experience a go? You can also continue your education with Advanced Open Water Courses, Sidemount and Technical Diving Courses, Master Rescue Courses, Divemaster Courses and more!
So while you’re on the island, enjoying all the newness that’s come to Koh Tao after Covid, come dive with us at Hydronauts!
What are you waiting for?
Perhaps you visited Koh Tao ages ago and are wondering whether or not to come back. Perhaps you were meant to travel to Koh Tao but Covid ruined your plans. Perhaps you’ve been curious about becoming scuba certified and you’re looking for the place to do it. However you ended up at the concluding paragraph of this blog post, we hope you’ll come to visit Koh Tao after Covid. Our beloved island is waiting for you and has loads of things–old and new– to enjoy when you get here.
See you at the pier!