There isn’t much that needs to be said about Kho Tao; sun, swim, snorkel, repeat.
It took us quite a while to get there, but it was well worth it. We awoke at 4:30am Saturday morning in Butterworth, Malaysia to catch the 6am train to Hat Yai, Thailand. After crossing the boarder to Thailand, we had to wait an extra hour for the Thai train to leave putting us in Hat Yai an hour late. We bought our train tickets to Chumphon for 4:30pm arriving at 10:45pm. We would then find a room for the night and catch a morning ferry to Kho Tao. What really happened… train didn’t leave Hat Yai until 7pm. Train didn’t arrive in Chumphon until 3:30am Sunday. We waited in the train station for the ferry ticket office to open at 5am, bought tickets, caught the 7:30am ferry for a 3 hour ride to Kho Tao, had an early lunch, then took a taxi across the island to the east side of Kho Tao to Ao Tanote (Tanote bay), checked into the Poseidon resort a little past noon. So… 32 hours later, we were on the beach in Kho Tao. Whew! The taxi ride across the island was a blast for the kids… all Kho Tao taxis are pickup trucks with benches installed in the beds. We got a good video of the ride here.
The only issue we had during our stay on Kho Tao was the Poseidon resort. We paid for 2 nights up front… big mistake. The rooms did not have A/C. They only had 2 fans and 2 mosquito nets. We thought we would be OK with that… then night fell, and we were all miserable!!!! Nobody got any sleep that first night. 😦 Even though we couldn’t get the second nights money refunded, we still decided to move to the Diamond resort next door at a 60% increase in price (still a steal!) for an A/C room right off the beach! We ended up there for 3 nights. 🙂
Most of our time on Kho Tao? Swimming and snorkeling right outside our room. 🙂 Here is a video of us snorkeling in Ao Tanote, and some pictures below.
We did decide to take a one day snorkeling boat tour around the island. That was quite amazing. We first had to take a taxi (pickup truck) across the island, then catch the tour boat with about 30 others. We stopped at four different bays around the island to go snorkeling for 30 minutes at each bay. The trip included lunch along the way as well. The only disappointment about the trip was the final stop at a private resort island for 2 hours. There was nothing to do there. The “beach” had too much trash. We had to pay for 2 chairs and an umbrella to get out of the sun. And the food and drinks were over priced. Other than that last stop, the rest of the tour was very well worth it. Here is a video of the boat tour and some pictures below.
The kids really had a great time on Kho Tao, and so did we. Tuyet got a Thai massage on the beach. The girls got some cool necklaces to take home. And Tai learned to swim like a fish! 🙂
The last day we checked out after breakfast, took a taxi across the island again, had lunch, caught the ferry back to Chumphon, had dinner, then took an overnight train to Bangkok. (“We’re on the train to Bangkok. Aboard the Thailand Express. We’ll hit the stops along the way. We only stop for the best”. RUSH)