When I first stepped on the beach, I saw the beauty, but the true one was yet to be uncovered.
From the early morning arrival, soon the sun king rose and on that moment I saw it: as in the movies, as in heaven, as in the dreams; unspoiled, deserted, giving of joy Turtle Beach.
Things kept its pace when snorkeling, swimming with blue spotted sting rays, black tip reef sharks, napoleon fishes and other hundreds of beautiful creatures.
There it is! We found it, look no further! As I said before, you are the universe! Just be it.✨
Our favorite bay in Perhentian Kecil (small island).
First there is a short walk inside the jungle, helping the movie vibe, than you push the branches and reveal the landscape!
If not coming by the 3 jungle treks that end here, you can rent a boat from rm 15-25 depending from where you depart from.
The beach is perfect, white sand, lush greens, crystal clear water, corals, rocks and islets nearby perfectly arranged by mother nature.
The snorkeling don’t fall behind; colorful corals, wild range of fishes, sharks, sting rays and much more.
While there’s the possibility of meeting someone at the bay, the greater chance is to be there by yourself. We’ve been there twice, alone.=]
Adam and Eve
Our second favorite in Perhentian Kecil.
It may be your favorite, Turtle and Adam and Eve are close runners.
For us the deal breaker was the snorkeling, Turtle was richer in marine life.
As you can get by name, here was the original location of the Garden of Eden. Just kidding, but it might as well be.😜
Just like Turtle, the access is done by 3 jungle treks or by boat.
From here you can snorkel to the nearby nameless small bays.
The main stretch of sand in Perhentian is Long Beach, it is not the most beautiful though.
Perfect for those looking for night life and meeting lot’s of other travelers, not recommended for families or people looking for a quiet place.
There’s a lot of budget accommodation, restaurants, shops, bars and dive centers located there.
Unfortunately it may not be the safest place, there’s history of burglary.
Make sure the windows and door of you room is well locked and don’t leave nothing alone at the beach while bathing.
*There’s no facilities at the bay, bring water and anything else you wish.
You can walk to D’Lagoon to eat, or to take the boat to eat somewhere else.
*If you came by boat, you can fix a time to be picked up from the bay.
*Don’t leave anything at the beach, it can get stolen.
*Don’t step at the corals and bring your trash with you when you leave.
*The path in between Turtle and Adam and Eve takes around 10 min.
*Special attention is required towards belongings when staying in Long Beach.
Keep an eye on your drinks as well.
Humans thrive among nature, is our natural habitat, is our ecosystem, we are part of it! Don’t ever try to full yourself with something else, deep inside you know it.
That’s why when on vacations people go to the mountains, to the sea, anywhere with nature.We are energized by it, we connect, we belong.
Knowing that, I jump on the sea with love and appreciate everything that on reality are just part of me, of you, is the beauty manifesting.
On that moment i’m present, here, now, alive!
I wish the same to you, that’s why we try to share the beauty we see. Then so you can remember, that’s you! YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE!✨
Walking along the beach(unless you are on one of the secluded bays) you will notice that most of the hotels/shops offer snorkeling trips.
There’s different routes and schedules to fit all.
Prices don’t differ much between shops, the choice will probably be based on the spots you wish to see.
We chose: *Turtle Beach
*Lata Air Berani (Pure Water)
All located around Perhentian Besar.
Unfortunately the sea was to shaky in Turtle Beach, so we skipped that.
Our package choice costed rm 40 per person, there were options in between rm 35-70 based on the route.
This is the beach we were staying in Perhentian Besar.
Is the one you can see at the beginning of the video.
Known by all as Bubbles after the only Resort located on it, the real bay name is Tanjung Tukas.
This was our favorite spot on Perhentian Besar (the big island).
Koh Tao( เกาะเต่า ) means Turtle Island, dedicated to the island shape, and yes you can find turtles there as well!😉
Located at Chumphon Archipelago on the Gulf of Thailand, near by famous neighbors Koh Samui and Koh Phangan.
Spotting a turtle is considered a luck charm by Thai people, we saw one and they must definitely be right, because we felt blessed by that encounter.
If you’re a fan of snorkeling or/and diving there’s no way you won’t love this place!
But first you have to get there:
By Train + Ferry Boat
At Hua Lamphong Train Station you can buy a combo train+ferry ticket (Bangkok-Chumphon by train, Chumphon-Koh Tao by ferry).
I certainly recommend buying the ferry in advance(at Hua Lamphong) to avoid overcharge(very likely to happen) and/or losing the ferry and time once in Chumphon.
Soon as you arrive at Chumphon (nearest coastal city to Koh Tao) there’s still a half hour bus ride until the pier, the bus will be waiting for you and it is a free service included at the ticket price, it will bring you directly to the pier.
Enjoy your bus ride, it’s a beautiful way down the pier.
Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours.
There are 2nd class seats, 2nd class beds(air-con and fan fares) and 1st class cabin options available at the train, the trip will take around 8 hours.Best will be choosing an overnight train and enjoy your sleep until the destination, it also matches the morning boat assuring you won’t have to spend the night in Chumphon.
If you’re not short on time and don’t mind an adventure, train would be my recommendation.This is the way we’ve done it and we would definitely do it again!👍 Address: Hua Lamphong – หัวลำโพง
(Officially “Bangkok Railway Station” – สถานีรถไฟกรุงเทพ) Address: Hua Lamphong, Rama 4 Road, Mahaphruttharam, Bangrak, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: หัวลำโพง ถ.พระราม 4 แขวง มหาพฤฒาราม เขต บางรัก กทม MRT: Hua Lamphong station – Blue line, exit 2 BTS(skytrain): *Interchange with MRT needed- Asoke station – Sukhumvit line, interchange with MRT blue line Website(Thailand Railway): http://www.railway.co.th/home *In this website you can check all timetables, fares and seating options with pictures of all trains in Thailand.
By Flight + Ferry Boat
There’s 3 airports nearby: Surat Thani, Koh Samui and Chumphon.
From the chosen one you will have to take a bus/taxi/tuk tuk until the pier and then a ferry to Koh Tao.
Note that flights directly to Koh Samui are usually extremely more expensive than other destinations in Thailand, the reason is a private(and beautiful!) owned airport with a route done by only one company(Bangkok Airways).
If there’s availability from your departure point, Chumphon is the best choice.
By Bus + Ferry Boat
Multiple buses to Chumphon depart from Southern Bus Terminal during the day.The trip will take around 8 hours. BE AWARE that private buses from Khao San Road are NOT a good choice as multiple THEFT are occurring on those trips.
After arrival, you have to catch the next boat to Koh Tao.Ferry ride takes about 1.5 hours(there’s slower boats, if possible plan to arrive in time for the fast one).
I personally would rather use the train, as you will have a bed to sleep all the way and guaranty to board the fast boat on time. Address: Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) – สถานีขนส่งสายใต้ใหม่ตลิ่งชัน Address: Borommaratchachonnani Road, Chim Phli, Taling Chan, Bangkok Address in Thai: ที่อยู่: ถนน บรมราชชนนี แขวง ฉิมพลี เขต ตลิ่งชัน กรุงเทพมหานคร
Best way to get there is by taxi.
*For very short budgets, there’s a night-time ferry that leaves Chumphon 23:00 and arrives 5:00 for 300 baht(day time 1.5 hour trip will cost 550 baht).
Where to Stay/Where to Explore
There’s definitely more than one option when it comes to choosing a location, and it will depend on what you’re looking for:
The main beach in Koh Tao.
The two occasions i advise you to stay here is if you came specially to party or are on a strict budget.Don’t get me wrong, Saree is cute(with reasonable snorkeling!), but there’s other chin dropping locations that are just the whole package.
Saree is a place to visit after the sunset, walk around the shops, have something to eat and enjoy beach parties.
The main pier is located just besides Saree at Mae Had Beach.
*If you choose any of the options below, bear in mind that you will need some kind of transportation every time you wish to leave your hotel (see more about that in “Transportation” section below). It may sound like a bummer to you, but on my point of view the fun of Koh Tao is exactly exploring the Island beautiful landscapes. The distance between the bays is quite short(not enough to explore by walk), this is a small Island. It will guarantee you paradisiacal looks and snorkeling right in front of your hotel. If you rather stay right in the middle of the buzz, where most of the restaurants and parties are going on then “Saree” or “Mae Haad”(located besides Saree) are better options for you.
We were misled to believe we were booking a hotel at Jansom Bay. The beach front hotel we stayed was cute, we have no complains about it, but when we spend the day at actual Janson Bay we could confirm that it would have been the right choice for us.
The small bay offers stunning snorkeling, beautiful setting, quiet surroundings and is not far from city center.
There’s just one hotel there however, limiting a little for budget travelers.
If not staying at Jansom, visiting their private beach(200 baht per person until 17:00), even paying a fee is worth it.If on a budget you can arrive near 17:00 to enjoy the waters for free, still you have great visibility.😄
Beautiful snorkeling and for the fearless(and experienced swimmers in nice weather please!) the option to swim to the famous Shark Island(can be done by boat otherwise).
If you’re on a budget and is not an experienced motorcycle driver, it may not be the best option for you to pick a hotel here due the steep way down the beach(for experienced drivers it isn’t a problem).
Much wider than Jansom and Banana Rock, great for spending a day.
Unless something changed(the island is growing fast!), the path there by land is a truly hard one.Totaly worth it though(one more time, only for experienced drivers).
Another way to get here is by long tail boat(see more at “Transportation” section below).
There are only a bar and a restaurant there, placed in a way on this tiny bay, that makes you feel like you are in a secret place, everyone else there is silently sharing with you.
Again, great snorkeling, here we spotted a turtle and heard about many seeing sharks.
Large stretch of sand, quiet and peaceful vibe, over again enchanting snorkeling.
Yet another tough road, but much easier than Banana Rock one.
Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan is a small island just about 10 minutes far from Koh Tao, and is also a fantastic choice.
Although the access is only by boat i would recommend to stay 1-2 days there(depending on your taste) and then in Koh Tao. For that, you have to book in fair advance, we’ve tried around 3 weeks before our travel date and the hotel was already fully booked(there’s just one hotel at Koh Nang Yuan).
Another options is doing a day trip to Nang Yuan, for 400 baht(price for the boat, not per person) you can rent a private long tail boat for 2 ways.In this case there’s a 100 baht entrance fee per person.
This is a must see, make sure to save some time on your schedule! *No plastic is allowed at the island, don’t even bother bringing bottles of water because you gonna have to leave it at the entrance.
Other Locations (Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Ban, Ao Thian, etc)
There was some sites we didn’t have time to see, that were greatly recommended as well, if you get the chance to explore Mango Beach, Sai Nuan, Chalok Bay, Ao Thian (or any other lovely place) let us know how do you like it.✨
→Long Tail Boat- Great private and yet cheap option to explore on your rhythm.
You can ask at your reception desk for one, or find it yourself around Mae Haad pier for quite good prices(bargain in both cases).
→Motorcycle- Renting a motorcycle is easy(even if you don’t have a license) and pretty cheap compared to other Thai islands.
Is advisable to take pictures of your vehicle state to avoid damage charges not caused by you.If possible rent from the hotel you’re staying it will ensure more credibility.
→Taxi- If you don’t know/want to drive a motorcycle, you still can move around by grabbing a taxi(that are actually trucks you embark and seat at the trunk).This is an expensive alternative, specially if used frequently.
*We rented a motorcycle to better explore the island.It wouldn’t have been the same without it.
What to do
*Known as a diver’s paradise, Koh tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to take a Padi course (diving certification).🐳
*Snorkeling is another star at the paradisiacal island, including group snorkeling trips, snorkeling off the beach or even renting a boat to explore on your pace.🐠
*Beach parties are big at the main beach area, with acrobatic fire shows, relaxing Thai cushions placed at the sand, everything while facing the sea.🎉
*Chilling at the beach, enjoying the most delicious coconut water with THE view, what better to do?🌴
*Shopping for us have always been part of vocation experience, I adore to ramble around the local craft shops and buy some souvenirs, Koh Tao has plenty of little shops to please that desire.🎁
*Thai Massage is a must!Preferably overlooking the sea.🏖
*Delicious Thai food, as I mentioned before, is one of the things that make Thailand special.Is not only the beautiful nature, but the people, the food, the vibe.Thailand got it all!🌞
*Check the View Point and enjoy a drink while admiring the breath-taking scenery.
Please, do not step at the corals!It may seem obvious, but I noticed many people forgetting this detail when excited about the whole situation.Let’s upkeep the beauty that attract us to the place!💙
Would you like to explore Koh Tao? Share with us in the comments below!💙
Similan Islands – หมู่เกาะสิมิลัน
Our FAVORITE place in Thailand! A real paradise on earth with the whitest sand and the clearest water!
Amazing snorkeling experience with giant fishes, sharks, rays, and turtles.A top priority must see!🐠
This beauty is a group of 11 islands located at the Andaman Sea belonging to Phang Nga province.
Islands number 1, 2 and 3 are closed due to turtle hatching program and reef conservation.
While having lunch at the island 4 we got the chance to see hundreds of fruit bats at the trees just behind the seafront sand stretch.
Other wild animals you may see at the islands are the hairy-legged mountain crabs, lizards, snakes and multiple species of birds.
But first, you need to get there!
To Reach Similan
From Khao Lak:
All around the city, you will find tour booths and they all offer trips to Similan Islands.
Boats depart daily during high season(November-May).
Few companies get this trip done, they have from a full day to 2 nights tour options.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Staying overnight here is not as simple compared to the other Thai destinations.For more info on how to stay at the island check “Accommodation” segment below.
Tip: When buying your tours don’t forget to bargain.Prices can and will be reduced.
The nearest airport is Phuket International Airport.
From there you have few different options in how to continue your way to Similan Islands: 1-Getting to Khao Lak, then taking a speedboat to Similan. 2-Take a speedboat from Phuket.
2-Take a speedboat from Phuket- Group and private speedboat can be booked to Similan Islands in travel agencies around Phuket.
We bought the full day trip and deeply regretted.We highly recommend spending at least 1 night at the island.
Be aware though that there’s just camping tents and 20 basic bungalows with no hot water and electricity only at night time.Is a secluded paradise with a simple setting and only one small restaurant where the food is served at a community table between palm trees with sand in your feet.
If you looking for a luxury stay that’s not for you, in this case, the full day trip will fit you better.
For stay at the tents(available on island 4 and 8), the only way is booking your trip with a travel agent.That will be easily and much cheaper done in Khao Lak then other options.
If you plan on staying at the bungalow(available on island 4) that has to be booked thru Similan Islands National Park website for 1.000 to 2.000 baht, some travel agencies are able to book it as well but they will charge extra for that.Booking a bungalow has proved to be troublesome for times as the method is a little outdated.(Some things just worth the trouble😉) *Similan Islands National Park website: http://www.dnp.go.th/parkreserve/asp/style1/default.asp?npid=212&lg=2
Another option would be sleeping at an overnight boat tour more focused on divers(can be found at tour stalls in Khao Lak and Phuket).
And finally staying in Khao Lak and booking day trips are perfect for those who don’t want open hands of some comforts.
Similan Islands are closed during low season(middle May – middle October).
Enchanted with this paradise?Share with us in the comments below!💛