While you consider a Thai island, you possible envision paradise; white sand seashores, pristine waters, a relaxed tempo of life, and pleasant locals.
As somebody who has visited Koh Tao, I can say this tiny Thai island is simply that. Sadly, nonetheless, Koh Tao has gained a considerably unfavourable repute over time.
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In case you’re planning a visit to this a part of Southeast Asia, you might have heard some dangerous issues about Koh Tao.
So is Koh Tao secure, or are there many risks awaiting the vacationers who dare to go to? Let’s discover out.
Is Koh Tao Protected For Vacationers?
Regardless of what you might have been advised, Koh Tao is usually secure. There have certainly been numerous previous crimes regarding vacationers, together with murders (which we’ll clarify extra about later).
Nonetheless, Koh Tao isn’t thought of extra harmful than different Thai islands within the scheme of issues.
The explanation why the murders shocked each Thailand and its vacationers is that they had been completely remarkable. Vacationer murders are very unusual in Thailand, and there was a gentle decline within the murder price for the reason that Nineties.
Furthermore, the Thai islands have at all times been often known as secure, peaceable places.
Is Koh Tao Protected To Journey Now?
As of 2023, Koh Tao is a secure and in style vacationer vacation spot. Vacationers flock right here for world-class scuba diving spots, laid-back island life, and the epic social gathering scene.
All Covid restrictions from 2020-2022 have been totally eliminated, so that you gained’t be anticipated to point out vaccine certificates or do Covid checks. There isn’t a masks mandate, however you can see many locals nonetheless select to put on one when out in public.
Why Is Koh Tao “Harmful”?
So why does Koh Tao have a repute for being harmful and why has it been dubbed “demise island?”
There was a excessive variety of useless or lacking vacationers on the island, and the explanation why stays a thriller.
In 2014, two backpackers had been murdered. Two males from Myanmar had been convicted and sentenced to demise (Thailand retains the demise penalty however carries it out very often).
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Then in 2015, a French vacationer was discovered hanging from his balcony ceiling together with his arms tied behind his again, however the case was by no means solved.
The mysterious deaths usually are not restricted to western foreigners, although. In 2021, a Thai/Indian billionaire couple was discovered useless in a resort pool, which grew to become one other unsolved case.
These occasions have given Koh Tao a unfavourable picture that it can’t shake off. However in actuality, it doesn’t put vacationers off, and most of the people discover Koh Tao a peaceable paradise.
So whereas it’s good to pay attention to Koh Tao’s previous, it shouldn’t cease you from going there.
The Most secure Areas In Koh Tao
There aren’t any significantly harmful areas in Koh Tao, and all of the well-known vacationer spots are secure. Most vacationers keep in or round Sairee Seaside, Mae Haad Bay, Chalok Baan Kao Bay, Tanote Bay, and Shark Bay.
- Sairee Seaside – That is essentially the most industrial space of Koh Tao, consisting of an extended seashore, lodging choices for all budgets, and all of the facilities chances are you’ll want. There are nice eating places, bars, gyms, and therapeutic massage outlets.
- Mae Haad Bay – That is the subsequent city south of Sairee Seaside, the place the principle pier is situated. Thus, it’s a bustling space with the whole lot you want, together with dive outlets, supermarkets, and cafes.
- Chalok Baan Kao Bay – Positioned within the south of the island, it is a very chilled-out resort city with pretty accommodations and eating places. In case you’re in search of a soothing seashore trip, it is a fab spot because it’s away from the social gathering space but nonetheless shut sufficient to achieve.
Issues To Keep away from In Koh Tao
Koh Tao is kind of a celebration island. Sairee seashore, Koh Tao’s longest and busiest seashore, is filled with golf equipment and bars, and thus, it may be a superb evening out.
Nonetheless, it may also be against the law hotspot, significantly with pickpocketing, so at all times guarantee your belongings are stored secure, or depart them within the locker in your resort room.
One other factor to keep away from when out at evening in Koh Tao is medicine. You’ll possible have many males strategy you providing to promote you all types of medication.
Medication are unlawful in Thailand, and the punishments for getting caught with them may be very extreme. So please don’t take the danger; proceed strolling with out conversing with them.
Like most Thai islands, there is no such thing as a public transport, and taxis may be costly. Due to this fact, many vacationers select to hire a scooter throughout their keep.
Nonetheless, I solely suggest doing this when you’ve got earlier expertise driving one. Even then, take additional warning, because the street situations in Koh Tao may be fairly dangerous.
Taxis are naturally costlier on the small islands than within the large cities.
Nonetheless, Koh Tao taxis don’t have any meters or fastened charges, so the value a driver quotes you will not be truthful. What’s extra, some taxi drivers are recognized for making an attempt to tear off vacationers.
To forestall this, do your analysis earlier than your journey to know the typical charges. Furthermore, at all times attempt to negotiate a lower cost with the driving force. Bargaining is frequent and accepted right here.
Driving In Koh Tao
As a result of Koh Tao is a small island, many vacationers assume it’s a secure place to trip a scooter. Thus many extra vacationers are driving right here than within the larger cities.
Nonetheless, most vacationers who drive scooters in Koh Tao lack earlier expertise driving bikes or mopeds. This ends in an extremely excessive variety of street accidents, a lot of which lead to fatalities.
Whereas the roads are usually quiet and the island is simple to navigate, the street situations may be fairly dangerous. Sand makes many roads slippery, and dust tracks and potholes are customary.
Thus, I solely suggest driving a scooter in Thailand when you’ve got expertise driving one elsewhere, ideally some place else in Asia.
Koh Tao For Solo Vacationers
Many vacationers and backpackers who go to Koh Tao come alone. Solo vacationers significantly get pleasure from Koh Thao as it is rather social and extremely straightforward to satisfy individuals.
As well as, there are many backpacker hostels and events, so if you happen to’re touring solo and are in search of some buddies, you gained’t keep alone for lengthy right here.
Nonetheless, like wherever on the planet, it’s important to be additional cautious when touring solo.
Solely settle for drinks or rides from individuals you belief and be a part of the social occasions organized by your hostel slightly than heading out by yourself.
Koh Tao For Feminine Vacationers
In my expertise, Koh Tao isn’t any much less secure for girls as with males.
Nonetheless, it’s nonetheless finest to be cautious and belief your intestine intuition, whether or not touring alone or with a buddy.
Crime charges relating to sexual harassment and rape are usually low in Koh Tao. Nonetheless, this doesn’t imply you need to act like there aren’t any risks.
For instance, watch your drinks always and solely keep in public areas; don’t go mountain climbing alone or wander down a darkish alleyway at evening.
Koh Tao For Digital Nomads And Expats
In recent times, Koh Tao has turn out to be more and more in style with digital nomads and expats.
There’s now a large group of mid to long-term foreigners on the island, so if you happen to’re contemplating extending your trip to a multi-month distant work journey, Koh Tao is right.
There is just one devoted coworking house on the island, TAO HUB, which is located close to Mae Haad Pier. Nonetheless, there are lots of pretty espresso outlets and cafes you’ll be able to work from, together with a number of beachfront spots.
So if you happen to’ve at all times dreamed of working from the seashore, that may turn out to be a actuality right here.
It’s additionally vital to notice that legally you can not work on a vacationer visa wherever in Thailand. Whether or not this consists of working remotely for an organization based mostly exterior of Thailand stays a grey space.
So far, no digital nomads have had any bother dwelling and dealing in Thailand for a number of months.
Nonetheless, I like to recommend maintaining quiet about it, as you by no means know who could possibly be listening.
Listed below are a number of different precautions we recommend taking when visiting Koh Tao. Additionally they apply to different Thai islands and cities.
- Put on mosquito repellent – Mosquitos are rife in Koh Tao, like most of Thailand. Apart from being extraordinarily annoying, they’ll make you sick with Dengue fever. If untreated, Dengue fever can enter the blood and turn out to be life-threatening, so it’s finest to guard your self from mosquitoes if you go exterior. You’ll discover mosquito repellent sprays and lotions in any 7-Eleven or comfort retailer.
- Be cautious with road meals – Whereas road meals is much less widespread in Koh Tao than within the large cities, some small evening markets promote a choice of unusual and typically questionable snacks. Whereas making an attempt the native delicacies is an thrilling exercise, at all times be cautious as road meals may cause upset stomachs and meals poisoning for vacationers. Study extra by studying our information to avoiding getting sick in Thailand.
- Don’t drink faucet water – Faucet water is unsafe for consuming in Koh Tao, so solely purchase bottled water. All comfort shops promote two varieties of bottled water, filtered and mineral. The previous may be very cheap.
Koh Tao Journey Insurance coverage
Whether or not you’re solely visiting Koh Tao otherwise you plan to journey across the nation, journey insurance coverage is a should.
You might assume there is no such thing as a want for insurance coverage if you happen to plan to spend your days sunbathing on the seashore. Nonetheless, Thailand has many well being risks, significantly on the islands.
For instance, dengue fever (attributable to mosquito bites) may be very extreme and lead to a hospital keep.
As well as, numerous different emergencies can happen, equivalent to getting bitten by a venomous snake or catching a nasty case of meals poisoning.
Whereas we hope none of those occasions happen in your Koh Tao journey, having journey insurance coverage will present peace of thoughts and monetary safety.
It’s going to additionally cowl non-health-related points equivalent to misplaced baggage or flight cancellations.
We suggest SafetyWing for essentially the most complete and easy protection in Koh Tao and the remainder of Thailand.
What’s glorious about SafetyWing is that you just don’t should be in your house nation to take out a coverage; you’ll be able to join from wherever on the planet.
Last Ideas On Security In Koh Tao
Koh Tao will not be excellent. Like all over the place in Thailand (and the world), corruption and crime exist.
Nonetheless, is Koh Tao secure for vacationers to journey to? Completely!
In case you use frequent sense and be aware, you’ll have an exquisite, trouble-free time in Koh Tao.
There aren’t any extra risks for feminine or solo vacationers, and also you’ll usually discover the locals very pleasant and useful.
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