Koh Tao is amazing! I fell head over heels for this small island in the Gulf of Thailand – on the Western Shore.
The island has a worldwide reputation as a scuba diving mecca and attracts visitors from everywhere whom when arrive, decide the turtle shaped island is a slice of paradise and they remain here indefinitely.
And it didn’t take long to understand why. The Island has been lucky enough not to be overcrowded with tourists, tuk tuks and red bull singlets I guess partly because of the distance, time and non-convenience (for some) to reach the small island.
Deserted beaches, hills filled with coconuts and butterfly’s, scooters are the form of transport, local casual restaurants and bars lined with cushions and candles along the beach , crystal clear aqua water and over 20 dive sites to choose from.
Koh Tao marine life is very diverse and is home to over 300 specifics of fish; anemone fish, angelfish, banner fish, barracuda, batfish, butterflyfish, pufferfish, scad, scorpionfish, sharks, sting rays, triggerfish, turtles and the Whale Shark just to name a few.
We were so fortunate to see so many schools of fish, rays, turtles, sharks, and barracuda all within one swim straight off the beach – no diving equipment required at all, it truly was amazing!
Unfortunately the reef as with many of the reefs around the world are being impacted by environmental issues which are having a devastating effect of the reef. This was visible with some parts of the coral reefs within Koh Tao especially the deeper reefs which was sad considering the importance of the island for many marine life such as the giant clams low population, breeding turtle programs and whale shark migrations.
Some of the factors that are affecting Koh Tao are; the reef was impacted in 2010 by mass colour bleaching due to high temperatures which affected over 90% of the corals in Koh Tao, anchoring(unfortunately we witnessed more times than we would have liked to), illegal fishing, over fishing (at night the skies lit up green like the northern lights – except this affect was from fishing boats) over population on the island (people overstaying visas and locals moving) and waste from the Island not being disposed of correctly.
Many people still come to Koh Tao to see the natural beauty and many also stay on to help rebuild what has been lost already. Koh tao is home to many marine conservationists who are researching, raising awareness and taking action to keep and reflourish Koh Tao as a paradise above and below the water.
I hope everyone is able to enjoy this paradise for years to come!
leave me a comment, would love to hear your thoughts…