Simple Life runs two resorts on Koh Tao, both situated along Sairee Beach.
Offers a wide range, from dorm rooms to beachfront villas at the south end of Sairee Beach.
Lying 70km from the mainland in the sheltered Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao is a small tropical island with a big reputation. In Thai the name means ‘Turtle Island’, due to the many hawksbill and green turtles that the early visitors witnessed.
Only 21 square kilometers, Koh Tao was previously used a prison then later by coconut farmers who traveled across from Koh Phangan, cultivating and settling on the island.
It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the first intrepid travelers made their way to Koh Tao, since which the island has grown in reputation and popularity. Once you visit the island you’ll understand why. (In fact, Koh Tao was recently featured in the UK Times Newspaper, as no.4 of Lonely Planet’s top ten must see destinations worldwide).
Koh Tao’s size, steep rocky terrain and isolation mean that it has remained much less developed than other tourist destinations in Thailand, remaining a tropical paradise island. White sand beaches, groves of palm trees, and dense jungle covered slopes, the scenery is spectacular.
But the main attraction for many visitors lies below the water. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, which are home to an enormous range of marine life. Snorkeling or scuba diving from Koh Tao you can see countless species of aquatic life, including turtles, stingrays, reef fish, moral eels, sea snakes, squid and more.
Further from the island, there’s a scattering of deep, isolated granite pinnacles which make impressive dive sites. These are home to Koh Tao’s larger marine species including giant grouper and sharks. You can see masses of pelagic species such as great and chevron barracuda, and occasional visits by the biggest fish in the sea – whale sharks.
Koh Tao is especially popular with young travelers in the 18 – 35 age range. The island has a relaxed, laid back atmosphere, great nightlife, and the level of development is just about right.
Nowadays, everything you need is available on the island – reliable electricity, decent accommodation, many bars and restaurants, shops and ATMs, and even a small post office. Yet development has been controlled so there are no high rise hotels, and Koh Tao retains it’s small island charm.
Most building has taken place on the western side of the island, especially around the pier area. The eastern coast of Koh Tao is much less developed, largely due to the steep roads over the mountain.
Koh Tao benefits from it’s location within the Gulf of Thailand, well sheltered and so experiences low wave heights and little wind. The climate is perfect, and we have an all-year round scuba diving and tourism season, only receiving a short monsoon each November. The island is busiest between late December and April, then again during July through till late September.
Koh Tao makes the ideal choice for a gap year scuba diving internship for many reasons.
Firstly it’s a fantastic place to spend time – vibrant, exciting atmosphere, stunning scenery and great scuba diving.
From a training and paid gap year working perspective, Koh Tao is a busy dive destination with a constant stream of divers and students. That means you get real hands on experience and there are plenty of opportunities for paid gap year work when you do qualify as a Koh Tao PADI Divemaster or Dive Instructor.
We’re spoilt with the scuba diving – all our dive sites are only a short boat ride from Koh Tao, and you’ll get to see masses of amazing marine life, exploring coral reefs, sunken pinnacles and even ship wrecks.
And there are plenty of other top-side attractions when you’re not diving, lots to do and lively nightlife when you do want to let your hair down!
Money goes a long way in Thailand, giving you a great value gap year, and you’ll get to sample the delicious spicy Thai cuisine, enjoy sunset beers on the beach in the evenings, and overall, experience an amazing time in a beautiful part of the world.
Whitney V | Canada
"that is where I saw my very first whale shark! By far, the best day of my underwater life, possibly my entire life :) ." Read more
Patty M. | Mexico
"one of the most amazing places I've seen in my life .... Oh man, the shenanigans we got up to underwater!." Read more
Lisa & Ash | ZW & UK
"made more friends in that short time on the island and had more fun than we have in 3 years in the UK rat race." Read more