Koh Tao is a small island of approximately 21 sqm km and receives over a 100,000 visitors per year. Its shape looks like a peanut, west coast is full of tourists and beaches. Ferry Pier is also on this side.
Peak seasons in Ko Tao are from December to March and July to August. It is a quite popular destination amongst Thais also, so it can be nearly fully booked on Thai holidays.
Koh Tao is famous in terms of scuba diving and snorkeling. Also offers some hiking, rock climbing and bouldering. The most popular place for tourists is Sairee on the West coast, which has a white sandy beach of 1.7 km interrupted only by a few huge boulders and a scattering of medium budget resorts and restaurants.
Chalok Baan Khao, to the south of the island is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative for those wishing to escape the crowds. A multitude of beautiful granite boulders, which nestle both in the forests and on the beaches of Ko Tao, attract a growing number of climbers who visit each year to enjoy the adventurous aspect of their sport.
Koh Tao is less developed than Ko Samui and Ko Pha Ngan, but has become increasingly popular especially with the mid-20's backpacker crowd in search of relatively inexpensive scuba diving certification. For the last two years the demographics of the island has seen an age increase with many of the visitors that first visited the island over ten years ago are now returning with their families.
There are more modern resorts on the island, price range between 1500 Bht to over 9000 Bht per night.
Most of the budget resorts are still bungalow-bamboo-style, not hotel/resort style. As of 2007 there is a trend to more upmarket resorts which do not concentrate singularly on diving.
Koh Tao is increasingly becoming a mecca for game fishermen on a budget. Species targeted include marlin, sailfish, king mackerel, cobia, baracuda, trevally and snapper.
Diving conditions have improved dramatically in the past few years with the continuing education of locals by the dive community. The El Nino weather pattern of 1997 caused a warming of the waters which resulted in the loss of a great deal of the shallow corals near the island. Since then, the recovery has been swift and dramatic. And with help by island conservation groups the island environmental outlook is strong.
Chumpon Pinnacle, a dive site to the west of the island has a reputation for divers in search of both whale sharks and bull sharks. However, because of the warmer water temperatures over the last year a great amount of bull sharks have migrated to cooler waters.