Is there any point in going to Ko Tao if I am not going to dive? I've heard how nice it is but worried it might be a bit too quiet for someone on their own.
I'm leaving Chiang Mai for Bangkok tonight then heading South. I'll be meeting up with a friend in 5/6 days, but have a few days by myself until then, hoping for somewhere by a beach. If its not going to be very easy to meet new people in Ko Tao I'd rather go somewhere else...Any suggestions?
Also- If I get to Ko Pha Ngan say two days after the full moon party, will it be a really crap atmosphere? And will accomodation be a problem?
.....I'm not sure there's any point in me spending all that cash learning to dive when I live somewhere landlocked and will probably never be able to afford to do it again.....
Liz, I can't speak for Ko Tao, nor for the cost out there, but I did my one and only scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef a couple of years ago and will never forget it. It's a totally unique experience - surreal really. The concept of breathing underwater is hard to get at first, but everyone who dived that day came up with a knowing smile on their faces which said it all.
There has to be something to see though - in my humble opinion - so if that's the case in Ko Tao, do it.
I've been to Ko Tao a couple of times and haven't scuba dived although I did do a lot of snorkelling.
I went with a bunch of travelling buddies and stayed at a place called Tanote bay on the far side of the Island from the main town. We had a great time, very chilled out, friendly, laid back locals, clean beach and sea with good coral and plently of fish just off the shore. However, i wouldn't suggest going there on your own - pretty much the only other people there were signed up with the Tanote Bay dive school, so you would probably feel the odd one out if you weren't diving. As for other places on the island i can't really comment, although the area around the main town did seem extremely built up, dirty and a bit of a building site!
If you're on your own and not intending to scuba then I reckon you should go to Ko Pha Ngan. If you want somewhere close to the action of the main party beach but with clean water and a nicer atmosphere then you should consider Had Yuan. This is a lovely beach (possibly the best swimming beach on the Island), it's only a ten minute boat ride from Had Rin (party beach), it's got plenty of cool, low key beach huts, a couple of bars and when I was there a really good mix of people - young, not so young, single travellers, couples etc etc.
I wouldn't really worry about turning up after the Full Moon Party - at least you'll be more likely to find somewhere to stay, won't pay over the odds and I'm sure things will still be lively enough for you.
Hope this helps
I agree with Mike, Ko Tao is very nice and quiet and laid back but on your own it might not be the best place. I went there with a couple of mates and we didn't dive but spent a few days recovering
Koh Pha Ngan should be fine two days after the full moon party. I think we arrived 4 days after it and we couldn't tell of any less atmosphere. Accommodation should be easier to come by too...
I have not been to Ko Tao for about 10 years.It was the perfect to mellow out and relax.Now I do not know.
You can meet people everywhere so it just depends where you want everywhere to be.I don't think the atmosphere turns on and off around the full moon parties.It all depends on what you want out of your trip and not what outside influences direct you.
Enjoy yourself and let me know how you get on.
Koh Tao may be a little laid back for travelling alone. It is a nice island but not too much to do if your not diving. If I were you I would go to Koh Pha Ngan. It starts to get busy the week before the full moon party, it gets harder & harder to find a place to stay the closer it gets to the full moon(without getting to far a way from the beach) Koh Pha Ngan pretty much clears out after the full moon party, it usualy takes 2 days for everyone to leave so you would be able to find a good, cheap place to stay. You should really consider going to the full moon party though, it's something to see, thousands of people all partying on a small beach. You could always go to Lamai too, it's a little more laid back than Chewang. You would meet lots of people and it would be fairly cheap.
I might be biased, but I think there is EVERY point in going to KT, even if not to dive. I wasn't planning to go there, nor to dive, and I ended up doing both (for almost a month). The diving is soooo super cheap compared to anywhere else in the WORLD that you would do it, so even if you're not sure I would say give it a shot. You will totally meet people there, esp in the summer - it's not THAT quiet (especially on Sairee Beach).
PLUS: It's waaaaaay nicer and more chill than KP. I think you're also smart going AFTER the FMP (avoid it, is the best advice I can give any traveller to Thailand). Check out lonely beach if you're looking after the FMP.
Go to Koh Tao! And if you're looking for good schools to take your open water, send me a message.