11 Oct Koh Tao For Non-Divers
Koh Tao is the diving capital of Thailand. Travelers from all corners of the world come here either to get Open Water Certified or to just spend a few days Scuba Diving.
Here’s a confession: I loved Koh Tao but I hated Scuba Diving. The two days I had to stay in bed after getting certified because of a terrible ear infection and relentless sea sickness (on land) didn’t help diving’s case. I hated it so much that I may never want to do it again. But those two things can’t be true at once, you may think. I can’t like this little island on the Gulf of Thailand and simultaneously hate what it’s famous for. Well, I can tell you, skeptical reader, Koh Tao for non-divers is still super fun. And I’m about to tell you why.
Diving’s much friendlier cousin, snorkeling, is the perfect way to explore Koh Tao’s underwater world. While breathing unfiltered oxygen that goes straight through your brain,, and going so deep underwater that your ears feel like they’re gonna burst is my idea of a nightmare, snorkeling is gentle and it still gives me the opportunity to experience what lies beneath Koh Tao´s clear waters.
We signed up for a snorkeling cruise with Good Time Adventures and it was epic. We snorkeled in plenty of spots on the West Coast, and Koh Tao lived up to its underwater paradise reputation.
But the best snorkeling spot, in our opinion, is Shark Island. It’s an abyss down there, and the visibility was near perfect so it was hard not to feel insignificant in all that magnificence. It’s worth the trip for the corals alone, but there is plenty of marine life to keep you entertained. We weren’t lucky enough to see any black tip sharks, but they say it’s a great place to run into them.
After going underwater, why not go fly afterwards? One of the coolest experiences you can have in Koh Tao is taking a trapeze class (or ten). Gemma, the owner and teacher is amazing. She’s so good that both Isaac and I managed a catch on the first class. We’re thinking of sending our updated cv’s to Cirque du Soleil.
It had been a while since I’d felt such an adrenaline rush. After my first try I couldn’t stop shaking. Don’t worry, in my case that’s a good thing. It’s my body’s way of reminding me that I’m alive. I thought the nerves would wear off after my first try, but each tine I climbed the ladder up to the platform, the sneaky bastards snuck up on me again. We first practiced letting go of the trapeze with a back flip, then we went over the motions of a catch but without a catcher, and finally it was time to try it for real. I never thought I’d be able to do what I did on my first day.
Believe me when I tell you that your body will speak to you the day after your flying trapeze class. You’ll discover muscles you didn’t even know existed. And I’ve got the best way to fix that: Aurori Massage.
I told you in this post that I’ll never, in my right mind, have a Thai massage again. But I never said anything about a coconut oil massage in Thailand. It’s evidently not the same thing.
Once you’re already active, why stop? There’s no better place to learn Muay Thai than in Thailand, and there’s no better place in Thailand than Koh Tao’s Island Muay Thai. We went every day for a week and we didn’t want to leave. The coaches are friendly and tough, especially P Toon. He made my workouts fun and exhausting, and he also challenged me to get better. After laying around on the beach all day, it feels great to get your body moving once more. And trust me, Muay Thai is crazy fun.
After all that kicking and punching, your whole body will scream in delightful protest. You love exercise pain too, right? It’s not just me? The best way to treat your body to some well-deserved stretching and mindful relaxation is to take yoga classes. We found that the best studios in Koh Tao are Ocean Sound and Grounded.
Koh Tao’s sunsets are magical. The sky comes alive with a million dessert-y looking colors. Watching them is an activity on its own.
Walking on the beach is a great way to watch Koh Tao’s sunsets, but an even better way is to head out into the ocean on a SUP. The waters are smooth and clear and the marine life is abundant, so you’re guaranteed to be impressed.
There are great places to go Kayaking in Koh Tao but out favorite was from Sai Daeng Beach to Shark Island. It’s also pretty convenient to tie you kayak and just jump in the water for some amazing snorkeling.
Koh Tao also has some great hiking trails, a cool and relaxed vibe, and pretty good restaurants. So, yeah, even if you’re not up for scuba diving, Koh Tao may still be the perfect place for you, as it was for me.