Koh Tao - Mae Haad Port Town
The official port of Koh Tao. Many tourists and travellers have passed through Mae Haad over the years.
Originally a fishing town, the boats now take second place to a fleet of dive boats and a daily influx of transport vessels from the mainland. A catamaran (The Lompraya), three boats from Chumpon and several from Surat Thani and the other islands.
From the quayside up to the interior the road climbs. On eitherside are dozens of shops and tourist venues with overpriced goods. A 7/11, a stripmall and even a few banks now are crammed into the main islands town streets.
This one of the main offroad bike centers on the island. Quads, dirt-bikes are available for rent here. Also available is Honda sonic off-road version. Occasionally a dirt-bike for sale will appear, they almost always are 'off-the-books' and are illegal to ride on the mainland, but on Koh Tao it's laissez-faire most of the time. Be wary of visiting police check-points if you choose to buy one.
Koh Tao Facts
Population: 900 - 1800+ (variable due to tourism)
Size: 21 Sq. Miles
Distance from Capital by Air: 250 miles (no airport on Koh Tao)
Distance to Mainland Port by Sea: 50 miles
Distance from Capital by Road and Sea : 340 miles
Seasons and Weather.
Koh Tao is one of the more exposed Islands out of the three and during the rainy season can get flooded with rain. It also gets a rougher sea-state during bad weather because of its isolated position. On a positive note this means that the fresh sea breezes usually bring a cooler touch to the island.
Cool Season - October to February. Avg Temp - 24 C
Hot Season - March to May. Avg Temp - 32 C
Wet Season - June to late September. Avg Temp - 27 C.
Getting to Koh Tao
By Train: The State Railway of Thailand has daily departures to Chumphon. The best train to take is the 2nd or 1st class sleeper trains which travel through the night.
The express (EXP SP 85) train leaves at 19:15 from Bangkok and arrives in Chumphon around 5:00 am. In Chumphon there is a Koh Tao Cruiser office just outside the station where tickets can be purchased to Koh Tao. Prices depend on classes, train reservations can also be booked at our office on Khao San Rd.
By Airplane: With no airport on Koh Tao the closest one is on Koh Samui. You can take a boat from there. Tickets can be purchased on-line from Bangkok Airways www.bkkair.com. There are daily departures from 6:00 to 19:40. If you want to make the journey all in one day make sure your flight leaves Bangkok no later than 10:00. The price of a one-way trip from Bangkok to Koh Samui is around 4000 baht. At Samui airport tickets can be purchased for the Lomphraya Catamaran which then arrives on Koh Tao around 14:00. Tickets for the catamaran are 550 baht and they provide pick-up from the airport.
Lomphraya Catamaran: Has two departure times 8:00 and 12:30. Each trip takes approximately 1 hours, tickets are 550 baht and includes pick-up at hotel or airport.
From Surat Thani:
UPDATE: There are plans afoot to operate flights out of Bangkok directly to Chumpon. More on this as and when...
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