Set in the Gulf of Thailand, Koh Tao offers the perfect setting as a wedding destination with a great choice of luxury villas and resorts, gorgeous beaches, stunning viewpoints, perfect sunsets and an array of activities to keep you and all your guests busy throughout your stay.
We’ve covered daytime activities in our previous blog– now let’s look at what there is to do once the sun goes down!
You can’t come to Koh Tao without marvelling at our amazing sunsets. You need to be on the west side of the island where beach bars are plentiful; grab yourself a drink and relax at the beach-styled bar at Coconut Monkey, sunbeds at Maya Beach Club, deckchairs at Goodtime Adventures, Thai cushions at Blue Water, or beanbags at Fizz Beachlounge.
Food Glorious Food
In the words of Alex in Wanderland, one of my travel favourite bloggers, “For a tiny island, Koh Tao is not hurting for outstanding restaurant options.”
The choice on Koh Tao is diverse. You have plenty of options for traditional Thai food, and there’s also Italian, Spanish, Japanese, French, Indian, Canadian, Vietnamese, Korean...just about everything! The island also caters well for people with dietary requirements, but you should mention this before you order.
There’s restaurants to cover all budgets, from top-of-the-range dining to street food and with so many places to choose from, here’s the rundown of my personal favourites.
Get that little black number ready and do it in style!
Barracuda - Sairee
A superb restaurant that serves a range of food from fresh fish and seafood to meat, cheese platters and steak, with many dishes offering a Thai fusion twist. My personal favourite is the Fish & Chips served with mushy peas. They do special offers on Mojitos and their Martini cocktail is to die for!
The Gallery - Sairee
A restaurant, lounge and wine bar and, as the name suggests, a gallery for the photography lovers amongst you. They serve up an array of authentic Thai food, created with the finest ingredients and a healthy dose of love.
Shalimar & The Beer Masons – Sairee
Shalimar and The Beer Masons are two separate establishments, but right next door to one another. Choose from a range of real ales, lagers and ciders at The Beer Masons, and then nip next door and enjoy a range of Indian dishes from Shalimar.
The Whitening – Mae Haad
A stylish and intimate restaurant, lit by candles and tiny white fairy lights, with tables right on the beach so you can feel the sand between your toes as you dine. Cool sounds from the bar create a relaxed atmosphere, and with a diverse menu this restaurant suits all palettes.
Chocolat – Mae Haad
A quirky little French bistro with great décor and a relaxed feel. It has a limited menu (something I personally appreciate!), but what they do, they do really well. Some stock is brought in from France and if they have it, you must try the Tartiflette – gooey cheese over roasted potatoes – divine! The puddings are pretty darn good too!
These mid-range restaurants are some of the best on Koh Tao, and with huge menus (and portions), they cater for all appetites.
Run by a local Thai family, you’ll always receive a warm welcome. They serve mostly traditional Thai food, but also have a few Western dishes. Being situated on the main road going into Sairee guarantees that you won’t miss this place.
Located on the main road on the way to Chalok, Tukta has an extensive menu at extremely reasonable prices, and the flavours are fantastic. You can even get wild boar! Watch out for their Sangsom and coke mixes…they pour a strong one!
Sairee Cottage BBQ
If you want a good, tasty BBQ, look no further! Situated just off the main walking street in Sairee, with views out to sea, it’s a great place for sunset drinks, followed by a BBQ. The meat is delicately flavoured, and you’ll love the mini baked potatoes and salad. It’s very reasonably priced, making it one of my favourite places to eat on the island.
Save the pennies even more and eat ‘street style’. There are pop-up street vendors all over the island, and you can choose from Pad Thai, kebabs, burgers, BBQ, pancakes and even freshly-made doughnuts. One thing is for certain, you’ll never go hungry when exploring the island!
Banyan Bar, a locals hang-out in Sairee, offers the traditional Sunday Roast (pictured) with a choice of meats and HUGE Yorkshire puddings. I personally love the fact that their veggies are not just steamed, but are roasted, glazed, caramelised and loved – they offer up a hearty, tasty plate to die for! Don’t leave it too late though – with big portions and great flavours, they sell out fast! Banyan Bar also holds regular events from sausage eating competitions to live music to charity fundraisers, so it’s a good place to seek out something different and mix with the locals!
A little further South, just outside Mae Haad, the Hacienda Restaurant at the Koh Tao Leisure Park offers a range of Sunday roasts. With beef, lamb shank (my favourite!), chicken and a veggie option on offer, they’ve got all bases covered; but do make sure you book ahead of time as these roasts are very popular. Oh, and make sure you’ve got your baggy trousers on – the portions are enormous!
All Night Long
If you want to party, then there’s something happening every night; these parties are usually promoted with posters and flyers to keep you up-to-date with what’s on. The happy crowd never gets tired, no matter what moon is up; and most of them are on Sairee beach.
Enjoy cocktails and hear the best DJ's on the beach at Maya Bar, enjoy live music at Fishbowl or watch the best fire show at Bar Next Door. Whatever you fancy, be assured there’s never a dull moment when hitting Sairee beach.
A Hole in One
The Koh Tao Leisure Park has a restaurant, cinema, mini golf, bar, pool tables, table tennis, darts, pinball and ‘Footpool’ - it’s great fun for all ages!
Set in a lush garden oasis, their menu offers you a taste of home. With plenty of choices to suit all tastes and a good selection behind the bar, you definitely want to put this on your list of places to eat whilst on Koh Tao.
The cinema is intimate and comfortable, with aircon, a large screen and surround sound system that is both cool and atmospheric - perfect for watching a great movie. They’re passionate about their films and show a wide variety, both old and new. And best of all, it’s FREE! Follow Koh Tao Cinema on Facebook to check out what’s coming up!
Koh Tao Leisure Park also boasts an 18 hole mini golf course, which is floodlit at night. Putt across the Golden Gate Bridge, or through Stonehenge, or spin the wheel of fortune at each hole and challenge your friends to add even more fun to your round.
Grumpy’s Bar has pool tables, table tennis, pinball, a dartboard and, my personal favourite, ‘Footpool’, a giant pool table where the balls are footballs which you kick instead of using a cue! For the sports fans in your group who don’t want to miss a match, Hacienda also has a sports bar, so they can keep up-to-date on the latest scores and news. The Koh Tao Leisure Park is open from 11am (closed on Mondays).
Slippers On, Feet Up!
If you’d prefer to enjoy the home comforts of where you’re staying, then we still have some ideas for you.
Whether you’re booked into a private villa or a resort, ask about having a private massage – what could be more decadent than having a massage without even leaving your villa or room? Private villas will certainly be able to organise this for you.
If you want to cook for yourself, or you have BBQ facilities, then Koh Tao has five main supermarkets and an abundance of local grocery stores. You can’t always get everything from one shop, but that’s all part of the fun. Your villa will also be able to recommend where to go and may even be able to source it for you.
Private villas can also arrange for a personal chef to come and cook for you, whether it be a candlelit dinner for two, or for a group of you.
If you’re staying in a resort, then ask about private dining. A lot of them have secluded spots, usually with an amazing view, where they can set up a table and you can sit back and relax.
There’s an array of healthy eating restaurants and cafes on the island - healthy is certainly not boring here on Koh Tao! Look out for our blog coming soon where we’ll show you how it's easy to Live and Eat Well on our little island paradise.