top of page

Unlocking the Secret Wisdom of Koh Tao

A red sunset on the beach in Koh Tao

If you have visited Koh Tao or are lucky enough to stay here long-term, read on to learn the most common Koh Tao problems, Koh Tao lies people tell themselves, and the ultimate wisdom of this marvelous island.

Koh Tao Problems...

  1. What day is it today?

  2. Where should I eat?

  3. What should I drink next?

  4. Where is my motorbike?

  5. Who can I ask for a ride to my motorbike?

  6. Who has some mosquito spray?

  7. Where are my flip-flops?

  8. Where are the free BBQs tonight?

  9. Which ATM is working?

  10. How do I get all of the little ants out?

  11. Where can I rent a room?

  12. What is this weird bump/rash on my body?

  13. Where can I get food after 9 pm?

  14. Why is 7-11 sooooo far away right now?

  15. Does anyone know what time the power will come back on?

A motorbike with a laundry basket on the back among other motorbikes in Koh Tao

Koh Tao Lies...

  1. I'm never drinking again.

  2. I will dive tomorrow morning.

  3. Don't worry, I'm clean.

  4. Just one last drink.

  5. It hardly ever rains in Koh Tao.

  6. I will never ride a motorbike drunk (PSA- Please don’t!)

  7. I’m sure these are my flip-flops.

  8. I'm just here to do my open water.

  9. Don't worry, it's not the season for trigger fish attacks.

  10. I leave tomorrow.

A woman wading barefoot in the ocean in Koh Tao

The Wisdom of Koh Tao...

  1. Wash your feet before getting into bed.

  2. Raw lime works great to get rid of smelly armpits.

  3. If you go diving at Southwest, there will be a whale shark at Chumphon. And vice versa.

  4. When considering renting a place long-term, always test the bum gun strength first.

  5. Near the pier, there is the up street, the down street, and the up/down street. If you are riding a motorbike, learn this as soon as possible to avoid getting yelled at (probably by me) that you are going the wrong way.

  6. Respect the locals. You are a guest on their island.

  7. Headstands on the beach are usually a terrible idea.

  8. When meeting someone at 7-11, make sure you specify which 7-11 you have in mind.

  9. Today's crisis is tomorrow's laughter.

  10. Life in Koh Tao is full of chapters, not endings. The best people always come back.

A colorful sunset on the beach in Koh Tao

This list was compiled by a group of friends in Chalok. Feel free to comment or add to this post (positive vibes only, please).

I'll see you when you see me!

A woman scuba diver with a torch

Jennifer Varner is a retired mental health counselor, a PADI Divemaster, and yoga instructor currently living her best life as a gypsy and travel blogger. For any questions about travel in Thailand, contact her at


bottom of page