Travel Guide and Tips: Koh Tao

Koh Tao aka Turtle Island is a small island in Southern Thailand. It's widely known as the best diving and snorkelling spot in Thailand. It definitely has more of a laid back backpacker vibe to it. 

We ended up staying by Sairee beach, since it was more affordable than the rest of the island. 

Things to do 


If you want to dive in Thailand, Koh Tao is a great start. There's tons of dive shops here. I mean, there's TONS. You'd probably have a hard time choosing one if you didn't already have a recommendation. If you want to get certified, you'll need to choose if you want to get PADI or SSI certified. That should narrow your search. 

We didn't end up diving because we were feeling pretty run-down. Plus, it takes 3-4 days to get fully certified. Although, we were planning to go with Roctopus since they train you in groups of four. 

Lastly, Koh Tao used to be a great dive spot, but it's overrun with tourists now. If you have the opportunity to dive in a different country, I'd choose that. 


Since we didn't dive, we opted for snorkelling instead. It's more affordable, can be done without training and gives you a taste of what it's like underwater. There are tours advertised throughout the island at tourist agencies as well as hostels. They're all more or less the same. It costs 750 baht for a full-day trip. It includes your transit, snorkelling equipment, lunch, water and fresh fruit (watermelon and pineapple).

Sairee Beach

What we noticed was that Sairee Beach isn't really a great place to hangout. The sand is coarse and taxi boats are parked by the shoreline. This makes lounging and swimming a bit more difficult. However, if you want to walk by the beach and enjoy the view, it's good. A lot of restaurants, hotels/guesthouses and diving shops line this beach, so it makes a nice nightly stroll. If you wanted a good place to swim, I'd recommend Koh Chang.  


There's tons of massage parlours throughout the area. There was even one beside our guesthouse. The prices will range depending on the parlour, so keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Since we don't need a luxury experience, we went for a cheaper place. To give an idea, we paid 350 baht/hour for an oil massage. 


The nightlife here is pretty good. They'll have fire shows on the beach and the bars will be crowded. 

Where to Eat

Rose Garden

Since this was beside our guesthouse, we came here almost every morning for breakfast. It's alright, with decent pricing. Nothing really stood out to us. We went out of convenience in the hot weather. 

Cafe de Lotus

This is a good lunch or dinner spot. It's by the beach, so you'll have a nice ocean view. They have lunch deals with includes a meal with a drink. Our favourite dish here was the massaman curry! 

Food stands

Along the smaller streets by Sairee Beach, there are a few food stands have offer cheaper meals. We usually stopped by the stands selling banana and chocolate rotees for dessert! Yum! 

Where to Stay

Pranee Guesthouse

We stayed here for a four nights and switched rooms quite often. A fan room costs 700 baht and an AC room costs 1300 baht. If you can afford it, an AC room is ideal in the sweltering heat. We stayed in a fan room for three nights, and then got an AC room for the last night. 

There rooms here are pretty roomy and the washrooms in the fan room are pretty nice. I like that the shower has a small wall separating it. Since the fan is small, it doesn't move the air too well, so the room is really hot. I recommend opening all your windows, but either way, it's going to be uncomfortable unless you're use to the heat. 

Happy Travelling! 

Travel Guide and Tips: Koh Chang

Koh Chang is Thailand's second biggest island. It's located on the east side of Thailand, closer to Cambodia. It's a great pit stop if you're travelling to or from Siem Reap

We stayed at Lonely Beach in Koh Chang. It has more of a backpacker's vibe, which is great for people on a budget. 

Things to do 

Hang out at Lonely Beach

Just a short walk from the town, Lonely Beach is a great place to relax and cool off in the water. It's not a long beach, but the water is calm and shallow, so it's the perfect place to swim. 

Klong Plu Waterfalls

If you're feeling adventurous, head to Klong Plu waterfalls for hiking and swimming. Just take a taxi over to the waterfalls. You'll need to take a short 600-metre hike in, but you'll be greeted by a waterfall. Jump in to swim and cool off. There's fish that nibble at your feet. 

There's an entrance fee of 200 baht for adults or 100 baht for children under 14 years. 


Lonely Beach is known as the party beach and it really is. If you head into the centre of town or the beach, there's tons of bars opened late. You might be able to catch a fire show as well! 

Where to Eat


Located in the centre of town, this is a quirky restaurant filled with interesting (and phallic) chandeliers. The owner has two dogs and also plays the drums! We usually grabbed breakfast here at a decent price. 


Cafe Del Sunshine

This cafe is opened early, which is great for those who are catching an early bus. Their prices are a bit more expensive than Stonefree. They also serve a delicious lava cake with cookies and cream ice cream! 

Where to Stay

Stonefree 3 Guesthouse

We ended up booking a double room here for 450 baht. It's a very basic room right in the centre of town. The room is small with a big bed, mosquito net and ensuite washroom. Just note that the washrooms in this area aren't flush toilets. You'll need to use a bucket and pour water to clean it out. It's not so bad. 

Part of the room is open, so insects will probably get into your room. We used duct tape to cover a hole where ants kept coming in.The walls are really thin, so you'll hear everyone. The guesthouse is also located right near the bars, so it's definitely not ideal if you're looking for a quiet place. Otherwise, it was fine. 

Paradise Cottage

Had we known of the conditions of Stonefree 3 Guesthouse, we probably would've booked here. It's 400 baht for a private bungalow. And from what I heard, the conditions are very similar. It's just located five minutes from the town, so there area is more secluded. They also have hammocks to relax on with a beach view! 

Happy Travelling! 

Exploring the Land Split in Pai

The Land Split is a unique spot, not because of the split itself, but for the hospitality you'll receive from the owners. The tourist attraction was created in 2008 and 2011, when the land split 11 metres deep, making it unsustainable for farming. It's just a short walk up the stairs to see it. 

I didn't find the Land Split to be that fascinating, however, owner's kindness to you is amazing. The moment you step onto the farm, he and his wife welcome you by offering you fruits, peanuts, banana chips, sweet potatoes, tamarind, roselle juice, wine and jam. They don't charge you for anything, but there's a donation box where you can offer a little something. 

How to get here:

It's not too difficult to get here. Head south down Highway 1095 from Pai. Look out for this the "Land Split" sign and turn right. From here, it's another 2km to the Land Split. 

Look out for this sign on highway 1095. It's on a hill! 

This is the front of the farm. Park your bike and head inside! 

Happy Eating! 

Biking to Pai Canyon

Situated in the picturesque countryside of Northern Thailand is Pai Canyon. It is located 8km south of Pai and can be reached by scooter, bike or taxi (you would need to hire one for the day). The views it offers makes it worth a visit if you're already in Pai. Although, I don't think it's worth it to venture out to Pai just to see the canyon. 

How to get there

It's quite easy to get there. From Pai, follow highway 1095 south for 8km. Along the way, you'll see Coffee in Love, The Container in Pai and Love Strawberry. The canyon is located on the right side of the road. You can park your bike there and head up the stairs to the canyon. 

We rented a mountain bike for 100 baht/24 hours and took about 1 hour to get there. Granted, we took a few stops along the way and walked the bike up most of the hills. Just note that there is a lot of uphill, downhill and winding curves on this road. It's quite the workout, but definitely doable. 

The Canyon

At the top of the stairs lies Pai Canyon.  The reddish hue of the canyon along with the backdrop of the mountains makes it a unique site to see. There are dangerous 50 metre steep drops on either side of the canyon, so be careful when exploring. There are a lot of paths to wander on if you're daring enough. 

Happy Adventuring!

Transit Guide: Chiang Mai to Pai

Located in Northern Thailand, Pai is a small town in the countryside. It's only a 3-4 hour ride from Chiang Mai, but it's quite a nauseating one. There are 762 turns along the way, so make sure to take some anti-nausea medication beforehand. 


We booked a mini-bus from our hostel for 200 baht each. You can also book a mini-bus at the station, however they cost 150 baht and it's also another 40 baht red truck ride to get to Arcade Bus Station. So, it's about 190 total if you do it on your own. They leave hourly and it takes about 3 hours to get to Pai. You'll get a short break halfway through to use the washroom (3 baht) or grab some grub. 

This was on the side of our bus. 

Public Transit

If you have a really strict budget, you can take public transit to get there. You can book a bus ticket for 78 baht + the 40 baht red truck ride to the station. Although these buses don't offer AC. The bus leaves at 7 a.m. and it takes 4 hours to get there. 

Other options

If you're feeling luxurious, you can book a flight to get to Pai.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can ride a motorbike there, although I wouldn't recommend it unless you are a skilled rider. The curves make it a very dangerous trip. We saw someone fall after a curve. 

Good Luck!