Unlike it's neighbour island Koh Phangan (Southern Thailand), known for the infamous 'Full Moon Party', every month hosting a horde of UV paint splattered, trance loving, cocktail drinking ravers, Koh Tao is blissful and arguably one of the most beautiful places on the planet!
We stayed on Sairee beach where all the main bars, restaurants and most importantly the fire shows and live music are. As for the people, it is no wonder Thailand is fondly named 'The Land of Smiles'; they are friendly, polite and nothing is too much trouble.
Revel in the local food and once you have had your fill of Thai curry (too much for chilli for me!), the English dishes are pretty good too. Head to a beach side BBQ and watch the amazing fire shows whilst the sun goes down. One golden rule however - do be careful of the fresh fruit and salad dishes as long as you abide by the rule 'If it is not cooked, boiled or you can't peel itů leave it!' you will be fine, and perhaps avoid some of the more 'dodgy' looking street vendors, or you may learn the painful way that I did.
If you are into diving Koh Tao is the perfect place to take the full PADI diving course and are reasonably priced too. Although if like me, you were too busy enjoying the island to embark on a full PADI diving course, the island has plenty of snorkelling trips - no training required. We took a full day snorkelling trip visiting Shark Bay but sadly saw no sharks, and Nang Yuan Island, I am nothing short of convinced that this place is actually paradise.
Whether you are a backpacker looking to 'find yourself', a honeymooner or a family with young children, Koh Tao along with other Southern Thai islands are truly beautiful and packed full of activities and culture.