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Totally Chill Things to Do on Koh Tao, Thailand

Totally Chill Things to Do on Koh Tao, Thailand

When you ask people what the best island in Thailand is, you are bound to get a variety of answers.

Some people like the party vibes of Koh Phangan.
Others like the luxury hotels and white sand beaches of Koh Phi Phi.
Really, Thailand has something to offer everyone, from the budget backpacker to the high-end traveler.

So what’s an adventurer to do?

If you looking for the perfect, laid-back getaway, then I suggest none other than Koh Tao in the Gulf of Thailand.
This beautiful destination is perfect for those who are looking for a break, a gorgeous beach, and lots of fun things to do.
After venturing to nearly all of the islands in Thailand, Koh Tao quickly became my favorite out of all of them. I ended up spending ten days there!

If I haven’t convinced you already, here are the best things to do on Koh Tao, Thailand


Things to do on koh tao- doodle of bungalow by the sea

Koh Tao has an array of accommodations to offer, but it definitely caters to that laid-back vibe. You won’t find many luxury resorts here. However, there is a broad variety of bungalows, hostels, and private rooms to choose from. I did not book accommodation in advance, so I was able to check out several places in person before I chose where to stay. Here are my favorites.
CK Hostel
Ck Hostel was the perfect hostel for me. Centrally located and about a two minute walk from the beach, CK Hostel had a great atmosphere and professional staff. There is a great restaurant downstairs with the nicest ladies you will ever meet. The hostel was extremely clean and the owner answered any questions I had about what to see and do on Koh Tao.
Mixed Dorm with AC: $10 USD per night
Ban’s Diving Resort
Ban’s Diving Resort has a total of three swimming pools and a wide variety of rooms. This resort is expanding to include even more features for guests and divers. I stayed in several private rooms that were all clean and comfortable. Ban’s Diving Resort is located right next to all the major bars, adventure centers, and the beach. This resort has reduced prices for those who are enrolled in their diving courses. Book in advance.
Private room with Fan: $30- $65 USD per night (wide variety)
Also check out, Sairee Cottage Resort.

Things to Do on Koh Tao

Things to do on koh tao- doodle of snorkel mask on the beach

Koh Tao really has a bit of everything. For simplicity, I have included a list of the best of what Koh Tao has to offer.
Hiking: Grab a map from any major resort upon arrival do see a layout of the island. There are several hiking trails of varying difficulty and views. This site has a fantastic guide to hikes on Koh Tao.
Scuba Diving: Koh Tao is one of the best (and cheapest places) to learn to scuba dive and/or earn your PADI certification. Sairee Diving School is one of the best, offering a range of dives and levels of certification. Walk along any road in Koh Tao and you are bound to see several diving schools. A short dive costs about 700-1000 TBT, or about 9000 TBT for a three-day course.
Rock Climbing: You can find several places that offer rock climbing course and day climbs. I took my very first all-day course at Goodtime Adventures. The course was about $45 USD and involved learning to belay, repel, and 6 climbs on the mountain. This a great option for those of you who are trying to conquer your fear of heights!
Snorkeling: If you have been snorkeling before, I would suggest renting a mask and venturing out on your own. The best place to do this is in Tanote Bay on the East side of the island. You can easily get here by taxi or walking. I would advise against taking a motorbike here because it is very steep. You can rent a mask for about $2. There are so many fish and sea life to see even a few feet away from the shore. There are also options to take boat tours around the island, but these are much more expensive.
Boat Rides: You can find private and group tours all over Koh Tao for various prices. Don’t be afraid to haggle a bit for a better price. It is cheaper to go with a group and find a guide that is independent from the larger resorts and adventure centers. It is necessary to take a boat to see Koh Nang Yuan, the small island to the north of Koh Tao with a beautiful beach and lookout point. Expect to pay 200 TBT per person, round trip.
Swimming: the best places to swim include Tanote Bay and Sairee Beach. Both places are beautiful and reasonably safe. Always use your best judgement and wear a life jacket if you are not a confident swimmer.

Things to do on koh tao- doodle of motorbike
Adventure Course: many adventure centers include unique adventure courses on the island. Some include trapeze, obstacle course, and acrobatics. One such course can be found at Goodtime Adventures for about $45 for the entire day.
Beaches: the best beach on Koh Tao is Sairee Beach, the main beach with the most attractions. The sand is pristine and the water is totally clear. Since Koh Tao is not as popular as Koh Phangan and Koh Phi Phi, there is much less garbage and fewer tourists. It really is a relaxing place.
Shops: The main strip along Sairee Beach includes your usual souvenir and clothes shops for you to shop at. Koh Tao also has several small grocery stores, a 7/11, and multiple pharmacies.
Bars: There are many bars to be found along Sairee Beach. A few times a week the bars host bar crawls for reduced prices. Music and dancing can be found nearly every night. The Rock bar also has fire dancers and club music every evening. You can also be sure to find delicious drinks to consume on the beach in comfy beach chairs.

Things to do on koh tao- doodle of beach bars
Motor Bikes: beware of the “Koh Tao Tattoo”! It is true that you can find places to ride motorbikes all over Thailand, and Koh Tao is no exception. However, Koh Tao has less developed streets and steeper, rockier roads. You can find places to rent motor bikes all over the island, but I would advise against it. You can get nearly everywhere by foot or via taxi. Injuries are not uncommon, and if you wreck a bike, you might be finding yourself with a hefty fee or having your passport being held for ransom. Ride at your own risk.
Bike Riding: A great alternative to motorbikes is renting a good old fashioned bicycle. Much cheaper, safer, and easier to get around. You can rent a bike for the entire day and get almost anywhere on the island. You may need to put down a damage deposit beforehand. As usual, look out for scams.
Kayaking: Kayaking is also a fun thing to do, and you can rent one for about 100 TBT per hour. There are many places to check out along Sairee Beach and Tanote Bay. It can be very relaxing.

Where to Eat

Things to do on koh tao- doodle of beer and cocktail

Koh Tao doesn’t boast many high-end restaurants or resorts, but good eats can be found all over the island. Whether it is a steaming plate of pad thai, or American fare, Koh Tao has it all. For breakfast, I loved checking out the various coffee shops such as Zest Café and New Heaven. For dinner, just walk along Sairee Beach and you will be faced with an array of choices. Part of the fun is exploring what Koh Tao has to offer!
Zest Café
New Heaven
Blue Water Café
Café Culture

I hope you have enjoyed this guide to the totally chill things to do on Koh Tao, Thailand. Feel free to leave your questions and thoughts in the comments below! Happy Travels!


30 Days in Thailand for Under $2000

30 Days in Thailand for Under $2000

After traveling for 30 days in Thailand and Cambodia, I became less mystified by this idea of “budget travel”.

I knew I wanted to save money, but I envisioned sleeping in bug-ridden beds, living off of fried rice, and skipping out on fun activities. I quickly learned that this was not going to be the case at all! In fact, you can travel quite comfortably for less than $40 per day!

“Budget travel” doesn’t have to mean missing out, scraping by, and being stressed by tight purse strings.

Here is a breakdown of my expenses while traveling for 30 days in Thailand for under $2000, as well as some of my best money-saving tips!

*For your budgeting needs, all totals are rounded up to the nearest $100*

First Off, the Most Expensive Thing

30 days in thailand

When I first started planning my trip to Thailand, I assumed that a plane ticket alone would be over $1000. This price alone was almost a major hindrance to me, until I started doing more research.

I had already decided to travel during the low season (I chose September) in order to save money, and was surprised to find that my round-trip ticket was a mere $850.

I don’t want to downplay the fact that this is a lot of money to most people. Remember that I was working 30 hours per week at $13 per hour, so it took me a while to save up the funds. However, this price pales in comparison to many other destinations around the world. Book early, do your research, and you will be able to snag a sweet deal!

Round trip plane ticket from Seattle to Thailand + visa: approx. $900


30 days in thailand

Transportation around Thailand is very diverse and dependable. For me, navigating the bus, train, and boat schedules was much easier than expected. I was also able to bargain my way down to cheaper prices, carpool with other travelers, and rely on my own two legs to cut costs.

One helpful tip is to KEEP LOOKING. If a price seems too steep, it probably is. Do not be afraid to look for better deals and bargain with drivers and guides. Never accept the first price. Avoid anything that says “private tour” unless you are splitting the costs with fellow travelers. I found some of my best deals by asking locals and taking the transportation they used most themselves.

My total travel expenses included two $75 flights (From Cambodia to Bangkok, from Chiang Mai to Krabi). There are much cheaper ways to get to your destination, but at the expense of time. I opted to pay for these flights in order to spend more time in the islands, but I was in no rush. 30 days is more than enough time to see all the major sites Thailand has to offer.

Transportation costs, excluding two additional flights: $200


30 days in thailand

Thailand has accommodation for every style of traveler, from the cheap hostel bed to the luxury private suite. If you are on a budget, you may expect to be staying in the shittiest of shit-holes, but that doesn’t have to be the case. At every destination I was able to find friendly, clean, and affordable accommodation. But let’s be real, not everyone wants to sleep in a dorm room every night. My budget included the occasional splurge: a private room or bungalow, usually with a pool!

8 person dorm bed per night: average $7

Comfortable private room or bungalow: average 15

Total amount spent on accommodation: $300

Food and Drinks

30 days in thailand

Here comes the kicker… I hardly drank any alcohol during my trip to Thailand. First of all, I’m not much of a drinker anyway, so the party scene wasn’t high of a priority for me. Second, as a solo female traveler, I felt safer being sober in a new destination. Third, it saved me a lot of money!

You can find a party scene at nearly every major stop in Thailand, and in general it is pretty cheap to get your drink on. A beer was about $2, a cocktail about $3, and you could buy a “bucket” of alcohol for 150 TBT. If you are more of a drinker than myself, you may want to budget more for your trip depending on your style. Many more suggestions can be found in the Lonely Planet Thailand guidebook!

On average, I spent about $10 per day on food and drinks. Many of the tours I paid for included meals (I will talk about this more later), and I found it cheapest to eat at small restaurants and buy snacks from convenient stores. You can get a solid plate of pad thai for about 60 TBT or about $2. Each day I spent about $3 on bottled water, and another dollar or two on snacks. Depending on your appetite, you can expect to eat your fill on $8- $20 per day as a “budget traveler”.

Total amount spent on food and drinks: $300

Tours, Entry Fees, and Activities

30 days in thailand

Obviously the activities and sites one chooses to do and see on their trip are highly variable. I can honestly say that in a month’s time, I saw everything I had hoped to see and more. The total below includes all special tours and activities I did while in Thailand. I have also included the costs of visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia to see Angkor Wat and surrounding temple ruins.

Note that one of the most popular things to do in Thailand is to go scuba diving and/or earn your PADI certification. I decided not to do this. However, the average cost for a “fun dive” is anywhere from 700- 1000 TBT, and a PADI course, including accommodation is around 9000 TBT (about $270).

Total amount spent on tours, entry fees, and activities: $300

30 days in thailand

In total, I spent roughly $2000 while traveling for 30 days in Thailand! My $2000 budget includes all special tours, activities, and some luxury accommodation,  so it is a high estimate for what is a reasonable travel budget. In reality, it is very easy to travel comfortably in Thailand for less than $40 per day. By staying in dorms, avoiding air travel, and carpooling with others, you can cut your costs significantly and still have a great time!

For a complete itinerary and budget for my 30 day trip to Cambodia and Thailand, check out this post!

Something to consider…

This guide does not include:

  • Travel insurance: I opted to get travel insurance through World Nomads for $125. This is totally optional but usually a good idea in case any emergency happens while abroad.
  • Souvenirs: how much you decide to spend on souvenirs is highly variable. I spent less than $50 on all the clothing and gifts I bought for myself, family, and friends.
  • “Extra” expenses: sometimes you forget your sunscreen, your sandals break, or you get lost and have to take a taxi somewhere. Always give yourself a little bit of “cushion” just in case.
30 Days in Thailand for Under $2000


30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia

30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia

30 day thailand itinerary

The Decision:

I had always wanted to go to Thailand. I couldn’t tell you why. I knew little more than what the capital was. I had no set plans on what I was going to do once I got there. I scribbled down a few names of places in my notebook and forgot about them. I procrastinated for months. I decided to add Cambodia onto the itinerary because it was inexpensive to fly into and my mom had told me great things about it. I booked my hostel for the first night in Phnom Pehn and went from there…

Plane Ticket: $854.16 RT

Travel insurance (standard plan) with World Nomads: $125

Visa: $40

See: 30 Days in Thailand for Under $2000

Here is my complete 30 Day Thailand Itinerary and Budget Guide + Cambodia!

The First Day

The hostel that I planned on staying at had an airport pick up service, which was super comforting because I had no idea how I was going to navigate transportation in Cambodia. However, my flight was delayed by 3 hours so when I landed, no one was there. I called the hostel and the driver came to pick me up in a tuk tuk. I wasn’t sure what that was at first, but it ended up being a small covered cart pulled by a motorbike. We went buzzing through the city, dust flying, the heat hitting my face. I was bombarded by unfamiliar smells (mostly durian) and the chaos of people zipping by on motorbikes. I got to the hostel, overpaid the driver and checked into a private room.

I also decided to get a haircut and made my very first friend on my trip!

Tuk tuk from airport: $10

88 Backpackers Hostel Superior Private Room: $28

Haircut: $3

Food and water: $4

Total: $45

30 day thailand itinerary
Leaving Seattle!

Phnom Pehn Day 1: S-21 and Russian Market

My first full day in Cambodia, I paid for a tuk tuk driver to drive me around the city. I decided to start out by learning some history about the country by going to the S-21 Genocide Museum. It was a very sobering experience, but set the stage for understanding the culture of Cambodia. I also went to the large Russian Market, which was full of (intense) smells, produce, meats, clothes, and souvenirs. I ended the day by walking along the Mekong Waterfront and looking at the Royal Palace and nearby pagodas.

Tuk tuk driver for the day: $8

Genocide Museum: $2 audio tour without guide

Russian Market- Free

Mekong Riverfront- Free

Royal Palace and pagodas- did not pay entrance fee

Food and drink: $10

Female dorm: $8

Total: $28

Phnom Pehn Day 2: Killing Fields

For some more history, I went to the Killing Fields with some new travel mates. There were still clothes and bone fragments visible from the 1970s killings of the Cambodian people. It was very emotional to see. We then went to see the inside of the Royal Palace, which was magnificent!

Killing Fields: $3 audio tour without guide

Royal Palace: $6.25

Tuk tuk (split 3 ways): $3 per person

Food and drink: $12

Female dorm: $8

Total: $32.25

Onto Siem Reap:

On my third day in Cambodia, me and 3 of my travel mates took a bus to Siem Reap. It was a comfortable 5 hour ride with AC and a snack stop along the way. We arrived in Siem Reap around noon, checked into a hostel, and bought our tickets to the Angkor Wat Temples. We watched the sun set over Angkor Wat and then went out dancing on Pub Street.

Krohorn Express AC bus to Siem Reap: $10

Funky Flashpackers Hostel (4 person room): $6.25 per person

Tuk tuk to Angkor ticket counter: $2 per person

Ticket to Angkor Temples for sunset and next day: $20

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $48.25

Angkor Wat: The Largest Religious Monument in the World

We paid a tuk tuk driver for a full day to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat and several of the surrounding temples. One of the temples was where the famous “Tomb Raider” movie was filmed. It was a very long, hot, and tiring day, but totally worth it! The temples are so beautiful, interesting, and rich with history.

Tuk-tuk for the full day (4 people): $5 per person

Hostel: $6.25

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $24.75

30 day thailand itinerary
Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Plane to Bangkok

After that long day at the temples, I decided to relax for a bit before my flight to Bangkok. After traveling with the same people for 4 days, it was nerve racking to finally be on my own. I got a very nice aromatherapy oil massage (on the expensive side), and then caught my flight to Bangkok around 3:30. When I landed, it was already dark and I got very lost, but I met an English speaker and followed him to his hostel instead of the one I planned on staying at. I was just happy to be safe with a hot shower and comfy bed.

Massage at Lemongrass Spa: $16

Plane ticket to Bangkok via Asia Air (1 hour 30 min)- $80

Food and drinks: $10

Tuk tuk to airport: $2 per person

Sky train to hostel: $1

Cazz Hostel Mixed 6 Person Dorm room: $7.15

Total: $116.15

A Day in Bangkok

After waking up refreshed, I spent a day exploring Bangkok on my own. I quickly realized it was an easy city to get lost in! Eventually I got my bearings, hopped on the sky train, and bought an all-day boat pass to multiple stops along the Mekong River. Do not book a private boat! Goes to show that if you practice some bargaining and look around, you can find sweet deals to save money.

For an excellent guide to what to see and do in Bangkok, head over to my favorite post at The Creative Travel Guide

Skytrain to/from Hua Lampong Station (old town) from Sukhumvit: $2 total

Walk (or tuk tuk ) to Central Pier

All day boat ferry boat ticket: 100 TBT

  • Chinatown- Free
  • Flower Market- Free
  • Wat Arun- 100 TBT
  • Wat Pho- 100 TBT
  • Koh San Road- Free

Dorm: $7.15

Food and drinks: $10

Check out Tom n Toms Pretzel Café!

Total: $25.15

30 day thailand itinerary
Longboat in Bangkok

Sleeper Train to Chiang Mai

One day in Bangkok was enough for me, so I checked out of my hostel, walked around Bangkok a bit more, and decided to buy a train ticket to Chiang Mai. I snagged myself a bottom bunk, had some movies downloaded on my tablet, and then slept like a baby. It was a solid 10 hour trip, but a great money saver and super comfortable.

Skytrain to Hua Lampong Station: $1

Sleeper train to Chiang Mai (pay extra for bottom bunk): 850 TBT

$8 food and drinks

Total: $34.75

Chiang Mai Temple, Waterfalls, and Hike

After making some new friends at the hostel, we took a tuk tuk to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Despite the rain, we hiked to a waterfall and a lookout point with a great view of the mountains.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep: 30 TBT entry

Taxi truck—50 TBT per person

Deejai Backpackers Basic 4 person dorm: $4.88 per night

It’s Good Kitchen chicken pad thai: 60 TBT

Food and drinks: $6

Total: $15.12

30 day thailand itinerary
The White Temple in Chiang Rai

Trekking Tour and Elephants

A group of ten of us opted for an all day tour that included trekking in the jungle, lunch, washing and feeding elephants, and rafting in the river. Transportation was also included.

Thom Tours- approx. 1400 TBT

Food and drink: $5

Hostel: $4.88

Total: $52.30

30 day thailand itinerary
Just casually hanging out with some elephants

Me Time in Chiang Mai

After so much activity, I decided to take a day to explore Chiang Mai on my own. I went to a few coffee shops and markets, and worked on my blog.

Sunny Hostel 8 person dorm with fan: 350 TBT

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

Day Trip to Chiang Rai

I decided to go on another full-day tour- this one went from 7am to 10 pm! I brought snacks for the trip but an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet was included. The trip included the hot springs, the Golden Triangle, the White Temple, the border of Myanmar, and the “Long-Neck” village. It was a long but culturally enriching day.

Chiang Mai Full Moon Tour: 1400 TBT

Snacks and Water: $5

Hostel: 350 TBT

Total: $57

Another Chill Day in Chiang Mai

I decided that this was going to be my last day in Chiang Mai. I spent a little more time seeing the city and then booked a ticket to Krabi.

Hostel: 350 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Plane ticket to Krabi from Chiang Mai: 2083 TBT

Total: $83

30 day thailand itinerary
Fern Forest Cafe in Chiang Mai

Flying to Krabi (15th)

I spent another half day in Chiang Mai, flew to Krabi, and arrived at my hostel around 6pm. I got some yummy pad thai down at the waterfront and had a great night sleep in my bunk.

Bus from airport to Krabi: 60 TBT

Pak-Up Hostel 10 person dorm: 360 TBT

Food and Drinks: $5

Total: $18

Get Me to the Beach (16th)

To me there wasn’t much to see in Krabi Town and I was aching to go to the beach. My destination was Koh Phi Phi, but I decided to stay on Railay Island for a night. I was so quiet and secluded, and I decided to get a private bungalow for the evening.

Long boat to Railay Island: 100 TBT

Diamond Resort Bungalow with Fan: $15 (low season)

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $28

30 days in thailand
Koh Phi Phi Pier

On to Koh Phi Phi

Railay was a little pricey and everyone was raving about Koh Phi Phi, so I decided to head there the next morning. I took a cruise boat there which was pretty comfortable and affordable. I was shocked by how busy Phi Phi was, and I struggled to find a hostel in my price range. I walked around for nearly an hour before I settled on B Place.

Boat from Railay to Phi Phi: 450 TBT

B Place Hostel 6 person dorm with AC: 300 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Total: $33

Koh Phi Phi Chill

As usual, I took another day to myself to explore Koh Phi Phi. There were a lot of restaurants, bars, and souvenir shops, but far less beach than I expected. The monsoons were especially prevalent here, as it went to blazing hot to pouring down rain in a matter of minutes. I did find a place with amazing (and cheap) pad thai, though!

Hostel: 300 TBT

Food and Drinks: $10

Total: $20

Boat Tour to Maya Bay

I wanted to see all the surrounding beaches, so I joined another all-day tour. This long boat took us to Monkey Beach, Maya Bay, and other locations to go snorkeling. It included a light breakfast lunch and some of the best beach views in Thailand. Looking back, this may not have been the best deal, as it was a very exhausting day. It may be possible to save money by getting a private boat with other travelers.

Boat tour: approx. 1200 TBT

Food and drink: $5

Hostel: 300 TBT

Total: $50

30 day thailand itinerary
A view of Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi Chill Day

Another day exploring Koh Phi Phi

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: 300 TBT

Total: $20

Sea, Land, and Sea to Koh Tao (2 days)

In the morning, I caught a boat back to Krabi, took a bus to the ferry, and then took the night boat to Koh Tao. I arrived in Koh Tao around 6am, a little lost and disoriented. It was too early for the hostels to be open, so I killed some time until I found a nice private room with a pool. Yessss.

Ferry, Bus, and Nightboat: 1150 TBT

Ban’s Diving Resort private room, one night: 900 TBT

Food and Drink: $15

Total: 76$ / 2 = $38

First full Day on Koh Tao

Koh Tao quickly became my favorite location of the entire trip. I was so peaceful, beautiful, and relaxed. The weather was wonderful, and there wasn’t the crazy party scene that there was on Phi Phi (although it still existed).

Food and drinks: $10

CK Hostel 8 person dorm: $10

Total: $20

Hiking to the Viewpoint

I decided to be ambition and hike to the other side of island… but I got completely lost. I went all the way back and met some people along the way. We hiked up to the viewpoint (most exhausting hike of my life) and ended the day eating Mexican food by the beach. That evening they left the island and it was hard to say good bye.

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: $10

Total: $20

Tummy Troubles

Not much to report on these few days on Koh Tao, as I spent a lot of my time in bed with tummy troubles. I tried to be ambitious and go kayaking, but my body wouldn’t allow it. I got some rest and ate rice and fruit.

Hostel (2 nights): $20

Food and drinks (2 days): $10

Total: $30 / 2 = $15


After finally feeling well enough to get out of bed, I did something spontaneous and signed up for a rock climbing course. I spent some time working on my tan and nervously awaited the next day when my class would begin.

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

Rock Climbing (25th)

My course began at around 10 am and included learning how to tie knots, what terms to use, and how to belay for others. We took a break for lunch and returned for a full 5 hours of climbing. It was super exhausting but the adrenaline rush was amazing! I ended the night watching the fire jugglers on the beach.

Goodtime Adventures Rock Climbing course: 1300 TBT

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $60

30 days in thailand
Learning how to rock climb on Koh Tao

Relaxin’ for Days

I spent several days relaxing on Koh Tao, meeting new friends, and going snorkeling. I was supposed to leave Koh Tao on the 27th to travel to Bangkok, Phnom Pehn, and then to Seattle. That got extended, so I ended up leaving Koh Tao on the 2nd of October.

28th: Snorkeling

I walked to the other side of the island (about 1.5 hours) to go snorkeling.

Snorkel rental: 100 TBT

Hostel: $10

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $23

29th: More rock climbing

Climbing: free with my friend


Food and drinks: $10

Total: $20

30 day Thailand itinerary
Trying Korean BBQ for the very first time!

30th: Walk to the Viewpoint

Food and drinks: $10

Hostel: $10

Total: $20

1st: Koh Nang Yuan

Hostel: $10

Boat to Island: 200 TBT

Took free boat back to Koh Tao

Food and drinks: $10

Total: $26

2nd: Saying Goodbye to Koh Tao (one day, one night)

A lot of tears were shed on that boat ride away from the island. I had so many different emotions… I was sad to leave but excited to go home. I tried to continue looking forward. It was a weird feeling leaving a place that had begun to feel like home.

Ferry, Bus combo to Bangkok: 600 TBT

Taxi from bus station to airport: $10

Food and drinks: $15

Total: $43

3rd: Fly Home


Total spent: $2,128


30 day thailand itinerary

30 days in thailand




Don’t Look Down: Learning to Rock Climb in Koh Tao

Don’t Look Down: Learning to Rock Climb in Koh Tao

I’m afraid of A LOT of things.





Deep water diving.


Commitment.  (Just kidding!)


The list goes on and on…

Yet, the one fear that I have that has been especially limiting is my fear of heights.

Do I want to jump off of that 40 foot cliff into the ocean? NOPE.

Skydive? NO WAY.

Bungee jump? FORGET ABOUT IT.

rock climb in koh tao

I’m aware that this is a very common fear and I feel some comfort in that, yet I feel that at the root of all fears is the fear of the scariest thing of all… DYING.

Not to get morbid or anything, but I am always convinced that I am going to die.

“This is it. This is how I go. Goodbye mom and dad.”

And yet, it has never happened. Obviously.

Knowing that most people only die once, I have tried to be more intentional about facing my fears and trying new things.

I figure that if I’m going to die it mine as be while doing something cool.

After all, being afraid that you are going to die is no way to live.

You can quote me on that.


I don’t know what force of nature or higher power compelled me to sign up for rock climbing, but I did.

I simply walked into Goodtime Adventures, filled out a form, and paid my deposit. Simple enough. They told me to be back at 10am the next day.

I slept soundly that night. I think I was in denial.

Learning to Rock Climb in Koh Tao

rock climb in koh tao

rock climb in koh taoThe first half of the day was simply learning the ropes (pun intended).

We learned how to tie knots, belay for other climbers, what phrases to use, and, most important, how to be safe.

rock climb in koh tao

rock climb in koh tao
When choosing an instructor, make sure you get a cute one

Of course, we were only practicing on a flight of stairs at that point. I jokingly told the instructor, “Welp, that’s enough climbing for me.”

He wasn’t having it.

After lunch, we met up again and that’s when the nerves started kicking in. Good thing I hadn’t had curry for lunch.

After a bumpy taxi ride, we get to the mountain, and instantly I’m like NOPENOPENOPENOPENOPE.

I wasn’t alone in my feelings either, as one of the other girls straight up REFUSED to climb it. Maybe she was onto something…

rock climb in koh tao


We were told to free climb about ten feet up and to the left, hook up our safety and then our rope, and repel down.


I had NEVER repelled before.

I don’t think I had even climbed over ten feet before… and that was a gym climbing wall with colored rocks!

The instructor said I had to do it. He wasn’t messing around.

Defiantly I did it, mostly because I wanted to show him I wasn’t a little wimp.

I clung onto the wall for dear life and crawled slower than a sloth on a Sunday.

I made it. I triple checked everything. I contemplated the safety standards of a small island in Southern Thailand. I wasn’t feeling especially confident.

But there was nowhere to go but down.

I repelled down…….

rock climb in koh tao

I came out of my mental blackout.

And we hadn’t even started yet.


Over the course of 4 hours, we were introduced to 6 different climbs. I attempted all of them. I completed 4 of them. On the other two, I made it half way.

And I felt like a goddamn mountain warrior goddess.

rock climb in koh tao

Maybe it was the “booty rap” that I insisted that they play on the iPhone. Maybe it was the fact that I had chugged two Coca Colas.

Or that I was just so naturally high on adrenaline that my body went into Super Climb Mode without me having a say in the matter.

But I LOVED it.

Absolutely loved it.

rock climb in koh taorock climb in koh tao



A few days later, I went climbing again and completed some more difficult climbs.

I was so proud of myself. (And I was able to gloat at the instructor)

rock climb in koh tao


And I was amazed.

Because on a whim I had decided to try something I was totally terrified of and in the process I found a new hobby that I hope to continue from now on.

I gave myself a mental pat on the back.

rock climb in koh tao

I felt good to not die. #fearconquered?

Who knows, maybe in a year from now I will be jumping out of an airplane.


A little tip though…


it really helps to not look down.

rock climb in koh tao