So as our next retreat in Koh Tao approaches rapidly, it seemed fitting to write about all the things that the active traveller can do to stay.........well........active when visiting this little paradise island.
You might be surprised to find out that Koh Tao isn't just a gorgeous little island meant only for Scuba Diving and relaxing. In fact you couldn't be further from the truth! Koh Tao is the ultimate active destination, and we're going to share with you our top picks of ways to stay active.
Let's start things off with the most basic one of all, and one that I would imagine every reader has experienced at some point in their lives - The Gym! Now firstly let me point out that Koh Tao is a small, 21sq KM island, so don't expect luxury health clubs or huge commercial gyms like you'd find in Europe or the US, but none the less there are some surprisingly good facilities and well equipped gyms for a great workout. Koh Tao Gym & Fitness is our top pick due to it's convenient location in Sairee (The main area of Koh Tao), it's size (It's the biggest gym on the island), and it's equipment (Everything you need for a great workout). Not only that but you can buy a great selection of supplements form them, and they will even whip you up a shake there and then, from one of their 10 different flavoured protein powders to choose from!
Yes you heard it right, this little paradise island has it's own CrossFit box! Koh Tao CrossFit has everything you would expect from a great box, from a great range of Olympic bars, pull up stations, Squat racks, and resistance bands galore! We've done a fair bit of travelling, and visited a few CrossFit boxes in our time, and it's safe to say that you won't be disappointed with a visit here.
Not the most conventional of workouts, but a damn good one none the less! Flying Trapeze Koh Tao offers an active experience like no other, and you're sure to be feeling muscles you didn't even know existed aching the day after. Gemma and her gang take groups of pretty much any level of fitness or ability and coach them through every moment until they are ready to take the leap (it's not called "Flying Trapeze" for no reason). This is one of the many activities our guests at New Horizon Active Escapes will experience on their Koh Tao escape.
Another notch on the belt of our friends at Goodtime Adventures Koh Tao is their rock climbing. Again, it doesn't matter your level of experience/expertise, these guys will coach you every step of the way up the rock face. This half day of climbing is another one that will leave you feeling interesting muscles aching the following day, and definitely a great way of improving that grip strength! From small boulders, to large rock faces they have something for everyone, and if you're lucky enough you'll even be accompanied by the team mascot Bailey the dog :)
Koh Tao is VERY hilly. So hilly in fact that there are certain areas that a motorbike won't even take you (although this is often more down to the road having been washed away!). Therefore it is a hikers paradise. With several view points scattered around the island, you could spend a week here just exploring the various trails. You won't need a guide for this, but it's worth chatting to some locals to work out the best routes. Most of the view points now have a small fee to access the private land they sit on which is a little disappointing, but regardless of this they are worth it!
This is another activity that has increased in popularity on Koh Tao in recent years, and there are some world class instructors that grace the studios, and beaches each day. Yoga is something that is very personal when it comes to your preferred style and teaching, but we recommend going to visit Ocean Sound Yoga in Chalok for an all round professional and challenging experience. Cynthia and her instructors teach a variety of classes form Yin and Hatha, to more sweaty Vinyasa flow. Whatever your preferred practice, they're sure to have something for you.
Koh Tao really is the island that suits everyone's holiday. If you're looking to relax by the pool in your hotel whilst sipping cocktails then it's got it, but if you're a true explorer and want to experience everything this little gem of an island has to offer then why not check out some of the activities mentioned here. If you have any other activities you'd like to share then please drop them in the comments section so we can go and check them out too!