Just a few decades ago, the tiny island of Koh Tao could have been compared to the one inhabited by Robinson Crusoe: no electricity, no running water, no modern amenities of any kind. Today there are tattoo parlors, discos, and a few 7-Elevens. Dozens of small lodgings offer everything from basic bungalows to luxurious lodgings.
The peace and quiet has disappeared from the main beaches, but the primary reason to come here is still the underwater world. Koh Tao is an excellent place to get your scuba certification. Many operators don't have pools, so the initial dives must be done in the shallow, crystal-clear ocean water. Advanced divers will appreciate the great visibility, decent amount of coral, and exotic and plentiful marine life.