- Koh Samui
- Koh Tao
In the days after the Full Moon Party practically everyone heads off Koh Phangan to Koh Tao. The downside? Koh Tao is much smaller than Koh Phangan, and since everyone is there to do the same thing, it becomes overcrowded.
The island is filled with people, many there to do one last pub crawl before heading back to the mainland. While the pub crawl is technically fun, it’s nothing new or exciting, it’s just following a group around to some bars within one walking distance: aka, not worth the money nor the trip. Most travelers arrive to scuba dive, whether they are certified, doing a certification training, a trial fun dive, or just diving, the influx of people becomes overwhelming.
For these reasons and more Koh Phangan becomes a much better option to stay on and to dive. Not only will these dive shops bring people directly to Sail Rock to see one of the most beautiful and well known locations, it will be much easier to book a trip.
What’s more, Koh Phangan is situated between Koh Tao and Koh Samui, which means it’s actually much easier to get to the best dive locations near either. Being confined to the dive sites of Koh Tao just leaves one disappointed that their fins could hit some other dive group while they’re exploring. The number of dive shops decreases significantly, which is a good thing. The less shops, the easier it is to decide which one to use, and the more likely the surrounding dive sites are less crowded. Plus, less people means a more personalized experience with the tour group. Much of the coral around Koh Phangan is yet to be discovered, so the opportunities for exploration are endless!
Consider skipping Koh Tao after the Full Moon Party and sticking around on Koh Phangan for a few nights - save the 700 baht roundtrip crowded, slow moving, boat trip for a more relaxing, less crowded stay on the island. The lodging is cheaper, the island is less crowded, and you can save money and time on the ferry trips (and put it towards one more dive). There’s so much more to explore when the crowds head out.
Of course Koh Tao has its own charm and beauty but save it for another time, not straight after Full Moon like the masses.