In an article published by Yahoo! Travel, Bangkok has finally overtaken London as the world’s most popular destination. According to MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index 2013, the Southeast Asian city received 15.98 million tourists in 2013 as compared to London’s 15.96 million. MasterCard reported that the activities and allures such as spicy Thai cuisine, ancient temples, huge Buddha statues, shopping malls are what lured in millions of tourists to visit the Southeast Asian paradise.
If you’re going to divide that 15.96 million to seven (the number of months that has passed this 2013), it shows that an average of 2 million visitors arrives in Bangkok every month; that is too much for a tiny city. Not that it is a bad thing, but for travellers whose aim is relax and recuperate, the busy streets of Bangkok is the best place to unwind. If you are thinking the same way, here’s something you can do: finish your shopping escapades in the city right away and ask your agent to book you tickets to a paradise called Ko Tao. This island, which is 30 minutes away from the Thailand capital by plane, is known for its peaceful atmosphere and eco-tourism.
Ko Tao is called Turtle Island because its shape resembles a turtle. Because the government keeps it that way, the island is not as crowded as Phuket and other mainstream Thailand beaches. You will definitely feel refreshed and at ease in this place as the island receives only an average 9,000 visitors per month.
Apart from taking a dip in its cool and pristine waters, tourists also come to Ko Tao to take part in a one-of-a-kind diving experience. As of this year, the island has a total of 12 official diving spots, all featuring a wide range of marine life. Among the marine species that people get to see during their diving sessions are the great barracuda, titan triggerfish, clown triggerfish, hawksbill turtle, whale shark, and manta ray. The island also boasts scenic natural landmarks like huge boulders and odd rock formations, white sand beaches, hundreds of hard and soft coral formations, and a huge rock chimney that features an amazing vertical swim-through. Other activities worth-trying in Ko Tao are hiking, camping, sailing, island hopping, and mountain biking.
When it comes to hotel accommodation, you will never feel like you’re away from the city as Ko Tao has a number of hotels and resorts with 24 hour air-conditioning, in-house theaters, mini-golf courses, and sizzling bars. Restaurants around the island also serve different cuisines, boasting cuisines like Thai, French, Italian, and so much more. With a combination of natural and man-made pleasures, Ko Tao island is surely the place to be.