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Updated 2019: My friends and I all knew we would be in Thailand for Christmas and New Year and we knew that New Year’s Eve on Koh Phangan was a must but we weren’t sure where to spend Christmas. I had only been to Koh Tao once before which was at the start of my Asia trip in March 2014 but I felt this little island would be a great place to spend Christmas, I remembered that there was a good amount of night life but it wasn’t too in your face, you can take it or leave it, and I knew a lot of expats live and work there so the island would surely be in the Christmas spirit! Plus after our time there we could take a short boat journey to Koh Phangan ready for New Year’s Eve so there it was, we decided to spend Christmas in Koh Tao and I was so glad that we did!
We got a night bus and boat from Bangkok to Koh Tao which went pretty smoothly and before we knew it we were heading to Sairee Beach in Koh Tao in the back of a truck and checking into our hotel on Koh Tao- Lotus Resort.
We decided to treat ourselves over Christmas by paying a little bit more and staying in a hotel. We paid £325.00 for a triple room for 5 nights at Lotus Resort on Sairee Beach, we had a lovely room, 2 swimming pools, plus breakfast and wifi was included and Sairee Beach is definitely the best location to say in in Koh Tao in terms of being close to bars and restaurants. We were happy with the price and what we got for it so I would really recommend Lotus Resort in Koh Tao to you too.
2x Important Tips for Christmas in Thailand:
If you haven’t yet booked accommodation in Koh Tao for Christmas, I really recommend you do and that you book it as soon as possible as the hotels and hostels do book up fast! Check out accommodation options in Koh Tao on Booking.com here, they offer great deals and flexible paying options.
Transport (Buses & Boats) also book up in advance around Christmas in Thailand (Koh Tao doesn’t have an airport so you have to get a boat there) so I would recommend booking your boat to and from Koh Tao in advance as you won’t be the only person wanting to get on the island before Christmas and wanting to leave afterwards. You can book tickets using the website below and they really are not any more expensive than booking once you are there!
We took a little walk around and Koh Tao all came flooding back to me. Within a few hours though the heavens opened and it was chucking it down with rain and didn’t stop all night and into the next morning.. Not what we were looking for! We decided to stay in, get an early night and save some money.
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It’s something I know a lot of us forget or think isn’t important but it is! If you still need to purchase travel insurance I’d recommend World Nomads. Firstly you can get insurance even if you’re on your trip right now! Secondly they offer 24/7 emergency assistance, trip cancellation, protection of gear, and a lot more. Plus they’re flexible and simple! Just what we need! Get a quote here!
The next day we woke on 23rd December not feeling in the christmas spirit! We put some christmas songs on my laptop to help out but it was still raining and we were feeling a bit down.
If you’re in Thailand for awhile, firstly I’m jealous! Secondly, check out my guide on how to spend a month in Thailand hitting up all of the best party spots!
As the rain eased up we headed out, got some lunch and decided as it was Christmas and we were in Thailand afternoon drinking would be acceptable! We ended up meeting some South African Guys who were on our overnight bus and spent the afternoon and early evening drinking beers and playing Cards against Humanity with them.. random afternoon sessions are always the best!
We headed out onto the beach in the evening and I got to introduce my friend to her first fire show experience, we watched in awe of the boys doing their thing for a while at Lotus Bar and then headed up to Sunset Bar where we had a great night.
The following day we woke up to grey skies but being the English girls we are we headed to the pool, unfortunately this was short lived as it started raining! Later on in the day we popped out and happened to see the guys from our hotel Bar decorating a mesh tree and being Christmas Eve and wanting to get in the Christmas Spirit we asked to help out, its funny that something so random and unexpected can totally make a day! We were hanging up the tinsel in our beach dresses and bikinis with christmas music blaring it really started feeling like Christmas!
We headed out on Christmas Eve to Lotus Bar and then to Sunset Bar decked out with Buckets, Christmas hats that we’d bought in Bangkok in preparation and tinsel ‘borrowed’ from the hotel!
Christmas Morning was spent rather hungover, however the rain had totally cleared and we were in for a lovely sunny Christmas Day which made us all really happy as this was just what we had wanted from our Christmas in Thailand. We had a lie out on the beach, enjoyed a Red Curry for our Christmas lunch and then went back to the hotel to Skype our families on their Christmas morning.
After another beautiful day on Boxing Day of more tanning on the beach and watching the sunset but now we were ready to move on to our next island – Koh Phangan for some New Year madness!
I’m so glad I decided to spend Christmas on Koh Tao, it was the perfect balance of chilled and party. We didn’t see much of the island but I love how close everything is on Sairee Beach, there’s so many food and party options, the beach is lovely and of course being West Facing the sunsets are beautiful!!
Definitely consider Koh Tao if you want to spend a Christmas in Thailand… I know I would do it again!
For more ideas of what to do in Thailand have a look at these posts: