Koh Tao Festival
Another unmissable event in the Koh Tao calendar! Koh Tao Festival is not held on a fixed date but normally happens around the 18th and 19th of June, which is significant in Koh Tao history as it is when His Majesty King Rama IV visited the island back in 1899 and had his name carved into one of the rocks (known forever since as Rama Rock) on south Sairee Beach.
The Koh Tao Festival is the largest event of the year on the island and has a particular focus on conservation and celebrating various other island achievements. The festival is held over two days and nights and comprises an array of events. The whole community participates and there is always something you can get involved in, so be sure to ask your accommodation provider, dive school staff, or travel agent about what is going on and ways you can join in the fun. Competitions, game, and projects normally include, but are not limited to:
- Land and sea cleanups – Dive operators on Koh Tao come together to coordinate cleanups at many of our islands dive sites, as well as land cleanups all along the shorelines of multiple beaches and bays to collect trash that drifts in with the tide.
- Turtle Release – As an event with an underlying theme of conservation, this is one of the highlights of the Koh Tao Festival each year, with anything up to 150 juvenile sea turtles being released back into the wild.
- Beach volleyball – Many local businesses and groups form teams, and while it’s all just a bit of good fun, competition can be fierce!
- Trash sculpture building – creating sculptures of marine life made primarily from plastic and other waste materials that have been collected on cleanup missions.
- Record breaking attempts – Some years the Koh Tao Festival becomes the focal point for some record breaking attempts. So far this has included attempts at the most number of divers in the water together at one time, the largest underwater human pyramid, and the longest ever chain of people holding hands on the beach.
The Koh Tao Festival ground comes to life in the evenings with food stalls, conservation booths, and live performances on the main stages by both local and national bands. There’s even a Mr and Mrs Koh Tao pageant, where entrants design and wear self-made costumes, all constructed out of recyclable materials.
There is no doubt that the Koh Tao Festival is a great party, but more than that it is a way for the island to come together as a community and raise awareness and money for worthy causes and projects. It is not unusual for the Koh Tao Festival to draw crowds of over 3000 people and through all of the games, competitions, events, and donations, the event normally raises between 1-2millionTHB which is used for environmental projects, conservation, and social ventures.
Island travel would like to thank the the Koh Tao Festival Facebook Group for the use of their media;