Koh Tao, which means “Turtle Island” in Thai, is an island that’s part of the Chumphon archipelago — the seas known for its diverse submarine species and originally a popular home to the nesting and feeding green sea turtles and Hawksbill sea turtles. Koh Tao thrives for its rich tourism as its popular among scuba divers. Aside from outdoor activities, Koh Tao has majestic views of the horizon. Lomographer Pam a.k.a. pamethystt recently moved to the island, and has been enriching her photographic career here. Let’s dive into the sunkissed photographs by Pam with her travelogue.
Koh Tao is known to be the place where produces the majority of scuba drivers each year. There used to be foreigners more than half of locals. All the shops and restaurants were full of people. However, after Covid-19 first strike in Thailand, 80% of foreigners left the island.
In 2021, Koh Tao must adapt to the current pandemic. To remain being the tourism spot, we need to attract people within Thailand who are able to travel. Koh Tao has changed so much during the pandemic. Even though it became quiet, I believe the remaining tourists get the chance to enjoy beautiful island without being too crowded.
Koh Tao’s uniqueness is the people. The combination of tourists, local families, and long-stayed people gathered together during New Years dinner. All the customers are like friends and family. I couldn’t believe that I felt belonging to a place when I’m just traveling by this easily.
Most of the restaurants that survive till today are delicious. There are many different cuisines from Thai, Asian, Italian, Turkish, Indian, and etc. The owners are either usually natives those moved to Koh Tao or locals who are very passionate about food. So don’t be afraid to try them out if you pass by any interesting ones because you might end up loving it.
There are also many 180-degree viewpoints on Koh Tao. From North to South, I would recommend visiting them all if you have times because you would get different landscapes of the island. The northeastern side has small island called Koh Nang Yuan, while the southern part has Shark Island. Another famous spot is an abandon Lighthouse in of Koh Tao. Aside from viewpoints, I recommend the beaches. My favorite shots would be when the Sun sets into the sea and use that to get symmetric panorama.
Take your time here. There are plenty of activities and places to visits. Even the same spots each time you see different marine animals. It’s always such a surprise each time.
I used to work full-time as a colorist (video color grading) in Bangkok. Photography has only been my hobby. However, the pandemic gave me the chance to really explore further into being photographer. I moved to Koh Tao and started to learn underwater photography. Time seems to move slower without rushing with too many tourists. I’ve gained a lot of experience as a photographer being here. I know that when the pandemic is better, I can continue further into photography career.
I would like to stay here as long as I could continuing to photograph underwater or until pandemic is better elsewhere and start my career again in another place when it is safe to travel.
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