Thailand’s ‘Turtle Island’ Koh Tao is one of the most popular destinations for party-loving tourists. So, it was only inevitable that I landed upon this serene island while on my holiday to the Land of Smiles.
If you’re still unconvinced, I can definitely attest to the excellent diving spots – the island is a paradise for divers and snorkelers, offering some of the world’s best coral reefs and exotic marine life.
Once you’re done soaking in the fantastic beaches and lush tropical forests during the day, making the most of the island’s nightlife with the rest of your time is an absolute no-brainer.
I had heard much about the island’s crazy bars from friends over the last few years, and couldn’t miss the chance to experience the revelry first hand.
Close to Koh Tao is Koh Phangan, which hosts the famous Full Moon Party. But if you’re looking for something more personal and if you’re looking to make some friends, then I would definitely recommend Koh Tao’s pub crawl.
Most bars were along the Sairee Beach, and when I noticed that nearly everyone else who was looking to register for the crawl was around my age – I felt this was exactly my kind of way to spend a night – at Asia’s biggest pub crawl!
If you’re wondering when you should plan your Koh Tao pub crawl you don’t have to go out of your way to make a special schedule to fit it in.
They conduct the pub crawl on four days of the week – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday – so it shouldn’t be a problem to accommodate it in your plans.
Nearly everyone signs up after a day of taking in the beautiful vistas Koh Tao offers.
I find the Koh Tao pub crawl quite expensive – when you register you have to shell out a set price of 450 Baht, which includes a whole lot of freebies.
You’re given a tank-top with the pub crawl logo, which doubles up as a uniform for the tour. You’re also given a free bucket of alcoholic mix and free shots throughout the night.
If you choose to attend the crawl for a second time, they give you 100 Baht off, so you’ll only have to pay 350 Baht if you’re a repeat crawler! TIP – is not worth it to pay the second time, if you go straight to the bar you will buy a bucket much cheaper!
Koh Tao Pub Crawl
We started off the night at about 7:45 PM with introductions and a few house rules at Choppers. There were close to 100 people at the crawl that night.
Once we got our names written on our arms and socialized a bit, we were given a bucket of mix and a free shot. Then, we headed out to the first bar.
For more pictures check our photo gallery.
Ko Tao Pool Party
Essentially, the first pub was a bar set up next to a pool. The organizers conducted a few drinking games to get people to warm up, like offering prizes when you find someone with the name you’re given on a chit, and free shots if you’re one of the first few to jump into the pool.
Although some people found it fun, it was still too early in the evening to make full use of the pool. Personally, I didn’t enjoy it very much– everyone was still a bit sober and it wasn’t the most comfortable vibe.
It wasn’t much of a pool party either, in comparison to other ones I’ve attended.
Koh Tao Queens Cabaret
Thailand is famous for its Ladyboy shows, so if you haven’t been able to sneak one into your trip yet, this is a perfect way to do so!
Since it is a show exclusive to the crawl, the performance makes for an interesting experience. It opens with a dance-off by crawlers before the real performers come on.
They also announce prizes to winners from previous games, which include discounts on diving, snorkeling and staying on other Thai islands.
All in all, by the time the show is over you, are sure to have seen things both silly and amusing. Beware, they may force you to buy a drink here.
Ko Tao Choppers Bar
Next, we headed back to Choppers for some live music. By this point, everyone was either tipsy or drunk. Everyone was chiming into loud renditions of Oasis and other classics!
By this point, it was getting much easier to socialize and mix with the others at the crawl.
Koh Tao Fishbowl Bar
At around midnight, they led us to the last stop – the Fishbowl Bar.
This, by far, was the highlight of my night at the crawl. By now, we had all gotten to know each other a bit more, so the atmosphere was much better.
Here, as we were getting to the end of the crawl, we really got a chance to bond. It was really easy to just sit back, chill and enjoy the night, now that there was nowhere else to go!
I had hoped the crawl would be much more like our time at the Fishbowl bar! Although it took some time, I did finally find the lazy, carefree vibe I was looking for.
Fishbowl had a great setting too – perched right next to the sea, it’s easy to waddle into the water and sit on the sandy beaches in front of fire-dancers, twirling away rods with flames at their end.
While some of the people in our crawl group headed out early, others, camped out at the Fishbowl till 3am, when it shuts down.
All in all, the pub crawl makes for a fun night out. It’s an experience you’d rather not miss, even if its a bit pricey.
It’s not the best pub crawl out there, but if you’re like me and always on the lookout for a fun party, I would still definitely recommend it! Mind you, you should account for a hangover the next day if you’re not careful during the crawl!
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