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For the second year in a row, Thailand’s Ko Tao nabbed the title of “Asia’s Best Island” from the travel website Trip Advisor. Located in the Gulf of Thailand, the island barely covers 21 square km (8.1 square miles) but the crystal clear and very peaceful waters have earned it international fame among divers.

Between beautiful white sand beaches, the 300 sunny days per year and the chance to swim alongside whale sharks, click below to find out more about why travelers chose Ko Tao as Asia’s best island!

Last month, Trip Advisor announced the results of its 2014 Travelers’ Choice with Ko Tao taking the top spot among islands in Asia. Other islands that made the list were Bali in Indonesia, Boracay in the Philippines and Malaysia’s Langkwi. Other more well-known Thai islands made the list, such as nearby Ko Samui and Ko Phangan, but netizens ended up choosing Ko Tao for the peacefulness of its remoteness and breathtaking diving sites.

2014.03.08 koh tao ivImage: Flickr (victoriapeckham)

Ko Tao is said to be one of the best places for diving in the world. The incredibly clear waters and relative lack of currents make it a great place for beginner divers. Some of the recommended diving spots are Chumphon Pinnacle for its massive schools of fish and South West Pinnacle for the awe-inspiring coral reefs. Even divers with practically no experience can easily fit in several dives a day, giving them a chance to explore all of the amazing diving sites.

2014.03.08 koh tao diving iiImage: Wikipedia

▼ The schools of fish that await you at Ko Tao

2014.03.08 koh tao southwest pinacleImage: FC2 blog (planetscuba)

A map of some of the dive sites around the island

2014.03.08 koh tao diving sitesImage: Wikipedia

While Ko Tao, Thai for “Turtle Island,” is rumored to get its name from being a historically important breeding ground for turtles, the animal most associated with the island now is the whale shark. The waters off Ko Tao are supposedly some of the easiest in the world in which divers can encounter one of these enormous and magnificent animals.

2014.03.08 koh tao whale sharkImage: Blog.com (islandernews)

The best time of the year to see a whale shark is from July to October. Although some divers say it’s not the time of the year that matters but how much luck you have. Some diving instructors who go on about 600 dives per year say that they hardly ever see one, while a visiting amateur diver may spot one on their first day.

2014.03.08 ko tao whale shark iiImage: Flickr (octal)

Not feeling lucky? Well, now anyone can feel like they’re diving next to a whale shark in Ko Tao in this video!

For those of you interested in taking the plunge (pardon the pun) and visiting Ko Tao, the only way to access the small island is by a ferry. Several ferries connect Ko Tao to larger Thai cities like Ko Samui, Chumphon or Surat Thani that have airports with direct flights to Bangkok.

The last leg of your journey where visitors experience the unbridled thrill that is the Thai motorbike

2014.03.08 koh taoImage: Wikipedia

Have you ever been to Ko Tao or swum with a whale shark? Let us know in the comments below what you think about this tiny Thai island and whether or not it really deserves the title of “Asia’s Best Island”!

Feature Image: Wikipedia
Video: YouTube (Liquid Media)
Source: Naver Matome