After a day in the sun, trade your flippers for flip-flops and chow down at one of the island’s restaurants, most of which are casual divers’ haunts. Sai Ree Beach is home to some of the nicest spots on the island and the chef at Barracuda Restaurant & Bar (www.barracudakohtao.com; tel. 07745-7049) made a name for himself cooking for the Thai royal family. The pan-fried barracuda is a dish, yes, fit for a prince, and the fusion menu makes use of local ingredients. The Gallery Restaurant (www.thegallerykohtao.com; tel. 07745-6547) dishes out an outstanding snapper in red curry which is served in a coconut, giving it a delightfully sweet taste; the Gallery is a particularly good spot for vegetarians, with lots of veggie options. 995 Roasted Duck (near The Gallery Restaurant; no phone number) is the most famous street stall on the island, so expect lines. A bowl of roasted duck with noodles soothing to the soul for 70B, while a whole bird with perfectly crisp and sweet skin costs 700B.

In Mae Had, there’s Zest Café (tel. 07745-6178) which serves some of the best java on the island—a blessing after a few days of bad hotel powered mixes. Come for Eggs Benedict in the morning and sandwiches on homemade bread for lunch. Pranee’s Kitchen (tel. 07745-6478) is an institution in Ko Tao known for Thai curries. Vegetarians and meat eaters alike will adore Coconut Monkey (www.fb.com/CoconutMonkeyKohTao; tel. 093640-4522), where homemade falafel, cold-pressed juices, and outstanding breakfast wraps are all enjoyed along the beach.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.