It’s a common occurrence here on Koh Tao for people to wind up here as part of their travels, and plan on staying just a couple of days and falling head over heels with the island, but living in Paradise and having a holiday are two different things…

In order to be able to sustain yourself here, once the savings run low, its time to get a job.

Most westerners who don’t end up in the diving industry will wind up working in one of the local bars, it’s good fun, and they all pay a standard rate. Koh Tao has a great mixed vibe, there are chilled bars, and then there is the Sairee beach bars, so partying whilst getting paid in Paradise is undoubtedly appealing.

For those who are not in the dive industry and serving dozens of whisky buckets to travelers does not sound like you thing, there are other options. If you’re lucky enough to have been blessed with some musical talent, then playing live music around the bars on the island is welcomed with open arms, and a great way to make some extra baht.

Fellow resident Si Crockett plays at Lotus Bar every evening for sunset, his sultry tones and excellent guitar playing works perfectly, and it’s a perfect place to sit on some cushions on the beach and enjoy their sunset happy hour.

Choppers bar & grill, centrally located in Sairee Village also offers live music several nights a week. Resident musicians earn well and play to a packed house that gets more inebriated as time ticks by.  Like wise the music gets louder and events spiral into party mode!

Jen singing at Choppers

Jen singing at Choppers

Back on the beach, Fishbowl has live music belted out by both locals and travellers until 10.30pm with a few different artists playing weekly to mix things up a bit. Happy hours draws the crowds and  it’s great to have dinner whilst listening to the live music. Once the live music has stopped the DJ takes over and plays until dawn.

Every Sunday Raw Moovment holds an open mic-night, which is located above Moov in Mae Haad. This is always an excellent evening and locals and tourists get to show case their talent, even if you’re not musical, going along to listen and have a few beers is a must, great atmosphere and some amazing talent, jamming away on the decking beneath the stars. If you get spotted here, expect to be playing for money very shortly!

Sunday Jam Session at the Raw Art Moovment

Sunday Jam Session at the Raw Art Moovment

Koh Tao is a paradise island that draws you in with its laid back beach culture, extreme sports, nightlife and underwater beauty like no other island in The Gulf. If like us, you feel the pull for a tranquil existence full of smiles and serenity then getting a job allows longevity. Bar work and live music provide many jobs for westerners. The ultimate tip to anyone looking for work is: Identify what you want to do. Find the manager and wearing a huge smile, let them see your character. Explain your love for the island and they will no doubt relate! We all started somewhere!


Author – Jen