Koh Tao, Koh Tao… The island that made me dream of living in Thailand… Someday! Although Koh Tao is one of the most visited islands of Thailand, it is still a very calm place compared to the islands in the Andaman Sea!
Koh Tao turned out to be my favourite island of all that we visited in Thailand. The beaches of Koh Tao are exceptionally beautiful, nature is amazing and the vibe and people – unique! Koh Tao is the so-called Turtle Island due to the fact that sea turtles used to lay their eggs on its beaches back in the day.
Nowadays, Koh Tao is one of the most famous and best places to get your open water PADI certification and of course – to practice scuba diving and snorkelling! The underwater world is colourful, unique and amazing!
Although the island is quite small, besides the most popular Sairee beach on the west coast, the rest of the island is unfortunately very difficult to reach without a motorbike or a taxi boat.
Here are my top recommendations for the best beaches in Koh Tao! Please share your favourite in the comment section below 😊
Sairee Beach Koh Tao
Sairee Beach is the largest and most popular beach in Koh Tao! The beach is 2km long and is located on the West side of the island. It is one of the best beaches of Koh Tao, and one of the busiest for sure… but still not too busy for Thailand standards. Here you can find plenty of restaurants, street food, supermarkets, bars, live music and also the local market. The best diving shops in Koh Tao are located along the beachfront. Many of the diving and snorkelling trips are also starting from this point.
Sairee Beach is the most popular beach in Koh Tao and it is close to all things happening. It’s best for swimming because the sea is clear, turquoise, calm and very warm! Sairee is perfect for relaxing during the day. Is the best spot for AMAZING sunsets! … And offers some great nightlife!
There are some crazily shaped palm trees along the beach – the best photo opportunity!
Again – even though Sairee Beach is the most tourist beach in Koh Tao, it wasn’t chaotic at all!
Sairee is a great spot for everything, especially for stunning sunsets 😊
That’s how Koh Tao is.
I think I could never get tired of Sairee’s scenery and the chilled-out vibe!
Sai Nuan Beach Koh Tao
This beach is only reachable by water taxi or by foot. It’s a 25-30 minute walk (one way) from the Mae Haad Pier. The atmosphere of Sai Nuan Beach is quiet and peaceful. There are not so many people on the beach. You can spend your day relaxing in the hammock and enjoying the sounds of the sea … There are a couple of bars where you can grab a drink or snack.
Sai Nuan Beach is a good place for snorkelling. You can spot some fishes like giant grouper, orange spine unicornfish, platax fish, barracudas, harlequin sweetlips, threadfin butterflyfish and trevally. If you’re lucky, you can also spot some sea turtles too!
Chalok Baan Kao Koh Tao
Chalok Baan Kao Beach is the third largest beach in Koh Tao. The beach is in the south of the island and besides some shops, a few little cafes, restaurants and bars, there are not so many things to do here. Chalok Baan Kao is a beautifully isolated strip of sand where the waters are some of the clearest on the island. Chalok Baan Kao is good for snorkelling, cocktails, and very relaxed People.
Haadtien Beach, Shark Bay
Shark Bay, or Haadtien Beach, is located in the southeastern part of Koh Tao and is a great spot for underwater world lovers. Shark Bay is not just a name – here you can see many Blacktip Reef sharks while snorkelling!
Freedom Beach Ko Tao
Freedom Beach is located in the southern part of Koh Tao and is a bit hard to reach. From Taa Toh Resort you have to walk the way down. The beach is super cosy and a great spot to swim in azure blue water and snorkel through beautiful shallow corals.
Sai Daeng Beach
Sai Daeng Beach is a small white sand beach with crystal clear water. Sai Daeng is the closest beach to Shark Island. If you decide to walk to the beach, you have to go through one of the two hotels located there (there is no charge). You can spot sharks and turtles here!
Taa Toh Beach
Taa Toh Beach is probably one of the most secluded beaches of Koh Tao! The beach is just around the corner from Freedom Beach. Here you can find several restaurants, some hammocks and also volleyball courts!
Aow Leuk Beach
Aow Leuk beach is very easy to reach by scooter and it is actually one of my favourite beaches in Koh Tao! A lot easier to reach. This beach is private but if you consume something like Coke or beer, you will get a sunbed for free! Aow Leuk is one of the most popular sites for snorkelling – I saw a baby shark within the first 5 minutes of snorkelling! Don’t worry – the adult sharks are found further out, about 400-500 metres from the beach, off the north shore.
Tanote Bay Koh Tao has something for everyone – a beautiful white sand beach with good snorkelling and diving possibilities! Tanote Beach is located on the east coast of Koh Tao, is very well developed, and it is like the Sairee Beach of the East Coast. One downside of the beach is that the road down to the beach is crazily steep!
Mao Bay is very hard to reach. The trail to it is known as one of the best hikes on Koh Tao. If you decide to climb, be sure it is in the early morning, cause it is getting really hot during the day!
Laem Tien Bay
Laem Tien is a very small rocky beach with crystal clear waters, perfect for snorkelling! The beach is a great spot for cliff jumping and also for scuba divers since they can swim through underwater tunnels!
Hin Wong Bay
Hin Wong Bay is located on the east side of Koh Tao and it is not difficult to reach. Probably the best way to explore the bay is by kayak because it is kind of difficult to walk on stones. Hin Wonk Bay is an amazing place for snorkelling, the area is laid back and you’ll find almost no tourists here!
Mango Bay is one of the most beautiful sceneries of Koh Tao! Mango Bay is a small beach with a beautiful reef. The first time we tried to reach the beach was by scooter – and it was a very BAD Idea! The road is awful and steep, and afterwards, you have to pay 100 BHT per person to go down to the beach. So, the second time we took a water taxi – much easier and as far as I can remember, we didn’t pay an entry of 100 BHT.
Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan is one of the most beautiful natural sceneries I’ve ever seen, and it has been ranked multiple times for being the most beautiful island in the World! Koh Nang Yuan is a separate island from Koh Tao but you can reach it from Sairee Beach for 10 minutes by long-tail boat. Koh Nang Yuan is a national park so you’ll have to pay a 100 BTH fee in order to enter the island.
The park is protected, which means that the waters are even clearer, and beaches are even whiter than on Koh Tao! Koh Nang is a great place for swimming, snorkelling and even hiking – a short hike to the hills will give you this spectacular view:
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