Koh Tao Beaches

Beach descriptions start from Mae Haad and circle the island anti-clockwise.

Mae Haad

This is your arrival point and where all the ferries dock. Despite this, there is a lovely stretch of beach that runs from Master Divers, south. This stretch has some good snorkeling, turtles are seen and there’s even a really shallow shipwreck which swarms with fusiliers. Compared to the busier Sairee, there is relatively less boat traffic here. Accommodation in Mae Haad includes Budget Fan Bungalows and Aircon Rooms.

Check out our blog about snorkeling the wreck in Mae Haad here.

Jansom Bay

Is a lovely little bay which you can walk to from Master Divers but there is a charge to get on the beach as the area is taken by Charm Churee Resort. Jansom Bay has some lovely snorkelling and many families of anemone fish too. We often use this for shallow water training and it’s an easy kayak distance from Master Divers.

Sai Nuan Beach – Kul Juea

These little bays form a chain of secluded coastline featuring just a handful of resorts. The beaches and quiet and as the roads in and out are virtually non-existent, they are likely to remain so. You get there by longtail boat and while most resorts offer longtail taxi service to Mae Haad twice a day it’s not the place to stay if you want to get out and about. However it’s the perfect place to relax and swing in a hammock. It’s easy swimming and the snorkelling is ok but there are better spots to snorkel. This area is still in easy kayak distance from Mae Haad and its perfect for a days exploration.

Chalock Baan Kao

This is the hub of the south and the busiest area after Sairee and Mae Haad. It’s a pretty beach but the water is very shallow, combine this with the silty water and it’s not the best place to swim let alone snorkel!  Its a good base though with bars, restaurants and other amenities and has many beaches close by to explore.

Accommodation in Chalock Baan Kao includes Woodlawn Villas.

Freedom Beach

This is a lovely little cove on the headland south of Chalock Baan Kao. One resort offers a range of bungalows which stretch from hill-top to beach. A quiet get-away.

Haad Thien / Shark Bay / Rocky Bay

All the same place but it has many different names. This is where you can snorkel with the local reef shark population!  Don’t worry they are harmless. The resorts of the beach have not re-imposed a charge to get onto the beach yet but there are many restrictions regarding taking masks, snorkels, fins, food and water with you so the best way to go here to snorkel is with a longtail from a nearby beach.


Sai Daeng

This beach is another great get-away from it all! There are two resorts on the beach and New Heaven has great food – it’s an ideal stop-off point if you have hired your own longtail boat for the day and it’s also a perfect place to escape for the day too. The road is better than most, but I would strongly advise a taxi !

Check out our blog about Sai Daeng here.

Aow Leuk

One of the best snorkelling spots on the island – it costs 400B one way in a taxi from Mae Haad, making it the perfect day trip. There are three resorts on the beach but the road does mean you  will have to stick to taxis to get in and out – great for chilling not so good if you like to head out and explore.

Tanote Bay

This is the busiest east coast beach. There are a choice of restaurants and resorts but it’s still quiet here. The snorkelling is good too.

Laem Thien

This tiny little cove was home to a small resort.  The resort still stands but was abandoned a little while ago.  Doors bang in the wind and the gardens are overgrown giving the whole area a spooky ghost town feel. The road to it is overgrown too but passable and a good hike.  It is no longer passable by either motorbike or taxi.  The cove itself has great snorkeling and it does make for an interesting day out.  Remember though that there are no facilities here so take plenty of water and some food too.

Hin Wong

This area is more coast than actually sandy beach. The water is good for swimming and there are some great schools of fish to see too.

Mango Bay

The beach itself is tiny but the bay is huge and offers some great snorkelling. There are two upscale resorts here but the roads in are not the best. Mango Bay is best accessed by sea if you want to enjoy the snorkelling here.

Koh Nangyuan

Purportedly the most photographed beaches, Koh Nangyuan is a set of three small islands, joined by sand bars and sits off the North West of Koh Tao and is surrounded by some great snorkelling. You can get here by longtail or ferry – but if you set foot on the island you will be charged entrance.

Sairee Beach

This is the main beach on the island and it’s packed full of resorts, bars and restaurants.  It’s certainly the thick of the action and it can be too much for some – particularly if you are a light sleeper. The beach is long and sandy and the snorkelling is good too – just keep an ear out for boat traffic!  Sairee Beach is just a short 15 min walk from Mae Haad and most of our divers choose to stay close to Master Divers in Mae Haad and wander into Sairee if they fancy a night out!

Accommodation in Sairee includes The Rocks Luxury Villas & The Place.

Please note that if you are diving with us only the accommodations suggested in Mae Haad are within 10 mins walking distance to the dive centre. Should you wish to stay on other beaches then a taxi transfer will be required. We do not include this in your package but can quote you rates upon application.