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Koh Tao is the smallest of the three large islands located south in the Gulf of Thailand. It is the main destination for many divers and snorkelers because Koh Tao offers a beautiful underwater world. And where there is water, there are also many beaches.

The beaches of Koh Tao are mostly wonderful and there are many secluded bays. But you can also find beach bars on the small island, like on Sairee Beach, the most famous beach in Koh Tao.

The most beautiful beaches of Koh Tao – all information

Many travelers say Thailand’s most beautiful beaches can be found on Koh Tao. Yes, Koh Tao’s beaches are really beautiful, at least most of them. But I would not say that an island alone has the most beautiful beaches, as there are just too many of them in Thailand.

So that you can get your own picture of the beaches of Koh Tao, we have listed 17 beaches in this article.

How to get to Koh Tao

Accommodation in Koh Tao – our hotel tip

Koh Tao: Tours and tickets

1. Sairee Beach

Sairee Beach is the most famous beach on Koh Tao and the main center of the island. It is located in the west of the island. Here you will meet most travelers and find some bars along the beach. Many other activities such as Stand Up Paddling, kayaking, or renting a longtail boat are possible, too.

Sairee Beach Koh Tao in the afternoon

Sairee Beach is also a great spot to enjoy the sunset. In the evening you will find plenty of opportunities to celebrate along the almost 2 km long beach and in town. During the day you can relax on the beach. At low tide, however, swimming becomes a little more difficult because the beach slopes very flat into the sea.

High tide at Koh Tao's Sairee Beach

2. Mae Haad Beach

The beach of the main town Mae Haad is pretty quiet (despite the nearby pier) and is also located on the west coast of Koh Tao. Even if all visitors from the mainland or the neighboring islands of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan arrive here, the water is very clean and invites you to swim.

The northern end is a little better for swimming. You can also go snorkeling and even diving there. On site you will also find some hotels, bars, and restaurants on the beach. Also, you can be in the middle of the town in a few minutes, where there are various diving schools, restaurants, and a few other shops.

Mae Haad Bay beach in the main town of Koh Tao

3. Jansom Bay

Jansom Bay is located just south of Mae Haad. However, this is a private bay that you can only access via the Charm Churee Villa Hotel & Resort. The bay’s small beach is very fine and white. The crystal-clear water is very popular for snorkeling, as there are many fish off the coast.

The bay is surrounded by huge rocks and thus further secluded. The scenery is really beautiful and often there are not many people on the beach. The disadvantage, however, is the entry fee of 200 baht per person, which you have to pay when you enter the beach via the hotel.

4. Sai Nuan Beach

Further south, also on the west coast, you will find Sai Nuan Beach. This beach actually consists of two sections, Sai Nuan Beach 1 and 2. With the scooter, however, you can only get to Sai Nuan Beach 2 via the road in the south.

Sai Nuan Beach 2 on Koh Tao

It is located in a small bay surrounded by some hotels, such as the Char Bungalow. Nevertheless, the beach is unfrequented and rather popular with snorkelers who want to explore the underwater world directly off the coast.

It is definitely a nice beach with a peaceful atmosphere to spend some time and go swimming. A little further north is the Sai Nuan Beach 1, which is not easy to reach. There is only the Sai Thong Resort directly on site, which is perfect for spending a night secludedly on the wonderful beach.

5. June Juea Beach

June Juea Beach is located on the bay of the same name, right at the P.D. Beach Resort. You can reach the beach in the same way as Sai Nuan Beach in the south of Koh Tao. You can park your scooter at the resort and then walk a few meters to the beach.

The June Juea Beach on Koh Tao

The beautiful beach does not have many visitors and you will always find a place in the shade here. The turquoise and clear water invites you to swim and you can also snorkel near the rocks off the coast. From here you can also watch great sunsets.

6. Saan Jao Beach

Saan Jao Beach is located in the west of the Chalok Baan Kao bay. You can either reach it on a ten-minute walk from Chalok Baan Kao or via the Pinnacle Resort near June Juea Beach.

Saan Jao Beach on Koh Tao

The beach is little-visited and really beautiful. There is fine sand and clear water as well as shade under the trees. You can also see Hin Taa Toh and Hin Yai Mae on the other side of Chalok Baan Kao Bay – two large rocks that worship a person in a sitting position (Spirit Rocks). Hin Taa Toh is also nicknamed Buddha Rock.

7. Chalok Baan Kao Beach

The beach of Chalok Baan Kao Bay is the third largest beach on Koh Tao and is located in the south of the island. The large bay is surrounded by many hotels and restaurants, but it is still very quiet and the beach is never crowded.

The sand is soft and slopes very flat into the water. You have to go out a few meters to swim, however, snorkeling is not really good here.

The beach at Chalok Baan Kao in the south of Koh Tao

From here you also have a great view of the cape with the John Suwan Viewpoint, the Taatoh, and the Freedom Beach. A good place, especially if you are visiting the island with children.

8. Taatoh Beach

A bay further from Chalok Baan Kao is Taatoh Beach. It is located at the Taatoh Resort and Freedom Beach Resort. The beachfront resort is located across from the entrance to John Suwan Viewpoint. The Taatoh Beach often has only a few guests and also slopes very flat into the water.

Taatoh Beach at John Suwan Viewpoint in Koh Tao

If you go a little out to the sea, the turquoise water becomes great for swimming. A nice quiet place to chill and have a relaxed day on the beach. To get to the beach, however, you have to pay an entrance fee of 50 baht beforehand, which is collected on the way.

9. Freedom Beach

You can reach Freedom Beach either by walking a few meters from the resort just mentioned and descending the stairs, or from Taatoh Beach via a path that runs along the sea.

Longtail boat on Koh Taos Freedom Beach

The private beach is one of Koh Tao’s most popular ones. The bay with the turquoise clear water is beautiful and the trees provide plenty of shade for visitors on the beach. There is also a coral reef off the coast where you can snorkel well.

View of Freedom Beach on Koh Tao

There is also a restaurant in the rock-lined bay, where you can get something to eat and drink. The beach is somewhat reminiscent of Leela Beach on Koh Phangan and really one of the most beautiful ones of Koh Tao for me. Here you will have to pay 100 baht (water bottle included) on the way to get there. This applies to Taatoh Beach and Freedom Beach together.

10. Thian Og Bay (Shark Bay)

Thian Og Bay beach is also a private beach and is only accessible from Haad Tien Resort. Here you will find white sandy beach and shade under the coconut trees. You can perfectly go swimming in the turquoise water.

You can also snorkel directly from the beach. After a few meters there are many stones and corals in the water that are populated by many fish. The name Shark Bay comes from the fact that – with a bit of luck – you can come across blacktip reef sharks that live in shallow waters.

The white beach of Thian Og Bay, also known as Shark Bay

The beach is very popular with visitors and can get a bit crowded sometimes. To reach the beach, you have to go through the Haad Tien Resort and pay an entrance fee of 200 baht per person at the reception.

11. Sai Daeng Beach/Shark Island

The next bay in the southeast of Koh Tao is home to Sai Daeng Beach and the Shark Island off the coast. This is a popular place for snorkeling, because the blacktip reef sharks are also more likely to be spotted here.

Popular snorkeling destination, Sai Daeng Beach on Koh Tao

But otherwise, there is also a colorful underwater world at Sai Daeng Beach, especially at the rocks at the west and east end. Unfortunately, the sand is not really fine, but rather strewn with stones and corals. So apart from snorkeling, the beach is honestly not the first choice for a relaxing beach day.

Shark Island off Koh Tao's Sai Daeng Beach

If you are a good swimmer or want to kayak out to sea, you can reach Shark Island in about 10 minutes, at least when the water is calm. Here you will meet many more sea creatures than near the beach. For fans of the underwater world of Koh Tao, Sai Daeng Beach is definitely recommended.

12. Ao Leuk Beach

Ao Leuk, sometimes also spelled Aow Leuk, is a beautiful bay with a dream beach in the east of Koh Tao. White sand, crystal clear turquoise water, and a colorful coral reef off the coast. The water is very shallow at the beginning, but you can go snorkeling there.

Ao Leuk Beach on the east coast of Koh Tao

Even at low tide you can snorkel at the Ao Leuk, which translates as deep bay. At certain times of the year there are even babies of blacktip reef sharks to be seen. The disadvantage of the bay is that there are not many shady spots.

To get to the beach of Ao Leuk Bay, you have to go through the Aow Leuk Grand Hill Hotel. There is an entry fee of 50 baht per person to get access to Ao Leuk Beach. But for this beautiful beach it’s definitely worth it!

13. Tanote Bay

Tanote Bay is a little further north of Ao Leuk Bay. You can reach it via a paved road, which is partly steep downhill. It will reveal fantastic views of the bay.

There are some hotels and diving schools in the bay as they are a good starting point for snorkeling and diving. The beach is large and offers a lot of space, but very little shade.

Tanote Bay on the east coast of Koh Tao

The environment looks really impressive with huge rocks, but unfortunately a lot of rubbish and a lot of algae are often washed up on the beach, which is why it doesn’t look quite as beautiful. Furthermore, you will always find a few longtail boats on the beach that you can rent to explore the nearby bays.

14. Laem Thian Bay

Laem Thian Bay is also in the east of Koh Tao, a little way above Tanote Bay. There is only a very small stretch of beach here and absolute peace. There is no resort in this bay and it is very rocky. It is not nice for swimming, but all the better for snorkeling.

You can reach Laem Thian Bay either by kayaking from Tanote Bay in about 30 minutes or by hiking through the jungle of Koh Tao. If you do this, remember to take enough water with you, because there is nothing to buy on site and the hike can take about 1 ½ hours.

15. Hin Wong Bay

Hin Wong Bay is very far north in the east of the island and can be reached via a more or less well-paved road from Sairee Beach. The bay is often referred to as one of Koh Tao’s best snorkeling spots, which is of course because you can see a lot of fish in the water.

The lonely Hin Wong Bay in the east of Koh Tao

Hin Wong Bay is very calm and has few visitors. However, you have to pay a fee of 20 baht for parking your scooter and another 50 baht for entering the beach. Alternatively, you can buy a drink from the bar at the entrance to the beach.

The sand is relatively fine, you will find a few places in the shade and can spend a quiet day away from the tourist crowds of Koh Tao.

16. Mango Bay

Mango Bay is located in the north of Koh Tao. You can reach the beautiful bay either by boat or scooter over various sand and gravel slopes. There is a great coral reef in the bay, making it great for snorkeling and also a small beach can be found.

The hidden Mango Bay in the north of Koh Tao

The beach cannot be reached by scooter, but only by boat. You can only get there by scooter when you take the way above the Mango Bay Boutique Resort. There you have to go down hundreds of steps to the resort to get to Mango Bay. A fee of 100 baht must be paid to get there.

Snorkeling with fish in Koh Tao's Mango Bay

From the resort you can go straight into the water for snorkeling. You would have to swim to reach the beach. But also from here you have a beautiful view of the bay, which has its name from the many mango trees that were once planted here.

17. Koh Nang Yuan

Koh Nang Yuan is of course not a Koh Tao beach. I still list the island because it is located directly off the coast and many visitors from Koh Tao take a trip there.

The island actually consists of three small islands that are all connected by a sandbank (the beach of Koh Nang Yuan). The sand is very fine and white, the water turquoise and crystal clear. It is great to go swimming there if you don’t touch the stony ground.

The Koh Nang Yuan sandbank

You can snorkel more or less well here. Unfortunately, due to the large number of visitors, many corals have already died. But if you swim to the larger rocks, there are still plenty of fish that you can see. Just be careful not to step on the coral so that the few that are left remain alive.

You can find more information about the beautiful island off the coast of Koh Tao in our Koh Nang Yuan article.

Plan your trip to Koh Tao now

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Have you been to Koh Tao yet? What is your favorite beach on the island? We look forward to your feedback in the comments.