Koh Tao Beaches
Whatever else you do while visiting, you’re more than likely to devote a few days to some quality beach time. So you need to know which are the best beaches on Koh Tao to visit during your stay. Identifying just one favourite is a difficult task, and understandably quite subjective. But one thing is for sure, you will be spoiled for choice on Koh Tao!
From wide sandy bays to secret coves, and sunkissed sands to treelined shorelines, Koh Tao beaches never fail to impress. Most are surrounded by coral reefs and are excellent for snorkeling. You can find more detailed information about the best snorkel spots in our other articles, but for now, our top picks for the best beaches on Koh Tao are as follows…
Sai Daeng Beach
If you are looking for a relaxing day on a beautiful deserted beach, then Sai Daeng is a great choice. The beach is home to two resorts, but access is free. There are a couple of pretty beach bars/restaurants where you can hydrate and grab a snack or a meal.
What makes Sai Daeng one of the best beaches on Koh Tao is the number of things to do there. You can simply chill out on the beach if you wish. The bar at the western end has a netted balcony seating area which makes for a popular photo spot. You can also rent snorkel equipment or a kayak. The reef begins just a few metres offshore and turtles and reef sharks are frequent visitors. In addition to an array of beautiful, colourful tropical fish. If you choose to rent a kayak, you can explore further from shore and visit Shark Island (but beware of potential currents) or Shark Bay (Thian Og).
A famous beach on a famous island, Koh NangYaun is located just a 15 minute boat ride away from Sairee Beach and is a ‘must-do’ for all Koh tao visitors. It’s sandbars connect three separate landmasses, allowing visitors to explore multiple bays in one trip. There is a restaurant on the island so food and refreshments are readily available.
It is the unique setting that makes this one of the best beaches on Koh Tao. Koh NangYuan is consistently voted one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you take the 10-minute walk up the steps to the viewpoint, you’ll be rewarded with a fabulous vista looking back over the island and its sandbars. Over the years, this has become an iconic Instagram shot and an image that is frequently used in Thailand guidebooks.
You can read more about Koh NangYuan on our beaches and bays pages.
Located on the east coast of Koh Tao, Tanote Bay is a large, sandy beach. It has excellent road access making it easy to visit with a motorbike. There are a few rustic bars selling food and refreshments, and snorkel equipment is available for rent. Snorkeling within the bay is fantastic, and here on the east coast you’ll see more uncommon marine life like orange-spined unicorn fish.
It is the spacious nature of this beach along with its famous ‘jump rock’ in the middle of the bay that elevates it onto the list of best beaches on Koh Tao. If you are feeling brave you can try the rock jump yourself, or alternatively relax on the beach and watch adrenaline seekers climb to the top before launching themselves into the tropical waters below.
Sai Nuan Beach
Any comprehensive list of the best beaches on Koh Tao would be incomplete without mentioning Sai Nuan Beach. A favourite among many island residents, Sai Nuan is accessible by road but the steep winding hills make visiting by foot a much better option. Just a 25-minute walk along the coast from Mae Haad Bay, Sai Nuan is a quiet bay complete with a rope swing and a lush palm tree tropical garden just steps from the shoreline.
Just around the corner from Sai Nuan, you’ll find Banana Rock Bar, situated on an equally beautiful stretch of sand. This rustic remnant of old-school Koh Tao really is worth a visit. If you stroll out among the rocks at low tide you’ll be rewarded by one of the most magnificent sunset views around.
Hin Wong Bay
A small but beautiful bay secreted away on the east coast of Koh Tao, Hin Wong Bay is surrounded by large rocky boulders making it a snorkelers paradise. As the bay itself is so wide and sheltered, the water here is normally always calmer and clearer than at most other locations, so if you are visiting during a period of less-than-perfect weather, Hin Wong Bay is a great choice.
What makes Hin Wong one of the best beaches on Koh Tao? It is very easily accessible while still retaining a distinct ‘off the beaten track’ vibe. There is a small rustic bar right by the beach, and on the jetty, you’ll find a restaurant serving food. The family that runs the bar and resort at Hin Wong Bay have been on the island for decades, and have some great stories to tell about the island in days gone by.