Shark Bay (Thian Og)
Also sometimes known as Thian Og or Rocky Bay, is one of the most famous snorkel spots on Koh Tao, and is visited by most companies offering round island snorkel trips. Shark Bay itself is very shallow, and as such is not great for scuba diving. This destination is primarily frequented by snorkelers and stands out as the premier spot on Koh Tao for observing blacktip reef sharks.
Shark Bay is situated at the very base of the island and faces a southeasterly direction looking out over Shark Island towards Koh Phangan and Koh Samui. You can get there by kayak if you’ve rented from Sai Daeng Beach or somewhere along Chalok Bay, and it is easily accessible by road too. If you are driving, simply go through Chalok Baan Kao and park at one of the resorts just past the turning where the road loops up over the hill and drops down to the parking area for Freedom Beach and John Suwan Viewpoint.
An entrance fee is charged if you access via Haad Tien Resort using the private beach. You can also reach the beach by walking down from OK View restaurant, there is a 50 baht fee. There is a way to access the beach for free. After Chalok Beach just past the sweeping right-hand bend on the left, you’ll see a small parking lot. You can park & walk down from here. You’ll find a cafe/ bar down on the beach, we advise you to buy something as beach access is free.
Services & Facilities
The restaurant itself is not at sea level, so buy the supplies you need before heading down the steps. The OK View decking offers an amazing view looking out over Shark Bay. Quite often the water is so clear that you can see blacktip reef sharks from the decking area. But of course, to get a closer look, you need to head down to the shore and snorkel.
Swimming and Snorkeling
As well as blacktip reef sharks, two huge resident green turtles hang out in Shark Bay. The optimum depth to see sharks and turtles is around 3-6 metres. This means swimming out around 150 metres into the bay. While there are a few tropical fish dotted around in addition to the more famous residents, there is not as much marine life here as at other Koh Tao beaches. This is largely due to the poor coral quality. Much of the reef was destroyed by the El Niño cycle in the late 1990s.
Recommended for… Shark Spotting
With a name like Shark Bay, this goes without saying. The sharks and turtles are the main drawcards of visiting as other beaches and bays have much better coral reefs. However, blacktip reef sharks can be seen here all year round. It remains a popular stop for anyone looking for a safe and exhilarating shark encounter.