Situated on the east coast of Koh Tao, Tanote Bay is Koh Tao’s best beach for those in search of adventure, largely thanks to an imposing rock in the centre of the bay from which you can jump straight into the refreshing clear waters below. There is plenty of shade at Tanote Bay if you need to cool off after your adventures in the water, and the beach is big enough to never really feel too busy.
To reach Tanote Bay you need to take the turnoff from the main road in Mae Haad next to Hacienda/Koh Tao Leisure Park. The turning is clearly signposted, and it is a lovely drive that passes Koh Tao Animal Clinic and junctions for Aow Leuk Bay and Lang Khai Bay along the way.
There are a couple of different routes you can take to get down to the beach. The easiest and least steep is the middle option, where there is a small, wooden sign that reads ‘beach this way’.
There are no charges for using Tanote Bay, however, it is encouraged that you purchase some drinks or food at one of the beach cafés there.
Services & Facilities
The large restaurant building at the back of the beach serves a menu of Thai and western favourites, as do the smaller rustic restaurants on the southern side of the bay (Jah Bar and Poseidon). You can buy both soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, and it is possible to rent masks and snorkels too.
Swimming and Snorkeling
Tanote Bay is fantastic for snorkeling and is home to a wide array of marine life. The coral reef starts immediately upon leaving the shoreline, and the corals are in great condition. The large boulders that protrude the surface at the northern side of the bay are one of the best areas. There are some expected underwater sightings at Tanote Bay, as it is home to some artificial reef structures and coral nurseries as well as natural reefs. Plus, there are two abandoned motorbikes hiding somewhere beneath the surface at Tanote Bay. We have no idea why, but that’s certainly something you don’t see every day!
Recommended for… Adventure
The main attraction at Tanote Bay is the large ‘jump rock’ that sits in the water in the middle of the bay. You can swim up to the rocky outcropping, and a rope is attached so you can scramble up to the top. From there, be aware that the only way down is to launch yourself into the tropical waters below, so it is not for the faint hearted!