7 Must Visit Beaches On Koh Tao, Thailand

For such a small island there is a huge amount of things to do on Koh Tao, from visiting viewpoints, exploring challenging hiking trails, to beaches to chill out on. We must say, there are far more beaches on Koh Tao than what we mention. But these seven beaches below are our favourites and are definitely worth a visit when travelling to this little paradise.

You will find most of the beaches on Koh Tao have something special to offer. Snorkelling with sharks, camping at an abandoned resort or jumping from huge boulders into the turquoise waters are just a few unique things to do to make for an incredible day.

Below, let us show you our seven favourite beaches on Koh Tao and what makes them special from the rest.

Oh and if you haven’t already decided where you should stay on the island, check out our guide to the different areas on where to stay on Koh Tao.

7 Beaches On Koh Tao You Must Visit

Sairee Beach – The Longest

Day or night, Sairee Beach is where all the action happens. It is the longest beach on Koh Tao and also the most popular. Bars, restaurants and bungalows are lined along the 1.8 km long stretch of white sand.

During the hot sunny days, the beach is in use by the many sun seekers, yogis, paddle boarders and kayakers. Whereas at night, the beach comes alive with performers lighting up the bars with their impressive fire shows.

Sairee Beach Beaches On Koh Tao

Surprisingly, Sairee Beach used to be one of our favourite beaches on Koh Tao, even though it’s not the cleanest or prettiest. While staying on the island for a few months of the year in the past, we loved chilling out in the shallow water while planning our next destination.

Tip: Our favouriteĀ part of the beach is by the rocks to the far-right as you’re looking at the sea. Here the beach is cleaner, less crowded and has better snorkelling along the rocks.

Sai Nuan Beach 2 – The Secret

In our opinion Sai Naun 2 is the hot little secret of all the beaches on Koh Tao. It’s not the easiest to get to, but definitely worth the effort.

Imagine a small cove framed by boulders with soft white sand, turquoise water lined up with palm trees and a rope swing. Sounds nice right? Well, that’s exactly how Sai Nuan 2 looks like. If you are looking to escape touristy areas and would like to chill at a more secluded beach, then this is the spot for you.

Sai Nuan Beaches On Koh Tao

Tip: Want to make a day out of visiting this beach? Then check out our post on hiking on Koh Tao, which will take you along seven different beaches passing through Sai Nuan 2.

Freedom Beach – Our Favourite

Freedom Beach has become one of our favourite beaches on Koh Tao, mostly due to the low season. With only a hand full of people around, the beach is our go to spot to chill out in the crystal clear water or to relax under the Pemphis acidula trees that line the front of the beach.

Now Freedom Beach has become one of the most popular beaches on Koh Tao, with many flocking to it during the high season. But don’t let this put you off. This is still a very scenic beach to be enjoyed throughout the year.

Freedom Beach Beaches On Koh Tao
Freedom Beach Beaches On Koh Tao

Tip: While you are there, don’t forget to check out one of the best viewpoints on Koh Tao, John-Suwan viewpoint.

Cost: Access to the beach is 50 Baht ($1.50). Access to the viewpoint is an additional 50 Baht.

Shark Bay – Not Just A Name

Shark Bay is not just the name of the beach, it’s actually one of the only beaches on Koh Tao with easy accessibility for spotting black tip reef sharks and the odd turtle. Around 150 meters from the shore will bring you to a 3-4 meter deep area. Here you will be able to float along while watching sharks as they swim below.

But it’s not just the sharks that are attracting travellers to this stunning beach. Shark Bay is also known to be one of the most beautiful beaches on Koh Tao. After Sairee Beach, this is the second-longest beach on the island, shaded by the so-called “Thian” trees.

Shark Bay Beaches On Koh Tao

Tip: Best times to snorkel with these beautiful underwater creatures is during the early morning or late evening, where the water is cooler than in the midday heat.

Tanote Bay – Rock Jumping

Tonote Bay is popular for its massive boulder sitting only a few meters swim from the shore. The huge rock (around 10 meters) offers the perfect opportunity to leap from high above into the clear water below. Do be careful climbing up the rocks during rough sea conditions. Beneath the water, some areas of the rocks are covered in sharp coral.

Tanote Bay Beaches On Koh Tao

Laem Thian – The Abandoned Resort

Laem Thian is a tiny beach on the east coast of Koh Tao and is only accessible by foot or boat. A good few years back the resort had closed and it has now become a great location to hike to. 9 times out of 10, you will have this tiny beach all to yourself, where you can explore around the main building and bungalows which were left behind.

Abandoned Resort Beaches On Koh Tao Thailand
Laem Thian Beaches On Koh Tao

For the more adventurous of us, Laem Thian is a great spot for overnight camping and cliff jumping. With some friends, beer, music and a small camp fire, you’re sure to have an unforgettable night.

Read our full article Hiking On Koh Tao to Laem Thian and how to find the cliff jumping spot.

Sai Daeng – The Most Overlooked

Sai Daeng will not blow you away by its beauty, but it is definitely one of the best beaches on Koh Tao during the high season. While all the other beaches tend to fill up, you’re guaranteed to find Sai Daeng quite throughout the year.

Sai Daeng Beaches On Koh Tao

Good snorkelling spots are along the rocks on either side of the beach. Sai Daeng is also the closest point to the neighbouring Shark Island, taking only 10 minutes to reach by kayak. Around the island, you will be able to spot some more black tip reef sharks and sea turtles.

Note: If your guesthouse or hostel doesn’t happen to have any maps of the island then you should be able to find free maps outside of nearly every 7/11.

Have you been to any of these beaches on Koh Tao before? Did we miss any of your favourites? Share with us in the comments and don’t forget to check out more on Koh Tao and Thailand below.

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7 Must Visit Beaches On Koh Tao

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2 thoughts on “7 Must Visit Beaches On Koh Tao, Thailand”

    1. Hey Gigi, We use to enjoy Au Leuk but last time we went it was dirty and you had to pay 100B to go onto the beach. Maybe that has changed since and it is cleaner now and the fee is gone, as we don’t think you should have to pay to enter the beaches on Koh Tao especially since Au Leuk has always been free to use. Well, at least that has always been the case since we have been to Koh Tao every year since 2012.

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Hey! We are Paul and Alina a fun-loving, adventure-seeking, Irish and German travelling couple. In February 2014 we met in beautiful Thailand, and decided that travelling and being free was the life we wanted to live. Want to learn more about us?

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