The pristine, jungle-clad and mountainous island of Koh Tao is surrounded by spectacular coral reefs and is renowned as the best dive location in the Gulf of Thailand – perfect for adventurous honeymoon couples.
Scattered in and around Koh Tao's 11 bays and 10 rocky headlands lie several picturesque beaches, including Had Sairee, Had Mai Had and Chaloke Ban Kao Bay.
Koh Tao is fringed with a number of secluded coves and wide bays that shelter several idyllic beaches just a short water taxi ride away from one another, including…
Enjoy a cool drink at a beachside bar on this west-facing, narrow, 2km-long palm-fringed crescent of white sand that faces translucent aquamarine water perfect for sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling the coral reef, which lies just 100m off the beach.
Rent a kayak and explore the rocky headlands of the bay.
The beach is home to several resorts including the Sensi Paradise Beach Resort (photo) and the Koh Tao Montra Resort & Spa, both of which offer a range of creature comforts.
This palm-fringed white-sand beach faces a gorgeous turquoise bay located on the south coast, with a view of the so-called Buddha rock and within easy walking distance of the neighbouring beaches of June Juea and Saan Joa, among others.
After Sairee Beach, this is the second most popular beach on Koh Tao.
South of Sairee lies this narrow white-sand beach that shelves into shallow water with good snorkelling and a range of accommodation options.
Mae Hat Beach stretches to the north and south of Koh Tao's main town, Mae Hat, where the ferry piers are located.
In the town, you can find a cluster of dive shops, currency exchange kiosks, travel agents, internet cafes, bakeries, restaurants and bars.
The rugged islet of Koh Nang Yuan, located just off the island's northwest coast, features three dramatic jungle-clad peaks linked together by beautiful white-sand beaches.
Paddle a kayak across from the mainland, relax on the pretty white beach and snorkel the nearby coral garden. You can also choose to stay overnight at the island’s own Kohh Nang Yuan Resort.
(Paradise Bay) – Unwind on this pocket of sugar-white sand that shelves gently into a small cove of crystal clear water framed by jungle-clad headlands.
Sunbathe on the palm-fringed beach, swim or snorkel the calm waters and enjoy a range of creature comforts at the Charm Churee Villas, a boutique resort that hugs the hillside overlooking the beach.
Tiny Jansom Bay is located on the southwest side of the island just south of Hat Sairee.
This palm-fringed crescent of white sand faces onto a calm bay framed by jungle-clad headlands.
Relax at the Black Tip Dive Resort, sunbathe on the beach and snorkel spectacular coral reefs teeming with colourful fish at one of the island’s best snorkelling sites.
(Shark Bay) – This small, palm-fringed, white-sand beach fronts a bay famous for snorkelling and daily sightings of friendly black tip reef sharks that hunt small fish in the shallows.
Relax in comfort at the Jamahkiri Spa Resort, which straddles huge boulders on a rocky promontory overlooking the bay, located on the south coast.
This small beach is accessible only by boat and offers a secluded paradise for swimming, snorkelling and diving surrounded by high rocky cliffs and lush green hillsides rising up from the water's edge.
Come on a day trip or relax in comfort at the hillside Mango Bay Grand Resort. Mango Bay is located at the very northern tip of Koh Tao.
With hardly any currents, great visibility, numerous dive sites and abundant marine life, Koh Tao is a great place to learn to dive, with several dive centres offering PADI open water diving courses.
Enjoy a cool drink at a beachside bar on the west-facing beach of Hat Sairee, a narrow, palm-fringed crescent of white sand that is perfect for sunbathing and swimming in the translucent aquamarine water.
Explore the bay’s rocky headlands by kayak and paddle to the nearby scenic islet of Koh Nang Yuan.
Inland, hike rainforest trails to Koh Tao's highest peak, ‘Two Views’, located in the middle of the island and offering panoramic views overlooking Sairee Bay to the west and Tanote Bay to the east.
Or choose from several other activities, including sailing, rock climbing, abseiling, cliff jumping and even paint-ball games. For an insight into local culture, sign up for a Thai massage and cooking course.
Koh Tao is famous for its pristine underwater world where you can easily spot turtles, stingrays, barracudas, reef sharks and colourful tropical fish at several different locations around the island.
With the exception of November, diving off Koh Tao is available year round with visibility often exceeding 40m. Some of the best dive sites include…
This iceberg-shaped pinnacle soars from a depth of 40m to stand 15m above sea level and is one of the more famous dive sites in the Koh Samui archipelago.
Look out for many species of tropical fish as well as barracuda, batfish, jacks and the occasional whale shark. Swim through ‘the Chimney’, which begins at a depth of 18m and exits the pinnacle again at depths of 12m and 6m.
his huge 40m-tall granite pinnacle teems with grey reef sharks, schooling barracuda, batfish, giant gropers, lionfish and the occasional whale shark.
Discover seven granite pinnacles ranging from 5m to 30m in depth. Located around 12km off the southwest coast of Koh Tao, the pinnacles are covered in anemones, whip corals and sea fans.
This dive offers several small swim-throughs, caves and crevices where various marine animals can be seen, including yellow margin and titan trigger fish.
Better known as ‘Shark Point,’ this bay offers classic encounters with these big fish.
Koh Tao offers a wide range of beachside accommodation to suit all budgets, including the Sensi Paradise Beach Resort (photo) and Montra Resort & Spa on Sairee Beach and the luxurious Jamahkiri Spa Resort at Thian Og Bay.
Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about Ko Tao hotels at TripAdvisor.
Typically from December to March and July to August are the best times to visit, but conditions are generally good at any time of the year. November, however, is usually stormy and very wet.
For more climate info: Kon Tao Weather Guide…
Koh Tao is located in the Gulf of Thailand around 120 kilometres from the Surat Thani coast just north of Koh Pha Ngan, and is a one hour ride on a high-speed catamaran from Ao Makham Noi Pier in Chumphon on the mainland, or a one hour speedboat trip from Koh Pha Ngan and up to three hours from Koh Samui.
Latest update: Koh Tao Honeymoon Guide: 18 November, 2018
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