Beautiful beaches, resorts for many budgets and a lot of nature: Koh Lanta เกาะลันตา

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Ko Tao เกาะเต่า - a Hotspot for Diving

See the locations on Ko Tao Google Map

Picture by Sven & Fida
Mae Haad Pier - where you go on land

Welcome to Ko Tao, what means Turtle Island. In the past the waters in the area had been rich with turtles. Discovered in the eighties by the backpackers Ko Tao today is one of the major dive sites in Thailand with "the best coral by far", as Tezza notes. But there remain some laid back locations on the east and north coasts as well as in the south-east and south-west.

Picture by Dirk Enthoven
Mae Haad Pier area

Picture by jeffr_travel
Street in Mae Haad

Picture by Guy Buchmann
Divers discovery



Which beach? Which resort?


Mae Haad Beach

Picture by REMIBRIDOT
Mae Haad Beach


Koh Tao Royal Resort: From 1200 Bath. Bungalows in a tropical garden setting. See picture by Yang Xiao. Very good reviews - also for the food in the restaurant - on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by Koh Tao Royal Resort
See also picture by Zdzislaw Szymański.


Sensi Paradise Beach Resort: Bungalows, houses, villas and pool, nestled between white sand, jungle and the ocean, bordered by coconut palms and sea-worn stones. Very good reviews on tripadvisor.com, but some guests feel disturbed by loud music in the area.

Picture by Sensi Paradise Beach Resort

Picture by Sensi Paradise Beach Resort



Sairee Beach

The longest and most populated beach, not for snorkeling, behind a lot of guesthouses, restaurants, bars and shops. See panorama-picture by Jeremie Benazra.

Picture by thedingostrategy

Picture by Laura

Picture by David Sim
Reading on the beach

Picture by coincidentalimages

Picture by Laura

Picture by Laura

Picture by David Sim
The south end of Sairee Beach


Aminjirah Resort: From 1500 Bath. 23 rooms ranging from budget to private pool villlas. Amazing infinity pool. High on the hill, you need taxis to the beach. Good reviews on tripadvisor.com. See video.

Picture by Aminjirah Resort

Picture by Aminjirah Resort


Anankhira Boutique Resort: From 3800 Bath. Designed in Balinese-inspired architecture each villa has its own private pool and a great sea view. Five minutes stroll from the hillside to Sairee Beach. Most reviews very good on tripadvisor.com. See video.

Picture by Anankhira Boutique Resort
Laelia Villa pool


Ban's Diving Resort: Pool and dive shop.Reviews on tripadvisor.com rate the diving service better than the hotel.

Picture by PnP!


Dusit Buncha Koh Tao Resort: From 2000 Bath. Not on Sairee Beach, more in the north. They use a solar cell system for nearly all the bungalows to save electricity. But there are a lot of critical reviews on tripadvisor.com.


Koh Tao Cabana: From 3800 Bath. Amazing according to the reviews on tripadvisor.com. "Unless you are a late night party animal stay clear of the seafront cottages", comments one guest. See video by Michel Cortes.

Picture by Shark Attacks

Picture by Shark Attacks


Koh Tao Heights Boutique Villas: From 8850 Baht. Pool from where you overlook Sairee Beach. Fifteen minutes walk to the beach. Very good reviews on tripadvisor.com. See video.

Picture by Lauren Henderson


Silver Cliff Bungalows: Basic wooden and concrete huts. "Great views towards the mainland and a track down to the seaside with reasonable snorkelling along the seaside rocks and the fringing coral reef drop-off about 40m from shore", notes Tezza. See picture.


The Place Luxury Boutique Villas: Private Yoga sessions are offered. Great, perfect and wonderful experience say the reviewers on tripadvisor.com. See video by Kelsey Burnette.

Picture by The Place Luxury Boutique Villas


The Rocks Villas: From 4830 Bath. Four villas surrounded by lush tropical jungle, with infinity pool, up in the hills, less than ten minutes walk to the beach. A lot of very good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by The Rocks



Jansom Bay

Picture by Chris Nener

Picture by Natadata


Charm Churee Villa: This resort owns Jansom Bay, which is open for the public for an entrance fee. See picture by Zdzislaw Szymański.

Picture by noosles33
Jansom Bay

Picture by linssimato



Sai Nuan Beach

A Quiet bay with great snorkeling possibilities.

Picture by Sven & Fida

Picture by Mr.Peti36


Sai Thong Resort: From 700 Bath. But much of Ko Tao still has a tranquil get-away-from-it-all vibe, and "the pick of the places to indulge that atmosphere is the Sai Thong, the only resort on the tiny Sai Nuan beach. Sai Thong's tidy wooden fan-cooled bungalows are simply furnished and all have balconies, hammocks and private bathrooms", writes theguardian.com. Nice snorkelling just off the beach according to the quite good reviews on tripadvisor.com. Sai Thong Resort is only accessible via traditional long tail boat or by a 25 minute scenic walk from Koh Tao's center. See video.

Picture by Sai Thong Resort



June Juea Beach

See picture by Andrzey Bauza and by erikgyepes.


Moondance: See picture by Boris Heiland.


Pinnacle Koh Tao Dive Resort: From 2700 Bath. Great view, good dive shop, a bit mixed reviews about the service on tripadvisor.com. See picture by Teeza and erikgyepes.



Chalok Bay

Chintakiri Resort: From 2900 Bath. Five minutes to walk to the beach. Stairs to climb up on the way back. Spacious rooms. Very good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by Lesley Edwards

Picture by Jelle Oostrom
View from Chintakiri Resort


View Point Resort: From 2800 Bath. From larger pool villas to smaller cottages. see video. A lot of good reviews on tripadvisor.com, but one guest did not feel safe as there was no lock to close the door.



Freedom Beach

Picture by Mr.Peti36



Taa Toh Lek Beach

Picture by Mr.Peti36



John Suwan Viewpoint

Picture by Mr.Peti36



Tha Cha Bay

Picture by Mr.Peti36



Thian Og Bay - Shark Bay Beach

Very good snorkeling here according to Teeza. Spotting reef sharks is popular. See panorama-picture by Travel-Sphere.com. See pictures on the blog of Kenza Zouiten.

Picture by mookE

Picture by Mr.Peti36

Picture by fabulousfabs

Picture by Saleh Igal


Haad Tien Beach Resort: Frpm 7300 Bath. 70 private villas amongst over 45 acres of land, at a stunning natural bay, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. PADI dive centre. Beautiful setting, but some critics about service and food prices on tripadvisor.com. See video.

Picture by Haad Tien Beach Resort

Picture by Haad Tien Beach Club Resort

Picture by Haad Tien Beach Club Resort


Jamahkiri Resort & Spa: From 6400 Bath. Nestled in the cliffs, so you do some stair climbing, with lush tropical garden, pools, the Jamahkiri Spa, a fitness room and a PADI diving club. Away from the crowds but also away from other dining options, as the very good reviews on tripadvisor.com say.

Picture by HelloFoto77

Picture by HelloFoto77


New Heaven Resort: From 1300 Bath.


Bungalow at New Heaven Resort, picture by © mookE


View from New Heaven, picture by © mookE


Room with balcony, picture by © mookE


Picture by Joe Coyle



Sai Daeng Beach

Picture by Natadata

Picture by Natadata

Picture by Natadata



Ao Leuk

Picture by Peter P.

Picture by Andy Wright

Picture by Nicolai Bangsgaard



Tanote Bay

See picture by DBrian

Picture by Trevize_06

Picture by Natadata

Picture by Victoria Benstead-Hume
Snorkeling off Tanote Bay

Picture by Natadata



Ao Hin Wong

See panorama-picture by Travel-Sphere.com

Picture by eric molina

Picture by eric molina

Picture by Dirk Enthoven



Ao Muong - Mango Bay

Picture by Hallman lau

Picture by Mr.Peti36

Picture by
Rodrigo SEPULVEDA SCHULZ


Ao Muong Beach Resort: Staff takes you to the private bay by 20 minutes shuttle boat from Mae Haad Pier. Rats, geckos and lizards sighted in the jungle bungalows by guests. Electricity out from 6am to 18pm. Very clean beach, turquoise water and good for diving according to reviews on tripadvisore.com. Coral reefs and many species of fish to see. Deluxe sea view room or bungalows number 2 or 3 are an easy walk from the beach. The restaurant is many steps up.

Picture by Ao Muong Beach Resort



Not at the beach

Woodlawn Villas: From 2500 Bath. A family run resort with swimming pool and six villas and suites, surrounded by two acres of coconut palm trees and tropical gardens, in a quiet location carved out of the jungle. Easy walk to a choice of restaurants. You walk 15 minutes to the Chalok Bay or rent a bike. You need protection against mosquitoes. A peacful place according to very good reviews on tripadvisor.com.

Picture by Woodlawn Villas



What else on Ko Tao?

From Ko Tao you can visit Ko Nang Yuan.

Picture by m.gifford
A map of Ko Tao, where you can zoom in.

See more pictures of Ko Tao on the blog Kia Ora.


Bad news from Ko Tao

Koh Tao has been in the news due to the death of British and French tourists in 2014 and 2015. Read more:
Two Britions killed on Ko Tao - What are the Dangers at Thailands Beaches?
British Woman found dead on Ko Tao: What happened
British man found dead on Ko Tao: Mother believes son was murdered
Ko Tao back in the spotlight after French man found hanged with hands tied behind bis back
A British Women missing - last seen on Ko Tao?


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