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7 Best Beaches in Koh Tao, Thailand

7 Best Beaches in Koh Tao, Thailand

The best beach in Koh Tao depends entirely on what you want to do there, some are lively with music playing and people chatting others are quiet and secluded, offering amazing snorkelling and a wonderful retreat.

Koh Tao is known for its vibrant underwater world and the beaches above the surface are just as stunning.

Wherever you want to go and for whatever reason, I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the beaches here.

Throughout this guide, I will run you through in order all the best beaches on Koh Tao, in my opinion, what each of them has to offer, how to get there and more!

The 7 Best Beaches in Koh Tao

Freedom Beach

Freedom Beach is by far my favourite all-rounder on the island!

But do not let its small size fool you, this little beach has so much to offer. From its soft white sand beach, beautiful snorkelling just offshore and a bar and restaurant serving up incredible food.

This is also one of the best spots on the island to catch the sunset, imagine, you can spend the day here lounging around, snorkelling in the sea, grab an early dinner from the restaurant and then sit back in your deck chair admiring as the blue skies turn to deep oranges and reds then to black.

It’s this aspect which I think makes it so special, you can really tick every box at this beach!

The only downside is due to its small size and popularity, Freedom Beach can get busy, however is only usually busy in the middle of the day so if you want to avoid the crowds I recommend visiting earlier in the morning or late afternoon.

‼️ Because Freedom Beach is within the Relax Freedom Beach Resort you do have to pay 50 THB (£1.10) per person entry, but this gives you access for the whole day so if you want to come and go make sure to grab a stamp from the guys at the front desk.

🙋🏻‍♀️ There is also a lot more to see within the Resort than just Freedom Beach, make sure to check out my full guide here.

Hin Wong Bay Beach

Hin Wong Bay when we first visited in 2023 was just a small beach with some abandoned bars/restaurants, it was not a very busy spot and felt quite neglected. However, since revisiting in 2024 these bars and restaurants have been refurbished bringing in many more visitors.

Hin Wong Bay is quite out of the way, located on the northeastern side of the island, this bay might not seem like much but the underwater world is what makes it so special.

Head here either via scooter or taxi from anywhere on the island and follow the small path from the main road to a clearing in the trees for parking, here it’s 20 THB (50p) for the day per scooter.

Once there head down to the beach following signs to Freedom Bar, this new bar serves up coconuts, cocktails, soft drinks and a small food menu. Buying items from them means you have access to their umbrellas, cushions and loungers located on the sand.

Make sure you do not forget your snorkel mask here, Hin Wong Bay is my favourite spot on the island for snorkelling, check out my full guide here to know the best spots to go! Here you can see a huge variety of fish, anemones, beautiful corals and I’ve even seen a stingray here before.

Haadtien Beach (Shark Bay)

If you are looking for somewhere that’s easy to access with good deep swimming then Haadtien Beach is the one for you.

There are 2 spots you can visit for Haadtien Beach, the first is the main beach itself, which is much harder to reach, as you have to access it via Haad Tien Beach Resort.

Entrance from Haadtien Beach Resort means you have to pay 100 THB (£2) entrance per person.

Alternatively, you can access the beach from a much easier location by heading to ‘Free Beach to Shark Bay Cafe‘ on Google Maps, this spot however is small and can get very crowded.

I recommend coming to Shark Bay early in the morning before the crowds arrive, this way you have a really good chance of spotting Blacktip Reef Sharks and will be able to enjoy the beach before the crowds arrive – check out my full guide to find out what time is best and where to go!

‼️ Be careful swimming here especially if the weather is bad, due to its position south-east Shark Bay can be heavily affected by wind making the entrance in and out of the water very rough and the current quite strong.

Jansom Bay

Jansom Bay is one of my favourite spots to just spend the day relaxing, it is also another great spot to snorkel with a small shipwreck just offshore.

Jansom Bay is located on Koh Tao’s west coast, just south of the Songserm Pier. There are many beachfront hotels and restaurants here but there is also plenty of space to find a spot either in the sun or hidden in the shade of the palm trees.

Due to the shallower water here, the best time to visit is in the morning as before the tide goes out!

To find out where the shipwreck is and how to get there check out my 19 Best Things to Do in Koh Tao.

Mae Head Beach

Whilst staying on the west coast of Koh Tao most people head to Sairee Beach as it’s the biggest and most well-known beach however it’s so shallow and is very hard to swim here, it is also often busy with boats coming and going.

Mae Head Beach is just a little further south, to get to the best spot head to the most northern side of the beach, which you can access near Blue Chitta through the Koh Tao Regal Resort.

Here you can find a wonderfully quiet white sandy beach, clear water which is shallow to start and deeper where there are some corals to explore, plenty of sunny and shady spots and a beautiful place to watch the sunset.

Mae Head is the best beach on Koh Tao to just relax and spend the day. Just make sure to stock up on drinks and snacks as there is nowhere to buy anything from here unless you walk back to the 7-Eleven located in Mae Head.

Tanote Bay

Tanote Bay is another great spot for a slightly quieter day at the beach, located on the east coast out of the way of the main tourist areas in Koh Tao, Tanote Bay is a large stretch of sand which rarely feels overcrowded.

Tanote Bay is another deep spot in Koh Tao offering some more great snorkelling, here you can find tons just offshore but it’s visibility is best when there are low winds due to its exposure on the east side of the island.

Located not far offshore you can find plenty of colourful corals and tons of fish!

It is also a great spot here for adrenaline junkies with plenty of rocks to climb up and jump off, the main one is the large rock you can’t miss in the middle of the beach. You can even find a chain attached to the rock to help you climb to the top.

Make sure you are willing to jump though as once you get up there, that is the only way down!

Best Time to Visit The Best Beach in Koh Tao

Koh Tao has 4 main seasons, they are cool and dry, hot and dry, hot and wet and monsoon season.

When visiting the best beach in Koh Tao you want the weather to be on your side, therefore best time to visit and the most popular on the island is generally the hot and dry season which tends to run from January to May. The island can get very busy during this time and due to its small size accommodation can easily all get booked up so make sure to book in advance if you can.

However, if you are mainly visiting the island to dive visibility under the ocean surface can reach up to 30 meters in July, August and September – although this is the wet season.

Where to Stay on Koh Tao

Luxury: Sensi Paradise Beach Resort

Overlooking Mae Haad Beach, Sensi Paradise Beach Resort is close enough to everything you need while still feeling as if you are in a secret oasis. Sensi Paradise offers bungalows that all feature private balconies with garden, pool or sea views. All the bungalows are equipped with fridges, tea and coffee-making facilities, mosquito nets, shower facilities, bathrobes, slippers and ensuite bathrooms. The hotel can book private fishing and snorkelling tours for you as well as assist with booking diving and transportation. The beachfront restaurant offers a complimentary buffet breakfast as well as Western and Thai-style lunch and dinner. Check out my full guide to discover more about Sensi Paradise Beach Resort.

Mid-range: The Ozo

This 3* hotel offers everything you need to feel like you are getting a little bit of luxury while not breaking the bank. There are 5 different room options to suit each budget, each one has a balcony with views over the pool and jungle-covered mountain behind. Room service is available and air conditioning, TV, safety deposit box, private bathroom, fridge and toiletries.

Budget: Blue Chitta

Located above the Blue Chitta Yoga Studio and the newly opened Prana Cafe, Blue Chitta Hostel has 18 beds made up of 2 rooms, a 10-bedroom dorm and an 8-bedroom dorm. These dorms are finished beautifully to ensure you have a relaxing and enjoyable stay, there are no bunks, privacy curtains, shelves to keep your belongings, lockers and air conditioning. It is also perfectly located to catch the sunset and you have access to Mae Head beach through a neighbouring resort. Due to its location and its encouragement for you to join the meditation and yoga classes and workshops, this is a very relaxed and chilled-out hostel. They do not tolerate drinking, smoking and loud behaviour so please ensure you only book if you want to relax!

Koh Tao