On a budget in Mae Haad, Ko Tao

What we say: 3.5 stars

If you’re on a tight budget, Mae Haad is a great place to stay on Ko Tao owing to its central location. All transport arrives and departs from here so you are never stuck for taxis or longtails. You have every amenity you need and a choice or bars and restaurants too. There’s beach and some decent snorkelling if you don’t want to venture far too.

The view is never cheap.

The view is never cheap.

When it comes to accommodation, your best budget option in Mae Haad has to be Koh Tao Central Hostel. This newly opened, modern hostel has air-con, WiFi and hot water for just 300 baht per night. The hostel has 40 beds split over two floors and three rooms, yet each bed is offered privacy by partitions and has its own light too. If there are a bunch of you, ask about the six-person room. One dorm is kept quieter for those who are diving and not partying. The security is excellent, with lockers and security camera. Full travel and booking service is also offered so you really do have everything that you need at your fingertips. (T: (093) 761 2398.)

Bunk Up!

Bunk up!

If you prefer your own room, then the best value in Mae Haad that we’ve found is offered by Ananda Villas (Agoda link). Typically on Ko Tao, 500 baht will usually get you an older and a room that’s a bit on the tatty sie with cold water and mis-matched ageing bedding and furnishings. Not so with Ananda. Here’s you’ll get hot water and a room that is clean and well looked after — it actually feels cared for. True it’s small but it’s 500 baht and only steps from the beach. This resort is the Sairee end of town too, which leaves you with around a 10-minute walk to Sairee beach — but don’t worry, once tucked up in bed you won’t hear the party. There are only a handful of 500 baht rooms plus a handful of 600 baht hot water bungalows too, so don’t leave this to chance — book or else you may be disappointed. (T: (077) 456 478, www.anandavilla.com)

Simple, clean and cheap!

Simple, clean and cheap!


On the food side, it’s certainly easy to eat cheaply in Mae Haad. Wander south down the path that goes via the Lomprayah office and you will find a fruit salad, yoghurt and muesli stand, sandwich stall, and vendors selling papaya salad, barbecue chicken and pad Thai all for under 100 baht. Turn left up the hill just before the Songserm pier and you’ll find Bam Bam’s on your right, a top stop for all budget travellers with big appetites.

Eating on the cheap.

Eating on the cheap at Bam Bam’s.

Continue up this road and you’ll find other cheap and tasty offerings too. Turn left on to the main road at the top, walk a few minutes and you will come to Yang’s, another favourite cheap and tasty pitstop. At the petrol station you will find stands in the evening, but during the day look out for Pim’s just before here for a cheap feast. On the up road you will find Pook’s opposite Famoso Pizzeria and on the down road check out Nana. Tucked behind Dive Supply on the down road, look for Prannee’s, where you’ll find cheap eats and also movies.

About the author
Ayesha ditched her power suit in favour of a wetsuit and ventured to Ko Tao to indulge in her passion for scuba diving. Apart from writing for Travelfish.org she manages the Master Divers Blog and whenever possible is underwater with her camera shooting fish!
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