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Haad Sai Nual and Surrounds

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The southwest corner of Ko Tao encompasses some terrific, hidden-away beaches and bays, with a wide variety of lodgings. Be it a threadbare bamboo shack or a comfortable chalet with WiFi access, you'll find something suitable along this stretch of Turtle Island.

A rough and ready trail leads from Mae Haad to Haad Sai Nual, but this is not an advisable trek with anything more than a light pack. In calm seas the easiest and cheapest way around to the beach is by longtail taxi. The road over to the beach is not concrete all the way and can be accessed by songthaew too, however due to the distance you are still better to take a water taxi.

After leaving the southern reach of Mae Haad the first spot you'll find is the privately owned Jan Som bay, followed by Haad Sai Nual, Laem Je Ta Klang and eventually Ao Kul Jeua. After that you're but a hop, skip and a jump from Chalok Ban Kao via the lovely Haad Saal Chao.

Ao Jan Som
This gorgeous, privately-owned beach belongs to the surrounding resort. The beach is tiny and with so many rooms there's really not much space to lay around on. Some reasonable snorkelling can be enjoyed around the shallow bay and the resort has installed bamboo rafts so that you can float in the ocean without floating away. Charm Churee Resort is the main accommodation here, but the nearby Sensi Paradise facing onto Mae Haad is the better deal.

As the bay is privately-owned, there's an admission fee to get onto the beach if you are not staying at the resort.

Haad Sai Nual, Laem Je Ta Klang and Ao Kul Jeua
This series of very attractive turquoise bays and palm-fringed beaches can be reached on foot, kayak or longtail from either Mae Haad or Chalok Ban Kao.

These bays have both advantages and disadvantages -- what you gain in tranquillity you lose in ease of access. If you're a bit of a night owl, this part of Ko Tao may not be the best choice. The roads are paved but songthaews end up being pricey due to the distance, and even though the road is good for the most part, it’s steep, dark and windy and not advisable to use at night on a motorbike.

On the other hand, if you're after a bit of serenity, a lot of hammock swinging and a fair dose of gazing out to sea, then you're in the right place.

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Text and/or map last updated on 30th October, 2013.

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