Photo: Relaxing on a south coast cove.

Ko Tao is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Ko Tao as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Ko Tao’s different areas.

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Ao Kul Jeua offers serious quietude with relatively easy access to the rest of the island; neighbouring Haad Sai Nual is similar but with more of a backpacker vibe; true isolation is on offer at Laem Je Ta Kang; and Ao Jan Som comes with hidden-away luxury.

Ao Jan Som

Privately owned Ao Jan Som offers resort-style exclusivity and service in a somewhat hidden away quarter of Ko Tao.

Bamboo Huts
Luxury - over 8,000B
30/1 Moo 2, Jan Som Bay, Ko Tao
T: (081) 984 9755

Bamboo Huts is the very definition of seclusion. Each room sits on a towering cliff overlooking the ocean. The resort is nestled between Ao Jan Som and Sai Nual beach, both of which have access to bars and restaurants, but has no amenities of its own. Rooms are clearly designed with comfort, privacy and liveability in mind. They each feature huge balconies overlooking the ocean, sliding glass... Read our full review of Bamboo Huts.

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Charm Churee Villa
Toprange - 4,000B to 8,000B
30/1 Jansom Bay, Ko Tao
T: (077) 456 394

Charm Churee is what one would expect from a nature-rich, environmentally conscious resort, with grounds large enough to get lost in. Even the least expensive rooms feature stunning sea views, an outdoor living room and balconies with seating. While we could do without the tacky bejewelled bureau, the general architecture of the rooms and grounds emit a sense of mediaeval luxury that feels more... Read our full review of Charm Churee Villa.

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Haad Sai Nual

Just over the rise from Ao Kul Jeua, Haad Sai Nual is a refreshing find, with crystal-clear waters and a handful of places to stay.

Sai Thong Resort
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
Moo 2, Sai Nual Beace, Ko Tao
T: (077) 456 868

Despite the resort in its name, Sai Thong more resembles the other beach bungalows that populate the Sai Nual beaches than its sister resort, Charm Churee. The lounge area and restaurant is directly on the beach and decorated with plush, colourful cushions. Though quite simple, it is comfortable and scenic. The wooden bungalows are rustic and small, offering only fan cooling. The balconies,... Read our full review of Sai Thong Resort.

Siam Cookie
Backpacker - Under 600B
Hat Sai Nual, Ko Tao
T: (081) 747 5357

Siam Cookie offers old-style backpacker beach bungalows and is a great place for budget travellers who want a bit of peace and quiet. Located on Sai Nual Bay, Siam Cookie has its own beach with decent swimming and snorkelling, though it's quite rocky. Masks, snorkels and kayaks are available for hire. Many of the bungalows are notably small and basic, though some are larger and in better... Read our full review of Siam Cookie.

Char Bungalow
Backpacker - Under 600B
Hat Sai Nual 2, Ko Tao
T: (077) 456 450

Char is the least expensive of accommodation options in this first stretch of beaches (Jan Som and Sai Nual). Rooms are simple and small, though they do include a bureau and mirror which is somewhat uncommon. Each fan-cooled wooden bungalow is also equipped with a hammock and private Western bathroom. Much like the nearby Siam Cookies, the dark, small bungalows are far from compelling; relaxing... Read our full review of Char Bungalow.

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Laem Je Ta Kang

No cars, no roads, no motorbikes, no worries. Laem Je Ta Kang is truly isolated with some stunning sea views thrown in for free. The snorkelling here is very good and the vibe laid back. Accommodation is simple, affordable and very friendly. It's a peaceful spot to unwind.

Tao Thong Villa
Flashpacker - 600B to 1,500B
33 Moo 2, Haad Sai Nual, Ko Tao
T: (077) 456 078

The steps to Tao Thong Villa are steep and long, the road is rough and your destination includes little more than the secluded housing and an on-site restaurant. The wooden villas sit atop brick stilts and straddle the headland that is Cape Jeda Gang. Rooms are clean and generally more spacious than nearby alternatives, with especially large balconies and accompanying hammocks for quiet, lazy... Read our full review of Tao Thong Villa.

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Ao Kul Jeua

A secluded beach that offers the additional benefit of being only a short walk from Chalok, Ao Kul Jeua is the place to be for backpackers who want to stay on the beach and unwind without losing the ability to get to town easily.

Pinnacle Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
26/20 Moo 3, June Juea Ba, Ko Tao
T: (088) 737 3816-17

Pinnacle Resort has a fresh, clean, modern vibe that is not the norm in Ko Tao. Instead of pebbled paths surrounded by unruly nature, Pinnacle offers curated lawns, managed gardens and a beautiful swimming pool overlooking the ocean. The restaurant and bar boast a wide selection of food and drinks, though you can expect to pay resort prices. A Thai meal that would cost 100 baht in town would be... Read our full review of Pinnacle Resort.

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PD Resort
Midrange - 1,500B to 4,000B
6/7 Moo 3, Ao Kul Jeua, Ko Tao
T: (090) 969 7236

PD Resort immediately feels like a family place. The on-site restaurant includes a bucket of plastic children's toys and hula hoops, close-up views of the water and delicious Thai and Western food at moderate prices. Stretched up and along the coastline, your bunglaow view will be over the clear blue-green waters and sandy beaches of Ao Kul Jeua. The beach is just a hop away from the bungalows,... Read our full review of PD Resort.

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Sunset Bungalows
Backpacker - Under 600B
Ao Kul Jeua, Ko Tao
T: (087) 0888 8634

Sunset Bungalows has its own private little beach at Kul Jeua -- a perfect place for snorkelling, kayaking or laying out in the sun. Snorkels (100 baht per day) and kayaks (400 baht per day) are available to rent. At Sunset Bungalows guests are able to stay on Ao Kul Jeua for a fraction of the cost charged by the resorts in the area. The bungalows are modest and not as well maintained as those... Read our full review of Sunset Bungalows.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Haad Sai Nual and Surrounds? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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