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.
Ko Tao's Ao Mamuang (Mango Bay) is a very isolated bay at the northern tip of Ko Tao and is the most recently developed area on the island. The landscape consists of high rocky cliffs and lush green hillsides rising up from the water's edge and offering lovely views of the gulf to the north of Ko Tao.
The clear blue-green waters of Mango Bay are great for swimming and nice for snorkelling, though other areas offer more diverse coral and marine life.
The resorts here are decidedly upscale and more expensive than many other places on Ko Tao. Given the isolation of this spot, they lean towards being self-contained affairs. You'll get a good deal of comfort and tranquillity for your money. There are only two resorts and the only way between them is by kayak or longtail.
That said Mango Bay does get a lot of daytripping diving and snorkelling trips -- this is a secluded spot, but unfortunately not a silent secluded spot. The bay is a popular destination for beginner scuba divers, especially those taking the Discover Scuba Diving course.
Mango Bay itself is home to two resorts -- Ao Muong Resort and Mango Bay Grand Resort. Both have restaurants on-site that offer a variety of resort-priced meals. Either location provides a beautiful view of the bay. Keep in mind that the resorts are closed from October to December annually. If you visit the bay at this time be sure to bring plenty of water and perhaps a packed lunch as there are no amenities available.
The focus is on water activities: snorkelling, diving and kayaking. If that's all a bit too energetic, tanning, reading and generally lazing around are also prime activities. After rain the bay gets very cloudy due to sand run off from the island, so it's best visited between May and September, when seas are calm and rain is minimal. Both resorts close during the monsoon season, from October to December annually.
If you're up for an adventure you can make the trek to Mango Viewpoint. The road is particularly steep and narrow, though it is paved. We recommend that you either walk the whole way or park early and expect a hike. Going up a hill is easy, but returning on the downslope on local bikes can be a recipe for disaster -- be sure to check your breaks before attempting the latter part of this road. At the juncture to turn off to the viewpoint or continue on towards Mango Bay you'll find Jim's Bar. A chill, relaxed vibe with reasonably priced drinks, the venue is worth a stop. This is especially true if you've been walking a while and need a short break. The viewpoint itself requires a 50 baht entrance fee, but the set-up is worth the fee. Featuring comfy cushions overlooking the edge of the mountain and a friendly one-man bar and restaurant, the venue is perfect for a celebratory drink. Even if that drink is ice cold water.
Land access to Mango Bay is via a poorly maintained, dangerously steep road, so most opt for a longtail. If you are staying at one of the resorts, however, take advantage of the resorts' free pick up services.
The closest ATMs and internet cafes are on Sairee Beach.
By Erin Wildermuth.