Photo: Sunset on Sairee.

What's the best beach on Ko Tao?

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Ko Tao shines when it comes to beaches and given the relatively small size of the island (when compared to Ko Pha Ngan or Ko Samui) it is far more practical to spend your days hiking or riding to different beaches here each day. Many are also commonly visited on around the island snorkelling boat trips.

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Unfortunately some of the smaller beaches and resorts charge for access (or try to block it entirely) but in the majority of cases you should have no problems dropping in for a lay on the beach and a frolic in the water. Be sure to bring your snorkelling gear with you. With the following, we start at Ko Tao's most popular beach, Sairee, and then continue around in an anti-clockwise direction. This isn't an exhaustive list – we've left a few of the real hideaways for you to find yourself!

Sairee Beach from the southern end. Photo taken in or around What's the best beach on Ko Tao?, Ko Tao, Thailand by David Luekens.

Sairee Beach from the southern end. Photo: David Luekens

Sairee Beach Ko tao's most famous beach, Sairee is the most popular beach on the island and is where you’ll find the largest concentration of resorts, restaurants and bars. The beach itself is long and sandy and there’s always plenty of space. No matter where you are you’ll find yourself with easy access to a shady beachside restaurant for a cold drink and food. You’ll find reasonable snorkelling here too. The rocks at either end offer the best opportunities and you’ll be safer from boat traffic tucked in there too. It’s a sociable spot where a game of beach football or volleyball often springs up with the beach dogs invariably joining in the fun.

Ao Mae Haad The beach at Mae Haad gets largely forgotten about due to the four piers servicing large ferries just off the sand. A bustling town backs the beach and is second only to Sairee when it comes to dining and drinking options, with a bunch of hostels and guesthouses accommodating backpackers and dive instructors. The tan sand is fine and the swimming isn’t bad at the far corners of the beach – just watch out ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,300 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Ko Tao

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Ko Tao.

Best places to stay in Ko Tao

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Ko Tao.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Tao.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Tao.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Ko Tao.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Tao, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Tao? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Ko Tao? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Thailand.

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