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Koh Tao

This island, 34 miles northeast of Koh Samui, has a boulder rock coastline and the clearest waters and best diving in the Gulf. The island is booming with many dive shops and resorts and is now a well-established scuba destination.

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Koh Hang Tao & Nang Yuan, Gulf of Thailand | Photo by Visions of Domino/
Koh Hang Tao & Nang Yuan, Gulf of Thailand | Photo by Visions of Domino/
PLEASE DON’T anchor on coral

Mooring lines with orange buoys are available to cruising sailors in most Koh Tao bays. They’re designed to hold up to 3 moderate weight vessels strung comfortably in reasonable weather. When mooring lines are present, assume fringing coral or artificial reefs are nearby – so never drop anchor.

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Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand
  • A


34 miles from Ao Nathon, Koh Samui

AO CHALOK BAAN KAO. 10°3.756N, 99°49.279E
  • B


34 miles from Ao Nathon, Koh Samui

AO THIAN OG. 10°3.674N, 99°49.960E

Both of these bays offer protection in the northeast season. As everywhere around Koh Tao, use the moorings; don’t anchor anywhere near coral. There are restaurants and bungalows ashore, with good access at high tide only.

In the southwest monsoon, shelter can be found just to the north in Ao Leuk. Artificial reef has been laid in Ao Leuk so don’t anchor here. Orange moorings are available.

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Ao Thian Og, Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand | Photo by MMarkin/
Ao Thian Og, Koh Tao, Gulf of Thailand | Photo by MMarkin/
  • C


5 miles from Ao Thian Og

AO HIN WONG. 10°6.398N, 99°51.001E

This bay has an artificial reef; please pick up a mooring. Ao Hin Wong offers the best protection in the southwest season and given the relatively short distances to other parts of the island, it’s a good spot to make your base.

The walk over the hill to town takes around half an hour and is enjoyable exercise with great views. It’s easy to grab a taxi back if you’re provisioning at the well-stocked markets in Saree Village.

There’s a floating pontoon for dinghies in the northwest corner of the bay, close to the small resort and restaurant. This is a deep anchorage where long term yachts prefer to stay; the diving and snorkelling is excellent.

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Koh Hang Tao, Gulf of Thailand
  • D


5 miles from Ao Thian Og

KOH HANG TAO. 10°7.147N, 99°49.010E

This is a stunning spot, with coral sand beaches having joined the three islets. The beaches are just covered at high water, but still provide protection from swell and waves.

Orange moorings can be found on the sandy patches to the north of the smallest island on the east side of the group, and the bottom is clearly visible. Alternatively, moorings are located west of Koh Hang Tao on sand in 12-15 metres.

Bungalows, a restaurant and dive shop are available on the middle island at Nang Yuan Resort. There are many underwater rocks to the west of these islets, which are marked by dive boat buoys, and are excellent for diving.

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  • E


3 miles from Ao Thain

HAAD SAIREE. 10° 5.901N, 99° 49.498E

There is an artificial reef in this bay, which gives access to the main village on Koh Tao. Most of the passenger boats arrive at the jetty in the south of the bay. The bay is extremely busy with over 70 dive boat operations and frequent ferries using the jetty. All sorts of shops can be found ashore and it’s a great spot to quickly re-provision.

Pick up one of the available orange moorings or, with permission, tie to the stern of a vessel on one. Care should be taken going ashore at low tide due to the coral heads and lines near the beach.

Many prefer not to use this anchorage, opting for the less hectic and easy Ao Hin Wong (C) on the east side. The road system allows easy access to Haad Sairee, so we only recommend this anchorage for shorter stops for dropping crew off or quick provisioning. The numerous lazy lines, moorings and tourist action near the beach can be overwhelming.

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While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.

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