SEAP Southeast Asia Pilot
  >   Thailand   >   Samui & The Western Gulf

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 in this now well-established Scuba destination and has recently been in the news after a tragic murder of two backpackers.

Access is by ferry from Phangan and Samui or from the mainland at Paknam, Chumpon, due west of Koh tao, from which a daily speedboat service is available. There are several daily speedboat services from Samui.

Koh Tao

In the northeast season, November to February, the seas can become rough enough to stop all boat traffic and cut the island off for a few days at a time.

The one small town on the island, which has a jetty, is on a long beach along the west coast. the unusual three-armed beach formation between Koh hang tao, Koh Nang Yuan and the small islands on the northeastern point of Koh tao is spectacular.

  • A


34 miles from ao Nathon, Samui

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


34 miles from ao Nathon, Samui

CHALOK BAAN KAO BAY. 10° 3.756N, 99° 49.279E AO THIAN OG. 10° 3.674N, 99° 49.960E

Both of these bays offer protection in the northeast season in 10-15 metres, although the bottom is fairly rocky. 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. anchor well out into the middle of the bay in 10-12 metres. this bay is a popular diving spot and moorings may be available.

  • C


5 miles from Ao Thain

AO HIN WONG. 10° 6.398N, 99° 51.001E

Anchor in a minimum depth of 8-12 metres well outside the corals, and beware of the huge boulders on the hard bottom, which are visible. This large bay offers the best protection in the southwest season and given the relatively short distances to other parts of the island, it is a good location to make your base.

There is a floating pontoon for dinghies in the northwest corner of the bay close to the small resort and restaurant.

This is a deep anchorage and the snorkelling is excellent.

  • D


5 miles from Ao Thain

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.

Sandy patches can be found in 6-10 metres to the north of the smallest island on the east side of the group, and the bottom is clearly visible. alternatively, good holding is found well off the beach in 12-15 metres.

Koh Hang Tao

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.

  • E


3 miles from Ao Thain

HAAD SAIREE. 10° 5.901N, 99° 49.498E

This beach gives access to the main village on Koh tao, where most of the passenger boats arrive at the jetty in the south of the bay. The bay is extremely busy with over seventy dive boat operations and frequent ferries using the jetty. all sorts of shops can be found ashore and it is a great spot to re-provision.

Anchor in 8-10 metres off the very shallow coral fringing the beach. Care should be taken going ashore at low tide due to the coral heads near the beach.

The Ang Thong Group - Photo by Simon James
The Ang Thong Group – Photo by Simon James

See also:

  Go to top

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.

The contents of this website may not be reproduced or copied in any form – printed, electronic, photocopy or otherwise – except for excerpts used in reviews, without the written permission of the publisher.

Phuket Publicity Services Partnership, Ltd.,
Phuket Publicity Services Partnership, Ltd.,
19/87 Moo 7,T.Srisunthorn, A. Talang, Phuket 83110 Thailand