Koh Tao offers beautiful snorkeling sites all around the island. We would like to introduce you to the top five snorkeling locations of Koh Tao. Please keep in mind not to stand on corals or pick up souvenirs when you’re exploring Koh Tao’s snorkeling sites. Help us to save the beautiful underwater world we still have on Koh Tao.
1. Tanote Bay
The bay is located south of Laem Thian. Tanote Bay is a nice protected bay, superb for snorkelers. The reef slopes from around 2 meters below sea level to around 18 meters. Here, you can find a wide variety of fish. The most common are Angelfish, Butterfly fish, Groupers, Anemone fish, Blue Spotted Ribbontail Stingrays, and sometimes the occasional Hawksbill Turtle. After a lovely experience, you have the opportunity of swimming out to the middle of the bay where you can get your adrenaline rush by jumping off a massive boulder.
2. Japanese Gardens
Japanese Gardens is located on the east side of the island Koh Nang Yuan, which is accessible via boat, long tail (taxi boat), or kayak. This location is perfect for first-time snorkelers as there is a designated snorkeling area where boats cannot enter. You can start in the sandy shallows and then mover further out to explore the magnificent reef whilst being surrounded by many friendly fish.
3. Aow Leuk
Aow Leuk is a beautiful big bay, which is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. There are wonderful fringing reefs on either side of the bay with amazing fish life, such as Butterfly fish, Monacle Breams, Nudibranchs, Jenkins Rays, Saddleback Clown fish, and even the occasional Lion fish.
Aow Leuk is located on the south end of Koh Tao, so you can experience a different quieter side of the island and escape the hustle and bustle of Mae Haad and Sairee Village. You can access this location via road, boat, or long tail (taxi boat).
4. Mango Bay
Mango Bay is located on the north end of Koh Tao and is one of the most popular snorkel destinations. It is now accessible via road; however, be careful, the road down to Mango Bay is very steep. Our advice is to take a long tail (taxi boat). This bay is a very easy reef to snorkel around. The reef is scattered all around the bay, so you don’t have to look too hard to find amazing sea life. Most time of the year, you are likely to come across a big school of Yellow Scad and more often than not a large school of Yellow Tail Barracuda. If you look carefully enough, you may even find a seahorse or two in the sand.
5. Shark Bay
Shark Bay, also known as Haad Tien Beach, which is located on the south end of the Koh Tao, is a hot-spot for most. The reason for this is purely in the name, “Shark”. This is one of the few places on Koh Tao where you are likely to catch a glimpse of a shark. Don’t fret though; they are mostly little Black Tip Reef Sharks. They are incredible to see in the water! You might even see a very large Green Turtle. The reef is quite shallow, so this place is a common spot for divers. Shark Bay can be accessed via long tail (taxi boat) or by road.