Places to stay
There is a huge variety of accommodation for every budget in Koh Tao. Most of the resorts are located on the main beaches Sairee, Mae Haad & Chalok Baan Kao.
Rooms range from simple huts over boutique resorts to luxury pool villas with all western amenities. With higher demands & expectations, the room quality & prices has gone up; but for budget travellers there are plenty of guest houses, hostels & even a camping site, to choose from. On average, a simple fan bungalow would start from 400 Baht, air-con rooms with tv & hot water are from 1.200 Baht up.
Rates can change with the season. Peak seasons are from December to March & July to August. Then and during Thai holidays like Songkran, the island can be completly booked out. Best book before arrival by phone or email . Also on-line booking is a convenient & secure choice.
Don't want to leave anytime soon? There are plenty of choices for long-stay visitors or future ex-pats. Located in hillside areas or lush valleys, you can choose from wooden bungalows to fully equipped houses, there are also many furnished apartments with reasonable monthly rents.
Sairee's white sandy beach stretches about 1.7km over most of the west coast, interrupted only by a few scenic huge boulders. Mae Haad is just a 10 min walk over the hill.
Being the most popular area on Tao, Sairee offers a huge range of accommodation, dive centers, restaurants, shops, beach bars, travel agencies, clinics, etc.
You also find here the Fishery Museum, the Rama V rock monument and on the hill way to Mae Haad the police station, the public school and the temple.
MAE HAAD TOWN
All boats arrive here on several piers. Here you can find all the essentials: post office, banks, government health center, Koh Tao rescue service, lots of travel agents, email services, bike rentals, supermarkets, boutiques & restaurants. Many guesthouses and hostels offer budget accommodation. Fully furnished apartments can be rented per month. A few medium & upmarket resorts are located on both ends of the bay.
CHALOK BAN KAO
Third largest beach, located on the southern coast facing Phangan and Samui. Much quieter than Sairee, but offers a similar variety of accommodation, eateries and nightlife. Along with its many viewpoints, it is beautifully framed by Taa Toh lagoon to the east and Saan Jao beach to the west. A rock formation at cape Taa Toh resembles a sitting Buddha, best to be seen from the opposite beach.
TIAN OG aka SHARK BAY
Next Chalok Baan Kao. Private bay (no public access) with an exclusive resort, also a luxurious spa & resort at the east hill side and 2 resorts at the west hill side (access from Chalok).
SAI DAENG BEACH
Two resorts and dive schools nestled in an idyllic bay & a sandy beach, closest to one of Tao's prime dive & snorkel sites: Shark Island. Best reached by boat or 4-wheel.
On the way to Tanote bay, a popular dive & snorkel site with a beautiful beach (no public access after 5pm, no plastic bottles allowed!). A few resorts on the beach front and sur-rounding hillsides, with a spectacular panorama.
LANG KHAI BAY
Little quiet getaway bay before Tanote with only a few small budget bungalow resorts, which also offer long term stay. Little rocky beach, but very good snorkelling. Best reached by taxi or boat.
Well preserved, secluded bay with excellent snorkelling, 5 laidback resorts, incl. a dive resort & watersport center with kayaks & water ski, as well as a German dive school.
Between Tanote & Hin Wong, a private cape with a small but beautiful bay. At the moment uninhabited & rather difficult to reach by dirt road, but still a good snorkeling stop during a boat trip.
HIN WONG BAY
North-east coast, four easy-going hillside resorts and one relaxed dive school, very good snorkeling with abundant coral reefs in a natural pool.
GLUAY THOEN BAY
Also known as Light House bay, between Laem Thian & Mango bay, popular dive & snorkel spot. No resorts & no road access, but great area for jungle hikes (don't go alone).
The only bay in the North, can be reached by road or boat. Many viewpoints along the hill road. Little beach, popular dive site. Two hillside resorts with pickup service.
NORTH-WEST COAST & NANGYUAN
This hillside coastline starts at the end of Sairee beach and offers every kind of accommodation from cheap huts to exclusive designer resorts, all with a great view over Nangyuan. This unique island, with its triple-connecting beach, has only one dive resort catering for all budgets. There are daily trips over, a visitors charge applies.
Private bay (visitor fees apply) with an exclusive, spectacular upmarket resort. Always great snorkelling, due the lack of low tide. Just 10 min walk from the pier, connects to Sai Nuan bay and neighbours a budget resort.
SAI NUAN BEACH
After Jansom bay, reached on foot over a hillside trail or by longtail, a few laidback resorts, ideal for nature lovers.
CAPE JEDA GANG
South-west coast, one small bungalow resort, taxi boat recommended, no public hiking trail. Can't get it more private.
JUNE JUEA BEACH
South-west coast, beautiful, secluded beach with two small bungalow resorts and despite the upmarket resort on the hillside, still a tranquil getaway. Go by taxi boat, pick-up service or just take a short, beautiful walk from Chalok Bay.