Spot

Tanote Bay

written in collaboration with IamTheFarang (2 spots)


Located on the east coast of Ko Tao and surrounded by green hills, Tanote Bay is a remote and picturesque beach, one of the most untouched in the island. A huge rock is jutting out of the center of the bay, much appreciated by visitors for rock jumping. The little bay, sheltered and full of marine life, is also ideal for snorkeling.
How to get there?

There are two main ways to explore Tanote Bay. The first is to reach the beach by road and to get into the water from the shore. From the pier at Mae Haad town, head south on the main road until you get to the sign “Tanote Bay”. Turn left and head east on the road. The road goes east then curves north along the East side of the island. The entire road is paved. There is a public parking area near the end of the road. The entrance is on the right and is really steep down to the beach. The second option is to visit the spot on a boat tour. Most tour organizers in Ko Tao can arrange excursions when you will visit several snorkeling spots, particularly Shark Bay and Mango Bay. For a day tour including stops on 3 or 4 spots, the price ranges between 1 000 and 1 200 bahts per person.

Water entrance

You can enter the water anywhere along the sandy beach.

Aerial view

Exploration

The water starts out pretty shallow at the beach then quickly drops off to about 3 or 4 meters. All the little bay is worth exploring, but underwater life is at its most abundant along the giant boulders on either side and in the middle of the bay. The coral is built all over the boulders and the numerous fish love to hide in and around them.

Snorkel around the boulders and rocky pinnacles, where giant clams, Christmas tree worms and sea anemones –inhabited by pink skunk clownfish- find shelter. In the cavities dug out in the rocks, try to spot an unsuspecting moray eel, while wrasses, rabbitfish, surf parrotfish or blue-barred parrotfish will no doubt tag along as you explore. Dozens of other typical fishes from the island inhabit the little bay, including several butterflyfish species (Wiebeli butterflyfish, 8-banded butterflyfish), the scrawled filefish and goliath grouper.

Snorkeling Tanote Bay Ko Tao Thailand
Hong Kong butterflyfish and Red breasted wrasse at Tanote Bay

At the center of the bay, where the water is deeper (↕4-6m), try to spot one of the blacktip reef shark that pay regular visits to the area.

When you are snorkeling close to the rocks, watch out for people having fun jumping into the water.

Restaurants and accommodation

The Montalay Beach Resort is located on the beach. Around Tanote Bay, you will also find the Tanote Villa Hill Resort, the Diamond Beach Resort, the Poseidon Resort, the Lai Beach Bar, the Mountain Reef Beach Resort, the Family Tanote Bay Resort and the Tanote Good View Resort. At the top of the hill, after it starts to get steep down to the beach, you will find the Sun Moon Restaurant & Bar.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    All level
  • Maximum depth
    5m/15ft
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Sea urchins, people jumping from the rocks
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Medium to high
  • Restaurants nearby
    Yes, budget
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Tanote Bay

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Blacktip reef shark
Carcharhinus melanopterus
Bluebarred parrotfish
Scarus ghobban
Tripletail wrasse
Cheilinus trilobatus
Red-breasted wrasse
Cheilinuys fasciatus
Barred thicklip wrasse
Hemigymnus fasciatus
Pink skunk clownfish
Amphiprion perideraion
Eightband butterflyfish
Chaetodon octofasciatus
Hong Kong butterflyfish
chaetodon wiebeli
Streaked spinefoot
Siganus javus
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse
Labroides dimidiatus
Blackspot sergeant
Abudefduf sordidus
Scrawled filefish
Aluterus scriptus
Giant clam
Tridacna sp.
Show all species
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?
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