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Even if it is not among the most famous snorkeling spots on Koh Tao, Sai Daeng Beach has some interesting underwater life. In particular, it is a good location to spot groupers, anemonefish, parrotfish, but also sea turtles and, more rarely, blacktip sharks. Another advantage of Sai Daeng Beach is its easy and free shore access.

Sai Daeng Bay, Koh Tao
Sai Daeng Beach, Koh Tao.

How to get to Sai Daeng Beach snorkeling spot?

Sai Daeng is a beach in the southeast of the island of Koh Tao. It is located between two other snorkeling spots: Shark Bay to the west and Aow Leuk Bay to the north. Two resorts, the Sai Daeng Resort and the Coral View Dive Resort, share the bay.

The beach is also freely accessible by road and then by a small path which starts from the car park (see map below). Sai Daeng is just a 2-mile drive from Mae Haad Pier (15 minutes).

Sai Daeng Beach snorkeling map, Koh Tao
Sai Daeng Beach snorkeling map, Koh Tao.

Water entrance for snorkeling Sai Daeng Beach

You can enter the water anywhere on the beach.

Sai Daeng Beach snorkeling exploration tips

The snorkeling area covers the entire bay. The ideal is to go around it, exploring both sides. After a sandy entrance, the bottoms gradually become covered with corals in average condition but sheltering a wide variety of fish.

Bannerfish swimming above table coral at Sai Daeng Beach
A table coral reef at Sai Daeng. In this picture, you can note a Pennant coralfish, sergeants, and squirrelfish.

Near the shore, there is sand and just a few fish, but to the right and left of the bay, as well as further from the shore to the center of the bay, coral patches are present. These include branching coral and table coral.

To the right of the beach when facing to sea (towards the west side of the bay), there are several coral restoration structures, which serve as hiding places for fish such as titan triggerfish and groupers.

Yellow prawn-goby at Sai Daeng Bay
A Yellow prawn-goby at Sai Daeng.

Besides the turtles (frequently) and sharks (occasionally) that can be seen at the site, there are many different types of groupers, from the small dwelling blacktip grouper to the massive coral groupers (see species list at the bottom of page).

You will also easily spot parrotfish, spinefoot, anemonefish, and bannerfish. A few nudibranchs, sabella, and starfish are also visible on the reef.

Parrotfish at Sai Daeng Beach
The Rivulated parrotfish is one of the most abundant parrotfish species at this location.

Restaurants and accommodations nearby

This spot is the house-reef of two resorts: the Sai Daeng Resort and the Coral View Dive Resort.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth20 ft / 6 m over the reef
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium
  • Access costsFree

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.