Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on January 7, 2024
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 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).
You can enter the water anywhere on the beach.
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.
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.
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.
This spot is the house-reef of two resorts: the Sai Daeng Resort and the Coral View Dive Resort.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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