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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3 spots added - 32 photos shared
Last updated on July 28, 2023
With its white sand, coconut palm and translucent waters, Sai Nuan is one of Koh Tao’s nicest beaches. The beach, located not far from the main pier of Mae Haad, is decently sized and very secluded yet, and offers a peaceful tropical atmosphere. It also shelters decent snorkeling although much of the coral has died.
To get to Sai Nuan Beach, ride south from the main pier at Mae Haad town. Do not go up to the main road, but head directly south along the little roads along the beach. It will open up after a bit. Parking is available at the end of the road. Next to the roundabout, you will see a sign pointing to a jungle path headed south saying “Sai Nuan Beach 10 min.”
It is a really easy and beautiful jungle walk through the little bungalows of the resort at the beginning. The entire path is well-marked. Much of it is a boardwalk with great sea views all along the path until you get to the small staircase heading down to Sai Nuan Beach. You can also hail a long-tail boat taxi on the beach at Mae Haad and travel by water for 200-300 baht, depending on the captain.
Enter the water directly from the sandy beach.
Much of the seabed is flat with an occasional rock protruding here or there with coral, essentially tabular and branching coral, growing all over the rocks. Snorkel around the rocks located on the South end of the beach.
During your snorkeling, you may spot numerous fish species, including the moon wrasse, the bright yellow Hong Kong butterflyfish, several species of parrotfish and rabbitfish, and the colorful red-breasted wrasse.
If you want to try to spot a blacktip reef shark, reach the deeper area, a few dozen meters from the beach, but watch for long-tail boats crossing the area.
There is a restaurant just around the corner called “Banana Rock”. The Sai Thong Resort also has its own restaurant along with about 20 bungalows.
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.
I snorkeled here in June 2023. Much of the coral has died and the beach at Sai Nuan is little better than a rubbish dump with abandoned building projects and associated debris scattered about. Avoid – at least until it is cleaned up.
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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.
Shallow bay with blacktip reef sharks
Free shore access
Coral reef with colorful and small sharks
Fringing reef with colorful fish
Rocky bay with reef fish, schools of fusiliers and small sharks
Free shore access
Sheltered cove with corals and reef fish