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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.

Christmas tree worms in Sai Nuan Beach
Brightly-colored Christmas tree worms in Sai Nuan Beach.

How to go snorkeling Sai Nuan Beach?

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.

Sai Nuan Beach snorkeling map, Koh Tao

Water entrance for snorkeling Sai Nuan Beach

Enter the water directly from the sandy beach.

Sai Nuan Beach snorkeling exploration tips

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.

Parrotfish and butterflyfish in Sai Nuan Beach.
Parrotfish abound in the shallows.

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.

Pennant coralfish in Sai Nuan
A pennant coralfish in Sai Nuan.

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.

Restaurants and accommodation in Sai Nuan Beach

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.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth5m/15ft
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersSea urchins
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes
  • Public toilets & showersNo

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.