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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 decent sized and very secluded yet, and offers a peaceful tropical atmosphere. It also shelters one of the best snorkeling spots of the island, the coral and fish congregating on and around the rocks spread along the shore.
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. A parking is located 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 staghorn coral) growing all over the rocks. Snorkel around the rocks located on the South end of the beach. During your exploration, you may spot numerous fish species, including the elegant moon wrasse, the bright yellow Hong Kong butterflyfish, several species of parrotfish and rabbitfish, but also the colorful redbreasted 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 in 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.
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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.