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.

Sain Nuan Beach, Koh Tao

How to get there?

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.

Sai Nuan Beach snorkeling map, Koh Tao

Water entrance

Enter the water directly from the sandy beach.

Exploration

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.

Bannerfish at Sai Nuan Beach, Koh Tao

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.

Table coral at Sai Nuan Beach, Koh Tao

Restaurants and accommodation

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.



Species you may spot while snorkeling Sai Nuan Beach
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME ABUNDANCE FISHBASE WIKIPEDIA
Blacktip reef shark Carcharhinus melanopterus  
Pink skunk clownfish Amphiprion perideraion  
Red-breasted wrasse Cheilinuys fasciatus  
Bluestreak cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus  
Eightband butterflyfish Chaetodon octofasciatus  
Hong Kong butterflyfish chaetodon wiebeli  
Streaked spinefoot Siganus javus  
Blackspot sergeant Abudefduf sordidus  
Bluebarred parrotfish Scarus ghobban  
Giant clam Tridacna sp.  

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth5m/15ft
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersSea urchins
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • 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.