Where to Stay in Koh Tao?

Where to Stay in Koh Tao?

Koh Tao might look tiny—it's actually the smallest of the three islands in this region of the Gulf of Thailand—but it still pulls in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. Picking the right spot to stay is important. Public transport? Quite limited. So, getting around can be tricky if you don't rent a scooter. Even with a scooter, those steep roads can make zipping up and down the mountains a bit of a mission, especially at night.


The good news is that Koh Tao offers a variety of accommodations, so finding the perfect spot shouldn't be a hassle as long as you book ahead during the busy seasons. Oh, and about that ferry ride from nearby islands or mainland? Just be smart and lock it in early, especially when the island's buzzing! 


So, where should you stay in Koh Tao?

Each part of the island has its own vibe, with different pros and cons. I recommend picking your accommodation based on the kind of trip you're planning. Whether you're after some chill relaxation, non-stop adventure, or a mix of both, there are plenty of things to do on Koh Tao to match your style.


Choosing the Best Area to Stay on Koh Tao

When planning your stay in Koh Tao, picking the right area can make or break your trip. Here are the main spots you can choose from, plus a few more secluded hideaways:


Mae Haad Village, Koh Tao

Mae Haad is the first place you'll see when you arrive. It's where all the ferries dock, making it the island's main entry and exit point.

Mae Haad Koh Tao

Bustling by Day, Quiet by Night

During the day, Mae Haad is bustling with activity as travelers come and go. But come evening, it quiets down, offering a more relaxed atmosphere.

Amenities Galore

Mae Haad boasts the largest selection of amenities on the island. You'll find branches of all central Thai banks and the main post office here. There are numerous shops, markets, bars, restaurants, and plenty of places to rent motorbikes and scooters.


Mae Haad is ideal for budget travelers and those who want to stay close to the main ferry piers. It's convenient, well-equipped, and has everything you need for a comfortable stay.


• Central location

• Wide variety of accommodations and restaurants 


• It can be busy and noisy

• Less of a beach vibe


Sairee Beach, Koh Tao

Just north of Mae Haad, you'll find Sairee Beach, a long stretch of sand lined with waterfront hotels, bars, and restaurants. This is the most popular area in Koh Tao, catering to a wide range of travel styles.

Sairee Beach, Koh Tao

Accommodation Options

Sairee Beach offers a diverse selection of accommodations. Right on the beach, you'll find budget-friendly bungalows and modern luxury hotels. Further inland, there are even cheaper options perfect for backpackers.

Amenities and Nightlife

A quiet street runs parallel to the coastline, just a block back from the water. It features a variety of shops, eateries, and nightlife spots. The lively beach bars make this area the island's nightlife hub.

Why Choose Sairee Beach?

Sairee Beach is ideal for most travelers due to its vibrant atmosphere, beautiful sunsets, and easy access to other parts of the island. Plus, it's only about a 15-minute walk from Mae Haad Pier. With plenty of activities and amenities, Sairee Beach is the perfect base for your Koh Tao adventure.


• Bustling nightlife

• Long sandy beach

• The village is filled with bars, restaurants, and dive shops.

• Amazing sunsets 


• The heart of Sairee can be noisy


Chalok Baan Khao

Chalok Baan Khao, on the southern coast of Koh Tao, offers a laid-back atmosphere ideal for families or those looking to escape the hustle and bustle. The beach stretches about 500 meters and is lined with various hotels and resorts, making it a peaceful retreat. Unlike the lively Sairee Beach, known for its beachside bars and restaurants, Chalok Baan Khao is quieter and more relaxed.

Chalok, Koh Tao

Accommodation Options

While there are a few modern luxurious resorts in Chalok Baan Khao, you'll also find several affordable options that cater to budget-conscious travelers.

Ideal for Relaxation

With its tranquil atmosphere and scenic surroundings, Chalok Baan Khao is a great spot for travelers looking to unwind without being completely cut off from civilization. Renting a scooter is recommended for easy access to other island parts. 


• Peaceful and less crowded

• Scenic views


• Limited nightlife

• Fewer amenities compared to busier areas

• Need for scooter rental to access other parts of the island


Southern Beaches

Chalok Baan Khao Bay is the most accessible beach in the southern half of Koh Tao, but it's not the only one. There are about half a dozen other beaches in this area, each offering unique places to stay. These beaches generally cater to a higher-end market, making them perfect for those seeking a bit more luxury. 

Southern bays, Koh Tao

Accommodation Options

The southern beaches feature a variety of accommodations for different styles and budgets, but they tend to lean toward the upper end of the spectrum. If you're looking for something more luxurious, this could be one of the best places to stay in Koh Tao. 

Ideal for Relaxation

These beaches are great for lounging around your accommodation during the day. If you decide to explore the island, you can arrange a transfer, as the steep hills can make scooter rides challenging. 


• Secluded and peaceful

• Excellent snorkeling 

• Beautiful natural surroundings


• Limited amenities and dining options

• Requires transport to access

• Steep hills can be challenging for scooter rides


Northern Beaches

Looking at the other half of the island, you'll find far fewer places to stay on Koh Tao's north side.  

Mango Bay, Koh Tao

Secluded Accommodation Options

The relative remoteness of the northern beaches offers amazing secluded accommodations. 

In the island's northern part, you'll find accommodations ranging from individual bungalows perched on hillsides with stunning water views to resorts with private access to excellent snorkeling spots. There are also quiet luxury retreats perfect for honeymooners or anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle. 


• Secluded and tranquil

• Peace and Luxury

• Stunning natural beauty

• Excellent snorkeling 


 • Difficult to access without a boat or scooter

• Limited amenities


Koh Nang Yuan

Another intriguing option for accommodation in Koh Tao is Koh Nang Yuan. Situated just 500 meters off the northwest coast of Koh Tao, this small island offers a unique and unforgettable experience. 

Koh Nang Yuan. Koh Tao

Island Paradise

Koh Nang Yuan is a small island just 500 meters off the northwest coast of Koh Tao. It consists of two main peaks connected by a sand bar and is absolutely stunning. A highlight is getting a photo from the viewpoint at the top of one of the peaks. 

Accommodation Choices

While most visitors come to Koh Nang Yuan for day trips, accommodation is also available for those seeking an exclusive island getaway. Spending a night here provides a more secluded and luxurious experience than day-trippers. 

Remember that you're limited to the island's only restaurant and it's a hassle (and an expense) to go over to the main island to do anything there. There are better options for Koh Tao accommodation if you want to explore properly, but it could be a special treat for a night!


• Unique and stunning scenery

• Excellent snorkeling 

• Exclusive feel with limited accommodations


• It can be crowded during day trips

• Limited accommodation and amenities

• Limited dining options, with only one restaurant available


Coral Grand Divers. Sairee Beach, Koh Tao


No matter where you end up settling in, make sure to immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Koh Tao. With its breathtaking views and unique vibes, this island paradise has something special to offer around every corner. Enjoy your stay!

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