A quick guide on where to snorkel with Reef Sharks on Koh Tao! Remember to respect wildlife and be responsible!
If you’re in Koh Tao then you are already aware of the epic underwater world that surrounds the island. One specific sea creature that seems a little harder to catch a glimpse of is the Black Tip Reef Shark.
Although these guys sometimes visit the popular dive sites around the island, they can be regularly spotted if you know when and where to look. Read on to find out where you can swim with sharks in Koh Tao.
Where are the Black Tip Reef Sharks on Koh Tao?
Black Tip Reef Sharks usually frequent shallow sandy flats, anywhere from under 1m to 10m in Shark Bay, also known as Haad Tien Beach. Shark Bay is located in the South end of Koh Tao island, just past Chalok.
The easiest way to get there is to leave your bike at Taatoh Seaview Resort and walk down the windy cliff walkways until you get to the water.
Once you have reached the bottom, simply swim out to the shallows and keep an eye out for that black fin! Some of the juvenile sharks in Koh Tao are very small, only around 60cm long! However, keep watch because we frequently saw some up to 1.5m long, sometimes up to four at a time circling us.
Although these sharks can be found everywhere in the bay, we found that we were more likely to spot them in the area pictured below.
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Many people that I spoke to were positive that there were no sharks in Koh Tao, this is definitely not true. You can see sharks in Koh Tao daily, but it is important to go early in the morning between 6.30AM and 9.30AM. It seems that the sharks only ever visit the bay around this time of the morning, which means an early wake up if you really want to catch them!
Keep an Eye Out for Turtles
Turtle Island isn’t the sanctuary for turtles like it used to be. Many have migrated to other smaller nearby islands to escape the scuba crowds. However, it is still very common to find large sleeping or cruising turtles in the quite sanctuary of Shark Bay. Once the sharks have headed off for the day, swim out a little deeper and keep an eye out for the chilled dudes. Remember to give them some space and let them enjoy the relative quietness of this hidden gem.
Where to Stay on Koh Tao
There are several options for travelers wondering where to stay on Koh Tao island. Generally speaking, most people like to stay near Sairee Beach to be close to all the highlights and things to do. However, you can also stay near Mae Head, or a bit further up the mountain from Sairee as well.
To save you time searching the web, I’ve listed some of the best options for where to stay on Koh Tao below.
- Best Luxury Pick: Jamahkiri Resort & Spa – a really great bang-for-buck luxury resort. Guests will find this one on the beachfront of Shark Bay in a quiet and secluded location away from the hustle and bustle.
- Best self-catering villa: Phandara Pool Villas – a luxury option for those who want their own kitchen & pool.
- Best Backpacker Hostel: Summer Guesthouse – located within walking distance of the dive shops on Sairee beach and of course, the nightly pub crawls– this is the top budget option with a great vibe.
More Koh Tao Guides
I hope that this quick guide to snorkeling with Reef Sharks on Koh Tao has been useful. Remember, always respect wildlife and only enter the water with sharks if you are comfortable and have experience. If not, I’d recommend avoiding them altogether.
Before you head out, check out some of my other travel guides to Koh Tao below!