Skip to Content
Where to Snorkel With Black Tip Reef Sharks on Koh Tao

Where to Snorkel With Black Tip Reef Sharks on Koh Tao

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.

Olly gaspar

By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.

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.

Map of where to swim with black tip reef sharks on koh tao
Koh tao travel guide

The Ultimate Koh Tao Travel Resource

Looking for more Koh Tao travel guides and inspiration? Below are my most comprehensive blog posts that will serve as a great free resource for your trip.

Go Early

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.

Turtle in thailand

Where to Stay on Koh Tao

If you’re wondering where to stay on Koh Tao Island and you want to be close to the main activities and beaches, pick a stay near Sairee Beach.

However, other great options include Mae Haad, or for a more secluded vibe, check out the southern beaches or even the east coast around Tanote Bay. Below are my top picks.

Jamahkiri resort & spa koh tao

1. Jamahkiri Resort & Spa Luxury

A great bang-for-buck luxury dive resort at the beachfront of Shark Bay in a quiet and secluded location away from the hustle and bustle.

Phandara luxury pool villas koh tao

2. Phandara Pool Villas Mid-Range

A luxury villa option for those who want their own kitchen & pool. Located on the hill up to Wooden Rock Viewpoint.

Summer guesthouse and hostel koh tao

3. Summer Guesthouse Budget

Located within walking distance of the dive shops and pub crawls on Sairee Beach, this is the top-budget hostel 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!

Sharks in koh tao
Thanks for Reading

I'm Olly Gaspar, adventure travel blogger & photographer. Traveling non-stop since 2018, I've published over 600 travel guides on We Seek Travel. These draw on my personal experience to share unique itineraries, accommodation tips, & fun adventure guides covering hikes, viewpoints, beaches, waterfalls, & tours. Read my Publishing Ethics Statement.

Your feedback & updates are crucial to keep my guides factual & current. Got new info or updates? Drop a comment below or contact me directly.

we seek travel facebook icon we seek travel pinterest icon we seek travel instagram icon we seek travel youtube icon

I only make genuine, worthwhile recommendations based on my experience, expertise, & research. If you buy through my links, I may get a commission, supporting this website at no extra cost to you.