I wasn’t planning on blogging about my little Koh Tao beach excursion to Sai Nuan – it was meant to be a lazy day, a break from all the scuba diving and working, and so therefore I left my blogger’s cap collecting dust in my hotel room and hit the beach. But man, this beach is too good not to share with you!
At Sai Nuan I found a place to hang my hammock and there I lay, Kindle in one hand, coconut snacks in the other, for several hours. When the heat got to be too much, I ran into the water to cool off (relatively speaking, as the sea in Thailand is like bathwater). I’d highly recommend following the same routine if you make it to this idyllic spot.
How To Get To Sai Nuan Beach
From Mae Haad (where the ferry docks), walk south on the road parallel and closest to the beach. It will soon end at a resort, where you can either take the path left and uphill, or right and along the beach. Both run straight through the resort and will ultimately funnel you where you need to be, but I’d say the beachfront path is more straightforward.
You’ll pass through another resort or two along the way, and there will be frequent signs pointing you towards Sai Nuan. If you have a decent sense of direction, there’s no way you’ll get lost. It’s a 25-30 minute walk one way from the Mae Haad pier.
There is a small beach between Mae Haad and Sai Nuan called Janson Bay. You’ll have to pay a small fee to access the beach if you’re not staying at the resort there; alternatively, you can grab a drink or a bite to eat at the onsite restaurant with a partial view of the sea.
View of Janson Bay from the walking path.
Sai Nuan Beach
If you know anything about Koh Tao, you’ve probably heard of Sairee Beach: it has the highest concentration of accommodation, restaurants, bars, and dive shops. Not surprisingly, it’s where most visitors tend to stay – so if you’re craving some solitude, you’re better off heading to a different Koh Tao beach.
Sai Nuan is the easiest beach to get to by walking. In fact, walking is pretty much the only way you can reach it aside from a water taxi. This is a beautiful, beautiful thing because it means this beach is rarely crowded. You see, most people on Koh Tao rent a motorbike and drive around the island to get where they need to go, so they’re far more likely to be at beaches they can drive to.
If you fancy staying in a secluded bungalow and don’t mind carrying in all your luggage on foot, then you need to stay at Sai Thong Resort right on Sai Nuan Beach. The only way to book in advance is to call the resort. I think if I ever return to Koh Tao, I’ll just show up and ask for a bungalow – I can’t imagine they book up all that often (don’t quote me on that, though!).
There are two bungalows perched on the rocks just over the beach (see photo below), and a bunch set back from the sand scattered amidst the trees. There’s also a restaurant at the resort, and a tree swing right on the beach, neither of which I could be bothered getting out of my hammock for. You see, Sai Nuan Beach is absolutely perfect for lazing around in a peaceful tropical setting and doing little-to-nothing else.