Ao Leuk, Ko Tao

BEACH
Ao Leuk is a coarse sand and pebble beach in the east of Ko Tao. It is a more rugged bay with a wide beach, and most days it is one of the better beaches to go snorkeling. The beach has not yet been discovered by mass tourism, but we are wondering how long this will last.

During our visit, the sea was too wavy for snorkeling due to the strong east wind. However, during normal days, the beach is suitable for swimming and snorkeling.

WHERE TO STAY
In Ao Leuk we mention 2 stays. In our opinion, Ao Leuk Grand Hill is the better option, although Chabalay Resort is a good alternative. Both lodgings have budget and mid-range bungalows on the hill with a great view over the bay. If you do not want to climb to your bungalow, Ao Leuk Grand Hill is the better place to stay. Here, most bungalows are on the beach and not on the hill.

The mentioned stays have a restaurant. The bay is also easily accessible by scooter so you can go to Mae Haad Bay, only 2,5 kilometers from Ao Leuk. A private taxi costs between 300-500 baht and a shared taxi costs 100 baht per person.

ISLAND
Ko Tao, often referred to as “Turtle Island,” is a small and picturesque island located in the Gulf of Thailand. Ko Tao is not that big, and we still found some relaxing beaches where you can escape the crowds for a while. However, this place gets busier every year, so the beaches change with it.

WHAT TO DO
Ko Tao is known as a diver’s paradise and as one of the better snorkeling locations. The diving conditions are good compared to most other places in Thailand. Arriving on the west coast, we immediately felt a ‘diverse vibe’: a real tourist center with many dive shops, and bars to drink and socialize at after a day at sea. You find many diving schools, making it a good location to get your diving certification. Here, there is certainly no shortage of options for beach and snorkeling enthusiasts.

In addition to underwater attractions, Ko Tao has hiking trails and lush tropical forests. You can explore the ts , hills, coconut plantations and lush interior areas. A walk through this green landscape on the way to one of the viewpoints is a beautiful excursion. Of course, you can also take cooking, boxing and yoga classes on the island.

Be sure to visit Ko Nang Yuan, one of the most photographed islands in Thailand. This highlight consists of three islands that are connected by pure white sandbanks, a great place to sunbathe. It is recommended to go to the Ko Nang Yuan Viewpoint and enjoy the beautiful sights.

TRANSPORT
The easiest way to reach Ko Tao is via Chumphon. This town has good bus connections to all of the surrounding bigger cities. From Bangkok there is a good connection by train, bus or plane. Airasia operate flights to Chumphon. It is 60 kilometers from the airport and 25 kilometers from town to the Lomprayah Pier with a good ferry link to Ko Samui and Ko Phangan. For this, check the boat schedules online.

It is easy to rent scooters on the island.