If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of Sairee beach party life, Koh Tao has plenty of quiet spots to spend the day. One of those is Sai Nuan, which is actually 2 beaches located close to each other. The area offers good restaurants, bars and even some really good value accommodation. The snorkeling is fantastic and sunsets even better, and it has a real old school feel to it.
Sai Nuan located to the left, Chalok Baan Kao first bay on the right
While it's not really easy to get to, Sai Nuan makes up for it with it's natural beauty. The simple bungalows at the beaches and cliffs gives you an idea of what Koh Tao looked like 20 years ago. To get here, you have 3 options: Hiking, driving or longtail boat!
The hiking tracks start at either Mae Haad or Chalok Baan Kao and goes mostly along the coast. The path is actually concrete for most of the way, cutting through the jungle and passing some beautiful viewpoints along the way. From Mae Haad you can find the path starting at Blue Diamond resort, passing through Sensi Paradise and Charm Churee Resort. In Chalok, it starts on the far right hand side of the bay and goes through Viewpoint Resort.
There's a road crossing over the top of the mountain too, that ends about 200 meters before Sai Nuan. It also leads to Tao Tong & June Juea beach. Although mostly paved, the road is quite steep and driving a scooter across can be dangerous if you're inexperienced. Taxis are however available, but due to the terrain prices can be steep.
The third option is to visit the beaches with a longtail boat. You can get fair rates from both Mae Haad and Chalok, and the ride is no more then 10-15 minutes. You can even rent a boat for the day to circle the whole island, stopping at beaches along the way.
While it's not only a stunning place to visit during daytime, it's a great place to catch the beautiful sunset that Koh Tao is so famous for. Chill out at the unique Banana Rock bar, or one of the restaurants around. Just keep in mind that the longtails don't drive at night, and both the road and walk path are not lit all the way.
Strong western winds can occur between July - September and the waves here can be quite high and sometimes too big for longtail boats to approach the beach.
Sunset from Sai Noan beach