An Afternoon at Tanote Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand

An afternoon at Tanote Bay was one of the highlights of our ‘re-visit’ not only because it was a glorious sunny, hot day, without a stitch of rain, but it was fun to travel across the Island and spend time on a different beach.

Our original plan was to go to Shark Bay, you can probably deduce from the title why we, Tiah in particular, would want to go there! However, you cannot access Shark Bay via the road but by the time we discovered this tid-bit we’d already engaged the services of a truly lovely taxi driver. The driver was super friendly and helpful and, in what we had become accustomed to as true Thai-style, he promised to come back at sunset to pick us up.

Tanote Bay is on the East coast of Koh Tao. It is a beautiful bay edged by cliffs and dotted with huge rocks on the beach and into the shallows. One of the rocks, a short swim from shore, is a jumping rock, that Abigayle was brave enough to conquer – though she did admit, doing it once was enough – thankfully when she did jump she was on the other side of the rock and I couldn’t see her and so couldn’t do my mother hen routine!

Shark Bay is the next bay over from Tanote so at one point we had thought we would rent one of the many available kayaks to go around the point but when we arrived at Tanote there was really no need as our experience was rewarding as it was. We only had to paddle along the crystal-clear shoreline to see the baby black tip sharks swimming around.

The snorkelling was absolutely brilliant and with the coral only a few feet from the water’s edge it was easy, easy, easy swimming with lots and lots to see.

The girls spent most of the afternoon floating around the water, filming the black tips but the added fun element for me was lying on the beach, reading Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach’.

Tony had, by chance, come across a copy of the book, for sale, at the airport in Siem Reap, and seeing as we’d had so many discussions about it during our time on Koh Phi Phi, he couldn’t resist buying it. Of course he had ploughed through it during our torrential rain days so it was my turn and I just happened to be on the beach at Tanote Bay when I was about the third of the way through.

The fun part about reading the book, wasn’t so much the book, but the location. The movie, as you probably all know from previous blogs, was filmed on Maya Bay in Phi Phi, but the book was actually set on a small National Park Island off of the larger island, Koh Phangan. It just so happened because we were at Tanote on a clear day, Koh Phangan was my skyline view!

It was a wonderful afternoon of snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing while reading a book and, true to his word, our taxi driver came back to pick us up. Mind you, unbeknownst to us, he had also made a pinky promise with another group of travellers that he would also pick them up. This did, however, work in our favour as we had a short tour of the East side of the Island down to the South where we were lucky enough to enjoy a stunning sunset at Freedom Beach.

tips poking
from crystal clear waters –
rock or fin


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