ActivitiesKoh Tao

Snorkeling at Freedom Beach and Shark Bay in Koh Tao

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With no dives scheduled for the day, we decided to go to the south of Koh Tao. Hoping to find some beautiful beaches and doing some snorkeling. Perfect opportunity to use our freshly bought masks and snorkels for something other than diving.

Hiking to John-Suwan viewpoint
Almost at John-Suwan viewpoint
Climbing up to John-Suwan viewpoint
Last Steps up to John-Suwan viewpoint

Before reaching a beach, we climbed up to the John-Suwan viewpoint. For ฿50 each, you get an incredible view over the south of Koh Tao, if you survive the 10 minute “walk” up to it. You have to conquer some rocky and steep patches and at the end you have to do some real rock climbing. It was quite the challenge, but worth it when you reach the top. Unfortunately for our photos, but luckily for us during the climb, the sun wasn’t shining at her brightest. Please don’t make the same mistake as we did by wearing flip flops, as I had to do half the descent on my butt and bare feet.

The View at John-Suwan viewpoint
Enjoying the View at John-Suwan viewpoint

Time to cool down in the water of the nearest beach: Freedom Beach. We arrived there before noon while it was still very peaceful with only two other couples and some lone snorkelers. It’s a beautiful, small beach with crystal clear water. We enjoyed the sun and sound of the waves as more people arrived. By the time we were snorkeling, you had to watch more than the fish, or you’d bump into other snorkelers. We saw lots of beautiful fish and it was definitely worth the visit. Just make sure to go early before it gets too crowded.

Crystal Clear Water at Freedom Beach
Freedom Beach Restaurant
Snorkeling at Freedom Beach

After a spicy dish at the Freedom Beach Restaurant, we went searching for Shark Bay. After 5 minutes of walking, we saw some arrows pointing us to Shark Bay. When we descended the stairs, we found a mini-bay, with waves crashing the rocks surrounding it. There were three girls just coming out of the water with their snorkels. As there were only rocks and no sand, we preferred the beach we could see but not reach. We tried cramming all of our stuff in our dry bag to make a swim for the beach, without success (should have brought the bigger one).

The beach we wanted to go to was only about 100 meters away, so we headed back up the stairs and started looking for another entrance. Unfortunately all we could find were private resorts and security guards so it took us a really long walk to finally reach the real Shark Bay, surrounded by two resorts. Brecht did some snorkeling there, while I read a book. If you want to go there, we advise to rent a scooter, as it is far from the main road with no taxis passing by. We got lucky and hopped on a shuttle bus from a local resort that dropped us of at our resort.

Steps Down to (the wrong) Shark Bay
Shark Bay as Seen From John-Suwan viewpoint
Shark Bay

We preferred Freedom Beach to Shark Bay, as it is better accessible and the corals and fish were a lot closer to the beach. At Shark Bay it’s quite possible to spots sharks though (we didn’t), so it’s definitely worth a try as well. We took a taxi to the south, but looking back it was probably easier and cheaper if we had rented a scooter for the entire day.