Ao Thian Ok is one of the best swimming and snorkelling beaches on the whole island of Koh Tao. Its name means Shark Bay, due to the presence of the harmless reef sharks that can be found here.
Aside from that, the sheer quality and beauty of this beach make it stand out from many of the island’s other beaches.
Ao Thian Ok, Shark Bay Beach Hotels, Resorts & Bungalows, Koh Tao
If you come to snorkel with the blacktip sharks here, the best time to do so is between 7am and 10am. The sharks are of different sizes; sometimes they can be as large as 6 feet, although the smaller sharks tend to venture closer to the shallow waters. There have never been any dangerous encounters with these sharks, so don’t worry; they are peaceful! You may also encounter other colourful fish, including clownfish, needlefish, triggerfish, butterflyfish, and even the occasional sea turtle.
Ao Thian Ok is located right next to a large resort, which takes up most of the beach space. There are also a number of other resorts, hotels and bungalows located pretty close by.
There are two ways you can get here: the first is by walking or taking a scooter from Mae Haad or Sairee beach, then go south to Chalok. Simply follow the signs that say Sai Daeng Beach, then pass the resorts; if you see a taxi, you can hail one to take you directly to the beach.
Another option is to go on a diving tour because most trips from Koh Tao head to the popular snorkelling spots in the area, which often include Shark Bay.