Ko Taen (also known as , Ko Tan, Koh Katen, Koh Tan) is a pretty little island about 5 km offshore from Ko Samui, and it’s famous for its coral reef and snorkelling spots, and its lush mangrove forest. You can visit the island as a day trip if you are based in Ko Samui, or as part of a island tour that visits many of the smaller coral islands dotted around Ko Samui. So, what can you expect to see and do on Ko Taen? Check out our list below!
Most tourists visit Ko Taen for a day-long snorkelling trip – if you’re short on time or not keen on a long boat ride from Ko Samui to the more distant coral reefs (if you get seasick, for example) then Ko Taen is the perfect snorkelling destination for you! Ko Taen is only accessible by boat, so you’ll need to go to Thong Tanote Beach on Ko Samui to organize passage there and back by boat. You don’t need to pre-arrange your trip with the boatmen – simply show up and go! It’s recommended to bring your own fins (flippers) as some tour operators do not provide them, and an underwater camera to capture the colourful sea life and corals.
Have a romantic beach picnic on an isolated stretch of sand
The island of Ko Taen is largely unsettled, which means that space and privacy is easy to come by! Most day trip coral island tours will provide you with a beach picnic, or you can pack your own and take it with you. Ko Taen is a great escape from noisy tourist resorts and bustling Thai villages, and it allows you to reconnect with nature as you soak up the sun and tranquillity.
Explore the mangrove forests in Ko Taen!
Ko Taen has lovely mangrove forests, unique in their ability to grow in salt water and support a thriving eco-system of marine plants and animals. There is a raised board-walk through the forest that ends up at the island’s village (the population is approximately 30!), and you can either visit by yourself or as part of a coral islands tour, which you can book in Ko Samui. Immerse yourself in nature and experience the fascinating mangrove forests on foot as you explore the winding pathways through the half-submerged trees on Ko Taen.
The best tourist attraction in Ko Taen has to be the privacy and tranquillity of the island. After crowded beach resorts, queues to get into tourist sites, and not-quite-authentic cultural dilution, it’s nice to take a deep breath of fresh, island air and enjoy the simple beach life on Ko Taen before you continue along on your Thailand adventures!
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Photo by lnestrud