Laem Thian is a quiet, deserted cape on the east side of Koh Tao. The only resort here closed in 2011, so now it’s the perfect place to escape it all.Laem Thian is a rocky outcrop with a small beach on the south. It was here, in 2019, after a ten-year absence, that turtles returned to Koh Tao to lay their eggs. The area offers excellent snorkeling, and you will see a few fish that aren’t commonly seen around Koh Tao, such as Humphead parrotfish and Masked unicornfish. Schools of butterflyfish and a few batfish are often seen, as are giant grouper and blacktip reef sharks.
Take the track and cross to the north side of the cape, and you will find a popular spot for rock jumping with three different heights at 3, 9, and 12 metres. Stunning rock formations continue underwater and create swim-throughs and tunnels for scuba diving.
Walking is the only way to reach Laem Thian over land. The trail to it and its neighbouring Mao Bay is one of the best hikes you can do on Koh Tao (see photos below). It takes about 1 1/4 hours from Sairee town. Once you get there, it’s a great one-day trip for hiking and snorkeling. Remember to bring your food and drinks as there are no shops along the way in the jungle. Read more about hiking this route.
At Tanote Bay, you can also kayak to Laem Thian. The two bays are pretty close and take about 15 minutes to paddle. Do remember to check sea conditions before setting out.
Laem Thian offers excellent snorkeling, and you will see a few fish that aren’t commonly seen around Koh Tao