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 get away from it all.Laem Thian is a rocky outcrop with a small beach on the south side, and it was here, in 2019 after a ten year absence, that turtles returned to Koh Tao to lay their eggs. The area offers excellent snorkelling, 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 black tip 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. Here, interesting 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. It’s a great all day trip for hiking and for snorkelling once you get there. Don’t forget to bring your own food and drinks as there are no shops along the way in the jungle. Read more about hiking this route.
If you are at Tanote Bay, you can also kayak to Laem Thian. The two bays are quite close to each other and it takes about 15 minutes paddling. Do remember to check sea conditions before setting out.
Laem Thian offers excellent snorkelling, and you will see a few fish that aren’t commonly seen around Koh Tao