Mae Haad, Koh Tao, Surat Thani, South - Thailand
What do you need to know about Koh Tao and Mae Haad?
Ko Tao is an island in Thailand and is part of the Chumphon Archipelago on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. It covers an area of about 21 square kilometres. Administratively it is a subdistrict (tambon) of Ko Pha-ngan District (Amphoe) of Surat Thani Province. As of 2006, its official population was 1,382. The main settlement is Ban Mae Hat. The economy of the island is almost exclusively centred on tourism, especially scuba diving. Scuba diving is extremely popular in Ko Tao due to clear visibility, inexpensive pricing and the range of sea life to be seen.
Mae Haad was uninhabited for many years, with only the occasional fisherman from the neighbouring islands, looking for shelter in a storm or just resting before continuing on his journey. It would appear from old maps and descriptions that this island was known by European cartographers and mariners as "Pulo Bardia", indicating that it was first settled by Malayo-Polynesian peoples. The old maps show a chain of three islands aligned north-south and lying off the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. The most northerly and smallest of these islands is marked P. Bardia, the name it had until the early 1900s. The best map example is by John Thornton from The English Pilot, the Third Book, dated 1701, but the specific map of the Gulf of Siam is dated around 1677. On 18 June 1899, King Chulalongkorn visited Ko Tao and left as evidence his monogram on a huge boulder at Jor Por Ror Bay next to Sairee Beach. This place is still worshipped today.
Mae haad bay is the port town where all piers are located. There is still a feel of the local Thai lifestyle here. This is also where the government offices are, the police station, post office, health centre, banks, school and temple can be found. Mae Haad bay is a good place for shopping for Thai souvenirs, beachwear, beach games and handmade jewellery.
There are dive equipment stores where you can buy everything from masks and fins for snorkelling to the latest scuba diving gear. Local fresh market shops and stalls are also located here where you can find tropical fruit and local ingredients.
An interesting place to snorkel in mae haad bay is at the shipwreck which sank in 1962, located at the south end of the bay. There are generally lots of fish here and you may be accompanied by a huge school of fusiliers as well as the blue spotted rays and sweetlips hiding about the place.
Getting around koh tao by foot from this bay is safe and easy, though do be careful on the main roads. Go north to sairee beach if you are looking for crowds and convenience, or go south to sai nuan beach for a ‘back to nature’ feel and its peaceful simplicity, reminiscent of koh tao in days gone by. A small brick beach road, no cars, just a few bikes, will take you to sairee beach, while a walkway along the southwestern coast will lead to jansom bay, sai nuan beach and june juea bay in less than an hour.
On the west side of Koh Tao, this bay is only busy in the centre of the bay, to the north or south of town, it gets quieter. There is plenty of accommodation in the area and it is quite convenient. Koh Tao has a great variety of places to eat offering international cuisines and mouth-watering creative fusion blends.
Motorbikes are the main form of transport; however, visitors are advised to drive responsibly as motorbikes are the main cause of injury to tourists in the area.
Renting a scooter is a great way to get around Koh Tao isalnd. However, it is important to remember that a motorbike in inexperienced hands can lead to an abrupt, painful and expensive end to your travels!
Koh Tao is not a good place to try riding a motorbike for the first time
You can rent a motorbike around 200 - 550 baht per day depend on the season and the size of the motorbike.
When renting a motorbike, you will be require to give your passport as a deposit.
Note: Make sure to buy insurance
Koh Tao Ferries:
- Ferry companies Lomprayah, Seatran, and Songserm serve Ko Tao from:
- Surat Thani (4 hours day boat, 9 hours on overnight boat)
- Chumphon (1.5–3 hours, 7 hours on overnight boat)
- Ko Samui (approximately 2.5 hours)
- Ko Pha-ngan (approximately 1.5–2 hours).
All ferries dock at Ban Mae Haad. Journey times vary due to the different boats used by the various ferry companies. Train services are available to Chumphon where ferries are available.
Ko Tao has no airport, but connections to high-speed catamarans and ferries are available at three airports.
- Chumphon Airport (CJM)
- Map of Scuba Diving sites
- Map of scuba diving sites
- Ko Samui Airport (USM)
- Surat Thani Airport (URT)
How is Mae Haad - Koh Tao Real Estate Market?
The Koh Tao real estate market is known for its flexibility and incredible adventure possibilities and thus, it appeals to all kinds of people from bachelors to nuclear families alike. The properties in this island are remarkably fine planned to suit all requirements of the individual staying. Villas for rent are available for the start cost of 18,000 to 75,000 Baht depending on the location, size, number of bedroom and the option to have a sea view from the property. is if you choose to live near the Koh Tao beach the price maybe even higher. Whereas the rent can drop up if you are willing to move a little further from the main area.
Land for Sale in Mae Haad Koh Tao
Land for sale is popular in this island as its limited and very different than any other place in Thailand. Land Price are relatively high as most people want a plot of land with sea view, does kind of land for sale can be extremely expensive. Keep in mind that Land Price is relevant to the development around it and the access to the land so if you are considering searching for land for sale make sure you apprise the prospective land for sale price before purchasing it.
Its also important to do a proper due diligent of the Land Title deed to understand what are the Land Zone rights on the specific Land.
Note: Koh Tao Land Title Deed are not the same as many other places in Thailand, but you can get a proper document to show the land rights and recorded on your name or company name.
Note: Foreigner cannot buy land on their name as the law require to register Land on a Thai Nationality only. If you still want to buy land in Koh Tao you can work it by one of the tow option
Option 1: Register the land on Thai national
Option 2: Open a Thai company to hold the ownership of the Land
What is the most popular property for sale in Koh Tao?
Villas and single houses are dominating the real estate in Koh Tao because by far they are the perfect choice for families, Prices for normal single houses start from about 5,500,000 Baht depending on the size, type, number of bedrooms and location of the property while a luxury villa might cost you somewhere in the range of 35,000,000 Baht if you are looking for a more luxurious and lavish experience again it all depending on the size, type, number of bedrooms and location of the property.
Holiday Homes and Villas in Koh Tao
It is very popular for visitor to rent a short term Holiday Home, from a period of 1 night to a whole month. Holiday home rate will vary depending to the time you will stay and the season you can find more holiday property rates can start at 1,400 to 30,000 Baht per night, it all depend on the location, size, number of bedrooms, the view and the luxury level of the property.
There is a variety of cheap accommodation on Koh Tao to fit all budgets from shared dorms to good hostel room. Mae Haad has the larger selection of cheap hostels and guesthouses for budget travellers
Pricing for shared dorms start from 200 THB per person while guesthouse rooms will be around 400 - 700 Baht depending on what amenities you want in your room.
For around 700 - 1,200 Baht per night you can find a place to stay on a beach bungalow, this kind of bungalow will be the best way to experience the Island feel.
If you are signing up for a scuba diving course it is most likely that your diving course will include the accommodation as part of the package.
What are the main reasons to invest in Koh Tao properties?
The reasons for investing in Mae Haad properties is for sure the Lifestyle it should be crystal clear to anyone reading this article, the reason is that it’s worth it. Still, these reasons are not always enough to attract investors and that is why the real estate market in Koh Tao is gradually raising its standards of infrastructure and providing the foreign investors with high returns on their investments.
For more information about Koh Tao Area visit Koh Tao TripAdvisor