Koh Tachai

Abundant underwater life, schooling barracuda, mantas and more...

Koh Tachai is the most northerly island before you reach the Surin Islands. Like the Similan Islands, huge granite boulders, dense tropical rainforest dominate the scene, surrounded by the turquoise warm waters of the Andaman Sea.

Snorkeling at Koh Tachai offers the chance to encounter large marine megafauna species such as whale sharks and giant manta rays.

A couple enjoying the quiet Koh Tachai beach

Welcome to Koh Tachai

Koh Tachai is a much larger island compared with it’s closest neighbour, Koh Bon. Roughly the same size as Similan Island Eight. Koh Tachai has the same geological history as the Similan Islands. Therefore Koh Tachai looks a lot like another Similan Island. Koh Tachai was added to the Similan Islands Marine National Park in 1998 bringing the number of protected islands up to eleven. Koh Tachai is a firm favourite on the Similan liveaboard route.

With the majority of visitors flocking to the Similan Islands, Koh Tachai has always been the least visited island in the National Park. It is only in recent years that a regular day trip schedule has been established. This is apparent when you visit Koh Tachai. There is a much more undisturbed feeling to the island. Nature abounds.

As of 2016 the National Park Service has suspended day trips to Koh Tachai.

Important Announcement from the Similan National Park Service

The Similan and Surin National Parks will open as usual on the 15th of October. However for the 2016-2017 Koh Tachai will remain closed for all day trip activities.

How This Effects our Snorkeling Tour?

Luckily for us the closure of Tachai does not have much impact on our snorkeling tour. Our philosophy has always been to avoid the crowded snorkeling spots close to the island, instead opting to snorkel at the better dive spots such as Koh Tachai Pinnacle. These sites are to remain open.

The Only Change to our Snorkeling Itinerary

We will no longer be able to visit the beach at Koh Tachai. This is a shame but we fully support the National Park’s decision to make environmental protection the priority at Koh Tachai. After our snorkel stops at Koh Tachai we will head straight to the Surin Islands and spend more time snorkeling and visiting beaches there.

Koh Tachai Highlights

Coral bommies are dotted around this area with plenty of marine life to spot. It really is the perfect water playground.

Of course the island’s more undisturbed feel is one of the main highlights of Koh Tachai. A snorkel liveaboard here with Andaman Snorkel Discovery offers much more. There are shallow water coral reefs all along the east side of the island. The snorkeling conditions are perfect here. Directly opposite the beach there is a shallow sandy bay. Coral bommies are dotted around this area with plenty of marine life to spot. It really is the perfect water playground. Along the west side of the island and also the northern and southern points the scenery underwater changes. The huge granite boulders dominate the underwater landscape.

The shallow waters fringing Koh Tachai have little interest to the many Similan liveaboards that visit the island. Off the south of the island there is one of the best Thailand dive sites and the dive boats tend to stick there. This means quiet, secluded locations to conduct our snorkel activities. Koh Tachai is also an important aggregation site for migrating Manta rays which are sometimes spotted off the northern point of the island. If you know where to go and we certainly do, there is a chance to spot other larger marine creatures. In the quieter areas we sometimes spot reef sharks. A scary thought to some, but these sharks are more afraid  of people than we think and pose absolutely no danger.

Snorkelling with barracuda at Koh Tachai
Snorkel liveaboard boat at Koh Tachai

Current State of Koh Tachai

An island as beautiful as Koh Tachai did not remain a secret forever. In the last few years more and more snorkel day trip companies added Koh Tachai to their schedules. Sadly, the sharp rise in daily visitors put too much pressure on the fragile ecosystems around Koh Tachai and authorities have been forced to close the island for the unforeseeable future.

“Koh Tachai is a designated Primitive Zone, meaning that it was never meant to be a crowded destination.”

Koh Tachai has a small yet extremely diverse ecosystem that contains several rare species. The island’s closure will hopefully ensure these species survival. If Koh Tachai is to ever reopen in the future, it is hoped that more stringent control is kept over numbers and activities conducted there.

More about our best Snorkelling Destinations

Snorkel Destinations

Andaman Snorkel Discovery’s snorkel liveaboard offers you the chance to snorkel Thailand’s best destinations. Thailand in general is a great location for snorkelling. Both in the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Warm, clear waters are teeming with exotic tropical fish. There are colourful corals and seafans forming wonderful underwater scenes.

Surin Islands

The Surin Islands are often over shadowed by their famous neighbours, the Similan Islands. For snorkelers the Surin Islands actually have a lot more appeal. Beneath the warm, shallow waters that surround the islands, there are extensive coral reef ecosystems. The Surin Islands have made a name for themselves as the best Thailand snorkel destination.

Koh Bon

Koh Bon is located between the famous Similan Islands and Koh Tachai. It is known locally as the middle island. Koh Bon differs dramatically from the Similan Islands in it’s topography. Koh Bon has a different look and feel to it. It is also of great importance to the largest ray that migrates through Thai waters.