Mae Haad is the main port town on Koh Tao where everybody arrives. Mae Haad is the most developed area on Koh Tao and consequently is a good place to do your shopping, change money, get a new book to read etc. There are two roads leading up from the beach to a main road. There is also a road running parallel to the beach. Along these roads you can find travel agents, a post office, some bars and some good restaurants.
Although Mae Haad is the commercial heart of the island, it retains some of the charm of a fishing village. Mae Haad gets busy when boats arrive and then quickly returns to a sleepy place as everyone takes taxis to their destinations.
Most dive operators have an office in Mae Haad so it is a good place to compare prices and attempt to get a discount.
The ferry pier is in the middle of the beach. At the northern and southern ends of the beach there are clean strips of beach with some good snorkeling opportunities. There are both cheap and expensive rooms on Mae Haad beach. Many people prefer to stay at Mae Haad because it is close to the nightlife of Sairee Beach and Mae Haad makes a good base from which to explore the rest of the island.
The beach at Mae Haad is white sand and fringed with coconut palms and other trees. The sea drops off slowly and is good for swimming. There is some good snorkeling spots near Mae Haad beach. There is plenty of fish to spot as well as a large wooden shipwreck that was once caught on the coral reef.
Mae Haad has some of best resorts on the island; it also has some great value bungalows. Mae Haad should not be immediately dismissed just because it is the main port on Koh Tao.
Click the links below to find out more about the accommodation options on Mae Haad. All prices are inclusive of tax.
(Updated March 2016)
Starting under 1,000 Thai Baht
Save Bungalows 500 thb -1,500 thb (low / high season) - RECOMMENDED
Starting under 1,500 Thai Baht
Koh Tao Beachside Resort 900 thb - 2,800 thb (low season); 900 thb - 3,300 thb (high season)
Ananda Villa 1,500 thb - 1,800 thb (low season / high season)
Koh Tao Royal Resort 1,000 thb - 4,200 thb (low); 1,400 thb - 5,400 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Sea Lodge 1,150 thb - 1,880 thb (low season); 1,650 thb - 2,470 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED
Koh Tao Beach Side Resort 1,000 thb - 2,800 thb (low season); 1,500 thb - 3,300 thb (high season)
Starting over 1,500 Thai Baht
Au Aon Guesthouse 1,600 thb - 1,800 thb (low / high season)
Blue Diamond Dive Resort 2,500 thb - 5,900 thb (low / high season) - RECOMMENDED
Sensi Paradise Beach Resort 2,500 thb - 12,000 thb (low season); 3,300 thb - 15,000 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED / breakfast included
Koh Tao Regal Resort 1,980 thb - 4,460 thb (low season); ,980 thb - 4,650 thb ( high season)
Koh Tao Montra Resort and Spa 2,550 thb -6,000 thb (low season): 4,710 thb - 9,650 thb (high season) - RECOMMENDED / breakfast included