Mango Bay in Koh Tao
Location and Getting There
Mango Bay or Ao Muong is a secluded beach area in the north of Koh Tao. It offers some of the best scenery on the island and some of the best accommodation. Mango Bay is the most recent area in Koh Tao to be developed for tourism and so now is an ideal time to visit the area.
Mango Bay is set in a sheltered cove between Laem Nam Tok and Kluay Thoen Bay. The area is one of dramatic scenery. The narrow white sand beach gives way to giant rocky cliffs; all around are tree covered hillsides. The area is surrounded by lush tropical forest. There is only one road to Mango Bay and it is only partly concreted. As with so many great beaches in Thailand, Mango Bay is located down a bumpy jungle road or reached via a longtail boat. For this reason the resorts in Mango Bay are mid-range as they have to provide all the amenities necessary for a comfortable holiday.
Diving and Snorkeling
The sand is fine and powdery. The sea is warm and good for year round swimming. The sheltered and rocky nature of Mango Bay makes it a perfect place for fish to gather. The bay is only 10 meters deep and offers some of the best diving on Koh Tao. Along the coastline are a series of corals. The west part of the bay is home to huge shoals of scad that move together as one. The mass of spiky little fish are mesmerizing in their ability to behave as a single unit. The east part of the bay is home to a wide variety of Wrasse including Slingjaw, Thicklip and Red-Breasted Splendor. There are also a few species of Damselfish to be seen. Other fish to spot while diving in Mango Bay include Titan Triggerfish, White-eyed moray eels and Barracuda. The center of the bay has some unusual sea life to be spotted for those willing to look through the sand. The center of the bay holds such animals as sea moth, crocodile snake eels, mullet and giant hermit crabs. It is also sometimes possible to see sea turtles.
For more experienced divers at the outer edges of the bay is some good drop off diving.
Because Mango Bay is so shallow, it also makes one of the best spots for snorkeling in Koh Tao. The fact that development only just recently reached hit Mango Bay also means that none of the wild life has been damaged. It is also possible to see many tropical birds from the bungalows in Mango Bay.
The accommodation on Mango Bay mostly consists of 2 star bungalows on the rocks overlooking the beach. Many of the bungalows are new. Places like Mango Bay Grand Resort have a mix of fan and air-con bungalows with en-suite bathrooms. The resort is spread over rocks and is joined by delightful wooden walkways.
Another good accommodation option is Ao Muong Resort and Diving. The main restaurant and reception area is dramatically perched on top of a giant granite boulder. A large deck on stilts provides one of the best views of the bay. The bungalows at Ao Muong Resort and Diving are a step up from Mango Bay Resort. They are stylishly appointed and have hot water as well as air-con.
Longtail Boat in Mango Bay
The Future of Mango Bay
It must be remembered that Mango Bay is a secluded spot. There are few shops. Electricity is from generators and no international calls are possible from the area. It is a place with phenomenal beauty that is going to become more exclusive and up market in the future. If you have limited funds then you should visit Mango Bay sooner rather than later.
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