On the south side of Koh Tao, the beautiful beach of Ao Luek and the quiet hippy town of Chalok can be found. I hadn’t spent a great deal of time on this part of the island during my stay on Koh Tao mainly because it was “so far away”. I put that in quotes of course because Koh Tao is only 21 square Km (21mm- inside joke!) so really, not getting to that part of the island simply came down to laziness and being cheap! However, if ever on Koh Tao I would NOT miss going to Chalok and Ao Luek!!
Ao Luek features stunning crystal clear waters with unbelievable snorkeling visibility, several delicious and reasonably priced restaurants, and is one of the hotspots to check out for potential shark spotting! A baby whale shark made an appearance there one morning and several other fellow snorkelers mentioned spotting many other baby shark species (all harmless!!).
Chalok bay has an amazingly calm and quiet hippy vibe that is a breath of fresh air compared to the party atmosphere of Sairee. Freedom beach, at the tail end of the bay is a nice spot to chill out with an easily accessible walkway along the rocks of the ocean that leads back to the quiet and serene bay. Best of all, the New Heaven Dive School (located in the heart of the bay) offers marine conservation projects. Every day at 4pm they allow random passing volunteers to engage in the daily activity of treating and feeding injured sea turtles!! The turtles are released (once all better) into the wild and are the only turtles I’d seen on “Turtle Island”.
Chalok bay was recommended to me by a husband and wife team who also frequented my favorite coffee shop and bakery (Through the Looking Glass) who own a bungalow rental property in the area. It was definitely worth the visit and had my Muay Thai gym and favorite coffee shop not been located in Sairee, I could absolutely have seen myself staying in Chalok for an extended time soaking up the chilled vibes.