Koh Taen, also referred to as Koh Tan, is a veritable enigma in the world of tourism. Despite its breathtaking beauty, this small island of 7.5 square kilometers has remained largely unknown, overshadowed by more widely recognized tourist destinations. This phenomenon is truly confounding, especially considering the fact that many repeat visitors to the neighboring island of Samui have yet to discover the wonders of Koh Taen. The island’s obscurity is further perpetuated by its absence from many maps of Samui, a testament to its elusive nature
However, for those in the know, Koh Taen is a true gem waiting to be uncovered. From the shores of the village of Thong Krut in the southern part of Samui, the island presents itself as a verdant hill, shrouded in a cloak of dark green forests. The proximity of Koh Taen to Samui only adds to its allure, as it seems to be just a stone’s throw away, beckoning travelers to explore its untouched landscapes.
Upon arrival in the seaside village of Thong Krut, you will find a plethora of tour options that offer excursions to the nearby island of Koh Taen. These tours can be easily arranged through local travel agents, with options ranging from full-day to half-day expeditions. However, for those seeking the most economical means of reaching Koh Taen, taking a taxi boat from the small pier in Thong Krut is the most cost-effective option.
The beauty of Koh Taen is both undeniable and untainted, having seemingly escaped the ravages of rampant development. The lush vegetation and serene beaches offer a respite from the more bustling destinations, providing a tranquil escape for those seeking solace and rejuvenation. The island’s elusive nature only adds to its charm, as it remains a mystery waiting to be solved by the adventurous traveler.
Upon reaching the picturesque island of Koh Taen, visitors will discover a variety of comfortable accommodations available in the form of charming chalets, as well as a selection of dining establishments. Amidst the tranquil surroundings, remnants of a once thriving community can be observed, such as abandoned homes and other indications of a population that was once much more substantial. At its peak, during the 1960s, Koh Taen was home to a population of roughly 500 individuals, complete with its own educational facility. However, as the residents have since migrated to the more commercially prosperous tourist industry of Koh Samui, the island has transformed into a secluded haven, providing a peaceful refuge from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Many tourists visiting Koh Taen engage in swimming or snorkeling, taking advantage of the beautiful beaches with their stretches of pristine white sand, that are devoid of crowds unlike beaches on Koh Samui. While hiking along the various paths and tracks that traverse the island can be a delightful experience, it can also prove to be a challenging endeavor, particularly in the face of the scorching heat. As a result of the heat, many choose to remain close to the landing spot, where there are more amenities offering protection from the sun.
From the point of arrival, a meandering coastal path presents itself, branching out in either direction along the shoreline. For those who choose to venture south, they will be treated to the island’s principal attraction, a lush and verdant mangrove forest. The locals have constructed a boardwalk that winds its way through the trees, which emerge directly from the sea, creating a truly ethereal atmosphere. The serene and shaded trees create a world unto themselves, offering a peaceful escape from the rigors of daily life.
For those who have selected a guided excursion, a common choice is to dine on Koh Taen and explore the nearby isle of Koh Matsum, a serene haven that rivals Koh Taen in beauty. Another possibility is a tour of the Koh Si Koh Ha, a group of rocky islets known for their elusive quality; all five islets are rarely visible at the same time due to their positioning. During the tour, one can expect to be treated to a sumptuous meal and a variety of refreshments. The tour operator typically arranges for transportation to and from one’s hotel. However, for those seeking a more independent experience, a visit to Thong Krut can be planned by yourself.