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Finally, after days of gray weather, we were greeted by blue skies. I knew exactly where I wanted  to take my family and friends to enjoy this gorgeous day: Sai Nuan, my favorite beach on Koh Tao! It’s in a tiny bay tucked into the Southwest corner of Koh Tao, accessible by longtail boat or a walking path through the jungle from Mae Haad. For more directions,

Sai Nuan features just one resort tucked back into the rocks and trees, making it feel like a lost paradise. There are few amenities and little advice to share about this favorite spot of mine. Thus, this post is mostly about eye candy.

There are no jetskis, pool parties, or beach vendors to distract from the beauty of the beach. There is one form of man-made entertainment: a wooden swing hung from a palm tree.

A swing from which my boyfriend would prefer to swing undocumented. Sorry, dear. That’s what you get for dating a travel blogger. And Mark’s face as shown here, which I like to call the Mark No More Camera Face, is what I get in return.

Thank goodness for my friend Steffi, who was a much more smiley model on this day.

I was thrilled when Steffi, Anton and Mark took on the task of building an epic sandcastle, meaning that I could finally be alone with my copy of the second book, which I had my father bring me from America.

Mark and I have very different ideas of what constitutes an excellent beach day. For him, it is throwing frisbees, having swim races and other athletic contests and apparently, building mini cities out of sand. For me, it is lying around like a beached manatee reading, occasionally punctuated by brief breaks to float in the ocean like an un-beached manatee. So every once in a while its nice to have some other people around so I can read guilt-free!

Their end result was mighty impressive, but I don’t think that’s any surprise considering Steffi is an industrial designer by trade.

The sand fortress was only missing an occupant, a quandary which was solved when I spotted this shy little beach crab nearby.

I think he liked his new home.

Sai Nuan is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day. Swimming, snorkeling, reading, sand castle building… I can’t think of a nicer setting to do it in.

Do you have a favorite beach somewhere in the world? Tell me, I’ll add it to my bucket list!

  • Dad
    March 8 2012

    I feel for the Mark-no-more-camera-face. Give the poor guy a break. He dressed up for you in those goofy costumes when you were in Cambodia.

    • Meihoukai
      March 8 2012

      That’s true… but I’m pretty sure that the no-more-camera-face featured prominently in those photos!

  • Grace
    March 8 2012

    Beautiful pictures! The most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to is Tanjung Rhu on Langkawi Island, Malaysia at sunset. Absolutely stunning: white sand, beautiful rock formations, uncrowded. Part is private beach (Four Seasons) but there’s an equally nice public section.

    • Meihoukai
      March 8 2012

      Oh, one of my favorite beaches in the world is in the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia. I haven’t been to Langkawi yet but I’m determined to make it there someday. Thanks for the tip!

  • Kathleen
    March 9 2012

    My favorite beach is Boracay I’ve been there many times..I like swimming..

    • Meihoukai
      March 9 2012

      I’ve heard the Philippines are amazing and I can’t wait to get there someday!

  • Fidel
    March 10 2012

    It’s so hard choosing a favorite beach when I’ve seen so many beautiful ones. Thailand definitely leads the list though when it comes to natural beauty. But Sydney’s top my list when it comes to bountiful beauties sunbathing, lol.
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    • Meihoukai
      March 11 2012

      I haven’t made it to Sydney yet (or any of Australia, actually!) but I LOVE the idea of a place that combines my two loves… lying on the beach and big city living. The beautiful sunbathers sounds like a nice perk as well! 🙂

  • Michael Morris
    March 11 2012

    Ahh Sai Nuan! My favourite beach also!

    Amazing place to get to by longboat, really adds to the fun of such a secluded place. Did you enjoy Banana Rock as much as I did?
    Michael Morris recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      March 12 2012

      I do love Banana Rock! I actually wrote about going there in another post. Believe it or not, I brought my parents 🙂

  • Rashaad
    November 21 2013

    My favorite beach is Hat Sai Kaew (I hope I got the correct spelling) on Ko Samet. I love that island, and I always love going to that section of the island.
    Rashaad recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      November 21 2013

      I haven’t been to Koh Samet yet… I’ll have to add it to my list when I return to Thailand!

  • Marni
    October 16 2014

    Sorry to comment on an old post (I recently came across your site via researching the Inca Trail, and I wanted to start from the beginning), but I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to comment on my favorite beach! For me, it’s actually a tie, and both are in BEAUTIFUL South Africa, where I left part of my heart. I recently did some volunteer work in KwaZulu-Natal, St. Lucia, SA, and there was a beautiful beach about a 40 min walk from our hostel – Jabula Beach. You can’t swim there (VERY strong current) and you have to look out for the possibility of hippos charging you, but it was such a fantastic hidden gem. The second is magnificent Cape Vidal with its towering sand dunes, mischievous monkeys (they actually know how to open drawstring bags), and warm Indian Ocean waters. I never had the chance to get to Cape Town while I was there, but if you want something a little more off the beaten path, those two beaches (and the KwaZulu-Natal area in general) are amazing.

    • Meihoukai
      October 17 2014

      I love reading new comments on old posts 🙂 And WOW you are giving me even more reasons to get to South Africa — it sounds amazing! I really need to get there sooner rather than later.