How to get to Hin Wong bay for Snorkeling
Hin Wong bay is situated on the east coast of Koh Tao and is a very popular location for scuba divers, snorkelers and for visitors who want to explore more of the island.
Hin Wong bay is now easily accessible on a modern concrete road that leads from Sairee junction up and across the mountainous jungle before descending down into a wide expansive bay.
East Coast of Koh Tao
As you descend down the mountain on the steep road of the eastern side, follow it until you reach the end of the concrete road.
At this point, there is a car park for scooters or you can be dropped off in a taxi pick up and walk the remaining 50 metres down to the restaurant. There is a fee for using the car park of 20THB.
If you want to hike to Hin Wong on foot for a day of snorkeling and swimming, then you can carefully walk along the concrete road.
If you choose to walk from Sairee, you can expect it to take around 45 minutes and you are advised to carry your re-usable water bottle to keep hydrated.
Once you arrive, there is an additional charge of 50THB at the restaurant to use the beach area and facilities or you can buy a refreshment to waive the entrance fee.
Why Hin Wong bay is a popular Snorkeling location
The beach at Hin Wong bay is quite secluded and the beach has fine white sand with calm, crystal clear water lapping up to your toes. It’s a great place to relax with refreshments and while away the day reading a good book.
For the more adventurous visitors who are looking for excitement, you can rent a Kayak and cruise along the rugged coastline enjoying the panoramic landscape.
Kayaking from Hin Wong beach
Other than access to the beach, bungalows and resort, you cannot walk along the coast here as it is made up of large boulders. Taking the Kayak allows you to explore a little further towards the headland and back to the beach.
The water at Hin Wong bay is perfect for snorkeling and this location features on the daily snorkel trip schedules on both the full day and half day tours.
What you can expect to see Snorkeling at Hin Wong bay
If you plan to snorkel from the beach you can get straight into the action if the visibility is good. You can expect to see many types of coral formations and underwater rock formations that attract an abundance of marine life.
Marine life found here can range from Stingrays, Groupers, Butterfly fish, Trigger fish, Longfin Banner fish, Angel fish and Hawksbill sea Turtles, plus much more.
You do not need to go far to find the marine life and if you are lucky you may catch Trevally chasing schools of Sardines in the shallow water. Hin Wong bay is a tropical aquarium in the right conditions.
The organised snorkel trip boats visit here every day and use a designated safe snorkel zone to get the most out of their time limited stop.
If you are visiting Hin Wong bay on a snorkel trip or by private longtail, the weather and visibility will determine how much time you spend in the water snorkeling. Snorkel tour operators usually allow customers around 40 minutes in the water at this stop.
In the event the weather deteriorates, the boat captain will want to move the boat to a sheltered and more suitable location, where you can snorkel more comfortably.
The snorkel guides on the day trips are experienced and knowledgeable and they know where to find the marine life that you came to see, so listen to the briefings and instructions given on the boat.
Swimming, Snorkeling & Scuba Diving at Hin Wong bay
The underwater topography of the bay is suited to a wide range of water based activities, providing you with a choice.
Swimming off the beach or the jetty is a popular activity here and you will often see locals and visitors enjoying the warm, clear water during the hot, sunny days.
Snorkeling is excellent at this location and can be enjoyed straight from the shore or on one of the organised daily boat trips that visit the bay each day.
Hin Wong bay also features on the scuba diving schedule and is a very popular location for many of the Koh Tao dive schools.
Hin Wong’s popularity is partially due to the water depth range, diversity of marine life and diverse underwater rock formations.
Water depth at Hin Wong can range from 1 metre to 40 metres, which creates lots of opportunity for a variety of exciting activities.
Recommendations for Snorkeling at Hin Wong Bay
The natural landscape and beauty that Hin Wong bay offers is a snorkelers paradise. It is easy to spend an entire day here and wonder where the time disappeared to.
For the best snorkeling and to be in a safe area from boat traffic, it would be best to snorkel across to the marked snorkel zone by following the coast south from the beach.
Safe Snorkel Zone
You can enter the water at the beach or off the jetty and make your way across to this area. On the journey over to the marked snorkel zone, you will see an abundance of marine life.
If you are based on the beach or at the restaurant with your belongings, just remember to save enough energy to get back.
For visitors to Koh Tao who only want to snorkel for a quick 10-15 minutes in the water, you can snorkel around the boulders and rock formations on the north side of the beach, for an equally exciting snorkel experience.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to pay to Snorkel at Hin Wong beach?
There is a fee to park scooters of 20baht if you choose to park in the designated parking area or you can leave your scooter at your own risk in the layby further up the hill on the main road. Hin Wong also has a cafe as you enter the beach area and you can buy a refreshment in lieu of an entrance fee to the beach. Once on the beach, you can find some space and get ready to go snorkeling along the underwater rock formations on the jagged coastline.
How deep is the water at Hin Wong bay?
From the beach area the water depth at Hin Wong gradually gets deeper from 1/2metres to 40meters if you continue out beyond the headland. Snorkeling over corals and rock pinnacles of depths around 10metres is not uncommon along the coastline in this deep bay. It is also a popular dive site for scuba divers of various levels of training.
Can I rent a mask and snorkel at Hin Wong beach?
The café and small shop may be able to offer you a mask and snorkel for rent when you arrive. The alternative is to buy your own cheap mask and snorkel at one of the main 3 villages or ask at the resort or hotel where you are staying.
Is it safe to Snorkel at Hin Wong bay?
Snorkeling at Hin Wong beach is safe and exciting due to the diversity of marine life in this very popular bay. Our recommendation is to follow our Top Tips for Snorkel Safety, find out what the weather and water conditions are like, before venturing into deep water that you are unfamiliar with.
How long does it take to walk to Hin Wong beach from Sairee?
You can walk to Hin Wong beach from Sairee beach in 45-60 minutes, but be prepared for a winding and steep road in places to reach the top of the mountain, before descending down the east coast to the bay itself. There is a new concrete road that makes Hin Wong bay easier to reach from Sairee, but make sure you take water with you to stay hydrated in the hot weather.