The time that this little island was solely a diving paradise is long gone! Just like any other popular tourist destination in Thailand are many tourists and travelers finding its way to this tiny little nirvana in the Gulf of Thailand. Traveling to Thailand is popular than ever before. Nowadays not only for the amazing underwater world anymore: hiking to the amazing Koh Tao viewpoints is getting more and more popular.
How to get to Koh Tao
As there is no airport it is not possible to fly to Koh Tao. You can only reach the island by boat and the fastest route is a boat from Chumpon to Koh Tao. From Bangkok to Koh Tao can best be booked with a joint ticket of Lompraya. See the link for all the options. Or try below the Thailand transportation search engine from 12Go Asia to see how you can get from Koh Tao to Phuket. You will find your best route to Koh Tao, including time tables and prices. Book online and get your e-ticket in just a couple clicks.
What to do in Koh Tao? Hiking!
Diving in this paradise still draws many tourist from around the world and no wonder as it still is the cheapest place to get your PADI open water certification, but what if you are not a diver and you neither have any intention becoming one? Don't worry there are loads of things to do in Koh Tao besides diving.
If you take a look at the islands landscape you already sense that there must be some great hiking trails. Scattered across the island there are several hilltops, flanked by either a beach or a bay and all have amazing ocean views. So what to do in Koh Tao? Strap on you Nikes and find out what is your favorite Koh Tao viewpoint.
Curious what to bring to Thailand when you want to go hiking? Check my Thailand packing list with 40 items and let me tell you that I do everything on Nikes or flipflops.
Still contemplating where to stay in Koh Tao? Click on the link and I will explain you the best areas on the island and give you Koh Tao hotel recommendations.
Hiking in Koh Tao
Before I tell you about the best viewpoint Koh Tao has to offer I will first introduce two other hiking trails that are worth checking out.
Hike to the abandoned resort in Laem Thain
One of the more extraordinary things to do in Koh Tao is to visit the abandoned resort in Laem Thain. Yes this once was a fully function hotel but due to some mudslides roads got inaccessible. To get here you can only go on foot so no annoying motorbikes in your way and for sure you will be alone. It sounds a bit creepy and yes that is exactly what it is. Especially if you read the news about the Koh Tao murders! No, I am just kidding! Read my article how I never felt unsafe on the island! Head North on the Sairee Beach crossing then after Gym and Fitness go right and follow the road/path for about 45 minutes. No, it is not a hike to a viewpoint Koh Tao is famous for, but it is a great adventure!
Hike along the coast
This is one of my favorite things to do in Koh Tao. The coastal walk all the way from Mae Haad to Chalok will lead you to gorgeous hidden bays and deserted beaches. An off the beaten path destination away from the tourist trail, not even well known by long-term expats. Read a complete route description in my Thailand travel blog about things to do in Koh Tao.
Use the search engine of 12Go Asia for booking your boat, bus and train tickets online. Heading to the full moon party in Koh Phangan then book your boat ticket online!
What is the best viewpoint in Koh Tao?
Hike to love @ Koh Tao Viewpoint
This trail is the hike with the best reward. At the end of the trail, so literally on top of the hill there is probably the most romantic bar in Thailand and has a distinctive name: Love @ Koh Tao. In another article I named this spot the number one place to impress your one-night-stand one last time by bringing him or her up here for an epic sunrise over Koh Phangan in the distance. You have to leave early though as it is about 1,5 hour walk from Sairee Beach.
Hike to Mango Bay viewpoint Koh Tao
This hike is among the most popular things to do in Koh Tao and an all time favorite with travelers. You will always meet people up here chilling and enjoying the massive views over Sairee Beach. This is also a beautiful spot to enjoy a sunset. The walk up here from Sairee Beach will take you about 1,5 hours, the way back will be only 30 minutes. Back in the days you could buy something to smoke up here, but that changed. Bring your own stuff if you want to get really high!
Highest Koh Tao viewpoint
Reach the summit of the island from Tanote Bay where you will find signs saying Two View, the highest peak on the island. I don’t need to tell you the views up here are fabulous plus this is not a place where you will find many tourists.
Chalok viewpoint Koh Tao
You wont often find this hiking trail in a list of what to do in Koh Tao as it is not that popular. The trail pretty much follows the road to Tao Thong and therefore is not that exciting. But the viewpoint itself has the best views over Chalok Bay with Koh Phangan in the background on a clear day.
John Suwan viewpoint Koh Tao
To get to this viewpoint you only need a little climb (15min) from the popular Freedom Beach. You will conquer some stairs in the beginning then pay the 50THB entrance fee and follow your way through the trees till you get to the steep path that leads to the viewpoint. There are lines that will help you getting up when it is slippery.
Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint
Yes I know this place is not on the island itself, but I still named it in my list of best things to do in Koh Tao for non divers. If you want to get to this famous spot you need more than your Nikes. A 10-min boat ride from Sairee Beach will bring you to three little offshore islands connected by a sandbar. From here you can climb up to its famous Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint. Bring mosquito repellent or just walk faster than the mosquitos can fly. :)
Note that I am living an island life for many years and therefore love to walk on flipflops. I have done all the trails on flipflops, but it is better to wear some Nikes. What is your favorite viewpoint? Have you been to the island and cant wait to be back? Read all my articles about this paradise! Going soon and don’t know yet where to stay in Koh Tao? Let me help you…
What about the Koh Tao safety issues? I lived on the island when the Koh Tao Murders happened! A tragic incident which affected the island badly. Afraid to get scammed then consider renting a motorbike with insurance in Koh Tao?
If this Koh Tao viewpoint blog was helpful would you mind helping me in return? Please post the link of this travel blog somewhere in a Facebook Group, pin it on Pinterest or tweet it on Twitter. A small thing for you to do which could make a big difference for me! Thanks a million...