Home » Asia » Thailand » Koh Tao | Tips for this versatile island in Thailand

Koh Tao | Tips for this versatile island in Thailand

Lots of islands Thailand are very touristy, crowded, expensive and large. Koh Tao on the other hand is a lot quieter and there is something for everyone here! Backpackers can stick to their budget here and holidaymakers can stay at beautiful resorts where they have beautiful views over the island.

Koh Tao is mainly known for its underwater world, but there are plenty of other activities that will keep you entertained for at least a week. The island is a favorite with many other travelers, in this article we give our tips for Koh Tao with all the fun things to see and do!

Plan your holiday to Asia here

The underwater world

As I said, this is the reason Koh Tao is so famous for. Koh Tao has a beautiful underwater world and there are several ways to discover it.


Be all over the island boat tours offered to snorkel in the most beautiful places. Most tours start at 09.30:17.00 AM and end at 5:XNUMX PM. A boat takes you to XNUMX different stops for a total of seven and a half hours.

Koh Nang Yuan Island | Tips for Koh Tao
Koh Nang Yuan Island | Tips for Koh Tao

To start with Nang Yuan Island (Location here ). Here you have the opportunity to walk to the well-known viewpoint of the island. Beautiful white sandbanks connecting the three islands of Nang Yuan. After photographing this popular spot you can relax on the beach or put on your snorkel and dive into the sea. Here you have the chance to spot baby sharks!

At the next stops you will snorkel at different bays. Shark Bay (Location here ) & Mango bay (Location here ) are our favorites, partly due to the fact that at Shark Bay you have the chance to swim with Blacktip reef sharks. Not only these animals can be spotted, there are also gigantic water turtles that you sometimes only snorkel 30 centimeters next to! Of course, respect nature and do not touch the underwater animals. In Maya Bay you will be surrounded with coral and many colored fish.

Cape Ja Te Kang | Tips for Koh Tao
Cape Ja Te Kang | Tips for Koh Tao

The maximum price for a boat tour like this is 550 baht (about 15 euros). On arrival at Nang Yuan Island you pay a cash entrance fee of 250 baht (about 7 euros). So make sure you have cash with you.

To dive

Unlike many other places in the world Koh Tao one of the cheapest places to get your PADI. A good reason to choose your diving school here. Accommodation is often arranged for you and you spend three whole days on the course. A big plus is that you will of course discover beautiful places and meet special underwater animals while practicing.

Tip: Impian Divers is a Dutch diving school on the island!

The beach

Besides snorkeling and/or diving you can also relax on one of the beaches on Koh Tao.

1. Sairee Beach

Sairee Beach | Tips for Koh Tao
Sairee Beach | Tips for Koh Tao
Sairee Beach | Tips for Koh Tao
Sairee Beach | Tips for Koh Tao

Sairee Beach (Location here ) is the longest and most famous beach in all of Koh Tao. This is where most of the restaurants and accommodations are located. Buy a beer in the supermarket and relax on your own towel or enjoy the sun in one of the nice beach cafes.

Be sure to stay until sunset (around 18.00 pm), because here you have a great 'golden hour' every evening, where the sky sometimes turns completely purple and pink!

Golden Hour | Things to do in Koh Tao
Golden Hour | Things to do in Koh Tao
Sunset Sairee Beach | Things to do in Koh Tao
Sunset Sairee Beach | Things to do in Koh Tao

Tip: At 700 meters from Sairee Beach you will find Aiya Resort, a pleasant stay with swimming pool. Click hier for prices and availability.

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option, then Mama Oh Chai primitive bungalows right on the beach. Click here for prices and availability.

2. Thian Og Bay

If you have a scooter at your disposal, drive to one of the most beautiful beaches on the island; Thian Og Bay, located at Shark Bay (Location here ). Here you have beautiful white sand with tropical palm trees, where you can undertake various activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.

Shark Bay | Things to do in Koh Tao
Shark Bay | Things to do in Koh Tao

3.Freedom Beach

Freedom Beach (Location here ) is a small, hidden paradise among travelers. It is a very quiet private beach where you can relax with your favorite book or while sunbathing. In this bay you often find schooling fish and you can have a drink in the only nearby restaurant.


The green hills and breathtaking viewpoints dominate the landscape of Koh Tao. There are heaps of viewpoints to choose from that are worth a visit. We list the most spectacular for you below.

1. John Suwan View Point

An overwhelming, panoramic view (location here ) that you must see when you are discovering Koh Tao. Start this climb before the hottest time of the day as it can be quite strenuous for some. Once at the top you will be amazed by the view over the white sandy beaches in combination with green hills, palm trees and rocks. After shooting lots of beautiful pictures and enjoying the views, you can relax at Freedom Beach. Here you are closer than you think!

2. Love Koh Tao

A vantage point for a typical 'Instagram picture'. The restaurant Love Koh Tao (Location here ) has several places where you can shoot your snapshot! Here you will find a wooden heart, the colored words 'Love Koh Tao', which are perfect for your tourist photo. At this restaurant you can relax in one of the beanbags or, if you dare, enjoy the view from the many hanging nets. The views are over the east of the island and unlike all other viewpoints, this one is very easy and easy to reach.

3.Grape View Point

Still can't get enough of the view Nang Yuan Island? Then take the long walk to Grape Viewpoint. Not everyone knows where to find it, but we recommend using Maps.Me. Google Maps will send you in the wrong direction. Take enough water with you and make sure you make the way back in time before it gets dark.

Viewpoint over Koh Nang Yuan | Things to do in Koh Tao
Viewpoint over Koh Nang Yuan | Things to do in Koh Tao

4.Sunset View Point

A viewpoint where you can watch the sunrise should of course not be missed. This viewpoint is known for this and we therefore recommend that you enjoy the views and the slowly rising sun in one of the hammocks. Leave on time, because the path to the viewpoint is not too easy! 

Eating, drinking and going out

As mentioned earlier, everyone can go to Koh Taowhatever budget you have. The typical backpacker can go to the cheaper, local restaurants while the holidaymaker can enjoy the more luxurious restaurants. We took advantage of both and put our favorites below.

1. Mama Tam

This restaurant is located in a small shed (location here ), and you can eat very well here! This also explains the sometimes waiting tourists outside. Delicious curries, rice dishes and typical Thai snacks. We recommend trying one of their refreshing smoothies for a small price.

2. 995 Roasted Duck

Also here (location here ) you can eat delicious food for a good price. The menu, on the other hand, will be a bit different than you are used to from typical Thai restaurants. Here you will find a lot of Thai noodle soup, but you can also go here for 'fried rice with chicken/pork'.

3. ChuChu Thai Food & Pizza

Chuchus (Location here ) has an extensive menu that varies from noodles, salads to curries. If you are tired of all that rice after a few weeks, you can also get pizza here for a slightly higher price.

4. Sairee Cottage

A lovely spot on the beach (location here ) where you can enjoy lunch/dinner with your travel companions or friends. Choose to sit in the front for a view of Sairee Beach. This is also the perfect spot for dining during sunset. You can easily walk onto the beach from the restaurant to take pictures of the sky full of beautiful colors.

5.Lotus Restaurant

Many come here not to eat but to have a drink during the fire show (location here ). This fire show is performed every evening. Order a cocktail or a beer and watch all the tricks the employees perform for you. We all know that Thailand has slightly different safety rules than we are used to; at the end of the show you can join in to dance limbo under the fire rope. Can you make it without falling? Then you get a free shot!

6. Fish bowl

This bar (location here ) is known by every backpacker. Until about 22.00 pm this looks like a normal, cozy bar, but soon enough space is made for beer pong tables and the bar fills with nightlife types. This is also the only place where you can really go out on Koh Tao. Every night the music genre will be different, but we can certainly guarantee you a fun evening / night!

7. Queen's Cabaret Bar

Ladyboy shows are performed all over Thailand. One more ordinary than the other. In this bar (location here ) you will of course pay an entrance fee, but in return you will receive a drink of your choice. The show lasts about 1,5 to 2 hours and they will make sure you attend a fun, funny, unforgettable show. Who knows, we might see you on stage?

Plan your holiday to Asia here


My name is Isa and I've been traveling the world since I was 19! There is nothing better than getting to know a new culture or finally seeing that special sight with your own eyes. My passion for traveling is so great that I am currently building my life as a digital nomad and keeping my eyes open for a nice home abroad!

Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!

Translate »
Copy link