La bombona diving

Best viewpoints in Koh Tao

By Rocío García

27th November 2019

On an island like Koh Tao, where most visitors come to enjoy its underwater attractions: snorkeling, diving, the fauna, and flora of its waters… not many people know that there are also many charms on the surface, and one of them is the well-known viewpoints of Koh Tao.

Nestled above beaches and bays but preferably in high areas of Koh Tao, some corners of Koh Tao offer spectacular views. Many of these best viewpoints in Koh Tao are scattered throughout the island. Most are easily accessible, but it’s true that to reach others, you need to be a bit fit, especially to tackle the steep hillsides of this island.
The viewpoints that are difficult to access are often the most highly regarded by landscape enthusiasts because they add to the views the effort it took to reach those areas with great visual breadth.

Why visit viewpoints in Koh Tao?

As we’re about to discover, Koh Tao is much more than just diving. Hiking and trekking enthusiasts know this well. Those who thought that the islands of the Gulf of Thailand are a destination exclusively for diving enthusiasts are mistaken. Evidence of this is the best viewpoints in Koh Tao that we’ll decipher below.

On maps, whether on paper or in digital format, we find dozens of viewpoints, but it’s best to ask people living in Koh Tao, natives or not, to access places with fewer crowds that will surely captivate visitors.

In any case, here are some of what, in our opinion, are some of the best viewpoints in Koh Tao.

Best viewpoints in Koh Tao

John Suwan Viewpoint
This viewpoint is located in the south of the island. It’s not very accessible, and to reach it, you have to walk about 20 minutes along a trail embedded in a tropical jungle ascending the last hill of the island in a southerly direction. The accumulated slope during the walk is about 400 meters uphill.

To get there, you have to drive a motorcycle about 10 minutes from Mae Haad towards the south, towards Freedom Beach. There, in the beach parking lot, the ascent to the hill to reach the viewpoint begins; the path is marked but a bit rocky. In some sections, there are improvised stairs and areas with ropes to climb the larger rocks.

Early in the morning, you don’t have to pay anything to leave the motorcycle in the parking lot, but as the hours go by, an access control area is set up for which you have to pay 50 baht.

Once at the top, the viewpoint offers views of Thiang Og and Chalok Baan Khao bays. The name of the viewpoint comes from its discoverers, John and Suwan, two friends who found this spot and discovered that from there, you can see how the two beaches curve until they almost touch each other. If the day is clear, in the distance, you can see Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, as well as the islands of the Ang Thong archipelago.

Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint
The Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint is another of the best viewpoints in Koh Tao. It is perhaps the main attraction to visit this islet. The typical photo of Koh Nang Yuan, one of the most common postcards of Koh Tao, is taken from this viewpoint.

Like the previous one, to reach it, you have to ascend a hill, but the climb is not excessively difficult, and it only takes about 15 minutes. Climbing to the highest rocks not only allows you to observe Koh Nang Yuan but also Koh Tao in a beautiful panoramic view. The route to the top follows a cement path that winds through a forest full of palm trees and some stairs that facilitate the ascent.

Koh Nang Yuan is a very popular islet among tourists, and there is only one restaurant, so the price is higher than in Koh Tao. To reach this islet from Turtle Island, the only option is the taxi boat. Another option is to book a day trip. Entering this islet costs 100 baht.

I Love Koh Tao
This viewpoint is the most famous on the island. Ascending a mountain leads to a magical place from which you can see the entire island. It is located practically in the geographic center of Koh Tao, which is why you can see the whole island from the height.

Near the viewpoint, there is a restaurant where you can eat or drink freshly squeezed fruit juice at any time of the day, although the reality is that the best time to visit this place is early in the morning to see the sunrise.

At the viewpoint, there are suspended beds next to the cliff of the mountain, beds that consist of nets to observe the views in front and to the sides but also under the bed itself.

To reach this point, the most convenient way is to start from Mae Haad and take a motorcycle ride of about 10 minutes. The I Love Koh Tao viewpoint also has good access from Tanote Bay, via road. From this bay, about two kilometers towards the center of the island, there is a left turnoff where there is a large parking lot that marks the beginning of the climb to the hill.

Sunset Viewpoint
Sunset Viewpoint is another of the best viewpoints in Koh Tao. It is located in the north of the island, on high hills near Mango Bay.

From the viewpoint, you can see views to the west, Sairee Beach, and Mae Haad. It is one of the best places to enjoy a good sunset, hence its name. To access the viewpoint, if you start from Sairee Beach, the motorcycle journey takes about 15 minutes.

You take the motorcycle towards Mango Bay, on a very steep road, to the point that scooters with less power are unable to ascend the road. After about 15 minutes, a sign appears on the left side of the road saying “High Rock View Point,” and that’s where the toughest stretch of the climb begins.

Very close to Sunset Viewpoint is Mango Viewpoint, another very pleasant viewpoint to contemplate the coasts of the northern part of the island.

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