21 Best Things To Do In Koh Tao Thailand: Beaches & Viewpoints
Thailand has some of the most underrated islands in Southeast Asia, so of course we had to put together this list of the best things to do in Koh Tao Thailand.
In short, Koh Tao is the perfect place for scuba diving, island hopping, white sand beaches, and enjoying scenic viewpoints without some of the huge crowds you see at other places in Thailand like Phuket and the Phi Phi islands.
Best of all, Koh Tao is a very budget friendly destination. Here’s our complete list of 21 top things to do in Koh Tao Thailand!
Best Things To Do In Koh Tao Thailand
• Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint
Koh Nang Yuan is a pair of small islands right by the west coast of Koh Tao. There are several cool things to do at Nang Yuan, but the twin island viewpoint is the main attraction.
This is easily the most famous view in Koh Tao, and it’s one of the most scenic too! You can reach it by taking a boat from the north end of Sairee Beach and then a quick hike to the top of the island.
More info: Koh Nang Yuan Island
• Mango Viewpoint
This is a popular viewpoint near the top of Koh Tao island, with great sunset views. It has an entrance fee of 100 Baht ($3).
You get top notch panoramic views of Sairee Beach in the distance, along with the whole south side of Koh Tao island. GPS here.
• Summit Viewpoint
This is a secret viewpoint with a tree swing hanging from a big banyan tree. It has a 100 Baht entrance fee.
We were the only tourists there! At the top you get great views of the south end of Koh Tao. GPS here.
• Wat Koh Tao Temple
This is the only Buddhist Wat in Koh Tao, and it was just built in 2018.
The Thai style architecture is great for photos, and you don’t need to wear anything special to walk around or take pictures from the outside.
More info: Wat Koh Tao Temple
• Shark Island
Shark Island is a small, rocky island near the east coast of Koh Tao, and it’s great for kayaking and snorkeling trips.
If you want to kayak to Shark Island, the best place to start from is Sai Daeng Beach since the distance is less than half a mile.
More info: Shark Island
• John Suwan Viewpoint
This is one of the best viewpoints in south Koh Tao. At the top you can see almost the entire island, with huge twin bays on either side of your field of vision.
It’s one of our favorite spots! The climb to the top takes just 15-20 minutes and there’s a 50 Baht entrance fee, but you can avoid it if you go early.
More info: John Suwan Viewpoint
• Ang Thong National Marine Park
This is a group of 42 paradise islands in the Gulf of Thailand, and it’s easy to visit on a private day trip from Koh Tao or Koh Samui / Koh Phangan.
The ultra scenic panorama viewpoint at Mu Ko Ang Thong (below) should be reason enough to go. You get to see bunches of mini islands covered in jungle and scattered out on the blue horizon, a bit like Thailand’s version of Raja Ampat.
It’s famous for being one of the best views in the whole country!
More info: Ang Thong Marine Park
• Scuba Diving
Koh Tao used to be the best place in the world (by far) to get scuba certified.
Prices have come up a bit since a fixed pricing racket started on the island, but Koh Tao can still be a very economical place to learn how to dive, and there are dive shops everywhere.
Even if you already have your Open Water certificate, you can get advanced diving certs here or even do an underwater photography class.
• Thai Massage
There are massage shops on every street corner in Koh Tao, and prices can be very affordable, at 300 Baht ($10 USD) for a 1 hour body massage.
It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of hiking or diving.
• Thai Food
One of the great things about Thailand is the food, and Koh Tao has loads of restaurants and cuisines to choose from.
No matter where you stay in Koh Tao, you’ll be able to choose from favorite Thai dishes like Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goong, and Pad Krapow.
You can even take a cooking class if you want to learn how to make them yourself!
West Koh Tao Beaches
• Sairee Beach
Sairee Beach is the biggest and most popular beach on Koh Tao island. If you’re looking for white sand, lazy palm trees, and a great place to watch the sunset, this is where to go!
More info: Sairee Beach
• Sai Nuan Beach
Sai Nuan Beach is one of the more secluded places in the island, and it’s never crowded at all, so it’s a great spot for hanging out on the beach under some lazy palms.
More info: Sai Nuan Beach
• Koh Nang Yuan Beach
Most people go to Koh Nang Yuan for its famous viewpoint, but the sandbar connecting the islands also makes a nice place for tanning or swimming.
It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Koh Tao Thailand!
More info: Koh Nang Yuan Beach
South Koh Tao Beaches
• Freedom Beach
Freedom Beach is a private beach that’s super easy to get to, and it’s one of the best spots for kayaking, swimming, and just taking some amazing photos of the tropical scenery.
More info: Freedom Beach
• Taa Toh Bay
Taa Toh Bay is one of the less known spots on the south end of the island, but it’s a great place to unwind and pull up a sunbed/sip a drink, and since it’s facing west it makes a great sunset beach too!
More info: Taa Toh Beach
• Chalok Baan Kao Bay
More info: Chalok Baan Kao Beach
• Shark Bay
This bay has incredible turquoise water and it’s one of the most popular snorkeling spots on Koh Tao island in Thailand. The name comes from the friendly black tip reef sharks that like to hang out here.
If you go around the rocks, there’s a small hidden beach that’s usually empty of tourists.
More info: Shark Beach
• Haad Tien Beach
This is another beach at Shark Bay, except it’s a long strip of white sand lined with palm trees. This one is managed by (and accessed through) Haad Tien Resort.
More info: Shark Beach
• Sai Daeng Beach
Sai Daeng is a nice white sand beach with shady trees to sit under, and good views of Shark Island in the distance. If you get bored, you can kayak out to Shark Island!
More info: Sai Daeng Beach
• Ao Leuk Beach
Ao Leuk Beach is one of the busier beaches, but it also has perfect sand and turquoise water, and it’s not too remote. There’s a restaurant and resort at the beach too if you want to stick around longer.
More info: Ao Leuk Beach
East Koh Tao Beaches
• Ao Tanote Beach
Tanote Beach is one of the nicer spots on the east side of Koh Tao island. The views and snorkeling are some of the best, and the beach is never crowded! If you need to get your adrenaline fix, there’s a big boulder in the middle of the bay that’s great for rock jumping.
More info: Ao Tanote Beach
• Hin Wong Beach
Hin Wong Beach is hidden in an epic bay on the east side of Koh Tao island. Green palm trees and massive boulders line the coast, and so far the bay hasn’t suffered from crowds or over-development. This is also one of the best snorkeling spots on the island!
More info: Ao Hin Wong Bay
More Koh Tao Travel Tips
I hope you were helped by this list of the best things to do in Koh Tao Thailand.
Don’t forget to check out my complete Thailand Travel Guide with free tips, info, photos, and more!
Where We Stayed
We stayed at a hotel called Aukotan Place in south Koh Tao. The price was $23 USD for a big double room with cold A/C, hot shower, and good WiFi.
This hotel includes free buffet breakfast even though it’s not mentioned on Booking.com. They also give a free daily transfer to and from the pier, and Sairee Beach, which was super handy, and they have scooter rentals for a good price.
Prices may fluctuate from time to time, so just keep an eye out for a good deal.