The Most Popular Viewpoints on Koh Tao
Koh Tao has long been known as the scuba diving capital of South East Asia, so it’s not surprising that the underwater landscape surrounding the island is spectacular.
What can be surprising to many visitors is the stunning landscape above ground, which is spectacular and well worth taking the time to see.
The majority of the island is covered in a lush, green jungle, which reaches 374m above sea level.
As you would expect, access to most viewpoints will require you to do a little bit of hiking, so you will need to ensure you have the correct footwear before you leave.
A bottle of water and sturdy walking shoes are a must, along with your camera or a smartphone so you can capture the stunning views and preserve the memory.
Each viewpoint provides a different view of the island, so it can be difficult to decide which one to visit, especially if you have a limited amount of time and can only visit one or two.
To help you with your decision, we have provided a list of what we believe are the best viewpoints across Koh Tao.
Spectacular Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint
The view from Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint is one of the most photographed panoramas in the world.
Located on a small island that is situated off the north west coast of Koh Tao, it offers a view across all three of the islands that make up Koh Nang Yuan, as well as the west coast of Koh Tao.
As you would expect with one of the most photographed locations in Thailand, the viewpoint can get busy.
Koh Nang Yuan is a private island and open to the public from 9am until 5pm and most of the tourist boats arrive around 9:30am.
If you want to get to the viewpoint while quiet, it’s advisable to take a private longtail and arrive as soon as the island opens.
When you arrive at the pier in Koh Nang Yuan, you will need to pay the 100THB entrance fee that every visitor pays.
The walk up Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint takes around 15 minutes and is well signposted from the pier.
Even at opening times, there is likely to be a line of people waiting to take photos at the top, so be careful when walking up and down from the viewpoint.
This viewpoint is definitely worth a visit. If you intend to bring water with you when you visit Koh Nang Yuan, remember that the island does not allow single-use plastics, so you will need to fill a reusable container.
It is also wise to apply insect repellant before you start the hike as the path passes through the jungle and mosquitoes often hide in the shade.
John Suwan Viewpoint Koh Tao
On a clear day it is possible to see the coral reefs through the crystal-clear waters in the bay and the neighbouring islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
The entrance to John Suwan viewpoint is found opposite Freedom beach and the trail access has an entrance fee of 50THB and is a 20-minute hike.
The hike up the trail can be strenuous at times due to the heat, humidity and the uneven path.
In some areas you will need to utilize the ropes that have been anchored in place to make the climb easier.
John Suwan is very popular and is widely regarded as the most spectacular viewpoint on the island, so it can get a little busy.
If you choose to visit earlier in the morning, or late afternoon, you can avoid any crowds as well as enabling you to complete the hike at a time of day when it is not so hot.
Love Koh Tao Viewpoint on Koh Tao
The Love Koh Tao viewpoint, which is located on the east of Koh Tao overlooking Tanote Bay, is the most easily accessible of the viewpoints.
The entrance is located on the way down the east side road to Tanote bay. It has an even, concrete road covering the entire route and can be reached on foot, by scooter or in a taxi.
At the viewpoint you will find a small terrace café, which offers comfortable seating areas, as well as netted beds sitting over the trees. It is an amazing location to relax and enjoy the view.
Officially, there is no entrance fee for the viewpoint, however, the restaurant does expect you to buy a refreshment to access the terrace for free.
Considered the most romantic viewpoint on the island, Love Koh Tao provides spectacular views across Tanote Bay and the Gulf of Thailand.
From Love Koh Tao viewpoint on clear days, you can easily see across the Gulf of Thailand towards Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
Due to its location on the east side of the island, it’s a great place to go if you want to see the sunrise, so you will need to make your way up there after 05:00am.
West Coast Viewpoint Koh Tao
The West Coast viewpoint is unique in that the path to the top provides a location from where you can see across the east and west of the island at the same time.
Located in the centre of the island, above Sairee and close to Two View rock, this viewpoint is best approached by foot on a route that will take you past Two Rock Junction.
Once you pass Two Rock Junction, there are 3 paths you can take; straight ahead to Tanote Bay, right past the reservoir, which leads to Tanote Bay and left which takes you to the West Coast viewpoint.
The viewpoint itself is a large, flat rock which is located around 5 minutes from Two Rock junction and is accessed by passing through two boulders.
You will also need to pay a small charge to enter the viewpoint.
The views from the West Coast viewpoint are best in the morning or for sunset and provide a panorama from Koh Nangyuan, stretching all the way along the west coast as far as Jansom bay.
This viewpoint is less well known than others on the island and can be a romantic location for couple to watch the sunset.
Mango Viewpoint on Koh Tao
Located in the north of Koh Tao, the Mango viewpoint can be reached by foot or by a scooter than can cope with basic off-road conditions.
The turn off to the viewpoint is signposted from the main road through to Mango Bay, where you will find a good quality path to the top.
The path does get quite steep at the top, so if you go by bike, it may be necessary to push the bike for the last section of the trip.
At the top of the road there are two different paths you can choose from, each leading to a viewpoint that contain a small bar and bathroom facilities.
Mango viewpoints are on private land so you have to pay a fee of 100THB to access them no matter what path you choose to take.
As the views face the west side of Koh Tao, it can be a great location to watch the sunset and the bars provide a great place to take a break, grab a beer and enjoy it.