Skip to Content

The Best Things to do in Koh Tao, Thailand

The Best Things to do in Koh Tao, Thailand
There is so much to know about Thailand travel as there are many destinations. But this list of the best things to do in Koh Tao will help you plan the perfect Koh Tao itinerary as a part of your dream Thailand itinerary. This Koh Tao travel guide will make sure you have the best time. Click to start planning your Koh Tao trip! #travel #budgettravel #islandlife #thailand #thai #beach #beachlife

Go to Thailand and the one island you’ll keep hearing people raving about is Koh Tao. This little slice of paradise is in the Gulf of Thailand, closest to the more famous island Koh Phangan for its full moon parties.

Koh Tao is perfect for everything, literally. Just want to relax? You’ve got beaches. Party? Bars are plenty. Adventure? Grab a scooter or a pair of shoes so you can hike around the island. It is a small island but is worth all of the hype.

The ferry to Koh Tao isn’t long and it’s the quickest island to get to from the mainland on the eastern coast, perfect for adding to your Thailand itinerary.

So what to do in Koh Tao? You don’t need much to do on this little island because you’re going to love the vibe here and trust me that you’ll want to do most things more than once!

Forgot travel insurance? No worries!

It’s still possible to get affordable travel insurance when travelling.

SafetyWing can be purchased in 180 countries and provides coverage for medical, travel delays, luggage, emergency response plus other perks for a third of the price compared to the biggest competitor for similar coverage.

Things to do in Koh Tao


Koh Tao has unreal beaches with perfect white sand and some of the clearest water I’ve ever seen. Many of the beaches have great swimming and you can easily find some that are in secluded bays that will make you feel like you have a private beach. Sairee Beach is the most popular with a strip of restaurants and bars along it. Ask locals the best ways to get to their favourite beaches by scooter or walking.

Koh Tao Diving


Koh Tao diving is some of the best in the world and is easily the cheapest. I won’t vouch for how great it is because I’m terrified of fish and opted to skip on diving, but it is what made the island so popular in the first place. Koh Tao is also known as Turtle Island because of the number of turtles in the surrounding waters. If there’s one place you’re going to get certified on a budget Koh Tao is the best place.



For those who want a cheaper option than diving or who are just terrified like me then give snorkeling a go. Tours from the island are abundant and will take you around to the best spots like Shark Bay known for its reef sharks. Koh Tao is also amazing for its colourful coral.


Freedom Beach Viewpoint

Koh Tao has a number of viewpoints that are all epic. My personal favourite was Freedom Beach viewpoint because it’s not far, this view duh, and because you’re more likely to have the spot completely to yourself. Getting to this viewpoint is a short scooter ride away from the main town.

You’ll be asked to pay a 50 baht fee to enter Freedom Beach where you’ll park and then you’ll be asked to pay another 50 baht before you start hiking. The price is worth it though. The hike is about 10 minutes and can be done in flip flops. At the top you’ll come to some boulders, climb on top and voila.

Other viewpoints worth checking out are Love @ Koh Tao, Mango Bay, Chalok and Koh Nang Yuan.

Koh Nang Yuan
Konh Nang Yuan Viewpoint

This trio of islands is located just off the coast of Koh Tao, a short taxi boat away. They are the only three islands in the world to be connected by sand. That’s right, you can walk to each by strolling down the beach and gazing at the blue water. This is also where the Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint is and it’s a 10 minute walk up.

Koh Tao Pub Crawl

One of the top things to do in Koh Tao and one of the most popular pub crawls in Thailand is on Koh Tao. Sign up in advance (400 baht) and you’ll be given your shirt so you can match everyone else of course, a bucket to start at the first bar and shots at pretty much every bar after. It goes to bars along Sairee Beach that have pools, great views and some even have the ocean on their doorstep.

Watch Sunset

Koh Tao has beautiful sunsets and it’s easy to find one. Watching the sunset is easily one of the best things to do in Koh Tao. Many of the beaches, including Sairee beach that is lined with amazingly delicious restaurants, offers perfect views of the sunset every day. And what’s better than sunset on the beach? One with a drink.

There’s something about Koh Tao that really makes you feel at home. It’s laid back, everyone is friendly, and there’s something for everyone. You won’t find bad food on the island and everything is close by because the island is so small, so small that you could even walk to the other side in 45 minutes. Whether you want to chill all day or be adventurous, party all night, or just watch sunsets, the island will be perfect for you.

Koh Tao Accommodation

Check out my detailed guide on where to stay in Koh Tao on a budget, in hostels!

Thailand Essentials

There are a few things that you will absolutely need while in Thailand.

Reef Safe Sunscreen: Yes, Thailand has coral and yes, you should be wearing coral safe sunscreen. I’m not here to lecture you on saving the earth and plants, you know that already. This is just a friendly reminder that you can keep you and the waters safe.

Adapter: Obvi. But seriously people always forget. I like to use a universal adapter so if you don’t have one already get one stat and never worry about it again!

Reusable Water Bottle: This is an essential for ANY trip but even more important for Thailand because recycling here is not really and thing and when you see the plastic littering this beautiful island you’ll be sad that you’re contributing to the plastic issue. You can fill up your reusable bottle in lots of places.

Mosquito Repelling Bracelets: These are a thing? Totally! Mosquitoes can get nasty in Thailand and unfortunately can carry diseases. This is the healthiest option because they don’t use deet!

Activated Charcoal: When your tummy is not feeling so great and you may need to run to the bathroom at any second you’ll be happen this within arms reach. Food and stomach issues are common in Thailand and these will help you get back to health and enjoying your vacay in no time.

Travel Insurance: Just don’t travel without it, end of story. But if you need more convincing read this.

READ MORE: Southeast Asia Packing List for Ladies

Travel Insurance Thailand

  • Picking travel insurance is an essential part of planning a trip for everyone, including your trip to Thailand
  • If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel
  • World Nomads is an affordable option that I personally recommend
  • I’ve made 2 claims with World Nomads for doctors appointments and antibiotics in the Philippines and Australia
  • No idea where to start? Check out my travel insurance guide to help you pick the best option for you

Heading to Thailand? You’ll love these posts.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links which I earn a small commission from and are at no additional cost to you. Taylor’s Tracks is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.