In part one of our series A Day Spent Hiking On Koh Tao, we took you from Mae Haad to Chalok Bay. During the hike, we passed seven different bays giving you an opportunity to discover some of Koh Tao's nicest and less visited beaches.
In part two of this series, we will not be hiking to any of Koh Tao's beautiful beaches but to two gorgeous viewpoints instead. Both viewpoints are situated in the north of the island, with panoramic views overlooking the west coast of Koh Tao.
At the beginning of the hike, we will be using the same path for both viewpoints until we hit a split in the road. To the left will be towards Mango Viewpoint and a little further to the right is Fraggle Rock. These two hikes are also accessible by motorbike, although we do advise you not to drive. The roads are extremely steep and not well paved in areas. Plus we are not here to drive, we are here to explore the hiking on Koh Tao.
So, what are we waiting for? Grab your shoes, grab some water, and let's get going!
Hiking To Fraggle Rock
Our first stop on this hike will be Fraggle Rock, a moderate hike and the easiest of the two. To be honest, after three years of visiting Koh Tao we only heard about Fraggle Rock this year. We knew the rock existed as it is noticeable from Sairee Beach, but we just never seemed to have got around to getting up to it. In the end, we are delighted we did, as it paid off with some stunning views.
Starting at Sairee junction, walk up the road past Asia Divers, and Koh Tao Gym and Fitness until you eventually reach the Tarna Align Resort. If you want to cheat a little, you can drive as far as the resort.
Keeping the resort to your right, hike the steep main road until you see signs pointing left towards Mango Viewpoint. Skip past this turn for now and continue on for another ten meters. To the right is a path with a red sign for Koh Tao's Fraggle Rock.
Join this path as it twists and turns all the way up. On the way up the hill, you will pass a small solar power station, a parking area for bikes, and then an unfinished building to the left. Passing the building, you will see a big boulder with wooden steps up to a viewpoint.
On top, are some great views overlooking Hin Wong Bay to the east and Sairee Beach to the west. Here you will have the perfect spot to watch the sunrise and sunset on Koh Tao.
Don't be fooled though this is not yet Fraggle Rock, you still have a short way to go.
Back on the path keeping the boulder to your left, look for a narrow trail to your right. This is your last ascend until you reach the top.
Hiking this trail, you will come to two signs, one for Fraggle Rock Viewpoint, the other for Fraggle Rock abseiling. Ignore the viewpoint sign. We hiked this one and it lead us to nowhere. Hiking back down we rejoined the trail towards the abseiling which took us right to Fraggle Rock.
Scaling up the rocks and between the boulders, we finally reached the top. Greeted by an amazing 180° view of Koh Tao's west coast, we were delighted to have eventually explored this part of the island. Having the whole rock to ourselves, we took our time to enjoy this peaceful view. All rested up and ready to go again for some more hiking on Koh Tao, we made our way back down to begin the more difficult part of the hike.
Hiking To Mango Viewpoint
Mango Viewpoint is one of the most popular viewpoints on Koh Tao. The hike is very straightforward and its impossible to get lost. Whilst extremely steep in areas, the hike does become quite the challenge.
Descending down from Fraggle Rock, make your way back to the Mango Viewpoint signs. Here will be your starting point for this hike. Following the signs, you will reach an "army camp" to the left. A place to shoot BB guns at empty cans and bottles.
Up until now, the hike is pretty easy. Only when you go beyond this section does the real challenge begin. From this point, the road becomes steeper and steeper as you climb, and you can really feel the burn throughout your legs.
After huffing and puffing for a while, you will come to a small hut selling drinks. Now you are almost at the top. Keep hiking the short steep climb as there is not much further to go.
Reaching the top you will eventually come to Jim's Bar and a fork in the road. Turning left and a few moments later you will reach another fork in the road.
Either of these paths leads to similar viewpoints overlooking the west coast as far as Mae Haad. The only difference is the one to the right is a few meters higher than the one to the left.
If you want to have a better view and do a less hiking on Koh Tao, then go to the left. Both viewpoints are run by different families, charging 100 Baht (3$) for entrance.
When you reach the viewpoint, grab a cold drink, sit down, and give yourself a pat on the back. You have just done some serious hiking on Koh Tao.
Getting to these two viewpoints while hiking on Koh Tao, should take you between 3.5 - 4 hours, round trip. Of course, that is without stopping. Be sure to bring a minimum of two litres of water, sun lotion, and some extra cash for a well-deserved ice cold drink at the top.
If you don't fancy taking on these two hikes at once, then split them up over two days. Give yourself about 2 hours round trip for each hike.
Have you ever done any hiking on Koh Tao before? Which trails have you done and did you find them challenging? Share with us in the comments below 🙂