Over the last two series on A Day Spent Hiking On Koh Tao we visited seven different little bays and two stunning viewpoints. In part one of our series, we hiked along Koh Tao's beautiful west coast from Mae Haad to Chalok Bay passing some of the islands less visited and wonderful beaches.
In part two of our series, we hiked up to two gorgeous viewpoints, Fraggle Rock and Mango Viewpoint. Both viewpoints are situated in the north of Koh Tao and take some serious hiking to reach. But once at the top, you know it was worth the hike, with its amazing panoramic views over the west coast of the island.
In our last and final series, we will be hiking two of our most favourite hikes on Koh Tao. Our first hike will be to a viewpoint, again overlooking the west coast. Only this time you will have a panorama view capturing the small neighbouring island of Koh Nang Yuan. Then on the second hike, we will be taking you to a small abandoned resort on the east coast of the island for some cliff jumping.
Then on the second hike, we will be taking you to a small abandoned resort on the east coast of the island for some cliff jumping.
Both of these hikes are more adventurous and challenging than the other hikes in this three part series. Which is why they are our favourite two. These trails are not paved what so ever and have been destroyed in areas. Trees have come down due to heavy rain blocking the path, and there seems to be what looks like a mini landslide. Not to mention that they will become pretty steep in parts.
These trails are not paved what so ever and have been destroyed in areas. Trees have come down due to heavy rain, blocking the path, and there seems to be what looks like a mini landslide. Not to mention that they do become pretty steep in parts.
West Coast Viewpoint
One of the best things about hiking to the West Coast Viewpoint is not just the challenge, but the fact that you have the whole trail and viewpoint pretty much to yourself. The path can be very tricky to find, leaving it isolated from tourists.
We've hiked this numerous of times and not once have we come across another soul along the trail. Making it a perfect hike to feel lost on Koh Tao.
Starting at Sairee junction at the north end of the island, you will make your way towards Asia Divers. From there continue on straight, passing Koh Tao Gym and Fitness until you reach Tarna Align Resort.
If you have already hiked part two of A Day Spent Hiking On Koh Tao, then you will be quite familiar with the route so far. Only this time we will be turning right at the resort.
The road will start off paved and then suddenly turn into a dirt path. About 30 meters on, you will reach the foot of the climb, and from here you must pay close attention. Hiking up the hill you will pass two houses on your right, here the path gets really bad.
At this point, keep your eyes right, looking out for a small trail. The trail is extremely easy to miss and is almost overgrown at this stage. So we will say it again. Keep your eyes right after the second house. You will know you are very close when you are hiking up the hill past the house and it gets slightly less steep.
Joining the new trail, you will hike past an unconstructed house and area that looks as if it was hit with a mini landslide.
This landslide was never here in the past. We assume it happened back in January 2017 when Koh Tao was hit with heavy rain.
Further on, the path will bend to the left and then to the right passing an amazing view over Koh Tao. This is where the hike gets difficult once more. The climb becomes extremely steep, trees are lying across the path and the gravel is loose, causing you to lose your footing if not careful.
Ok, at the top of this section we have got some good and bad news for you. Good news is, your almost there. The bad news is, you have one more steep climb to hike before the top. But from here it's only another hundred meters to Koh Tao's West Coast Viewpoint.
At the top, you will see two large rocks leaning against each other to your right. Make your way over to the boulders, climb through the small triangle passage and step out to an incredible view overlooking Koh Tao and its neighbouring island, Koh Nang Yuan.
As we said before, people rarely come to this viewpoint, leaving it free to enjoy all to yourself. Making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset without the crowds, unlike many other viewpoints throughout Koh Tao.
Laem Thian - The Abandoned Resort
Laem Thian sits on the east coast of Koh Tao and is 2.8 km from the Sairee junction. It is a small secluded beach, housing an abandoned resort which was shut down back in 2007 due to the cost of maintenance.
The resort itself is run down with several small bungalows spread out across the rocks. But you won't be coming here to visit the resort. This is a great location to have your very own private little beach for the day. And if that's not enough, there is also some cliff jumping to be done at the rear of the resort, adding a little adrenaline to your day.
Hiking over to here is pretty straight forward. You will be using the same starting point as you did for the West Coast Viewpoint at the Tarna Align Resort.
Turning right at the resort, make your way to the foot of the climb. This time there will be no need to look out for any hidden trails. From here you will be staying the same path as it alternates between uphill and downhill, taking you over the width of Koh Tao.
About 700 meters from Laem Thian, there will be a small split in the road. You will want to stay on the bigger path to the right taking you all the way to the beach.
Hiking to the left will bring you down a small 300-meter trail to Mao Bay. We have never actually been down to this beach before, so it might be worth checking out if you have the time and energy while hiking back.
Tip: The abandoned resort is a perfect place to come with some friends for a night of camping. We came over here with a group from the hostel one evening and had ourselves an amazing little beach party. Just remember to clean up and take your trash with you when you leave.
Finding The Cliff Jump
Finding the cliff jumping can be quite difficult as it is well hidden to the rear of the resort. Luckily though, we are on hand to help you out.
Make your way to the back of the resort, where you will find some steps leading to the roof. Pass these steps keeping the rear of the building to your right.
After about three meters you will notice, there is a way across the boulders. As you start crossing over the boulders you will see some planks of wood connecting them together. Follow them, these will bring you right across to where you need to be. The rock you want to jump from has a slight incline, with a small V shape at the top.
All in all the jump is about nine meters high. Although it's not the biggest jump in the world, it is still a lot of fun. To the right of this jump are a few smaller rocks about five meters high, if you don't fancy the bigger jump. Getting out of the water you must swim around the boulder, passing what used to be an old bridge.
Both of these hikes will take about 40-50 minutes each way while hiking on Koh Tao. Bring plenty of water as there are no shops along the way to stock up. Also, bring some food, mosquito spray, and wear some good footwear while hiking.
These hikes are quite isolated, therefore it is best to let someone know where you are going in case of an emergency.
Hope you enjoyed this part three series of hiking on Koh Tao and it inspires you to explore more of the island.