Hey, adventurous souls! So, you’re planning a trip to Koh Tao, huh? Buckle up, because you’re in for an unforgettable journey. Whether you’re a diving enthusiast (like we are!), a beach bum, or someone looking for that idyllic tropical island escape, Ko Tao has something for everyone.

One thing’s for sure, there’s no shortage of epic things to do in Koh Tao. If this list isn’t enough, then the perfect Koh Tao weather should seal the deal for you! We’re talking sunshine, humidity and perfect beach vibes.

Pssst! If you’re planning a trip to Koh Tao, you’re going to want to read our complete guide to Koh Tao first! You’ll find all our insider tips on how to get to the island, how to get around, the best restaurants and Koh Tao hotels, and more!  

In this comprehensive guide of the best things to do in Koh Tao, we’ll take you through a whirlwind of must see Koh Tao spots, can’t-miss activities, and all the ins and outs you’ll need for an epic time on the island. Think pristine beaches, a vibrant underwater world, and mouthwatering street food that’ll have you saying, “Another banana pancake, please!”

Looking for that perfect bungalow in Koh Tao to call home during your stay? We’ve got you covered. Need the 411 on the best hiking trails or how to scooter around the island safely? Yep, it’s all here. So, let’s not waste another minute and dive into what to do in Koh Tao!

Showcases a beautiful view of the beach, one of the best things to do in Koh Tao Thailand. The white sand beach is set against the crashing waves of the turquoise water in the Gulf of Thailand. A beachfront bar with ocean views is featured.

Table of Contents

How long to stay on Koh Tao

Oh, the golden question of how long to soak up all that Koh Tao goodness. Look, we totally get wanting to stay here forever – we’ve been tempted more times than we can count. But realistically, here’s the lowdown:

If you’re just coming for a taste of what the island has to offer – think beaches, snorkeling, a bit of hiking – 3-4 days is a good amount of time. It’s just enough to not feel rushed but still experience the highlights.

Now, if you’re planning to get your PADI or SSI dive certification (which we highly recommend, it’s where we got certified), you’ll want to extend that a bit. The courses usually last about 3-4 days, and trust us, you’ll want a day or two afterward to celebrate your new diver status and maybe even test out your skills at some advanced dive sites.

Here’s the thing, Koh Tao can be as relaxed or as action packed as you want it to be. There’s enough to keep you busy, but it’s also the perfect place to chill and do a whole lot of nothing. So if you’ve got the time, why not stay a little longer?

Things to do in Koh Tao

Like we said, this island’s the perfect mix of good times and chill beach vibes. Come and meet friends for life or don’t talk to another soul and spend your days going from your cabana to a beach hammock with your book in hand, the islands golden for both vibes. Without further ado, let’s jump into the best things to do in Koh Tao.

1. Go scuba diving in Koh Tao

If you know us, you know we’re OBSESSED with diving. Koh Tao diving holds a special place in our hearts. We got our PADI scuba certification right here in Koh Tao and have been diving around the world ever since. Trust us when we say, the underwater world here is out of this world! No matter who you talk to they’ll confirm that the absolute best thing to do in Koh Tao is go scuba diving.

Koh Tao is one of the cheapest places in the world to get Open Water Scuba Diving certified. It’s also a great place to get your Advanced Open Water certification. If you’re already certified this is a great place to explore and do some fun dives in the tropical water.

We have nothing but good things to say about scuba diving Koh Tao, but we get that a lot of people may be nervous about it. If you’re not sure how you’ll like scuba diving, you can do a Discover Scuba Diving intro course to test the waters (sea what we did there).

Water Temperature

Veiw from beach chairs in Thailand

First off, let’s talk water temp. The Gulf of Thailand is like a warm bath most of the year—ranging from 26 to 30°C (79 to 86°F). We dived in a shortie the whole time but could have been more than comfortable in just our bathing suits. 

Dive Sites

As for the sites, Koh Tao has a menu that caters to everyone. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned diver, you’re sorted. For beginners, places like Japanese Gardens and Twin Peaks are superb. Advanced? Head to Chumphon Pinnacle or Southwest Pinnacle.

What You'll See

While the cheap price tag is enticing, the real reason we love diving in Koh Tao is the stunning marine life and colorful corals. You’re going to be making friends with a variety of fish, from little clownfish (Nemos!) to schools of barracuda.

Expect to see the most beautiful colorful coral reefs that are buzzing with life. Oh, and turtles. Did we mention the sea turtles? Because—SEA TURTLES! We had one friendly little guy that swam right up to us. Magical!

Thailand also is famous for having a whale shark season. If you find yourself here between March and June, you should make it a point to swim with whale sharks. Chumphon Pinnacle and Sail Rock are great ways to spot these friendly giants.

Types of Dives

Koh Tao offers a smorgasbord of diving experiences. Night dives? Yep. Wreck dives? Absolutely. Deep dives? You bet. We’ve tried them all, and we can’t even pick a favorite. Okay, maybe the night dives – they sound scary but they are 100% worth it!

Pro Tips

Here are a couple of tips, bestie-to-bestie. If you’re planning to get your scuba certification, we’d recommend staying a couple of extra days on the island. Your dive class is a couple full days leaving not a ton of time to explore. Extending your stay will let you explore the dive sites and the islands.

Also, be sure to book in advance if you’re traveling during peak season. Oh, and definitely invest in a GoPro or a waterproof camera. You’ll thank us later when you’re showing off your underwater selfies.

Diving in Koh Tao isn’t just another tick off your bucket list; it’s an experience that’ll leave an imprint on your soul. So if you’ve got the ocean calling your name, answer it Koh Tao style.

2. Koh Tao Snorkeling

If diving sounds a bit too much like a commitment, or you just want to switch it up a bit, snorkeling in Koh Tao is your jam. We’ve done it countless times, and let us tell you, it’s the next best thing to actually living under the sea!

Best Beaches for Snorkeling

First up, the beaches. And, oh boy, do you have options!

Our top pick has to be Shark Bay! Don’t worry, the sharks are friendly, they’re blacktip reef sharks and they are THE MOST BEAUTIFUL animals in the world. Ok, ok, we’re biased as Samara’s favorite animal is sharks but trust us – it’s a bucket list experience you HAVE TO DO!! The best time to see them is early morning.

Other great snorkel spots include Freedom Beach and Mango Bay.

Each spot has its own vibe and variety of marine life. Shark Bay is perfect if you want to see—you guessed it—sharks! And Freedom Beach? It’s like snorkeling in an aquarium.

Snorkeling Tours

If you’re down for an adventure without the planning hassle, book a snorkeling tour. They usually cover multiple spots and take care of all the gear for you. They typically offer lunch, decked out boats, and stunning views on the water. They’re also a great place to meet new people.

Gear Up

You’re going to need some gear, obviously. If you already have a snorkel, great! If not, we love this snorkel set. Trust us, you’re also going to need sunscreen – make sure it’s reef safe! And you’re going to want to capture the underwater magic, seriously, there’s SO MANY fish. You should get a waterproof case for your phone so you can bring it in the water or keep it on the beach without worrying about water and sand.

Pro Tip

Ready for some BFF advice? Wear a rash guard or a t-shirt to avoid the dreaded back sunburn (learned that one the hard way). And keep hydrated! Snorkeling is fun but surprisingly tiring

3. Best beaches in Koh Tao

If you just want to sprawl out on the sand with a good book, we got you, beach lovers!

Sairee Beach

Let’s kick things off with Sairee Beach, the busiest and arguably the most popular beach on Koh Tao. We love it for the energy. It’s lined with bars, restaurants, and shops, so you’re never far from a cocktail or a plate of Pad Thai. Perfect for people watching and sunset selfies.

Freedom Beach

Next up, Freedom Beach, the quintessential chill spot. The vibe here is a complete 180 from Sairee. It’s secluded and gives you that private beach feel. You know, fewer people, more nature.

Shark Bay

Shark Bay is another must visit. Not only for snorkeling but also for its stunning views and soft, white sand. It’s a unique beach, with shallow waters near the shore and then a sudden drop off for more adventurous swimming.

Mae Haad Beach

Mae Haad Beach is a mix of both worlds – active but not too crowded. It’s great for families or if you’re just looking to have a variety of activities to choose from. Snorkeling, jet-skiing, or just a good ol’ swim – it’s got it all.

Chalok Baan Kao

Chalok Baan Kao is your go to if you’re avoiding the crowds. It’s quieter, less commercial, and perfect for hours of uninterrupted reading or dozing off to the sound of waves.

one of the best things to do in koh tao is sit at this picturesque beach and go snorkeling in the crystal clear water

Tanote Bay

For the adventurous spirits out there, Tanote Bay is calling your name. It’s a little harder to get to, but the journey is so worth it. The bay is circled by large boulders, making it an excellent spot for cliff jumping. Yes, we did it, and yes, it’s as fun as it sounds!

Mango Bay

Last but not least, Mango Bay is an isolated paradise accessible mainly by boat. With its crystal clear waters and serene environment, it’s the place to truly unplug and connect with nature. Just you and the sea.

And there you have it! A beach for every mood and moment. Whether you’re looking for action and excitement or peace and quiet, Koh Tao has a strip of sandy paradise with your name on it.

4. Koh Tao Leisure Park

When you’re sick of the beach (ha! Who ever gets sick of the beach?) or just want to switch up your days, Koh Tao Leisure Park is a great attraction to visit. It’s one of the best things to do in Koh Tao if you’re traveling with kids or just want to get out some competitive energy.

First off, this isn’t your typical park. Koh Tao Leisure Park is more like an adventure playground for adults (and kids, too!). It offers a mix of activities from bowling to mini-golf to pool tables.

Whether you’re in the mood for a laid-back game of pool or something more high-energy like trampolining, there’s something for everyone. We loved switching gears and engaging in a different kind of fun. It’s a great place to mingle with other travelers or even locals. We ended up challenging another couple to a friendly bowling competition, and it was so much fun!

After a full day of sun and sea, sometimes you just want easy entertainment without the sand. Koh Tao Leisure Park is accessible and offers indoor options that are perfect for those unexpected rainy days.

Oh, and food, they’ve got that covered too. You can enjoy some bar snacks or even a full meal. And yes, they have beer.

5. Chase the sun by watching the sunrise and sunset

Ah, there’s something so magical about watching the sky turn into a canvas of colors, isn’t there? In Koh Tao, this daily show of nature is absolutely a must see. Honestly, it’s like the island is giving you a high-five for just being there. No matter how long you’re on the island, watching the sun dance is one of the most epic things to do in Koh Tao.

Where to watch the sunrise in Koh Tao

John Suwan Viewpoint: We’ve caught the sunrise here, and oh man, it’s straight up incredible. Imagine the sun peeping over the horizon while you get a 360-degree view of the island. It’s an early climb, but worth every step.

Freedom Beach: Another fantastic spot to catch the sun rising is Freedom Beach. The serene morning atmosphere and the water turning from dark blue to turquoise as the sun rises? Trust us, it’s gold.

Tanote Bay: Remember that adventurous beach we talked about? Well, it’s also a killer spot for sunrises. The boulders create a dramatic backdrop as the first rays of the day hit the water. There is even a sign up that says “LOVE KOH TAO”. Epic is an understatement.

Where to watch the sunset in Koh Tao

Sairee Beach: Okay, if you’re a sunset chaser like us, Sairee Beach is the spot. The vibe is laid back and communal; it’s like everyone gathers here to say goodbye to the day. Don’t forget a cold Chang beer for the full experience.

Mango Viewpoint: For a more panoramic experience, head up to Mango Viewpoint. You’ll need to navigate some steep roads, but the view is unmatched. You get to see the sun dip below the island and into the ocean. No words, just 😍.

West Coast Resorts: Many resorts on the west coast of Koh Tao have beachfront bars that offer a prime seat for the sunset show. Order a cocktail, sink into a bean bag chair, and just let the sky mesmerize you.

So, whether you’re an early riser or a sunset lover, Koh Tao’s skies have something special for you. Don’t miss these celestial moments; they’re some of the best souvenirs you can take home.

6. Discover the best of Koh Tao hiking

Koh Tao isn’t just about diving and beaches. This island has some pretty kickass hiking trails that we’ve personally stomped around on, and they’re way too good to keep a secret. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just looking for a leisurely walk with killer views, Koh Tao has got your back.

Fraggle Rock

Vibe & Views: First up is Fraggle Rock. It’s a moderate climb, but the view? Oh, you’ll forget you’re even sweating. You get to see a stretch of the sea meeting the horizon, and it’s a sight to behold.

Best Time to Go: Early morning or late afternoon. Trust us; you don’t want to do this hike in the scorching midday heat.

Two View

Vibe & Views: Two View is another must-visit. This one’s a bit tougher, so bring some water. But, the effort is well worth it. Expect panoramic views, you’ll get to see both sides of the island from a single point. Yup, it’s as awesome as it sounds.

Best Time to Go: Again, avoid the midday heat. We usually hit this one in the early morning, and the serenity is just unbeatable.

Koh Tao's Jungle

Vibe & Views: If you’re in for something more adventurous, there are numerous jungle trails to explore. These aren’t official hiking trails per se, but they’re well worn by locals and travelers alike. It’s like walking through a green tunnel with an occasional opening for a sneak peek of the ocean.

Best Time to Go: For jungle trails, we’d say later in the afternoon is perfect. The temperature is cooler, and you might just catch some local wildlife going about their day.

7. Devour the street food

Ah, the street food. Honestly, if you’re not chowing down on street food, are you even in Thailand? Now let’s get one thing straight: the banana pancakes here are basically the eighth wonder of the world. I’m not kidding; these fluffy, crispy edges of heavenly goodness are a must try – trust us.

Thailand street food

Oh, and the fruit shakes. They’re like sipping on a tropical vacation, especially the kiwi shakes. We know, kiwi in Thailand might sound a bit odd, but trust us on this one. These shakes are creamy, sweet, and tart all at once, and they taste like the very definition of refreshing.

If you head to 7-11, that’s where you’ll find a ton of street food stalls. At nighttime, this is also where you’ll find a little night market full of good food and some local shopping.

What Else is Cooking?

  • Pad Thai: This classic dish is available on nearly every corner, and each vendor adds their unique flair.
  • Som Tum: Spicy green papaya salad, anyone? It’s a firework of flavors—spicy, tangy, and just the right amount of sweet.
  • Spring Rolls: Whether you’re a veggie fan or all about the shrimp, these crispy delights are a perfect quick bite.
  • Fresh Seafood: I mean, you’re on an island. Grilled squid, prawns, or even a whole fish can be your dinner, right off a street cart.

Are you drooling yet? ‘Cause we sure are. Bottom line: your trip to Koh Tao won’t be complete without diving into the street food scene. Get out there and taste the island, one banana pancake at a time!

8. Rock Climbing

You’ve snorkeled, hiked, and soaked up the sun—what’s next? How about scaling some rocks and catching a whole new view of Koh Tao? You may think of spots like Railay Beach when thinking about Thailand climbing, but Koh Tao actually offers some good spots too. It might not be the most well known things to do in Koh Tao, but the climbs will surprise you!

The best spots for this are Jansom Bay, Mango Viewpoint, and Lang Khai. These places offer climbs that range from beginner-friendly to “you better know what you’re doing, buddy.”

What You'll Need

Climbing Shoes: If you’ve got a pair, bring ’em. Otherwise, most climbing spots rent them out.

Chalk Bag: Your hands are gonna get sweaty; it’s a fact.

Harness and Gear: No worries if you don’t have your own. The climbing shops around here will set you up.

Water: Trust me, you’re gonna get thirsty.

Snacks: ‘Cause who doesn’t love a mid-climb granola bar?

Level of the Climb

Each spot has routes designed for all skill levels. Beginners might find Jansom Bay perfect for an intro, while Lang Khai offers routes that would challenge even a seasoned climber. So, you’ve got options!

Highlights of the Climb

Views, Views, Views: Seriously, imagine hanging off a cliff and seeing the endless ocean and tiny boats below you. It’s surreal.

Variety of Routes: Whether you want an easy climb or a real challenge, Koh Tao’s got you covered.

Local Climbing Community: People here are super friendly. You’ll probably make a few buddies to cheer you on as you reach for that next handhold.

Wildlife: Don’t be surprised if a curious monkey comes to watch you. Just another day in paradise!

If you’re even slightly adventurous, rock climbing in Koh Tao is a must. So put on those climbing shoes, and let’s ascend to new heights, my friend!

9. John Suwan View Point

Hey, you ever have one of those moments where you just gotta stop and soak it all in? That’s exactly what John Suwan View Point is like. Trust us, you’ll want to make room for this experience in between all that diving and beach hopping.

Vibe & Views

The first thing you need to know is that the hike up to John Suwan View Point is totally worth it. We’re talking 360-degree panoramic views of Chalok Baan Kao Bay and Thian Og Bay that’ll leave your jaw on the floor. It’s that classic “top of the world” feeling. There’s something surreal about looking over the lush forests and sparkling blue ocean.

Best Time to Go

Get ready to set that alarm—early morning or late afternoon are prime times for this adventure. Want to catch a legendary Koh Tao sunrise? This is your spot. More of a sunset kind of person? You won’t be disappointed either. Just remember, it can get a bit crowded, especially during sunset, so plan accordingly.

Hike Length & Difficulty

Alright, don’t let the word “hike” scare you off; this one’s pretty manageable. It’s about a 15-20 minute climb, but it can get a bit steep and rocky. I’d say it’s a moderate hike, not too intense, but you’ll definitely feel those legs working. Perfect way to balance out all the Pad Thai we’ve been indulging in, right?

Tips for Hiking

Footwear Matters: Don’t even think about doing this in flip-flops. Wear some good hiking shoes or at least sturdy sneakers.

Stay Hydrated: Bring a water bottle. You’ll thank yourself halfway through. We brought ours in reusable bottles ’cause, you know, Mother Earth

Sun Protection: Sun can be brutal, even in the morning or late afternoon. A hat and some reef-safe sunscreen can be game-changers.

Photography: If you’re into photography, bring a decent camera. Your phone will capture the scene just fine, but a camera can truly do it justice.

Timing: Try to go during off-peak hours if you can. Early mornings are usually less crowded than sunsets.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your hiking boots, maybe some water, and let’s make some memories. This view is too good not to share—meet you up there!

10. Relax with a massage

So, you know how we’re all about trying local experiences? Well, getting a Thai massage in Koh Tao is one of those must-do’s. Honestly, it’s like yoga, but you don’t have to do any of the work! How cool is that?

Pro tip: Traditional Thai massages are intense. You typically stay clothed and they use a fair amount of pressure. We typically ask for oil massages instead which tend to be more the relaxation focused massages we’re used to at home.

Why You'll Love a Thai Massage

  • It’s Incredibly Relaxing: We got massages practically every new city we traveled to in Thailand. All the scuba diving and hiking can take a toll, and this is the perfect remedy.
  • Affordable Luxury: Guys, it’s so affordable compared to back home. You can get a one-hour massage for like 250-350 Baht ($6-10 ish USD). Total steal.
  • Easy to Find: You’ll find massage places everywhere in Koh Tao, from Sairee Beach to Chalok Baan Kao Bay. You can almost always get walk in appointments.
  • It’s Authentic: These therapists know what they’re doing. We’re talking about generations of passed-down knowledge here. You’re in good hands, literally.

11. Scooter around the island

Ah, the joys of cruising on a scooter, with the wind in our hair and the sun on our skin—it’s an experience we’ve always relished on Koh Tao. It’s by far one of the best ways to explore this small yet diverse island. You’re going to love the feeling of discovering hidden beaches and viewpoints at your own pace.

The Basics You Should Know

Renting: It’s super easy to rent a scooter here. Most places don’t even require a deposit, just a copy of your passport.

Price: Expect to spend around 150 to 250 THB per day. Gas is extra, but it’s cheap and you can fill up almost anywhere.

Roads: The roads here can be a mixed bag—some are smooth and easy, while others are steep and a bit rocky. Always wear your helmet and drive carefully.

Parking: There’s usually plenty of parking spots, but always double-check it’s a legit spot to avoid fines.

Safety First, Always!

We can’t stress enough how important it is to prioritize safety. We’ve heard of too many scooter accidents on the island, so please, let’s be smart and vigilant.

Helmets: Non-negotiable. Always wear one.

Speed: Don’t be a speed demon; the island isn’t going anywhere.

Be Alert: Watch out for other drivers, animals, and sudden turns.

Scootering around Koh Tao is one of our favorite things to do, and it allows for a level of freedom that’s hard to beat. So rent a scooter, slap on some sunscreen, and let’s hit the road. Just remember: safety first, then sky’s the limit!

12. Watch a fire show

Picture this: the sun’s down, the ocean’s a dark shade of indigo, and you’re chilling on the sand with a cold drink. Just when you think Koh Tao couldn’t get any better, the beach bursts into flames—don’t worry, it’s not an emergency! It’s a fire show, and let us tell you, it’s a surreal experience that’s bound to light up your island nights.

Fire show in Thailand, Thai fire show on the beach

Setting the Scene: Our Fiery Night

We’ve seen a lot of fire shows in our time, but nothing compares to the one on Sairee Beach. The atmosphere was electrifying. The performers were skilled, and the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. They kicked off the show with poi balls on fire, twirling them so fast they became rings of flame.

Myles' Fire Rope Jumping Adventure

You won’t believe this, but Myles couldn’t resist the pull of the show. He got called up to participate in a fire dance, and next thing we knew, he was jumping a rope of fire under the moonlight. It was nerve-wracking but also insanely cool. We’re still not sure who was more excited—Myles, us, or the cheering crowd!

Why You Should Catch One

Unique Experience: It’s not every day you get to see people dancing with fire.

Great Atmosphere: The music, the crowd, the performers—it all comes together to make a perfect island night.

Free Entertainment: Most fire shows are free to watch, though tipping the performers is always a nice gesture.

If you haven’t experienced a fire show on Koh Tao yet, do yourself a favor and go! It’s a night we’ll never forget, and we’re pretty sure it’ll spark joy for you, too. Trust us, it’s a must-see and a must-do for your Koh Tao bucket list.

13. Drink a bucket

When we say “bucket,” you’re probably thinking sandcastles. But in Koh Tao, the word takes on a whole new meaning—specifically, a party-in-a-plastic-container kind of meaning. This isn’t your average cocktail; it’s a Thai bucket, and it’s the unofficial fuel of Koh Tao’s vibrant party scene.

drinking a bucket in thailand
It's blurry, but you'll understand when you finish drinking a bucket in Thailand

The Lowdown on Thai Buckets

Alright, so what is a Thai bucket? Imagine a small plastic bucket loaded with your choice of spirits, mixers, and a whole lot of ice. We’re talking rum, vodka, whiskey, soda, and Red Bull—sometimes all in the same bucket. Yeah, it’s as potent as it sounds, but don’t worry, the straws are big enough to share. In fact, it’s more fun that way!

Our Bucket Adventures

We’ve had our share of buckets, usually starting at a relaxed beach bar and then carrying it along as we hit the dance floors. Trust us, these things last a while. It’s like an ongoing party you carry in your hand. But heed this advice: know your limits. Buckets in Koh Tao can be deceptively strong.

Why You Gotta Try One

Cost-Effective: You get a lot of bang for your baht. It’s like buying a round of drinks, but all in one go.

Social Catalyst: Sharing a bucket is an excellent ice-breaker. You’ll make friends in no time.

Fully Customizable: You choose your poison and your mixers. It’s a DIY cocktail experience.

So, if you find yourself on this awesome island and hear someone yelling, “Who wants a bucket?” know that the party has officially started. Grab a straw, make some friends, and as always, drink responsibly. Cheers to Thai buckets and unforgettable nights!

14. Get flexible in a yoga class

Samara loves yoga so it’s important for us to find yoga classes in every place we visit. One of her favorite things is to practice yoga in different corners of the world so she can learn different styles and take in new perspectives. It’s like diving into a zen culture lesson while finding some inner peace.

Here’s how Koh Tao stood out:

  • From Vinyasa to Hatha and even beach yoga, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a beginner or can pull off a headstand like it’s NBD, you’re covered.
  • The location is epic. Imagine doing your sun salutations with the ocean as your backdrop. It’s as close to nirvana as she’s ever felt.
  • The yoga community here is super welcoming. Drop-in classes are common, and you’ll find many studios offer them.
  • It’s incredibly meditation centered making it easy to find your zen and detox after a night sipping on a Thai bucket.

15. Go to the Full Moon Party

Ok, hear us out. The full moon party is a BUCKET LIST party and when in Thailand…

The party is held once a month on nearby island Koh Phangan and is well worth the trip. Think glow sticks, electronic music, fire dancers, and dancing under the moonlight.

You know we’re all about soaking up the chill vibes in Koh Tao, but sometimes, we get that itch to crank up the energy. And what better way to do it than a quick trip to Koh Phangan for the legendary Full Moon Party? Yep, we’ve been there, done that, and it’s a wild ride!

The Full Moon Party: What's the Hype?

Imagine a beach stretching as far as your eyes can see, all lit up with neon glow paint, fire dancers, and thousands of party-goers from around the world. This isn’t just a party; it’s an experience. The music is pumping from multiple stages, each offering different vibes—from techno to reggae. We danced till the sun came up, and it was epic. Trust us; it’s a bucket-list event.

Why We Love the Koh Phangan Excursion

Ease of Travel: Getting to Koh Phangan from Koh Tao is a breeze. There are plenty of ferry and speedboat options. We took a speedboat, and we were there in less than two hours!

Party & Peace: One of the things we love about this day trip is that you can experience the wild party scene in Koh Phangan and then retreat back to the serene beaches of Koh Tao. Best of both worlds, right?

A Night to Remember: The Full Moon Party is not just about the full moon; there are also Half Moon and Black Moon parties. No matter when you visit, there’s a good chance a party is happening.

Flexibility: While the Full Moon Party is the main event, Koh Phangan has a lot more to offer, like beautiful beaches and waterfalls. If you decide to stay longer, there’s plenty to explore.

If you’re up for an unforgettable night (and maybe a bit of a wild one), a trip to Koh Phangan’s Full Moon Party is a must. Just remember to book your return ticket in advance, especially around the Full Moon Party dates—they sell out fast! Who’s ready to party?

16. Visit Koh Nang Yuan

Hey, remember when we hopped over to Koh Nang Yuan? Honestly, that place is like a postcard come to life. Picture three tiny islands connected by a sandbar, surrounded by some of the bluest water you’ve ever seen. Yep, that’s Koh Nang Yuan for you.

Why Koh Nang Yuan Is a Must-Visit

The Views: First things first, you’ve got to check out the viewpoint. A short but sweaty hike takes you to one of the most Instagrammable spots in Thailand. We took a gazillion photos up there!

Snorkeling: Koh Nang Yuan is home to some of the best snorkeling we’ve ever done. The water is so clear; you feel like you’re swimming in a giant aquarium. Don’t forget your reef-safe sunscreen, by the way. Trust us, you’ll want it.

Chilling on the Sandbar: Sunbathing on the connecting sandbar is another level of bliss. You’re literally surrounded by ocean on all sides. Is this what paradise feels like? We think so.

Getting There is a Breeze: It’s super close to Koh Tao. We just took a long-tail boat from Sairee Beach and were there in 15 minutes. We paid 250 baht for round trip transfer. Couldn’t be easier.

Pro Tips for Visiting Koh Nang Yuan

  • Conservation Fee: There’s a 100 Baht entry fee, which goes to island conservation efforts. Small price to pay for such beauty, we think.
  • Pack Light: You won’t need much for a day trip. Just some cash, a camera, and that sunscreen we were talking about.
  • Time it Right: Try to visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. Trust us, you’ll have a more intimate experience.

So, who’s up for a day trip to Koh Nang Yuan? Grab your sunscreen and camera, and let’s catch the next boat out!

17. Go paddleboarding or kayaking

Ah, paddle boarding and kayaking in Koh Tao—two activities that we simply can’t get enough of. We love that these water sports give us a different vantage point of the island. Plus, it’s an awesome workout! There’s no need to book ahead of time, most places let you just show up and rent. 

Why We're All In for Paddle Boarding

The Scenery is Unreal: Imagine standing on your paddle board, floating above coral reefs and tropical fish. It’s like a postcard but better because you’re actually in it.

It’s Beginner Friendly: Never tried paddle boarding before? No worries! It’s pretty easy to pick up, and there are instructors on the island if you want a quick lesson.

Sunrise Sessions: Our absolute fav is going out at sunrise. The water is calm, and the whole vibe is serene. Worth the early wake up, trust us!

Explore Hidden Coves: Koh Tao has some hidden gems that you can only reach by kayak. We stumbled upon a few and felt like we were on our own private island.

Explore Hidden Coves: Koh Tao has some hidden gems that you can only reach by kayak. We stumbled upon a few and felt like we were on our own private island.

It’s a Budget Activity: Rentals are pretty affordable. We’re talking like 150-200 Baht per hour.

Double or Solo: You can choose a single or double kayak. If one of us is feeling lazy, we opt for the double. We won’t say who does most of the paddling, though.

Snap Those Pics: Bring along a waterproof camera (affiliate link) and capture the epicness. Just don’t drop it; those things don’t float!

18. Go island hopping

Island hopping in Koh Tao

There are lots of small islands surrounding Koh Tao that are well worth a visit. Going island hopping on a boat tour is an epic way to spend the day!

Okay, real talk— if you think Koh Tao is the end-all-be-all, you’re missing out. We’re huge fans of island-hopping around here. Why settle for one paradise when you can explore a few, right? Grab that sunblock and let’s get this salty adventure started.

Koh Tao hotels

We’ve been to the island multiple times and have the low down on the best accommodation in Koh Tao for every budget.

If you want to save money, Coral Grand Koh Tao is a great hotel. We got dive certified here and we absolutely loved it. If you do your diving certification through the hotel, you can get discounted hotel stays. 

If you’re looking for the best mid range accommodation in Koh Tao, one of our favorites is Ban’s Diving Resort. The Koh Tao Montra Resort is another one of our favorites if you’re looking for a nice pool and a good location.

The first time we visited Koh Tao we stayed at Montalay Beach Resort. It was so great to stay out of town and escape the hustle and bustle and just feel like we were on our own private island. The hotel is right on Tanote Bay so we spent our days reading in hammocks and snorkeling – absolute magic.

If you’re feeling fancy, it doesn’t get better than Langkhai Garden. The vibes are right, the views are amazing and the whole experience is just absolutely 5 stars! We also really loved Cape Shark Villas!

Where to go after Koh Tao

Alright, so you’ve conquered Koh Tao—scuba diving, snorkeling, and all. But wait, the adventure doesn’t have to end here! Thailand’s got a treasure trove of destinations that we know you’ll love just as much as we do.

Nearby Islands

Koh Phangan: If you’re up for another island but want to experience something different, head to Koh Phangan. Famous for its Full Moon Party, but it’s not all about the nightlife; it’s got incredible beaches and snorkeling spots too.

Koh Samui: Looking for a blend of island vibes with a touch of luxury? Koh Samui is your answer. Stunning resorts, serene beaches, and yup, the spa scenes are to die for.

Beach on Koh Phangan

Beachy Adventures

Railay Beach: Now, if you’re after rock climbing and jaw-dropping limestone cliffs, we can’t recommend Railay Beach enough. Trust us, this place looks like a postcard.

Phuket: A much larger island with big-city energy. Think bustling markets, nightlife, and an array of water activities. But also hidden gems of tranquil beaches if you know where to look.

Koh Phi Phi: Okay, if you’ve still got party energy left in you, Koh Phi Phi is a non-stop fiesta. But it’s not just about the nightlife; the viewpoints here are unreal.

Or Head North

Chiang Mai: Swap the beaches for lush jungles and wildlife. Ever wanted to go on a jungle trek or get up close with elephants in an ethical way? Chiang Mai is a nature lover’s paradise.

Quick Tips

  • Ferry Hopping: It’s super easy to ferry between these nearby islands, so why not make it an island-hopping adventure?
  • Local Flights: Heading to Chiang Mai? There are affordable local flights that can get you there in no time.

Man, just talking about these places has us planning our next trip! So, where’s it gonna be? Sipping coconut water in Koh Samui or going on a jungle trek in Chiang Mai? The world—or at least Thailand—is your oyster!

Thanks for stopping by!

Alright, friends, if you’ve made it this far, you probably know by now that Koh Tao is not just another dot on the map—it’s a treasure trove of experiences waiting to unfold. From scuba diving in some of the world’s most stunning underwater realms to sipping on a bucket (yep, a bucket!) of your favorite cocktail under the stars, Koh Tao truly has something for every kind of traveler.

Whether you’re here for a short escape or planning on making it a longer love affair with the island, we promise you won’t run out of things to do in Koh Tao. So, what are you waiting for? Book that ticket, pack those bags, and let’s make some memories that will last a lifetime.

Before you jet off, don’t forget to check out our comprehensive Koh Tao Guide for all the tips and tricks you’ll need.

And if you love keeping up with all of our adventures and travel tips, make sure to hit that subscribe button for our newsletter. You won’t want to miss out on all the goodies we’ve got coming your way! Let’s stay friends, and until next time—happy travels!

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A collage of photos showcasing the best things to do in Koh Tao Thailand including walking in the jungle, scootering, visiting the beach and snorkeling and watching the sunset over the ocean
A beautiful beach photo of the Koh Tao beaches with crystal clear water with waves crashing on a white sand beach with a beach bar in the background
A collage of the best things to do in Thailand including watching the sunset over the ocean and visiting a beach club and lounging on the beach or snorkeling in the crystal clear water.


  1. Sharyn McCullum Reply

    This island sounds like my kind of place! Maybe I can get myself marooned there for a while!

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