Treks & Viewpoints
As a majority of people come to Koh Tao for the partying, beaches and diving, you will not find too many people out on the hiking the trails in the interior of this unique volcanic island. Once you leave the surrounds of glitzy Sairee, you will start to fully appreciate the tranquillity and beauty of this lovely little tropical gem. If you like a good trek, or you just decide you have had enough of hammock hanging - why not test your levels of fitness by trying out some walking trails across Koh Tao? If you subsequently get the hiking bug, you will find sufficient hike trails to keep you occupied for several days. Some hikes are more challenging than others, some are better signposted than others, and some are little more than crumbling dirt tracks or overgrown jungle paths that will severely test your resolve. But they will always give you a great workout. And don't forget that at the culmination of your efforts, you will be rewarded by making it to a deserted tropical beach or an amazing viewpoint. To get you going, here are details of two of the most popular island treks: Sairee Beach to Fraggle Rock Head off the main road junction in Sairee just opposite Spa Aurori and walk up the road past French Kiss Divers, Asia Divers, and finally to the Koh Tao Gym and Fitness centre. If you have a bike, we suggest you leave it at the gym, as after here the trail becomes very steep and rough underfoot. The path twists and turns, eventually flattening out at the crest of the island. When you reach the power station, slow down as you'll be taking a path to your right, which leads up to Fraggle Rock. On the way, you’ll pass a turning circle for motorbikes, a concrete building, and eventually a big rock with a ladder up to a great viewpoint over Hin Wong Bay. Nearly there! You will soon arrive at a huge mass of boulders that contains Fraggle Rock, and make sure you climb the right one, as you don’t want to scramble up more than one rock. This is probably the hardest part of the whole walk. When you finally make it to the top, dripping with sweat and wondering if it has all been worth it, you will soon get your answer, as the views from Fraggle Rock are quite stunning. You should allow a minimum of two hours from the setting off point at Sairee Beach, but if you take a bike as far as the gym, you can probably knock off an hour for the round trip. Set out at early morning to beat the midday sun, wear decent footwear and take plenty of water with you. Goodtimes Adventures will be happy to provide you with a free map. Sairee to Laem Tin This is also a popular hike, as it is easy to find the start at Sairee beach, and your reward will be the gorgeous Laem Tien bay on the other side of the island. The route is easier than the trail to Fraggle Rock, and you can find your way easily without a map. Repeat the Fraggle Rock walk to the Gym and fitness centre, and then follow the main road until you reach the first really steep hill. Here you’ll find a newly built resort. Turn right, to walk up the road with the resort on your left. The trail will soon turn from paved road to a dirt path, and will lead you uphill and downhill as it crosses through dense tropical jungle - traversing the island from west to east. You will eventually arrive at Laem Tien Beach. With luck, you will have the place to yourself, and you can cool down by having a refreshing swim. There are no shops en route, so bring plenty of water, and maybe some food for a picnic lunch. Allow 45-60 mins each way. Other popular hikes include Sairee to Tanote (approx. 3 hrs), and Laem Thian to Mao Bay (approx. 90 mins). Also, try the short hike from Mae Haad to Sai Numa to Chalok - from the south-west to the south of the island - that will take you across seven beaches. Each beach is only 500-700m away from the next one. Viewpoints Fraggle Rock and Mango Bay are the easiest to get to from Sairee. To get to Mango Bay, follow the signpost on the left when you take the west-east route across the island. Take the very steep path, and eventually you will reach Mango Bay where you will have to pay 20B to access the viewpoint. Here you can buy cold drinks, and the sunsets are absolutely stunning. Other notable viewpoints around the island are: John Suwan - On the headland between Chalok Ban Kao Bay and Ao Thian Og - reckoned by many to be the best on the island. Tanote Bay (1) - On the way to Ao Tanote beach Tanote Bay (2) - High up above the Mountain Reef Resort Hin Wong - Between Sairee Village and Hin Wong Bay Og View Resort - From the terrace of the resort in the mountains. Two Views - High up in the mountains. Coral Land and House - In the northern mountains. Koh Nang Yuan - On the south of Koh Nang Yuan island.