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Koh Tao is unexpected paradise for hiking addicts in Southeast Asia. Recently, I kicked off the Hike Your Heart Out series to highlight some of my favorite island trails, most of which remain hidden gems thanks to the lack of trail maps, marked routes and mentions from guidebooks and travel blogs. I’m excited about creating a resource to help travelers and locals alike to lace up their trainers and wander the island we affectionately call The Rock.

This edition is dedicated to a popular route up to Mango Bay Viewpoint. Technically, this gorgeous vista can be reached by motorbike — and I frequently see tourists attempting it — but please consider going by foot instead, especially if you aren’t an experienced driver, as the road is incredibly steep and poorly paved and accidents are all too frequent. Even if you escape unscathed, your bike is unlikely to, and you won’t like what rental agencies on the island charge you for even the most minor scratch. So, ready to get those glutes going?

Hop out of your hammock and let’s go!

Route

Start Location: Living Juices, located next to Banyan Bar and Koh Tao Crossfit, is easily located on various Koh Tao maps around the island. It’s the perfect place to grab a pre-hike fueling smoothie bowl or a post-hike refreshing juice!

Once you’re ready to go, leave Living Juices and turn right, walking uphill away from the direction of Sairee Beach. You’ll walk past Island Muay Thai, Koh Tao Gym and Fitness, and eventually Tarna Align Resort — keep Tarna Align on your right to follow the main road. Eventually, you’ll crest the hill and find signs for the viewpoint, shown below, on your left. This is where you’ll tun off the main road.

Here, the jungle gets a little more lush and less and less signs of civilization appear. Eventually, you’ll see the following hut, which means you’re almost done ascending. You can grab a water or coconut here, or keep forging up towards the top.

Soon after, you’ll reach a fork in the road — and another place where you can grab a cold drink or a hot snack. This is also where you’ll need to make a decision. To the right, the path leads down towards Mango Bay. I have yet to try this route, as it is a much longer time commitment. To the left, the path leads to two options for enjoying Mango Viewpoint.

you want the viewpoint, not the beach!

A few moments later, you’ll reach a second fork. I’ve taken both paths, each of which leads to similar viewing platforms and bars owned by separate families. Both charge an entry fee, both sell refreshments, and both have bathroom facilities. The difference? In my opinion, the view to the left is better as it is less obstructed, while the atmosphere and bar staff to the right are much nicer and chiller.

So, want to get the perfect photo? Go to the left. Want to hang out, have a fresh coconut and chat with some locals? Go to the right.

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

The photos above are from the viewpoint to the left of the fork. The photos below are from the viewpoint to the right. From either one, it’s about forty-five minutes back to Living Juices.

Time

And hour and forty five minutes to two hours round trip, not including whatever time you spend admiring the view from the top!

Difficulty

3.5 out of 5. While the hike is long and the incline steep, the route is a relatively easy one to follow and chances of losing the trail are extremely low.

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

Special Notes

There is currently a 100B entrance fee ($3) to reach either viewpoint, which each sit on private land. While I personally wish they’d make the fee a bit more reasonable — that’s the price of dinner at a decent restaurant on Koh Tao! — it is their land to do with what they wish. They are regularly increasing price, so it may be even higher by the time you read this.

You may also wish to bring extra cash for a fresh coconut or cocktail at the top.

Need a Hiking Buddy?

Check your hostel, ask your dive crew, or check out , an open Facebook group where you can ask questions, look for hiking groups, and share your hiking experiences. As you would in an new or unfamiliar setting, avoid hiking alone and let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back.

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

Hiking Mango Bay Viewpoint Koh Tao

Other Hikes in This Series

The Burmese Pagoda
Fraggle Rock
Laem Tien
More to come!

Pin For Later

Have you been hiking on Koh Tao? What’s your favorite route?

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30 Comments...
  • Ijana
    June 27 2016

    I love this series! Hearing about all the hiking there is making Koh Tao more and more appealing to me. Of course the stereotype about the place is diving and that would be fun as well, but I’m definitely more of a hiker. This one looks cool because of all the different options you have to finish out the hike.

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      There is definitely a lot more to Koh Tao than just diving! I love dispelling that myth around here 🙂

  • Rick
    June 27 2016

    I’ve never made it out to Koh Tao and wondering how hot and humid it is. I know areas on the mainland are smokin hot and sweaty, so hoping the island provides some cooler weather.

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      It can be pretty hot and sweaty on Koh Tao too — I can’t lie 🙂 March and April can be pretty unbearable, so during those months I would definitely recommend a place with air conditioning to cool down!

  • Cate
    June 28 2016

    I can’t wait to go to koa Tao one day and try these out! Great post
    Cate recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Thanks Cate! Hopefully I have the whole island mapped out by the time you get there 😛

  • Sarah
    June 28 2016

    Oh I love the little Pin at the end! Super cute and sums it up perfectly.

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Thanks Sarah! I’m having fun making graphics again 🙂

  • Stephanie Be
    June 28 2016

    This is absolutely incredible- the photos are breathtaking and make me want to get out there and start hiking!

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Thanks Stephanie! I’ve hiked this route many many times, so plenty of opportunities for photos 🙂

  • Dominique
    June 28 2016

    I really like these hiking posts! They’re inspiring! I’m really getting into hiking, but there are no hills in my vicinity so I’m trying to activate my glutes by looking at your pics 😉
    Dominique recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Ha, let me know how that goes 😉 Koh Tao is covered in hills so literally couldn’t be better for hiking. Running? Not so much, unless you’re a superwoman!

  • I visited Koh Tao a year and a half ago – wish I would’ve known about some hiking! We spent most days bumming at the beach (along with some diving). Looks fun!
    Bethany @ Dose of Discovery recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Hey, that doesn’t sound so bad! But you’re right — the hiking is usually more of a local’s game, but I’m hoping this series helps travelers get in on the fun too.

  • Sophie Nadeau
    June 28 2016

    What an amazing place to be able to hike.. the photos look great too!
    Sophie Nadeau recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Thanks Sophie! Love bringing my big camera hiking… adds some nice weights to the exercise 😛

  • Kristen
    June 29 2016

    Will definitely reference this when I’m in SE Asia in a couple months but…the Pinterest link/graphic is impressive. I need to go to school for those skills!

    • Meihoukai
      June 29 2016

      Thanks Kristen! Always love when my graphic design degree comes in handy, ha ha.

  • Vivian
    June 29 2016

    Aw man, we were in Koh Tao just over a year ago and we never got the chance to go up this viewpoint! If only we had known! Oh well, next time I suppose ;]. This place looks amazing!
    Vivian recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 30 2016

      Next time indeed! Always great to have a good reason to go back!

  • TammyOnTheMove
    June 29 2016

    I am seriously behind reading your posts, but I am slowly catching up and I love this series. What a lovely view. Looks like a great hike.
    TammyOnTheMove recently posted..

    • Meihoukai
      June 30 2016

      Thanks Tammy! It gives me a lot of inspiration to lace up my shoes when I’m on the island so I can plot the routes and time myself and whatnot, so that’s fun 🙂

  • Erika
    July 2 2016

    What a great series! I am dreaming of visiting Koh Tao one day soon…

    • Meihoukai
      July 7 2016

      Me too, ha ha. I miss my island fiercely right now!

  • Julia Nix
    July 7 2016

    thanks alex. never got to do hiking when i last visited KT. hope next time. another activity i am interested in is free diving. would love to see you cover this topic one day.

    • Meihoukai
      July 7 2016

      I’m definitely interested in freediving and hope to complete a course at some point! It’s on the list!

  • Anne
    July 7 2016

    Would you recommend this trip with kids, age 8 and 12??

    • Meihoukai
      July 7 2016

      To be honest I’m not that familiar with kids and what they are capable of at different ages. It seems it might be tough for an eight year old but on the other hand kids are always running around with all kinds of energy so what do I know! Sorry I can’t be more helpful on this one 🙂

  • Alf
    April 7 2017

    Thanks for the advice on the walk to Mango Viewpoint. Much appreciated!

    • Meihoukai
      April 9 2017

      So happy to hear that Alf! It’s a beautiful little trek!