Indie Hostel Guide to Koh Tao, Thailand - A design hostel offering private and shared budget accommodation for the new generation of backpackers.
This island is for sure one of the best places in the world to learn diving. There are different ways how you can explore the ocean.
Koh Tao is famous for being a good place to get your scuba diving license. It's cheap compared to other places in the world, there are many different dive schools to choose from and they all keep very high standards!
All schools provide courses from beginner to professional level. We know, making the right choice can be quite overwhelming but we can give some advice based on what you want. Before you book anything, ask us because a few dive schools will give you a special discount if you are our guest!
Not all diving has to be done with a scuba tank on your back. Why not go freediving?
Learn how to dive down for more than 20 meter with just your own breath. Or be taught how to hold your breath for over three minutes (yes that's possible as a complete beginner!) Freediving is one of the most fascinating sports you can imagine, you'll be able to do things you never thought were possible! Ask our reception and we can organise it for you!
Don't want to go too deep yet? Why not try out some snorkling in the many beautiful bays we have here.
And you know what's really easy? Book your trip with us and we'll get you a special discount as well.
Where to get tanned.
Let's face it, we all know why you came to Thailand. To make your friends back home jealous with your awesome tan!
Here are some of our favorite beaches on the island to check out. Or ask our staff!
The biggest and most central beach is Sairee beach, right where we are located and close to nice places to eat, have a drink or lounge in the sun.
A bit of a drive over some steep hills, but the snorkeling and cliff-jumping right off of the beach makes it worth it!
Quiet and secluded beach, pretty white sand, crystal clear blue water and a swing between some palm trees.
Go snorkel for a few hours and have a big chance of seeing sharks and turtles!
Party your ass off.
Koh Tao has everything. From relaxed bars in the middle of nowhere to crazy beach parties. It all depends on what you are looking for. But in our opinion there are a few places you should not miss during your stay here.
In The House Party
If you like more underground deep house and techno parties than you need to join the In The House parties of Moov Bar. Electronic DJ's from all over the world and resident island DJ's come together to play and make it an awesome night. There are no fixed dates but in general Moov Bar will host 1 or 2 parties a week. Ask our partying staff especially the manager when the next party is.
Real Moon party
Fairly new to the island and only once a month (usually around the 16th) is the Real Moon Party. It's located at a super cool outdoor venue on a mountainside. Jump in a taxi, chill out and have some food from one of the food stands, grab a drink and than party party party. What's so cool is that this is the only party on Koh Tao that is allowed to play music until 6 in the morning and they bring in world class DJ's! Grab your dancing shoes and an energy drink and come party on the mountain!
If you are more into salsa or reggae-ton music than you need to check out Moov Bar. Every week they organize The Latin Party. Go crazy, jump on the dance floor and shake your ass!
Daily beach parties
As we say over here: every day is the weekend. So you can party everyday. You'll find the main party bars on Sairee Beach for an impressive fire-show and some fun dancing with your toes in the sand! Our favourite Sairee Beach bars are directly next to each other: Leo Bar, Bar Next Door and Fishbowl. Go check them out!
If you are looking to easily meet other travelers and go from bar to bar, than you can join the famous Koh Tao Pub Crawl. It starts at Choppers Bar which is just across from Indie Hostel.
Again there is much more going on, just let us know what you are looking for and we'll explain everything.
There are really interesting and inspiring bars and chill out places on this island which you really have to check out.
If you want to enjoy a nice sunset at Sairee Beach while you are listening to non commercial electronic music than Maya Bar is the place to go. Super chill and in walking distance from our Hostel. There's nice cocktails and day beds on the beach. Here you can also rent a paddle board and make your way into the sunset...
If you like good cocktails and nice lounge music while you are chilling on a bean bag, than Fizz Bar is the way to go! Located just 100m from our Hostel and it's the perfect hang out spot for a nice dinner and cocktails.
High Bar is located in the southern side of the island called Chalok. It is built on top of a hill and has a stunning view of the hillside and ocean. All built out of tree trunks with low tables and lounge pillows, it's a super cozy spot to watch the sunset..
Natural High Cafe
This is also a very natural place with an amazing view over the mountains. It is definitely a place where you can find your inner peace and zone out a bit.
Baby Rasta Bar
Close to the pier in Mae Haad you'll see an old VW Bus on the side of the road. Yes, that's the entry of Baby Rasta Bar and you cannot miss this one. We're not sure if its built up to Western safety standards, but hey we're in Thailand and it is cool as hell! This bar doesn't a scenic view but it is built into and around some trees, so its kind of a tree house! Sometimes they even have a live band playing in there.
For this one you need to do some exploring. Drive to the heart of Chalok, park your bike close to the beach and from there walk over a small wooden bridge over the water. Through a big restaurant, another small walkway and you end up at Pirate Bar. Yes it's a little bit hidden but that's the cool thing about this place. When you've arrived you'll see its worth it.
Take pretty Instagram pictures.
To become an Instagram celebrity you need to follow our advice...! :) Bring your camera to some of the bars we described above and get some stunning shots of the views. High Bar, Natural High Cafe and Serenity are a must if you want to get famous...!
Make your friends at home jealous with some pictures from Fraggle Rock. To get there you need to like a bit of hiking, but it's worth it. From our Hostel it is around a 50 minute hike. Depending on your motivation of course ;)
We'll give you a map of Koh Tao and tell you where you need to go!
Another nice hike is to the abandoned resort. When you arrive there you'll find an old abandoned resort which gives off a bit of a spooky atmosphere, especially if its getting dark! If you're hardcore, bring a horror movie to watch there and hike back. You'll have our respect forever!!! :)
Koh Nang Yuan
Google pictures of Koh Tao and most of the results will be of Koh Nang Yuan. The 3 tiny islands, connected by 2 narrow white beaches are a National Park. And only a 10 minute taxiboat ride away from Sairee Beach. The Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint is one of the most famous and we totally understand why. For a small entrance fee you can set foot on the islands and take a short and easy hike up the hill. Than go nuts with your camera!
There are a few other cool viewpoints on the island, ask our reception and we'll show you on the map!
Koh Tao is around 7km long and 3km wide but it has a lot of steep hills and the roads can be very tricky sometimes! From our Hostel you can walk to everything which is located at Sairee Beach in maximum 10 minutes. But if you want to see other parts of the island you have a few more options.
You can rent a scooter for around 150-350 baht a day. Depending on where you rent them and if insurance is included. Please do us a favour and don't rent from the cheapest places. There are many people who get charged 10.000 baht for a scratch that was already there, or they don't give back your passport. Please ask us which rental companies are trustworthy and you'll be fine!!!
Also we have to be a bit like your worried parents right now: don't start driving a motorbike here if you've never driven one before. Even if it's super easy to rent one because you don't need to have a drivers license.
You'll see a lot of people on Koh Tao with bandages, over here we call the scars from motorbike accidents the typical Koh Tao Tattoo. The roads are sandy, sometimes not even paved and the hills are steep.
If you do know how to drive than it's not a big deal, just keep your eyes open and please don't drive drunk!!!
Get a real tattoo, not a Koh Tao tattoo!
Renting a bicycle is becoming more and more popular on the island. Save nature, get fit and enjoy!
The taxis on this island are probably more expensive than in downtown Manhattan New York. They usually have a minimum price of 400 baht. More if you go from one side of the island to the other end. Ofcourse depending on where you go. A;ways try to share a taxi with more people and try to negotiate a little bit, but know that 100baht per person per ride is a normal price over here.
If you want to see a few beaches in one day you can do so, by renting a Thai style longtail taxi boat. It will give you a nice traditional experience tour around the island. We think this is one of the best options to really explore this beautiful island, because by bike you will miss some really nice spots. Get a few people together and rent a boat for the whole day and we're sure you'll have a good time...
Ask the staff which taxi boat drivers are good!
Bad ass activities.
We often get the question: So is Koh Tao still nice if you don't want to go diving?
Our answer is: Hell yes!
Some cool other activities you can do here are:
- Cliff jumping
- Rock climbing
- Thai boxing
- Go get a tattoo
Just ask us and we can get you in touch with all the companies operating on Koh Tao.