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John Suwan Viewpoint Koh Tao – the complete guide

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John Suwan Viewpoint on Koh Tao is certainly the best viewpoint on the whole island. Believe us, you don’t want to miss astonishing views from the top! You’ll find multiple viewpoints on Koh Tao, but this one was our favorite!

What you’ll appreciate the most is the accessibility. The walk to the top only takes a few minutes. Additionally, you’ll find Freedom Beach close to the viewpoint. So after a short walk in the hot Thailand weather, you can jump straight to the sea and enjoy snorkeling. Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it?

We created this complete guide full of helpful information you should know before you go. We will cover the location of John Suwan Viewpoint, how to get there, the entrance fee, and much more.

Where is John Suwan Viewpoint?

John Suwan Viewpoint is situated on the very southwestern coast of Koh Tao Island. You can find Chalok Baan Kao Bay nearby and you will pass Chalok Ban Kao village on the way.

Freedom Beach is also located in the same area. You pay one entrance fee for both locations. From the viewpoint, it’s on the left. On the right side, there’s Shark Bay, one of the best snorkeling spots on Koh Tao.

If you’re staying near Sairee Beach, the main tourist hub on the island, it will take you 15 minutes to get here on a motorbike. The distance is only 4.3 kilometers.

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How to get to John Suwan Viewpoint?

Koh Tao is a small island with no public transport whatsoever. Therefore, you only have three ways to get around – motorbike, taxi, or longtail boat. The longtail boats are not usually used to visit Freedom Beach or John Suwan viewpoint.

Motorbike

John Suwan Viewpoint on Koh Tao is easily accessible by motorbike. It’s the cheapest and most convenient way to discover everything the island has to offer. The main roads are mostly in good condition.

However, some roads leading to remote beaches (such as June Juea and Sai Daeng Beaches) are very steep and narrow. I can imagine inexperienced drivers wouldn’t feel safe. But trust me, if you can ride the scooter around the town, you’ll be fine anywhere here.

Rent Motorcycle Chiang Mai

But this road is easy. You don’t need to worry about anything. To reach the area, just follow Google Maps until you arrive in a parking lot. From here, it’s a 15-minute hike.

Renting a motorbike on Koh Tao is easy since you’ll find many rentals around. The prices start from 200 TBH per day. When it comes to fuel, there are many fuel stations or small shops where you can fill up your tank easily.

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Tip: Whenever you rent a motorbike, make a video of every single scratch and imperfection on the bike. This way you will avoid having to pay for damages you didn’t cause since you’ll have proof.

Truck taxi

Truck taxis are quite expensive on Koh Tao. To get from Mae Haad to Freedom Beach it costs 550 TBH one way. When shared with more people, you can pay less. However, you might need to wait for a while before you find other tourists heading to the same place.

Because of this, taxi is a better choice for larger groups or families with kids. For solo travelers and couples it’s more convenient to rent a motorbike.

It’s also important to note that during high season taxis might cost more. On the other hand, you can try to arrange a better price during low season.

Where to stay on Koh Tao

The most popular area to stay is around Sairee Beach. You’ll find most restaurants around. However, this area is also a bit too loud, both during the day and night. If you’re coming to Koh Tao to relax, stay near one of many beaches. Our favorite is Tanote Bay.

Best hotels on Koh Tao

If you use the links below, you pay the same and we earn a little comission. It helps us run this blog. You can also check more hotels on Koh Tao on booking.com.

pepa guesthouse

Pepa guesthouse

Low budget

ananda villa

Ananda Villa

Mid budget

cape shark

Cape Shark villas

High budget

John Suwan Viewpoint entrance fee

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Entrance fee: 50 THB

As soon as you enter the parking are, you will see a ticket booth. The entrance fee is 50 TBH per person. However, this includes both John Suwan Viewpoint and Freedom Beach. Additionally, you’ll find free beach chairs on Freedom Beach. Their use is included in the entrance fee.

John Suwan Viewpoint opening hours

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Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm

The official opening hours are from 9 am to 7 pm. But you can access both the viewpoint and the beach 24/7. The only difference is that the ticket booth is closed outside the opening hours.

Of course, no one’s going to kick you out of the area after 7 pm.

viewpoint john suwan koh tao

About John Suwan Viewpoint

After a short hike, through jungle and rocks, you will arrive at the most stunning viewpoint on Koh Tao Island. John Suwan Viewpoint offers views over Shark Bay on the right side and Chalok Baan Kao Bay on the left.

Additionally, you can see hills in the middle of the island. The whole area is covered in green with many palms. Occasionally, you’ll see huge rocks peeking through the lush green jungle.

One thing to keep in mind is that there’s not much space. It’s just a pile of a few rocks with huge drops on every side. Just like you can see in the photo below. Because of this, we recommend planning a visit when there are not so many crowds.

john suwan viepoint

Facilities

During the whole hike as well as on the peak, you won’t find any facilities. Therefore, make sure to bring enough water to stay hydrated.

You can get some snacks and drinks down at Freedom Beach.

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Did you know that Koh Tao is one of the best places to get PADI certified? The marine life is incredible and the prices are some of the cheapest in the whole world.

John Suwan Viewpoint hike

From the parking lot to the viewpoint, it’s only a 15-minute short hike.

Finding the right path couldn’t be any easier. You just have to follow “viewpoint” signs to reach John Suwan Viewpoint, Koh Tao. First, you walk along an almost flat trail through the parking. Soon, you will enter a narrow trail in the jungle.

From here, you will start to walk uphill. Most of the trail is a dusty narrow strip leading through palms and jungle.

john suwan viewpoint koh tao

As you get closer to the viewpoint, you’ll see more rocks. You will need to climb some of them with a help of the rope next to the trail. It’s a really easy climb, though. Anyone can do it.

While you can also do the hike in flip-flops, we recommend at least sandals. It will feel much safer and more stable when climbing up and down the rocks.

Overall, you shouldn’t worry about this hike. It’s a nice little adventure suitable for everyone! Hiking to the viewpoint is a lot of fun. Also, you’ll be rewarded with the most incredible views.

john suwan koh tao

Travel Insurance

One of the worst things you could do is travel without insurance. We never go on a trip without travel insurance. Anything can happen during your adventures.

Our go-to company is SafetyWing. They will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars if something goes wrong.

If you purchase the insurance through our link, you still pay the same, and we will earn a small commission. This helps us run our blog. Thank you ❤️

Best time to visit John Suwan Viewpoint

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Dry season: November – May

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Rainy season: July – October

In general, the best time to visit Koh Tao is during the dry season, which is between November and May. January till April are the driest months with mostly sunny weather. However, Koh Tao is experiencing good weather even during the summer months. While heavy rains hit most of Thailand, Koh Tao and other surrounding are often untouched by the monsoons.

That’s why Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan are great places to visit during the monsoon season in Thailand. But of course, this doesn’t mean you can count on perfect weather. It’s hard to predict these kinds of things.

john suwan viewpoint on koh tao

The best time to visit John Suwan Viewpoint to enjoy the most spectacular views is during sunrise or sunset. While waking up early is not for everyone, sunrise is the best time to avoid crowds.

When coming for sunset, keep in mind that there’s not much place at the viewpoint. Hence, you might not be able to find a spot to sit down and relax, or it might feel overcrowded.

We came early in the morning at around 8 am almost as the first visitors. We met just a few other people. But by the time we were leaving, more tourists started to come.

As mentioned above, the opening hours are between 9 am and 7 pm. If you come for sunrise, there’s no one to collect the entrance fee. So don’t forget to pay on the way back and support the local economy.

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TIP: Did you know that all ATMs in Thailand charge you 220TBH (6€) for withdrawal? It’s a lot, right? Keep this in mind and rather than withdrawing little amounts too often do it once or twice in large amounts.

Best restaurants around

While you can only get some snacks at the beach, you’ll find plenty of restaurants in the village. Apart from traditional Thai meals, you can also stumble upon a selection of Western foods. Here are some of the best places to eat in the area:

  • Ananas Restaurant – Beautifully decorated place with a cozy atmosphere and delicious Thai and Western food. Some of the meals you should definitely try here are Khao Soi and Panang Curry. It’s recommended to come earlier, around 5 pm or 6 pm. Later, the restaurant might be full so you might not be able to get a table.
  • Dee Dee Thai Food – Family-owned restaurant, with good prices, and tasty local food. Some of the best meals to try are Massaman curry and Papaya Salad. After the main course, don’t forget to try mango sticky rice. It’s superb! The service is very attentive, so you’ll certainly enjoy your time here.
  • Chalok House Restaurant – A bit further from the viewpoint, but this place offers mouth-watering Thai food. You will be welcomed with a huge smile! What’s really appreciated is the short waiting time. We recommend Chiang Mai noodles and Massaman curry.

Other places to visit nearby

Freedom Beach

When visiting John Suwan Viewpoint, you just can’t miss Freedom Beach. Since the entrance fee already includes entrance to the beach, it would be a pity to skip it.

Freedom Beach is a gold-sand beach tucked away in a small bay. Thanks to the many trees planted on the beach, you can enjoy shadow all day long. Additionally, sun chairs are available for free. To enjoy your time at this beach the most, we recommend coming during high tide.

When low tide comes, the water is shallow in some places with corals at the bottom. Don’t forget to bring a snorkel!

freedom beach koh tao thailand

Shark Bay

Shark Bay can be seen from the viewpoint. It’s located in a neighboring bay. But to get there, you’ll have to travel a bit around since there’s unpassable jungle between.

Shark Bay got its name due to common blacktip reef shark sightings. If you’re lucky, you can also meet sea turtles. Because of this, the area is a very popular snorkeling spot.

Sai Daeng Beach

Sai Daeng Beach is one of the best places to visit for an incredible snorkeling experience. You’ll find some corals and plenty of fish in the water. The beach is also very lovely, tucked away between jungle and cliffs.

Few resorts were built here and you can also get some food and drinks in a restaurant. Additionally, there’s a diving school. Koh Tao is known as one of the best places on Earth to get PADI-certified! So it’s an opportunity you shouldn’t miss if you’re interesting in pursuing this activity.

Tanote Bay

Tanote Bay is the best place for snorkeling we have ever visited! The underwater life is just out of this world! It literally feels like you entered a different world. The amount of colorful corals, fish, and other species make this place truly special. You can even spot blacktip reef sharks if you’re lucky!

No entrance fee is collected to enter the area. You can find many spots both in the sun and in the shadows under the trees. You’ll certainly appreciate the white sand and crystal-clear water. A few restaurants at the beach offer lovely Thai food and fresh drinks.

For adrenaline lovers, there’s the huge rock from which you can try cliff-jumping into the sea. But once you climb the rock, the only way down is jumping!

Tanote bay Koh Tao

Best guided tours on Koh Tao

  • Snorkel tour by Oxygen – Visit Nangyuan Island, Japanese Gardens, Mango Bay, Ao Leuk, and Hin Wong Bay. You can enjoy snorkeling at every stop. The underwater life is just incredible and this tour will be one of the highlights of your whole Thailand trip!
  • Scuba diving experience – Ever tried scuba diving? How about taking your first lesson in one of the best places to get PADI in the whole world? Koh Tao is known for its lively underwater life and the best way to explore it is scuba diving!
  • Daytrip by speedboat – This tour has the same itinerary as the first one by Oxygen. The only difference is, that here you can also go kayaking.

Snorkel tour

Klook.com

Scuba diving

Klook.com

Daytrip by speedboat

Klook.com

John Suwan Viewpoint Koh Tao Conclusion

In conclusion, this is by far the best viewpoint on the island. Suitable for people of all ages, easily accessible, and extremely beautiful. For a short and simple hike, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views.

On hot sunny days, you’ll be thankful for the proximity of Freedom Beach! Visiting these two natural attractions on Koh Tao is a perfect half-day trip.

We hope this article will help you and if you have any thoughts to share, don’t hesitate and drop us a comment below. Thanks for reading!