In the picture above is one of the most spectacular view points that I have NOT seen. Well, I wanted to, but I got the wrong directions. Here’s the story.
Koh Tao is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand. Very popular among divers, beach lovers and pub crawlers. It is not a very big island and the touristic part is located in one side. It has some beautiful beaches and some great view points.
Backpacking tip 1: Don’t always trust google maps
The problem with view points is that they are not always on google maps. Sometimes you need to ask the locals how to get there. This also applies to the view points in Koh Tao.
So one afternoon I decide it’s the time to hike to the view point. I search for “view point” on google maps and the first result is “Chalok view point“. It has a very Thai name, it seems to be somewhere up the mountain and the walk is around one hour, like my friends told me. This must be it.
Backpacking tip 2: If you get a free ride, make sure you know where you are going
After 30 minutes of walking by the beach, the road goes inland and starts to go up. Perfect. It’s very hot, but i’m quite excited about the view point so I don’t care much. Then the road becomes very steep and I don’t see any other people. That’s weird, considering it is the most popular view point in Koh Tao.
As I go up the road, I local guy with a scooter stops next to me.
“Where are you going?”
“Hop on, I’ll take you there”
Yay, free ride. I jump on the scooter and then we start going up. The road becomes very steep and there are no houses or anything on the side of the road. After a few minutes we start going down and we arrive in the courtyard of a hotel. Weird.
So I ask the guy about Chalok view point and he tells me it’s there. I look up, and YES. The hotel is called View Point. It’s a very nice resort, but this is not where I want to be. I keep going down the road for a few minutes and I arrive at a beach. An empty beach. This area seems to be inhabited and I am on the other side of the mountain.
Backpacking tip 3: Avoid long walks if it is very hot
I start going back up the road and after half an hour walk in high heat I get to the peak. On the side of the road it seems to be a path that goes to a big rock. I struggle to climb it, but eventually I manage to get up. Aaaaand big disappointment. As big as the rock I just climbed. I’m at the wrong view point. I take a selfie and a picture of the bay and head back to the hostel.
So if you are in Koh Tao and you want to hike to the amazing view point, it’s called Koh Nang Yuan. Chalok view point is just a resort and it is not easy to get there. Check the map below.
Unfortunately I left Koh Tao the next day and I never managed to see it. The above photo is taken from Instagram.