Don’t disregard Koh Tao for its itty-bitty size ‘cuz this island packs quite a punch! Known for some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences on the continent, visiting Koh Tao is a must for backpackers exploring Thailand.
However, with an influx of tourism comes choice and lots of it. Backpackers looking for the best hostels in Koh Tao may feel a little overwhelmed and rightfully so! The choice is endless and all of the hostels cater to different kinds of backpackers.
Whether you are looking for a party hostel or somewhere to kick off your flip flops and relax, there is most definitely a hostel to suit your personality – you just need to find it! And the best news is we can help you!
How much do hostels in Koh Tao, Thailand cost?
Everyone knows that staying in hostels is a great way to meet other travellers and travel the world if you are on a budget. All of the hostels that have made our best in Koh Tao list cost under $19USD for a dorm bed and the most reasonable in price actually drops right down to $5USD!
The vast majority of hostels on the island are very well equipped, sometimes boasting swimming pools, on-site bars and even Netflix rooms! However, no amount of money can buy you a good atmosphere and that is the thing that sets the hostels we’ve listed apart from the rest.
Couples (or singletons) seeking more privacy don’t have to miss out on the hostel experience though! As well as dorms, you can also opt for private rooms which usually start around $20USD per night.
Getting to Koh Tao
Getting to the island requires a little planning as there is no air connection. There is only a daily ferry which runs to the island.
If you are coming from Bangkok, you can reach the island by travelling on an overnight bus from Bangkok to Chumphon. This is where you can then grab the ferry to Koh Tao. Generally, when these tickets are booked they will include the bus and boat in the total price. One of these combo tickets will set you back around 1050 baht.
If night buses stress you out too much, alternatively you can catch the train to Chumphon. There is a slow boat and a high-speed catamaran that runs from here. The catamaran makes two trips a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It costs roughly 600 baht and the journey time is around an hour and a half. The slower boat leaves at 7 am and whilst being cheaper, the journey time is longer by around an hour.
If you are already island hopping, you can grab a ferry from neighbouring Koh Samui. The journey takes around two hours.
About Koh Tao…
Although sometimes overshadowed by its bigger siblings Koh Samui and Koh Phangan, backpackers are beginning to turn their backs on the excessive consumption and consumerism that plagues the other islands and seeking a more relaxing island retreat.
Whilst there are of course the parties that characterise the other islands, Koh Tao is most famously known for being a diving hub. Offering reasonably priced courses and some of the best marine life around, there is no better place to get your PADI open water!
How to choose where to stay on Koh Tao
There are a few places which see the majority of the visitors to the island. All of them cater to different kinds of backpackers.Sairee Beach – Party Central!
This is the longest strip of beach in Koh Tao and is hands down the best place to stay if you want a party. All of the happening beach shindigs are here and backpackers rate this place for meeting other travellers. It is peppered with restaurants and bars so staying here should be all about eating, drinking and merry-making!
Mae Haad – Great for Budget Backpackers!
If you are on the island for its cheap diving lessons, this is the area you should stay in. All of the best diving schools are situated here and the diving boats pick up passengers from the pier nearby. The place is also cheap to stay and the accommodation options are endless. There is access to beaches and restaurants fairly close by.
Chalok Baan Kao – Chilled Spot Perfect for Couples!
Want to ditch the crowd? This area is located on the quieter southern side of the island. Freedom Beach and Shark Bay are located close by and the stunning viewpoints of John-Suwan and Chalok are also a short distance away. If you want some peace and quiet as well as the opportunity to explore, you should book your stay here.
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This hostel looks and feels like a hotel but it throbs with a warm community feel that every hosteller craves. Managed by friendly staff, interesting social activities like free game nights and sunset strolls take place regularly and help backpackers to connect with other travellers.
The perks keep piling in too: clean beds, awesome air-con, a spectacular pool, clean bathrooms, complimentary breakfast and a cheap shuttle to the nearby beaches! All of these things keep travellers coming back and choosing to extend their stay.
Although The Dearly is located a bit out of the centre, in a less touristy spot of the island, backpackers don’t seem to mind. Rent a scooter and the journey here is a breeze! Check availability at The Dearly here.
Striking a perfect balance between proximity to the pier and distance from the party, this property is blessed with an ideal location. The hostel is brand spanking new, yet budget-friendly.
The dorm rooms have curtained beds and are maintained meticulously. However, there is only one bathroom and one shower per dorm which makes catering to the morning rush a little difficult.
Staff are cooperative but some travellers say that if you want to stay for a longer than a couple of weeks, you might have to pay extra for water and electricity. If this is your situation, we recommend verifying any extra costs with the hostel before booking. Check availability at AVA Hostel & Guesthouse here!
This place is a great choice if you don’t mind a little uphill walk! Located away from the noisy downtown area but close enough to check out the party, this cosy hostel is perfect if you are looking to go easy on the pursestrings.
They have a mix of en-suite rooms and dorms which are meticulously looked after and cleaned regularly.
There are two fan-only dorms and two AC-only dorms, coming in at different prices. Some backpackers say that the walls are a little on the thinner side so pick rooms away from the reception area to ensure a good night’s sleep.
The staff here are rated for their approachability and desire to make sure their guests have an incredible visit to the island.Check availability at Summer Guesthouse & Hostel!
If you are on the island for a diving course, then this hostel off of Sairee beach is a place you should definitely check out! Minutes away from the party street, this recently renovated property is a hot favourite with backpackers who value good sleep in-between intense days.
The dorms are big and spacious and divided into standard and deluxe options. Both have en-suite bathrooms, digital lockers, reading lights and power sockets for every bed.
The multi-lingual staff are very friendly and six different networks provide non-stop wifi for the guests. Check availability at Khun Ying House here!
Neptune Hostel – Budget-friendly hostel a stone’s throw from the pier!
Location: Mae Haad
Price: $10USD dorm bed
Breakfast not included
For long term travellers who value great service on a budget, this hostel is sure to meet your needs. The dorms have bunk-beds with privacy curtains and lockers but you will want to carry your own padlock as the hostel doesn’t provide any.
Although there are occasional complaints about the comfort of the mattresses, the guests can’t stop gushing about the pizza party which takes place in the terrace restaurant. It has a breathtaking view of Port Koh Tao and allows travellers to meet both their fellow guests and others who are staying nearby.
The staff are welcoming and the hostel is located only 50 meters from the beach. Check availability for Neptune Hostel here!
A two-minute walk from the Sairee beach will take you to this hostel where style, comfort and convenience meet to give a great experience.
Equipped with bunk beds which look more like sleep pods, each bed has a comfy mattress and incredibly good pillows that assures quality snooze time.
Dive schools and restaurants are located nearby and hostel guests are eligible for good discounts. The atmosphere is social and the in-house cafe and bar look hella cute and serve yummy food. To make things even better, the breakfast is complimentary too!
If you don’t mind compact living, then this hostel is for you! Check availability at Indie Hostel.
Party animal alert! If you are hunting for a party hostel with a kickass atmosphere then your search ends here. Surrounded by bars and restaurants, food carts and a 7/11, this hostel is located near all the hip and happening spots close to Sairee Beach.
The staff organise parties before sending fun-loving backpackers out on a highly-rated bar crawl. There is an in-house bar which serves tasty drinks at an inexpensive price. The dorms benefit from round-the-clock air-con which is much needed in sweaty Koh Tao.
Everything is well kept and presentable and there is also fast wifi for all of you digital nomads!
Worried about all that noise from the bar downstairs? There is no need – the walls are soundproofed! Check availability at CK Hostel here!
Fancy staying at a former political prison which has now been converted into a quirky hostel?
Just a few steps away from the pier, next to the famous Baby Rasta bar, is the White Jail at Koh Tao Hostel.
This place has super helpful staff and some cool outdoor showers. The air-con is strong yet quiet and the wifi is speedy. Delicious food spots are spread around the location and the hostel’s bar serves reasonably priced alcohol. This is a bargain you won’t forget in a hurry! Check availability at White Jail here.
If you are an animal lover, you will just love the resident house pigs at Bed and Ink. It is certainly a novelty to have some friendly porkers hanging around the hostel! As well as welcoming animals, the staff here are equally warm and will make sure that your stay is filled with great memories!
The hostel has a designated party area where people from other hostels can drop in. This is a great place to meet like-minded travellers. Located near the Mae Haad Beach and a ten-minute walk from Sairee Beach, you will find a 7/11 and various eateries close by. You can book all kinds of activities at this hostel including diving, snorkeling trips, yoga and rock climbing, all with recommended vendors.
As well as all of these activities, Bed and Ink also run the tattoo challenge! Drink a bucket of booze (worth 1200THB) in one day and you can get a free tattoo at the tattoo shop next door. Now that is sure to be an unforgettable trip!Check availability at Bed and Ink here!
Formerly known as Green Shelter, the newly named Islander Hostel is a great choice for travellers looking for a warm and welcoming stay. Islander is a social place but not crazy like some of the party hostels on the island!
Travellers looking to avoid plastic waste will be pleased to note that there are free drinking water refills available. They also have gluten-free and vegan options at their in-house restaurant.
This well-located hostel boasts friendly staff who organise loads of social activities (like beer pong!) to get you chatting with your fellow travellers. Backpackers enjoy using the in house pool table for a quick game before bed!Check availability at Islander Hostel here!
Hostels can sometimes make you feel a tad claustrophobic but this is not the case at SpicyTao. They have a beautiful, large garden area with mountain views that you can savour from one of the comfy hammocks.
If you’re wanting a chilled evening, why not borrow a movie from the hostel’s collection or get to know your new friends better over some cheap hostel beer? Rustle up something interesting in the hostel kitchen or bring in food from outside.
SpicyTao organises a lot of social activities like communal hostel dinners, BBQ’s and nights out to keep backpackers busy and entertained. It is a friendly budget hostel without a crazy party scene. Despite this, it is still good for meeting other people.Check availability at SpicyTao Backpackers.
Loft Hostel – Privacy curtains make it feel like your own room!
Location: Mae Haad
Price: $9USD dorm bed
If you want to enjoy a lively hostel whilst staying somewhere that is good value for money, then Loft Hostel is perfect for you. Off of the main pier, this hostel boasts a modern and sleek look. The sleeping area is spacious with a bed, privacy curtain and a side table to store all of your stuff. Lockers are a little small but you can store your main valuables with no worries.
Be warned, there are a few rules which you must adhere to in order to stay here. For example, you must confirm your stay on two occasions no less than 48 hrs before arrival or your reservation will not be guaranteed. Travellers wanting to bring outside guests into the dorms must check with a member of staff beforehand and backpackers will also need to specify if they want a dorm room with air-con.Check availability at Loft Hostel here.
Dive into island life with a stay in this resort-style hostel. Situated right on the beach, the living quarters are spread out and comfortable. The beachfront bar and restaurant have a drool-worthy grub list with well-priced cocktails. Evening activities run regularly and include quiz nights and live music.
As well as offering a superb place to stay, Goodtime also have their own on-site adventure team who can take you scuba diving, rock climbing, and cliff jumping! Join any of their organized activities to connect with other travellers. There is an age restriction at this hostel which means over 18’s only.
Goodtime pride themselves on being your one-stop for fun, accommodation and adventure. And the best thing? The fun doesn’t end when you leave Koh Tao! Make sure to check out their sister hostel in Koh Phangan! Check availability at Goodtime 4P Resort here!
This hostel has an amazing vibe and it is clear to see that a lot of love has gone into creating it. The social areas are a fantastic place to meet other travellers and this backpacker haven has a big open-air courtyard with hammocks to laze in.
They have a live music jamming session every other evening, a ‘Good Vibe Bar’ and BBQ nights which give the hostel a social vibe. There are two kinds of dorms available, basic fan-only and standard air-con.
The hostel is quite small with just four rooms and 28 beds in total so it never feels overcrowded. In some of the fan-only dorms, windows are sometimes left open which could hamper your sleep, owing to the noise from the communal spaces below. Check availability for Summer of ’69 Hostel here!
If you are arriving late to the island and want a hostel which is conveniently located close to the pier, then Koh Tao Central Hostel is a great choice.
Dorms sport curtained bunk beds ensuring the ultimate privacy for the guests.They have free tea, coffee, cookies, and bananas on offer around the clock which is sure to be appreciated by hungry travellers!
There is an entertainment area which has a smart TV with Netflix, a PS3 and a small travel book library. There are plenty of discount coupons available for use all over the island here, so don’t forget to bring them when you are out and about!Of course the thing that makes your stay here most memorable is the staff. If you’re lucky, you could even get a free bike tour of the island from the owner! Check availability at Koh Tao Central Hostel here!
A lovely host makes or breaks the hostel experience so if you are looking for a personable face who can help with all of your queries, look no further than BP Hostel. No ask is too much here and the local knowledge of the staff will really help you to get the most out of your stay.
It sits in a great location where everything is within walking distance. The hostel is quiet but the best party places are not far away. Situated close to Sairee Beach, there are plenty of nearby restaurants and bars to choose from. Check availability at BP Hostel Kohtao here!
Instagram worthy breakfast, check. Modern building, check. Rooftop swimming pool, check.
Savage Hostel Koh Tao has got it all. There are safes for your valuables as well as free toiletries provided in the bathroom. The whole place is very clean and if you like a belly-busting start to the day, definitely make sure that you catch breakfast! It starts at 8 am and is even vegan-friendly.
The staff are very eager to help and are on hand to give recommendations about what there is to see and do on the island. It is a favourite with couples who can’t stop raving about the private rooms. Think functional but immaculately clean and a little hipster at the same time!
This chilled retreat is a paradise in the evenings and guests can swim in the rooftop pool or chill with their fellow backpackers at the on-site bar. Snacks are available to buy from the restaurant until 10 pm.Check availability at Savage Hostel Koh Tao.
Without a doubt, the price and location of this hostel are its main selling points. By day you can enjoy being close to the transportation hub of Mae Haad and by night you can take the party to the Sairee Beach, which is just a fifteen-minute walk away.
The dorms have bunk beds which are big and spacious. As well as being generous in size, they feature light-blocking curtains, two plug points and a locker for your personal belongings. The mixed dorms have en-suite shared bathrooms so there is never a wait to dive in the shower. The staff are funny, friendly and really helpful. Check availability at Sleep Inn Hostel here.
If you like a generous space in which to lay your head, then this is the hostel you need in your life. Spacious curtained beds with comfy mattresses are provided in dorm rooms and they are so big that it is easy to forget you are in a room with other people!
There are free coffee, tea and drinking water available for guests. The wifi is also complimentary and the speed is good.
The bathrooms and shower stalls are gender-divided but the guest to bathroom ratio has been called into question previously. Despite this, if you don’t mind a wait for your morning shower, you’ll have no problems.
All in all, a fabulous location and a brilliant price make this hostel a great deal.Check availability at 8 Homestel here!
The Taco Shack Hostel has a great atmosphere and evening activities run to help backpackers connect with each other. You can book loads of trips directly at the hostel including diving and snorkelling. Travellers who are sick of rice and noodles will love the refreshing change in the hostel restaurant, get ready for some tasty Mexican dishes!
As well as a huge rooftop area which is sometimes used for movie nights, there are also two beautiful gardens at the hostel. All of these spots are great places to watch the sunset.
Each bed has a power outlet as well as a reading light. Lockers are provided for guests to store valuables in.Check availability at Taco Shack Hostel here!
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