When you are on holiday and stringing together big nights out, you've got to get breakfast right! Here is a list of our favorite spots across the island. These are espresso + familiar food joints. For more local options like an omelette with pork, rice porridge (Jok) or a salapao (rice sticky bun) go back to the hole-in-the-wall restaurant you went to the night before. They will take care of you. But, be warned if coffee is needed crappy instant is all you're gonna get!

Sairee Beach


This island staple has locations in both Sairee and Mae Haad. They make excellent coffee and have a good breakfast/lunch menu. Like most western places on the island they serve a Full English Breakfast as well as healthier options like Muesli Fruit and Yoghurt. 

New Heaven Cafe

Located in the heart of Sairee Beach, New Heaven boasts an extensive and unique menu. Breakfast burritos, German breakfast, Scandinavian breakfast, delicious pastries, you'll have to go back because it's so hard to choose.


Feeling the need for the healthiest fuel available? Head up the hill to Gym & Fitness, their adjacent cafe serves up delicious fare made with healthy and organic ingredients. 

Cafe Culture

Who doesn't want breakfast with a beautiful ocean view? Located a few hundred meters down the walking path (headed toward Mae Haad), Cafe Culture makes high quality food served in solid portions. And the view of Nang Yuan doesn't suck.

Blue Water

A bit farther down the walking path, Blue Water is a multi-story beach front restaurant with a small but excellent menu. They serve good coffee and a wide variety of teas.  

Mae Haad

Coffee House

Part of (and right next to) the Ban's Diving office, Coffee House has good espresso drinks and a simple but tasty breakfast selection.   


This island staple has locations in both Sairee and Mae Haad. They make excellent coffee and have a good breakfast/lunch menu. Like most western places on the island they serve a Full English Breakfast as well as healthier options like Muesli Fruit and Yoghurt. 


With its steep pitched hills and tranquil seas, Koh Tao offers a variety of stunning vistas, none more beautiful or easily accessible than the John Suwan viewpoint. Located at the Southeast end of the island the viewpoint has a panorama that includes both Chalok Bay and Shark Bay. To get there simply follow the main road until it deadends at Freedom Beach Resort. Hike up the hill 500 meters and you're there! Make sure you bring 100 baht. Halfway up the hill a dude napping like a cat will rouse himself and charge you an entry fee. It's worth it! Here is glimpse at what you'll see.


We don’t want you to leave, but you will. You have to really. After all, South East Asia is spectacular and you haven’t been lugging around that big fat guidebook for nothing. If you’ve returned your key and promised us you’ll come back, then go ahead and check out these must see destinations on the backpacker trail.

Luang Prabang

#10  - Do Something Artistic - Luang Prabang, Laos 

Luang Prabang is still heavily colored by the remanents French Indo-China.  It’s a gorgeous cross-culture gem on the Mekong River.  And its slowness is intoxicating.

Pick a creative outlet and a riverside café. Drink too much Laos coffee while you scratch that artistic itch. If coffee isn’t waking up your muse try Beer Laos, it’s the best brew in South East Asia!

#9 - Rent a Motorcycle in Pai – Northern Thailand 

Nestled in the hills North of Chiang Mai, Pai is a beacon for hippies and counter-culturalists.  It is surrounded by canyons, rolling hills and vineyards. Rent a bike and do the Easy Rider thing across Thailand’s mountainous north.


#8 - Drink Cheap Beer – Hanoi, Vietnam

Hanoi is a mad and wonderful city. It’s worth exploring. But, why risk your life crossing all those busy streets when you can just find a corner-store that sells Bia Hoi and let the city come to you!

Bia Hoi cost about 10 cents a glass. It’s not the best beer in the world, but it is an excellent people watching beverage. In the hectic streets of Hanoi you will see it all; insane traffic, vendors carrying their wares on wooden poles, cyclos carrying tourists in ridiculous outfits. Settle into a miniature plastic chair, sip on a few luke-warm brews and enjoy the sights and sounds of Vietnam.

#7 - Rediscover Lake Danu Toba – Sumatra, Indonesia

The world’s largest volcanic lake has been largely forgotten by tourists. You can still see the remnants of its glory days, but now it feels like stumbling into a secret escape. The water is cool, the surrounding mountains are beautiful and the people couldn’t be kinder.

#6 - Stay on a Floating Bungalow – Cheow Larn Lake, ThailandCeow Larn Lake

Adjacent to Khao Sok National Park in Southern Thailand, Cheow Larn Lake feels like a smaller Halong Bay, an undiscovered Halong Bay. Its waters are clear, cool and surrounded on all sides by limestone cliffs. There are a number of floating bungalows on the lake. Most provide both room and board.  For less than 40 USD you can spend two days/nights swimming, kayaking, and relaxing in a stunningly beautiful locale.

#5 - Climb an Active Volcano – Lomboc, Indonesia

It isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. You’ll see a gorgeous lake pierced by a volcanic cone that looks like it’s straight out of Mordor. You see the best sunset and sunrise of your life. You’ll see Bali and the Gili Islands in the distance. And you will definitely burn off those holiday beers.

#4 - Songkran – Chiang Mai, ThailandSongkran

Songkran (New Year) celebrations can be found throughout Thailand and Laos but nothing comes close to the madness in Chiang Mai.  For nearly a week the whole of the old city becomes the world’s biggest water fight.  The streets are packed on both sides with people firing water guns and throwing buckets of moat water.  The passing cars and scooters are armed as well.  Tourists attack with any water they can get their hands on.  The Thai people think ahead and ice down garbage cans full of water to give the farangs a frigid shock.

#3 - Halong Bay Overnight – Vietnam

Most of the tour boat operators are surly and humorless.  And you may have a feeling of being herded and unwanted. Doesn’t matter. Halong Bay is so spectacular you’ll find yourself willing to overlook any mismanagement.

#2 - The Angkor Temples - Siem Reap, CambodiaAngkor Wat

The ancient capital of the Khmer Empire seems too exotic to be real.  It’s the stuff of Indiana Jones movies and Rudyard Kipling stories.  Spend at least two days exploring, you’ll need it. Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon; each temple is unique and inspiring. Going in you’ll think that the temples couldn’t possibly live up to your expectations. They will.

#1 - Stay Here! – Koh Tao, Thailand

Or you could just stay here! You’ve got a comfortable bed at the Taco Shack. You’ve got loads of new friends. And you’ve got so much to see still. You haven’t been to Sai Daeng beach. You haven’t spent the day snorkeling in Halong Bay. Hiking above Mango Bay ought to be on your list. It would be shame to leave too soon. Order a taco and chill out. We’ll take care of you.

Biggie Close ShotSince the very beginning when the Taco Shack was a little restaurant with bunk bed dreams we have been letting guests decorate our walls.

Some of the contributions are true works of art, others are smartass scribbling or openly obscene. Cartoon Wall Art

There are no rules or restrictions. The Taco Shack gets its personality from its guests.

Wall Art UnicornWe love what you have contributed to our home. Inspiration. Drunk-spiration. We don’t care, as long as you leave us something to remember you by!

The Taco Shack crew is vast, but easy to identify. You can find them all over the island; chilling, exploring and wearing our signature red wristband. When you check-in we will slap one on your wrist and here is what we’ll say…

“This wristband lets you know who else is staying here so you can be social.

It gets you stuff, but that isn’t what is most important. The typical Taco Shack guest is outgoing, adventurous and always up for a good party.

You’ll find them at the beach, shopping in Sairee or hiking up to the viewpoints.

You’ll see that red wrist band and with a little jolt of happiness you’ll think, my people!

 Red Wrist Band