Located not too far from the idyllic diving islands of Koh Tao is an island called Koh Nang Yuan. You might have seen photos of it. The enticing aquamarine waters, the white sand, and the picturesque rocks setting the perfect scene. Due to its close location to popular islands like Koh Tao and Koh Samui, a visit to Koh Nang Yuan is often part of every traveller’s agenda. So if you’re in Koh Tao and find yourself taking a break from the underwater world, here is everything you need to know about doing a day trip in Koh Nang Yuan.
How to Get to Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Tao
From Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan is only a 15-20 minute ride via long tail boats. Although you can easily book a snorkelling trip from any tour agency or operator, the cheapest way, and the one we recommend is just by chartering a longtail boat yourself. You can negotiate a price but a rough estimate is 100-150 Baht one way. Unless you’re planning to stay on the island overnight, secure a ride going back and arrange with the boat man beforehand. Swap contact info so you don’t end up walking around trying to find a boat that will take you back to Koh Tao.
Koh Samui to Koh Nang Yuan
Given the distance, day trips from Koh Samui are much more expensive so making Koh Tao your home base to explore Koh Nang Yuan is a lot more ideal. You can arrange with any tour operator snorkeling trips to Koh Nang Yuan, roughly ranging around 2000-2500 Baht per person. This should include the boat transfer, snorkeling equipment, the entrance fee to the island, and lunch.
What to Expect in Koh Nang Yuan
- Entrance fee: As of April 2016, visitors were charged 100 Baht
- It can get crowded! There are A LOT of boats with large amounts of tourists. The island closes at 5pm and at this time, only the guests of the resort are allowed to stay.
- The resort restaurant is the only place to buy food and it is pricier than the average Thai restaurant.
- As mentioned, there is currently just one resort on the island, Koh Nang Yuan Island Dive Resort. If you wish to get the beach all to yourself (until the tours arrive and leave), staying here might be your best bet.
- Plastic water bottles are confiscated upon arrival which means you have to purchase water from the resort’s restaurant.
Insider tip: If you have a non-disposable water container, bring that instead! It will save you having to buy water from the resort, plus it’s good for the environment!
Things to Do in Koh Nang Yuan
Hike the View Point
Now there are mixed reviews on the internet about this. Some people say it’s worth seeing while others beg to disagree. From the beach, you can choose to go on a short 15-20 minute hike up to the view point which in my opinion, was rather stunning. We were lucky as there weren’t a lot of people when we went as I can imagine waiting in line for a chance to take a photo of the view can definitely be a buzz kill. This short uphill walk can be done in flip flops but beware of some portions where you literally have to squeeze and climb your way up boulders. As soon as you reach the top, you will be rewarded by a stunning view of the three islands connected by the sandbar. It was a little bit cloudy when we went so the photo really doesn’t do it any justice!
Hit the Beach
Although slightly crowded, the beach in Koh Nang Yuan is pretty awesome! Depending on when you go and the tides, you can enjoy the white sand beach and crystal clear waters. It wasn’t too bad when we went but it’s important that you manage your expectations at the amount of tourists that are there. We either got lucky or just went on an off season. Crowded beach aside, the beach in Koh Nang Yuan is great making it a perfect day trip outing from Koh Tao.
Go Snorkelling or Diving
The snorkeling in Koh Nang Yuan is pretty great compared to most islands. Just a few meters away from the beach, you can find lots of soft and hard corals. There are nearby dive sites like Twin Peak and the Japanese Gardens which are shallow enough for snorkelers to enjoy. Other good dive sites nearby are White Rock and Green Rock. The marine life in Koh Nang Yuan is plentiful and rather diverse. I fondly remember seeing a HUGE trigger fish along with loads of parrot fish just a few meters from the shore. The resort has a dive shop where you can dive off from but trips from Koh Tao Island to these sites are also pretty common. Enjoy the underwater world and marvel at the variety of creatures and the colorful corals that can be found there.
For those looking for a bit more adventure, we heard that ziplining is available on the island. We are not too sure if this is still operational, but I’m sure the resort staff would be more than happy to help you out if this activity is something that tickles your fancy.
So although the island itself is quite touristy (we’ve mentioned it multiple times in the article!), for us, it was still a nice day out. We got lucky because the beach wasn’t as packed as expected. Overall, head to Koh Nang Yuan Island if you want a refreshing chance of scenery and spend a day or two just relaxing and taking the the beauty of the clear waters!
Where to Stay in Koh Tao
If you aren’t planning on staying in Koh Nang Yuan, here are some tips on finding accommodation in Koh Tao. But first, if you haven’t checked out our Things to Do in Koh Tao Island guide…you should! Next up, to make things easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of Best Places to Stay in Koh Tao. This list has choices for every type of accommodation from budget stays to big splurges.
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