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.
I have been living on and off in Thailand for the last 9 years and Koh Tao and Koh Nang Yuan Island is one of our favorite places in Thailand.
- Overview of Koh Nang Yuan
- How to Get to Koh Nang Yuan
- What to Expect + Entrance Fee for Koh Nang Yuan Island
- Best Time to Visit Koh Nang Yuan Island
- Things to Do in Koh Nang Yuan
- Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting Nang Yuan Island
- What to Bring to Koh Nang Yuan
- Where to Eat in Koh Nang Yuan
- Where to Stay in Koh Tao
Overview of Koh Nang Yuan
Koh Nang Yuan Island is a serene and picturesque island situated just off the coast of Koh Tao, a charming island in southern Thailand.
In case you are unfamiliar with Koh Tao, Koh Tao, often referred to as the “Turtle Island.” It is a small but captivating island located in the Gulf of Thailand known for its stunning coral reefs, vibrant marine life, and excellent diving opportunities
With its laid-back atmosphere, beautiful beaches, and a range of water sports, it attracts travelers seeking both relaxation and underwater adventures in one of Thailand’s most scenic destinations.
While there are plenty of things to do in Koh Tao to keep you busy, one of them is heading over to Koh Nang Yuan Island.
This tranquil paradise is renowned for its remarkable natural beauty, which includes crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and lush tropical vegetation.
What sets Koh Nang Yuan Island apart is the way that three small islands are connected by a striking sandbar, which offers visitors a truly unique and mesmerizing experience.
The island’s pristine beach and incredible viewpoints is why it is so popular. In terms of location, Koh Nang Yuan is only a stone throw away from Koh Tao and is accessible via long tail boat.
Check out the map below for a clear reference of Koh Nang Yuan’s location.
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 250-300 Baht. 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.
Koh Nang Yuan Tour Options
What to Expect + Entrance Fee for Koh Nang Yuan Island
- Entrance fee: As of 2023, visitors were charged 250 Baht (adult) / 120 Baht (child)
- 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!
We've scoured the internet for the best ALL-AROUND travel shoe and Tropicfeel wins by far. We've taken ours through rivers, jungles, and cities and they're still alive and kickin'. Check them out below.
Best Time to Visit Koh Nang Yuan Island
If you’re planning a trip to Koh Nang Yuan Island, it’s important to consider the best time to visit. For optimal weather conditions, it’s advisable to plan your trip during the dry season, which typically lasts from November to April.
During this time, you can expect warm and sunny weather, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving.
Additionally, the calm sea conditions and good visibility make it a prime time for snorkeling.
However, it’s important to note that this time of year also attracts a lot of visitors, which can make the island quite busy. If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed atmosphere, you might want to consider visiting during the shoulder season, which is from May to June and from September to October.
Koh Tao is a extremely popular island so expect it to be very busy during the summer months which is why I prefer visiting during the shoulder season.
Although the weather may be a bit less predictable during these months, you’ll likely find fewer tourists and still pleasant conditions for outdoor activities.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to brave some rain, you may find that visiting during the rainy season (July to October) has its own advantages.
While the weather may be less predictable and some activities may be affected, you’ll likely encounter lower prices and fewer crowds, making for a more budget-friendly and peaceful experience.
Just be sure to pack accordingly and keep an eye on weather conditions if you do decide to visit during this time.
Things to Do in Koh Nang Yuan
1. Hike the Koh Nang Yuan 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 viewpoint which in my opinion, was rather stunning.
We were lucky as when we got to the Koh Nang Yuan viewpoint, there wasn’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 buzzkill.
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.
Personally, if you came here for Koh Tao, hiking up to Koh Nang Yuan View Point is still worth doing.
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 but none the less, it was a super stunning place.
2. Enjoy the Beach at Koh Nang Yuan
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 one of Thailand’s best beaches and is a fun day trip from Koh Tao.
3. 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.
There are a few diving schools like Nangyuan Island Dive Resort where you can inquire for prices.
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!
Do’s and Don’ts for Visiting Nang Yuan Island
To make sure you have an enjoyable trip to Koh Nang Yuan Island, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
First and foremost, it’s crucial to show respect for the island’s natural environment by avoiding littering or disturbing the coral reefs.
Secondly, when exploring the island’s hiking trails, it’s wise to wear appropriate footwear to avoid any slips or falls. Do NOT take any souvenirs, such as shells or coral as it can harm the island’s fragile ecosystem.
What to Bring to Koh Nang Yuan
When packing for your trip, remember to bring: sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun’s rays.
Carrying a reusable water bottle can also help reduce plastic waste, and having plenty of drinking water on hand is essential, as drink options on the island are limited.
For those planning on snorkeling or diving, packing a mask and fins can be a great way to explore the reefs, while insect repellent and a lightweight rain jacket may be helpful in case of inclement weather.
To ensure your safety while visiting Koh Nang Yuan Island, it’s important to be aware of the ocean currents and the latest sea conditions.
Finally, it’s always best to listen to the advice of local guides and staff, and avoid taking unnecessary risks.
Check out our full guide on what to pack for Thailand for a complete list.
Where to Eat in Koh Nang Yuan
There is one restaurant on the island and as mentioned previously, the prices are above average. While not completely unreasonable, keep this in mind if you’re traveling on a budget. Nevertheless, there are a variety of international and Thai food to choose from.
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.
Traveling Thailand Soon? Here are a few more of our articles to help you plan!
- Things to do in Bangkok Thailand
- Chiang Mai to Pai: How to Get There
- Renting a Motorbike in Thailand Tips