Koh Nang Yuan: The Island Less Traveled

Some places on Earth seem just too beautiful to be real. Koh Nang Yuan is one of those places.

The small island (actually three petite islands connected by a beach) often gets overshadowed by nearby Koh Tao, but those interested in taking a road less traveled are advised to listen up. If you’re looking for an escape to one of Thailand’s most pristine destinations, put Koh Nang Yuan on your to-do list immediately.

To reach the paradise that is Koh Nang Yuan, first you have to make your way to Koh Tao which is, fortunately, very easy. Ferries will take you to Koh Tao from a number of different places like Chumphon, Surat Thani, Koh Samui, and more. From Koh Tao, you have a simple 15 minute long tail boat ride to Koh Nang Yuan.

Let’s be honest, no matter how many times you ride a longtail boat, it never gets old. The humming of the motor, the sea breeze in your hair — it’s a classic Thai experience. Another option is to take the Lomphraya high speed ferry. Choose from high speed catamarans and speed boats, as well as snorkeling trips complete with buffet lunch on the island and a climb to a scenic viewpoint.

Once you reach Koh Nang Yuan, it can be hard to find words to describe its splendor, so here are a few to get you started: breathtaking, magical, unreal. The glassy clear water shines radiantly alongside white sand beaches and grey stone boulders. It’s no secret how Koh Nang Yuan has been able to stay so stunning over the years.

The island’s dedication to environmental conservation has protected its natural beauty from the usual drawbacks of tourism. Plastic isn’t allowed on the island, and visitors are fined for bringing any. The result of this strict policy is a beautiful thing: the island has remained one of the cleanest in the country for generations.

Tropical greenery decorates the landscape, as do quaint bungalows — part of the Nangyuan Island Dive Resort, the island’s only accommodation. Those interested in staying on the island overnight are urged to book rooms well in advance, as the bungalows sell out easily.

The best way to soak in the beauty of the island is to take a hike up to the Koh Nangyuan Viewpoint. It’s a couple hundred steps to get to the top, but entirely worth it. Snap shots from this epic vantage spot or just pat yourself on the back for making it up the hill. At sea level, the beach is best enjoyed at low tide in the morning or late afternoon. Snorkelers will prefer high tide when swimming with the island’s schools of exotic fish is at its best. Explore the area a little deeper by booking a scuba diving excursion for the day.

There aren’t many islands like Koh Nang Yuan out there; hop on a longtail boat to this rare treasure sooner than later.

Read more Beach articles:

Haad Rin: Party hard in paradise

Lamai: The Koh Samui beach you haven’t been to

Searching for Thailand’s most beautiful, uncrowded beaches

Battle of the Phuket beaches: Kata vs. Nai Harn

Beaches of Phang Nga: Phuket’s quiet neighbor to the north

Thailand’s best island hopping routes