Koh Nang Yuan is, without a doubt, the most beautiful island in all of Thailand. This gem is located right off the Koh Tao coast and is actually made up of three islands connected by the kind of white sandy beach you normally only see in films. The water is such a crystal clear blue, that tropical fish are visible to the naked eye. This is definitely the best (family) trip to take during your stay on Koh Tao.
To get straight to the point; you definitely won’t have this paradise all to yourself. You’ll share it with loads of tourists feasting their eyes, just like you. We’ve seen clear water before, we’ve seen beautiful beaches before, but this one beats them all.
Viewpoint Koh Nang Yuan
If you Google ‘Koh Tao’, you’ll find hundreds of pictures of this poster child for Thailand. I was dead set on going straight to the viewpoint where all those incredibly beautiful photos were taken. We navigated past dozens of beach chairs with tourists baking in the scorching sun trying to get even more suntanned. A suntan is clearly never dark or deep enough if you’re judging the success of your vacation by the tone of your skin…
Anyway, our search for the viewpoint was accompanied by plenty of OOHS and AAHS, because we just couldn’t get enough. It was truly fantastic! It’s even more beautiful in real life than it looks in pictures.
We then started the climb up to the top of the island. It’s quite a steep little climb up an easy path that brings you to the top in only a few minutes. You are then rewarded by a wonderful view of Koh Nang Yuan with what seemed like a hundred shades of blue. The viewpoint is just high enough to make it seem calm on the beach.
The true daredevils among us will take things a step further. To do this, you need to climb up another three huge rocks. I made a brave attempt, but still found myself in the same place after three minutes, so…it wasn’t for me. But the viewpoint for losers is accessible to nearly everyone and the view is just as beautiful!
Chilling out on Koh Nang Yuan
Chilling out is the number 1 pastime on Koh Nang Yuan. You can rent one of those relaxing beach chairs with an umbrella for 75 baht per person. That’s after you pay a 100 baht entry fee to enter the island. Bringing plastic bottles onto the island isn’t allowed, which is a good thing.
The island has two restaurants where you can get a drink and a bite to eat. Obviously, the prices are higher than at a regular restaurant. But it converts to about 5 euros for a simple meal and something to drink, which is reasonable.
Snorkeling at Koh Nang Yuan
But for us, the snorkeling was the biggest treat. We’ve visited many snorkeling spots in Thailand, but we can assure you this one is the best! We spent almost two hours going on a ‘mission’, enjoying the underwater world. The coral was largely intact here and we saw hundreds of colorful fish floating around us.
With your back to the viewpoint, go snorkeling all the way at the back right: in the Japanese Garden. This spot is in fact known as a popular diving spot, but you can snorkel here too.
Armed with my Go Pro, we tried to document Koh Nang Yuan’s underwater world as best we could:
The easiest way to get to Koh Nang Yuan is by booking a snorkeling trip. They offer dozens of snorkeling trips that are all pretty much the same. All the tours stop at Koh Nang Yuan, where you get to spend around two hours doing whatever you want.
The good thing is that the snorkeling trips are quite cheap; between 500 and 800 baht for a day trip (entry to the island is often not included). The disadvantage is that you often arrive at the island at the busiest part of the day (11:00 AM-2:00 PM).
You can also grab a long-tail boat (boat taxi) from the pier at Koh Tao. We paid 300 baht for a one-way ticket to Koh Nang Yuan for two people. They’ll try to sell you a return ticket for 600 or 700 baht, but this forces you to leave at a certain time, which we didn’t want. The island is open to the public between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM so make sure you get there early. Afternoons can get very busy at the viewpoint.