With its golden sands and clear water, Nang Yuan Island (Koh Nang Yuan) is the poster child of southern Thailand. Hike the rocky, forested landscape; swim and snorkel in crystalline water; or just relax in relative quiet. Nang Yuan sees only a fraction of the crowds that flock to its neighbors.
Unlike the nearby Koh Samui and Koh Tao, accommodation options on this slice of paradise are limited, giving Nang Yuan Island a remote allure. If you can’t stay the night, visit on a day trip. Nearly all island-hopping tours that depart from Koh Samui feature Nang Yuan. Tours typically give you free time to snorkel in the shallow reef off the coast of the island—home to marine life such as grouper, moray eels, and stingrays—and often also visit Koh Tao. Opt for a speedboat tour to cover more snorkel spots in less time.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Nang Yuan Island is a quiet beach without the crowds of nearby Koh Samui and Koh Tao.
- There are no vehicles, chain restaurants, or large-scale hotels on the island, only a handful of guesthouses and traditional Thai restaurants.
- Since the island is privately owned, you must pay an entrance fee to visit and stay on Nang Yuan Island.
How to Get There
You can come to Koh Nang Yuan via speedboat or catamaran from Koh Samui or Koh Tao. However, the cheapest way to get there is to hire out a longtail boat from the west side of Koh Tao, from which it is a 15-minute sail.
When to Get There
Day trips tend to leave the island by midafternoon. In the evenings and early mornings, you can almost have the entire beach to yourself. Crowds peak between December and February, but the dry weather and sunny skies during those months are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and scuba diving.
Hiking on Nang Yuan Island
After exploring the underwater wonderlands that surround Nang Yuan’s coast, take a hike to a viewpoint that reveals panoramic views of the three tree-topped islands that make up Nang Yuan and the serpentine sandbanks that connect it. The hike is only around 15 minutes via wooden boardwalks and steps, which can be steep and should be avoided during the midday heat.