Asia, Thailand

Koh Samui Boat Trip to Koh Nang Yuan: Three Islands Connected By a Sandbar

We skipped the awesome Conrad Koh Samui breakfast (I read from reviews) and headed up to the lobby by 6:45 am for our day trip to Koh Nang Yuan. I bet a lot of you never heard of such an island name! Where and how I found it and what made me came all the way to Koh Samui for a visit to this tiny island? Like usual, I came across a photo by chance (yes, no kidding) while searching the web and saw this tiny island, actually three islands connected by a sandbar and someone sat on a rock looking down at the islands. After Aitutaki, I have the sandbar addiction! I started to search and found out that it is an island off the coast of Koh Samui called Koh Nang Yuan. It is actually famous for snorkeling and diving so almost all the boat tours I found are snorkeling tours with only a stop at Koh Nang Yuan for lunch and little free time to hike up for the picture perfect view. Those tours aren’t cheap as well! I asked Mr. Samui whom I arranged airport transfer and a private island tour with for an alternative to get there earlier in the morning to avoid the crowds. He came up with a solution and cheaper too! That is – catamaran over to Koh Tao 1,200 Baht roundtrip per person and then a longtail boat over to Koh Nang Yuan. For the roundtrip transfer from our secluded Conrad to the pier was 1,800 Baht roundtrip!

It was Mr. Samui’s relative who dropped off at the pier; the ride was 45 minutes and he walked up to the counter with us to book us two roundtrip ferry tickets to Koh Tao. At the pier, there is a cafeteria style restaurant, clean restrooms, and free wifi. Since we haven’t had breakfast, we ordered fried rice and noodle for BREAKFAST, yes this is an all-day menu!

The 110 Baht ($3.50 USD) seafood fried rice was how a fried rice should be with the “wok” flavor, it was so far the best-fried rice we had in our Southeast Asia trip!

My beef fried noodle was excellent as well and even cheaper at 90 Baht ($2.88 USD). Their flat noodle was different than what we had in the USA, theirs was chewier and “bouncier”. I absolutely love Thai food, the spicy basil flavor! It was definitely a full breakfast and then I took half of the seasick pill just in case for the long ferry ride.

We took the 8:00 AM Lomprayah Ferry, arrived at 9:30 AM, and many taxi and longtail boat drivers were at the pier asking if we need a taxi or boat ride. There were a lot of passengers getting off at Koh Tao, I didn’t know it was a popular island too! I felt someone from my back stepped on my sandal and then snapped, oh gosh not again!!! This was my x number of times that I lost track of where my flipflops or sandals broke during the trip GRRRR! I never have a flipflop or sandal break on me at home, never!!! I walked awkwardly toward the longtail boat driver and looked at the price chart, it was like 300 or 400 Baht roundtrip so I pointed at Koh Nang Yuan and he nodded. Then, I pointed him to my broken sandal and he said “ahh” and walked us out of the tiny pier and right on that corner is a souvenir shop selling flip-flops. I found my size, tried it on, and paid without bargaining as it was ridiculously cheap. The flipflop was quite comfortable and looked durable!

Shoe problem fixed, the driver walked us back to the pier, through a tiny walkway, and a narrow staircase to get into the water. He told us to wait there and he took his boat over….unlike the nicely decorated longtail boats in Phi Phi, the boats in this island looked like this:

We got on his boat and off we sail the 15-20 minutes ride to Koh Nang Yuan. After my first longtail boat in Phi Phi, I wasn’t as scared this time but the sea was a little rougher this time >.< As we were approaching Koh Nang Yuan, I saw those long rock boulders which reminded me of the famous Seychelles, I need to go there one day!

One of the three islands that formed Koh Nang Yuan; Koh Nang Yuan is actually privately that they charge 100 Baht per person admission fee to use their facilities – toilets. The islands consisted of a small hotel and a restaurant.

Our longtail boat driver asked us what time do we like to leave so he’ll come back to pick us up, I said we will be fast so by noon time. He said noon time and his boat number…I think it was 27. It was already a lot of people there as you can see; we got there at around 10 am when the island opens to the public.

To protect the island and the precious sandbar, they do not allow plastic bottles nor placing beach towel on the sand (so that you are not carried away some sand on the towel). They checked every single bag for plastic bottles, I did my homework and we always bring a refillable thermos bottle for our trips. The island is nicely maintained, the water is clear, I saw fishes around but the colors were nowhere near the beautiful islands I had visited 😉 I wasn’t expecting much and my main purpose is the viewpoint to see the sandbar connecting the three islands!

There are signs to the viewpoint so it was the first thing we did to avoid the crowds. Walked through the sandbar which was almost submerged in water due to the tide and then 1/4 way around the hotel island.

A quick look back:

We followed this path…

And up those stairs, it wasn’t as bad as the staircases up the Phi Phi viewpoint!

However, the final climb required some effort!

Rock climbing!!! Those were huge big rocks and it took some work and help with my height -.-

Then, the “viewpoint” was literally standing on top of those big rocks, very limited spaces. There was no platform nor guardrails so we were cautious and not getting to close to the edge. We waited for our turn, it was a good 5 minutes or so wait. Finally, our turn! We quickly take turn taking photos of each other and then asked one of the people in line to help us take a photo of two of us with our DSLR camera. I wasn’t afraid to hand over my expensive DSLR camera to this stranger as there was really no room for him to run away LOL! Finally, the exact view that I saw from the photo on the web!!!

Isn’t that unique? Sandbar connecting the three islands!!!

Goal accomplished!

After we were done with our photos in like 3 minutes, we left so others can have their turn. By then, there was a lot of people waiting to get up that it was hard to squeeze in a room to get down those rocks! We were glad that we made it up first thing after we got off our boat! When we were walking down, we saw a guy launching his drone, blahhh we should’ve bought our drone too! Prior to the trip, I checked the drone law in Thailand that you need insurance to register your drone, I highly doubt this guy has registration!

Anyways, now we can relax and slowly take photos.

The snorkelers from those snorkeling tours, it was packed!

Noticed the difference in the tide once we got down, the beach no longer submerged in water!

We used the restrooms, sat on a swing chair with shades and waited for our driver to come pick us up. At around noon time, we headed out to the dock where our driver dropped us off. Not this dock but it was nice for photos 😀

If you want to totally avoid the crowds, stay overnight at this resort so you will be the first ones up to the viewpoint and as long as you want before 10 AM!

We saw our boat number from tens of longtail boats docked there and we walked through many boats to reach ours. Our ride back to Koh Tao was okay but to get off the boat OMG I climbed the side of the pier bridge to get up on the bridge and got my arms dirty. I did the most climb today in such a long time!!! We paid the driver and thanked him for the trip.

It was timed perfectly to have lunch in Koh Tao whahaha! We walked to Whitening, a restaurant right on the little beach. We were the 2nd customers there hum…..could it be a tourist trap? We ordered a fresh coconut water and a mango lassi, both were refreshing after the climbs!

I ordered a seafood Pad Kee Mao while Jason ordered grilled jumbo shrimps, both were good! My only disappointment was the noodle was the thin Pad Thai noodle and not the wide flat noodle 🙁

We slowly enjoyed our food and drinks as our ferry to get back to Koh Samui was at 3:30 PM.

Our lunch bill, Jason’s jumbo shrimps were expensive!

After lunch, we strolled the main street of Koh Tao and surprised that it wasn’t packed with souvenir shops. Instead, it was a lot of diving and tour operators!

We walked all the way to the last shop and then headed back to the other direction to the other end, nothing interesting to buy, I was a little bit surprised! Then, lastly after looking hard, I saw some cute ceramic elephant magnets that I bought two as the souvenir! When we got back to Koh Samui at around 7 pm, the real Mr. Samui came and picked us up at the airport. I finally get to meet him in person and he spoke very good English that we had a good chat on our long ride “home”. His other relatives’ English wasn’t great thus the reason they weren’t engaging in a conversation. Mr. Samui was telling us that he really wanted to get his son to the USA to experience it as it is his dream. Ah great daddy, all the hardwork for his son! He asked if we want to stop by a convenient store to get snacks or drinks, he must know things are expensive at the Conrad! He stopped by a 7-Eleven where I got coconut water; one thing I love in Thailand was the cheap coconut water – around $1 USD per bottle. Back in the States, it costs like $3+!!!

I asked why there’s a 7-Eleven every corner in Thailand? He said the owner is an expert on marketing, he targeted kids so kids all begging their parents to bring them to 7-Eleven! Ha! We got back to the Conrad around sunset but not much of a sunset today 🙁

But there were colors!!!

After the sunset, we called a buggy to get down to the beach for the free fire show. I wasn’t expecting much as it was free but it turned out pretty good! Those two young men did a lot of dances and tricks; it was definitely entertaining!

 

Woahhhhhhh….

The show was like 30 minutes and quite a lot of attendees so there was a line for the buggy to get back up. We had all our dinners at Zest as it was the most affordable option and a huge menu of Thai cuisines. With only two drink vouchers left, we spent it wisely as we have another night to go so only one drink tonight and one tomorrow. I ordered a mocktail from the drink menu that I forgot the fruit combo but it was on the sour side.

The still water was free at least compared to the $14 + 23% tax Voss water in the Conrad Maldives! We ordered the Singaporean Chili Crab, the flavor was good but it does not taste like Singaporean Chili Crab! My curry was HOT!

Singaporean Chili Crab, although not authentic, the sauce was good with rice!

Stir-fried Thai spicy beef:

After dinner, it looked like it was going to rain so we didn’t hang around and left. We called the buggy and got back to our room where we relax and finished up my logans. My favorite Shanghai Tang lotion ran out and housekeeping didn’t refill it -.- urg what’s the point of refillable if not checking it daily to refill it if needed? The next day was a more relaxed – 6 hours private tour around the island so our start time was not before sunrise again that we could sleep in and experience the amazing breakfast. Stay tuned for the next trip report 😉

12 thoughts on “Koh Samui Boat Trip to Koh Nang Yuan: Three Islands Connected By a Sandbar

  1. Nice geological formations in beach settings on this trip.

    St lucia in the carribean has the drive in volcano with waterfalls and mud baths.Some nice rock formations and views.

    Yangshuo China has the li River, Yulong river(great water reflections from a bamboo raft) ,Karst Mountains,moon Hill ,Colored caves,Dragon rice terraces .Great outdoor theater production.

    There is an area near Dresden Germany that has a river valley with some asian type geological formations.

  2. Yes.

    For temples-Japan or Myanmar would be as good or better then Cambodia.I have not been to Indonesia.Is that your next trip?

  3. Myanmar had the gold theme and there was much more variety to the temples.
    The people did not have an attitude towards tourists,which was a first for me.
    The main Pagoda in Yangon is unbelievable it is like Buddhist disney land.Myanmar was my first independent planned trip off the internet ,so it was a challenge.

    Bagan had a full lunar eclipse prior to the ballon flight over 2100 temples,so that was cool.Inle Lake is unique and the Mandalay area has many great attractions in a small area.

    I went in 2010 when it was cheaper and not very well known to tourists.

    1. Sounds great, do you feel safe as a foreigner? Did you hire any driver or tour guide to get you to places? When I was looking at Myanmar, I read that the transportation option to get from Yangon to Bagan is unreliable versus Siem Reap is very easy to get to Angkor Wat.

  4. I was comfortable.The modesty of the people was unusual .I had to cover my legs above the knees in temples and the girls would giggle when i would wear shorts.The military and police had no contact with us.The people were surprised at our interest in their country,but were very nice.Always take your shoes off in temples,they say the Burmese attacked the British mainly for there refusal to remove their shoes and sox in temples.

    Keeping your feet clean is the biggest thing .

    I decided on a Myanmar agency ,which had an office in New York.There is a huge savings if you use an agency on everything ,so i just had to choose my itinerary and i stayed at hotels with no connection to the military.We had guides and drivers.Everything went really well.The Burmese shows were unique and interesting.Nice vehicles.,boats etc.

    I used the planes .Early flight to Bagan at the time.

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