Koh Tao “Turtle Island” is an island on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Nang Yuan is in fact three small islands connected by sand bars and located just off the NW of Koh Tao. The latter covers an area of about 20 km² and its economy is exclusively centered on tourism, especially scuba diving. Our family likes snorkeling so we headed on down after New Year. An overnight coach ride from Bangkok will take you to the port of Chumporn and an 1.5 hour high speed catamaran gets into Koh Tao in time for breakfast.
The above is from the summit of Koh Nang Yuan looking SSE towards Koh Tao. I thank my son for these photos. He “suffered for his art” as was badly bitten by mosquitos which were out in force that early evening.
Below is from the same spot and is of Koh Nang Yuan itself. My son tells me that the coral sand bars connecting the three islands are tombolos. At high tide these are covered. In fact we could not get to our cabins until low tide in the late afternoon (we were in the furthest island on the photo).
This is the view from our cabin early evening.
…………and this view is from the sand bar itself. The big hill left centre back ground is actually on Koh Tao as are the hills on the centre right so you can see it is close.
We will certainly go back but not in high holiday season. Unless you are keen on diving or snorkeling I would say that there are more interesting islands in Thailand that would give a deeper cultural experience. There were few Thais around. Being the Christmas and New Year holidays the island was jam packed with a young Aussie and Western backpacker crowd. Most of the guesthouses and boats appeared to be staffed by Burmese. My wife felt a little like a stranger in her own land.
That said however glorious views like this will always draw you back.