Posted by: James Shannon | May 16, 2012

The Sunburn That Hurt So Good: Just The Price Of Admission To Paradise, AKA Koh Nang Yuan!

 Sairee Beach in mid-morning. I was waiting patiently for the ferryman I had hired to collect more passengers for the trip to Koh Nang Yuan. I had no idea what I was in store for…!

Freshly recovered from the mother of all head colds, I was determined to make up for lost time in paradise. After seeing promotional videos of Koh Nang Yuan on the internet prior to leaving for Southeast Asia, it instantly made the list of must-sees on my 2012 trip.

And in a moment, after perusing the photos below, it will surely make your bucket list!

Exclusive resorts, many accessible only by boat, dot the steep, boulder-strewn shoreline of Northern Koh Tao.

Approaching the island of dreams…

Ashore on the pier, making my way towards the ticket booth. Koh Nang Yuan is a privately owned island, costing visitors an admission fee of 100 baht ($3.30 CDN) to enter. Also note that plastic bottles and aluminum cans are NOT permitted; any of these items found on your person will be confiscated.

One of the sand bar beaches that make this island so famous … their profile is so low that they flood slightly at high tide … you will get wet up to your ankles crossing over to the viewpoint trail, but it still remains shallow enough that it appears that you are walking on water from a distance!

On the southern islet of Koh Nang Yuan, a boardwalk trail offers views of Koh Tao, as well as the aquamarine sea enveloping this pile of limestone rock. It also leads to a trail scaling the mini-mountain that rises 100+ feet above sea level, leading to a view…

… that is undoubtedly world-class! One of most mind-melting vistas you will ever see in your life … if there is any reason to visit Koh Tao, this would justify it all by itself!

And just to prove I didn’t pluck the prior image from Google to fool you all, here I am! To answer your question before you have a chance to ask: Yes, I do work out 😛

The boardwalk leads around the back side of the island…

… where the ocean has taken a toll on certain sections! To compound this, the boardwalk stopped just short of making a complete circuit around the island, leading to a lengthy backtrack. Though, when you’re in paradise, you are barred from complaining, so I won’t 🙂

The northern islet of Koh Nang Yuan sports considerably less boardwalk, but the amount that exists still allows for mesmerizing sights, such as this one.

A diving class in mid-instruction in the lagoon between the northern and main isles of Koh Nang Yuan. If you are on the fence about whether to get your diving licence on Koh Tao, this should get you off of it. Not only are the courses among the cheapest in the world, just look at your classroom!

Diving not your cup of tea? How about a zipline ride from one island to another, over the prettiest waters you ever did see?! You know you wanna!

Dive boats hover over coral reefs in a spectacular bay on Koh Nang Yuan. If the previous two activities give you heart palpitations, surely snorkeling in these waters would be more to your liking?

A high sand bar provides many with a venue for basking in the sun … however, the lady in the foreground finds a supermodel worthy spot to bronze herself, laying out on a limestone slab, far away from the masses in the background.

I did not partake in the sun-worshiping festivities, as I had been extensively exposed to the sun during my wanderings about the island through the afternoon hours. Red as a lobster, I made my way back to my longtail boat taxi, and bid this amazing rock a fond farewell!

In spite of the pain I was in at the close of this day, it remains one of my most enduring memories of my 2012 trip to SE Asia. Make this island a cornerstone of your visit to the south islands of Thailand … just remember to pack your sunscreen and stake out some shade if you plan on spending any time in the sun … it is a scarce commodity here!



  1. All I can say is WOW. Looks simply amazing – hope you’re enjoying every minute of it!

    • I did … not in Thailand anymore, back in Canada!

  2. Oh wow…how can a place look that perfectly inviting?! I think that might be a must-do for us at the end of the year 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

    • no problem guys … despite the entrance fee and the vastly overpriced food (pack a lunch), it’s the stuff of desert island fantasies!

  3. I miss this place! The water is ridiculously clear.

    • makes the snorkeling much more epic, that’s for sure! 🙂

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