As many Thai resorts are becoming touristy we are in search for the best Island in Thailand to explore country’s breathtaking natural wonders. Koh Ngai/Koh Hai which is part of Trang Islands grabbed our attention with the promise of quietness and wilderness. We chose this magical island in the Andaman Sea as part of our vacation in Thailand in February 2019.
Trang is still a sleepy province in Southern Thailand. The Trang archipelago is located off the southeast coast. The group is comprising dozens of islets including Ko Muk and Ko Kradan Each of them is increasingly popular among nature lovers. Probably the best island in Thailand is located right there and it name is Koh Ngai or Koh Hai.
How to Get to the Best Island in Thailand?
To reach Koh Ngai/Koh Hai, most travelers fly into Krabi International Airport, We did the same. We flew from Europe through Doha. After two connecting flights we had to wait at passport control for two hours. Luckily we had arranged a private transfer to Koh Ngai. Our hosts from Thanya Beach Resort organized the transportation from the airport with minivan and a longtail boat. The trip took less than 3 hours. We prepaid this service a couple of weeks before the arrival. The price was 4000 Baht (112 Eur).
Since our next stop was Railay beach, we organized another private transfer from Koh Ngai to Ao Nang. The service cost 4600 Baht (129 Eur).
The island is also easily reached from Koh Lanta with a speed boat.
Koh Ngai Highlights
Many island in Thailand feature inspiring scenery with white sands and aquamarine waters. Still Koh Ngai really makes a difference as it is off-the-beaten track destination. Surrounded by the Andaman Sea and majestic limestone cliffs, Koh Ngai is a little piece of paradise. This piece of land is still a secret from most tourists and it is the perfect spot to hideaway and unwind. There are no roads or vehicles on the island. It is difficult to believe such place actually exist until you see it by yourself.
The tiny mountainous island is 4 km long and 2 km wide. It is covered by lush evergreen forest and coconut palm trees.
The idyllic setting also provides travelers with a genuine jungle experience. The Island boasts everything to prove that it is the best Island in Thailand- exotic quiet beaches, amazing snorkeling spots, mangrove forest and lush rainforest.
Koh Ngai is a nature lover’s dream destination. It is probably the most spectacular of all the islets in the area of the Hat Chao Mai National Park.
Travelers can easily explore the exotic interior of the island. The isle is a home of many exotic birds such as Hornbill.
Best beaches are on the east coast of the island. Tourists can enjoy a 2-kilometre long stretch of white sand with views to the other limestone karst islands from Trang archipelago and the mainland.
As we have already mentioned the most beautiful beaches are on the eastern side of the island.
The main sand strip begins from Thanya beach resort on the southeast end to Koh Ngai cliff beach resort. The best part of this 2-kilometre long beach is just opposite Thanya resort and Koh Hai Fantasy resort. Yet even there the water is quite shallow for swimming. The central part of the sand strips gets overcrowded everyday between 10:30 and 14:30 since many boats with tourists from Koh Lanta stop there.
A little bit further on the south there is a separate beach opposite Koh Ngai resort. A narrow path along the coast leads to the this side of the island. This part is probably the best for swimming during low tide.
On the southwest coast there is another lovely stretch of sand named Paradise beach. This secluded piece of the island is opposite the Koh Ngai Paradise beach resort. There you can feel like you are the only person experiencing the beauty of the Andaman Sea. From Thanya beach resort to Paradise beach there is a path through the jungle. It takes 25-30 minutes to get there. Just make sure that you have an effective mosquitoes repellent with you.
The northeast end of the main beach, just opposite Koh Ngai cliff beach resort.is unswimmable during low tide.
Where to Eat?
Thanya Resort Restaurant
Both elegant and tasty, this restaurant with a beachfront terrace was our first choice for dining. There were several reasons and first one was the quality of food. All meals were prepared with plenty of local vegetables and herbs. We liked the taste of genuine Thai cuisine. The prices were slightly higher than other places to eat such as Koh Ngai Camping Restaurant. We liked Thai ka gai curry (250 Baht) and rice noodles with eggs (160 Baht). Prepare to pay 800 – 900 Baht (23-25 euros) for a diner. Drink cost a fortune as everywhere in the Muslim districts so it is a good idea to bring some from the mainland.
Compare to other restaurants on the island the service was good.
Koh Hai Fantasy Restaurant
This place was our second choice. Prices were similar to these in Thanya resort restaurant and food was decent. We loved the beachfront terrace with a perfect view to the Andaman Sea.
Koh Ngai Camping Restaurant
In our opinion this was one of the overrated restaurants on the island mainly because the service was rude and slow. We ate there just once. Well, the food was decent and reasonably priced but waiting for an hour to be served was not a good experience.