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Koh Ngai is just a small island, yet there is plenty to do to keep you entertained for a few days. Or why not do anything! Because the island is perfect to completely relax and forget your worries. Koh Ngai has a large beach and 2 small more hidden bays. Most day trippers don’t come there and only visit the main beach, Koh Ngai Beach.
Koh Ngai Beach
Koh Ngai Beach is the largest beach and also the most visited beach of Koh Ngai. The name Koh Ngai Beach doesn’t really honor the beach enough. Dream Beach or something like that would be more appropriate!
The beach with fine white powder sand is about 2.5 kilometers long and is lined with lush vegetation. As soon as you leave the beach you are in a piece of unadulterated jungle. You are immediately surrounded by jungle sounds like the cicada, here and there some rustling and all kinds of bird sounds. Maybe you will also hear the special sound of the great hornbill because this beautiful big bird also frequently flies around on Koh Ngai!
The sea of Koh Ngai Beach is slowly descending and when the tide is low, a big tepid shallow bath is formed. The bottom consists for the most part of white powder sand and is therefore ideal for young children. When you walk about 40 meters into the sea during low tide you reach a deeper part where there is coral and you can snorkel nicely. From the beach you have a view on different rock formations and islets in the sea.
Paradise Beach & Ao Muang
Besides the main beach of Koh Ngai there are also two smaller bays: Paradise Beach and Ao Muang. Ao Muang is mainly used by local fishermen and on the beach there is nothing at all at the moment. Paradise Beach is a small bay that can only be reached by a jungle path and there is currently only one hotel, Koh Ngai Paradise Beach. The perfect place for those who want total peace and quiet!
Paradise Beach | Images: Booking.com
Ao Muang Beach | Images: Booking.com
Sleeping on Koh Ngai
Although most people visit Koh Ngai as a daytrip, we thought it would be great to spend the night at Koh Ngai! In the evening it is nice and quiet and you can have a drink and / or extensive dinner. The sunrise is phenomenal and absolutely worth to set your alarm clock. We slept in the beautiful Thapwarin Resort with bungalows 10 steps away from the sea. (Really!) Read our review of the Thapwarin Resort here.
Luxury bungalows or back to basic tent?
Most resorts on Koh Ngai are in the middle class and luxury segment. But it’s even possible to sleep in a tent on the beach, this is one of the cheap places to sleep on Koh Ngai. Simple bungalows are also being built. The campsite has a popular restaurant where you can eat at reasonable island prices. It isn’t cheap but in comparison with other restaurants it is one of the best choice if you want to pay attention to the costs.
For neat affordable bungalows with a fan and a private bathroom, take a look at Koh Ngai Seafood Bungalows or Coco Cottage. Need more luxury? The Thanya Beach Resort sits in a beautiful location at the end of Koh Ngai Beach and has a swimming pool overlooking the sea.
Could you keep it a little quieter?
Well, Koh Ngai isn’t exactly a busy island, but there’s the Koh Ngai Paradise Beach Resort, a resort for people who don’t find peace and quiet enough. It is located on Paradise Beach in a secluded bay in the south of the island.
Restaurants on Koh Ngai
Many restaurants on Koh Ngai belong to resorts on the island, such as the popular Koh Ngai Camping Restaurant. The Koh Hai Sea Taste Restaurant has simple but atmospheric tables under a giant tree on the beach. More luxurious and often more expensive eateries are mainly to be found at the resorts. You are also welcome here if you are not a guest of the resort.
Bars and cocktails on the beach
On Koh Ngai are a few (and not much more than that) nice little bars where you can drink an ice-cold Chang or delicious cocktail / mocktail during the day and in the evening. In most restaurants on the beach this is also possible, but they don’t call themselves a bar. For the real bar feeling you have to be here:
Light My Fire Society is known for the good atmosphere and the friendly owner who regularly picks up his guitar and sings a tune, going out as it should on a small island like Koh Ngai! This bar is located just past the Thapwarin Resort.
SeaBreez Bar, nice bar on a wooden platform all the way south of the beach popular because of the good cocktail AND happy Hour. There is no better combination! It is the first bar you encounter when you come from the pier.
What to do at Koh Ngai?
Uhm how about sleeping, relaxing, eating and swimming? Those are some of the most practiced activities on Koh Ngai. But there is certainly more to do than that for those who need it!
Jungle path to Paradise Beach and Ao Muang
For example take the jungle path to Paradise Beach, this walk takes about 30 minutes. It’s a nice way to discover the nature of Koh Ngai. About halfway the path you can turn to Ao Muang but most people go on for Paradise Beach. On Paradise Beach, which is officially called Ao Kauntong by the way, there is nothing at all except 1 hotel! It really is a place to completely unwind.
Viewpoint and sunset
Still excited? Then you can continue your walk to the viewpoint to watch the sunset. On Koh Ngai Beach (the main beach) you can only see the sun rise. From Paradise Beach it’s still a half hour walk. The last part is quite steep. Therefore this route is not really suitable for children. Put on good shoes and bring mosquito repellent because as soon as the sun goes down the mosquitoes will eat you alive!
Snorkeling and diving Koh Ngai
At each resort you can rent snorkels and fins (together 100 baht). To be able to snorkel you will first have to walk about 30 meters into the sea. There the coral starts. Unfortunately the coral is not as it used to be but you will see quite a variety of colorful fish. It’s also possible to go on a snorkel tour, you will snorkel near the rocks / islets Koh Maa, Koh Rok and Koh Chueak which you can see in the sea from the beach (approx. 600 baht).
On Koh Ngai there are also a number of diving schools, you can join a diving trip around the island and the small islands off the coast. You pay about 4,000 baht for three dives. Diving schools are usually only open in high season, between the beginning of November and the beginning of May.
In several places you can rent kayaks for 150 baht per hour to explore the Andaman Sea. Always fun to admire Koh Ngai Beach from a different point of view. You can kayak to Ao Muang and Paradise Beach and spend a few hours there without having to do a jungle trekking. Fanatics could even go around the whole island. Only do this if you already have experience kayaking at sea and ask advice from the locals before you go!
Good to know…
There are no ATMs on Koh Ngai, so take enough cash with you. There are also no roads, scooters or cars. Everything that goes forward here does this with walking, swimming or with a boat. Exactly as it should be on a small island! On the island there is a shop that sells water, snacks, etc., but the prices are quite high. You can save a lot of money by shopping before you go to Koh Ngai. Sunburn and mosquito repellent can be bought cheaper on the mainland.
In the immediate vicinity of Koh Ngai are many more beautiful small islands with beautiful beaches and clear waters with tropical fish. It is a perfect environment to go island hopping! Which islands there are in this area and much more you can read in the Infobox below. Have fun!
Sleeping on Koh Ngai Beach
Koh Ngai has a total of about 10 resorts / campsites. The prices of the accommodations are quite high for what you get, it’s the beautiful location you pay and that makes it worth every penny again!
- Koh Ngai Camping Restaurant @ Bar
Sea view from your bed priceless? Not here!
- Koh Ngai Paradise Beach Resort
Because it can always be even more paradisiacal
- Ngai Seafood Bungalows
Eat and sleep, that’s all you need on an island!
- Coco Cottage
Affordable eco-chic resort where rustic, design and nature conservation for the island are combined.
- Thanya Beach Resort
Lovely pool at the beach
- Thapwarin Resort TIP
Bungalows at stumbling distance from the beach
- Koh Ngai Cliff Beach Resort
Magnificent views from the upper pool
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