I found Koh Ngai (aka Koh Hai) when looking for a third place to visit on our trip. I didn’t really fancy Phuket or Phi Phi which are the usual places to add after Lanta and Railay so I looked south instead.
Koh Ngai is a member of the Trang Islands, to the south of Krabi and Koh Lanta and is actually quite close to the Malaysian border. What appealed to me was the fact it is described in the guidebooks as being unspoilt by tourism with only 7 ‘resorts’ and no roads on the whole 2km long island despite being the most ‘developed’ of the Trang Islands.
Our first sighting of Ngai did not disappoint, it did look like a desert island surrounded by the most beautiful turquoise water. We were dropped off on the beach just up from our resort meaning we had the most incredible walk to our bungalows!
It was certainly a novel way to arrive! We were staying for 2 nights at Coco Cottages which I found from my Rough Guide and from reviews on TripAdvisor. The bungalow resort is straight onto the beach with a Pavilion that serves as a reception and restaurant, there is also a bar and lots of seating to wind away the evening…as there’s not much else to do on the island!
The bungalows are very basic but perfect for the location and just what you need! We stayed in a Garden Room which was 3000 baht a night. The rooms have fab enclosed outdoor bathrooms with amazing bamboo pipe showers, the beds are comfy with mosquito nets around to protect you from the wildlife! The electricity on the island is constant but the air con is unavailable from 10am – 4pm, understandable really and who needs aircon in the middle of the day when there’s the most beautiful beach!
Onto the beach, the water is so ridiculously clear and warm and teaming with fish. There is also a coral reef about 30metres out where the snorkeling was incredible. You can hire snorkel gear and kayaks from resort. There were a few jellyfish that had been swept in on the days we were there but generally they didn’t stop us enjoying the water, although the boys suffered a few stings but a homemade green remedy from a guy at Coco Cottages reduced the effects dramatically. The resort also provides rubber rings and lilos to bring out the kid in you! There is also a platform past the coral reef which has a couple of deck chairs on for the brave who dared to try….of course Rich made it!
The platform also served as a pickup for the ferry which was pretty entertaining to watch as visitors and their luggage were ferried out on kayaks!
The beach here recedes dramatically with the tide but its nothing a pair of rubber shoes wouldn’t help (note to self: go to MBK)! We made the most of it and explored the rock pools as well as walking out to snorkel the coral reef again! Theres so much wildlife here to see and the fish are hilariously confident, swimming right up to you as if to say ‘get out of my sea’!
The food and drink at Coco Cottages was great. Their menu was full of Thai and western food as well as amazing milkshakes and cocktails. and the staff were just lovely! We loved the lychee smoothie and the Cookies and Cream milkshake.
Everything is brought to the island by long tail which also provided some entertainment whilst sunbathing – note the flying box of Chang!
On our last morning we got up at 6am to watch the sunrise which Han and Rich had done the morning before after being told how beautiful it was.
It was. Breathtaking.
We were really sad to leave Coco Cottages on Sunday morning. We took a long tail back down the beach where we waited for the ferry to swing past and another long tail to take us out to it!
The ferry was an hour late but no one seemed concerned, the Thai phrase of Mai Pen Rai was uttered a few times, in this instance meaning “It’s okay… everything is okay… don’t worry”. You hear it frequently in Thailand!
As soon as the Nok ferry did appear we hopped into the long tail and headed out for the last time, waving goodbye to the beautiful island of Koh Ngai.
We paid for Nok Fly ‘n’ Ferry from Koh Ngai, via Trang airport into Bangkok. The departure time was 11am with arrival into BKK at 19.15pm, we did think this seemed like a pretty long journey but having done it I can totally see why! As well as the ferry being an hour late, the bus transfer from the port to the airport was not going to happen until everybody had purchased something from the store where the bus left. The buffer was obviously necessary!
We were really sad to leave Ngai and our amazing weeks holiday (despite Han’s joyous leap!). We saw some seriously beautiful places, ate some amazing food and drank delicious cocktails with two of our best friends, it really was an awesome week. I am definitely planning on going back to explore Koh Lanta some more and will also be going back to Koh Ngai when we need a week of doing absolutely nothing but relaxing in paradise.
We arrived back to Bangkok pretty shattered but already excited for the next 5 days of exploring…