Day Trip Traveling to Ko Tao & Koh Nang Yuan
Ko Samui day trip to Ko Tao and Koh Nang Yuan Island i. Thailand – Ko Tao and Koh Nang Yuan island are small islands not far from the Ko Samui coast in Thailand. We traveled to Ko Tao and Koh Nang Yuan while we were staying in Ko Samui and decided to take a day trip to explore the islands more. While there are many things to do in Ko Samui, taking a day trip over to Ko Tao and Koh Nang Yuan is really a must do.
Ferries leave Mae Nam Pier in Koh Samui and arrive at Koh Tao’s Mae Haad Pier several times throughout the day with the earliest ferry leaving Ko Samui at 8am and heading back from Ko Tao around 3:30pm so if you are making a day trip there without staying the night, you will have only around 4-5 hours at most on the Island. Check out the schedule here.
It is about a two-hour ferry ride from Koh Samui (500 baht or $16 USD one way) and makes stops in Ko Pha-Ngan and Koh Nang Yuan Island. You’ll pass some remote, uninhabitable islands along the way, so sit back, grab a drink and soak up the sun. Onboard there is food and drink available for purchase, however, we recommend bring your own. We like to bring “rum runners” as they are easy to carry and you can make your own drinks saving quite a bit on costs.
Upon arrival to Ko Tao, you will see many shops, restaurants, and bars as well as hotels. We stopped to grab some food at a local restaurant and then decided to rent a longtail boat to tour around Ko Tao and Nang Yuan Island. This is really a better option than doing a group tour and you can find many longtail boat drivers for 2,000-4,000 baht (depending on the length of tour and group size). As soon as we got off the pier there were people holding signs for longtail boat rentals.
Bring your own snorkeling gear with you so you do not have to rent a pair of dirty used ones. This will make your snorkeling experience much better. You can also use them for all your upcoming beach destination getaways.
Our longtail boat left from Mae Hat Beach and headed out around Ko Tao. We first stopped at a place called Mango Bay, which was a perfect area for snorkeling. There was only 1 other person there while we were, but the Bay is plenty big so you really had the place to yourselves there at Mango Bay. After about 30-45 minutes of snorkeling, we left and headed to Koh Nang Yuan.
Koh Nang Yuan Island is a small island off the coast of Ko Tao. There is actually a fair amount of things to do on Koh Nang Yuan Island. We snorkeled some more of course, but many people choose to spend the day here (the ferry over from Ko Samui actually stops at Koh Nang Yuan Island). You will also find scuba divers enjoying the clear waters surrounding the island.
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for a day trip to Ko Tao & Koh Nang Yuan Island
From there we headed to Koh Nang Yuan Island, which is a small island off the coast of Ko Tao. There is actually a fair amount of things to do on Koh Nang Yuan Island. We snorkeled some more, but people choose to spend the day here (the ferry over from Ko Samui actually stops at Koh Nang Yuan Island). You will also find scuba divers enjoying the clear waters surrounding the island.
If you spend the day on Koh Nang Yuan Island, you can enjoy the beach, the bar/restaurant at the resort that is on the island or you can choose to hike up to the Koh Nang Yuan Island viewpoint for some pretty spectacular views of Koh Nang Yuan Island.
If you do want to enjoy Koh Nang Yuan Island, there is a $10 fee to step foot on the island so come with cash. If you want to enjoy the beach, you should plan on getting there early as by mid-day the beach is already packed with tourists.
Once back on Ko Tao, you will likely not have a lot of time left before the ferry heads back to Ko Samui. We did have enough time to run into a bar, order a quick appetizer and head out. We did decide to take a couple drinks with us for the 2-hour trip back so we stopped at a convenience store. We were not the only ones with that idea, so plan ahead so you do not miss the ferry home.
Also, with the last ferries leaving Ko Tao around the same time, the docks will be packed with visitors standing in line waiting to board the ferry back to Ko Samui and Ko Pha-ngan so if you want to get a good seat, get to the ferry ahead of time.
With the time that we had left on Ko Tao, we walked around to some shops and restaurants and enjoyed some drinks. Before departing back to Ko Samui, we stopped at a convenience store right off the pier in Ko Tao to grab some beers to enjoy on the trip back. The ferry stops again at Koh Nang Yuan to pick up passengers there, as well as Ko Pha-ngan before returning to Ko Samui.