Photo: Popular with daytrippers.

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The private island of Ko Nang Yuan sitting off the northwest coast of Ko Tao is a pleasant, though crowded, place to spend the day. The island is formed by three separate rocky outcrops connected by a three-pronged white sand beach, much of which is submerged at high tide.

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The viewpoint is only a fifteen minute walk -- though be prepared for some minor bouldering -- and provides a beautiful picture of Northern Ko Tao and Ko Nang Yuan. The small strip of beach connecting each side of the island makes one feel as though they are walking on water, and the snorkelling available to either side of the island is some of the best on offer this close to Ko Tao proper.

The island is worth a day trip if one is wary of Ko Tao and looking for a change of atmosphere. That said, the number of snorkelers that arrive daily on such trips leave the beaches overcrowded, and even once you've paid your 100 baht island entrance fee you'll find that prices are considerably higher than on Ko Tao proper. The island sports one day bar, which closes at 19:00, and one restaurant, which closes at 21:00. Both are notably more expensive that their mainland counterparts. A small and pricey souvenir shop also calls the island home.

Those who stay here tend to enjoy the island in the early morning and later afternoon, when the day-trippers are yet to arrive or have already set on their way. As with everyone else, they too must deal with the high prices along with the quite mediocre accommodation. Note also that as island restaurant closes at 21:00 there is little to do other than to go for a night swim or hole up in your room.

In terms of activities, Ko Nang Yuan offers diving via Easy Divers and one viewpoint. It you are on the island already, the viewpoint is well worth a visit, but it isn't a reason to venture to Ko Nang Yuan in and of itself. It is about a fifteen minute walk from the beach along wooden boards that circle the island, and then steep stone steps leading upward. The steps lead to a cluster of large rocks that are easy to climb. Climbing this first set of rocks will lead you to a beautiful view of Ko Nang Yuan and Northern Ko Tao. Often, friendly young locals are hanging out at the top who may offer to assist you in climbing further. Be wary of climbing past your own comfort level as the rocks are high and there are no safe guards.

Regular longtails from Mae Haad can whisk you out to Nang Yuan for 400 baht for one person and 300 baht per additional person for the return trip. The island's owners will charge you another 100 baht per person to set foot on the island, though if you snorkel from the longtail you can avoid this fee.

There are no ATMs on Ko Nang Yuan, so bring what cash you'll be needing with you. You're still within easy phone access of the main island and 3G internet works here.

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