Photo: Beach o'clock.


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If you’re after a romantic beach holiday on a beautiful island and don’t mind spilling some cash for it, Ko Ngai is worth considering. Sitting quietly amid a scenic patch of the Andaman Sea with plentiful coral, Ngai hosts a long sliver of blondish-white sand with views to limestone karsts and the mainland. The tiny island doesn’t have much character, but it offers plenty of comfort.

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Officially part of Mu Ko Lanta National Marine Park, Ko Ngai (also spelt Hai) is easily reached during high season from Lanta itself, the mainland via Trang and several other islands. Neighbouring Ko Muk and Ko Kradan join Ngai to form a triangle that makes it easy to hop from one to the next. Dotted in between, the rocky islets of Ko Maa, Ko Chueak and Ko Waen conceal some good snorkelling sites that can be reached by kayak or longtail.

There are worse places to lug a pack. Photo taken in or around Ko Ngai, Thailand by David Luekens.

There are worse places to lug a pack. Photo: David Luekens

Backed by jungle-clad hills, the marvelous east-coast beach boasts clear aquamarine water, powdery coral sand and a view to karst isles and Ko Muk’s limestone massifs. It hosts a string of resorts that tend to focus on midrange travellers. While Ngai is a good choice for families and especially couples, solo travellers and backpackers should look to Muk, Lanta or even Kradan for more budget accommodation options. Expect to feel out of place among the dreamy eyed couples if you come to Ngai alone. A party island this is not.

On the other hand, if you want the idyllic setting and couldn’t care less about experiencing local culture, Ngai is a fine choice—and you can always catch up on culture back in Trang. The clientele is almost 100% foreign and migrant workers staff some resorts; if it weren’t for the Thai flags strung to the longtail boats, you might forget that you’re in Thailand ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Ko Ngai.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Ko Ngai.
 Read up on how to get to Ko Ngai, or book your transport online with 12Go Asia.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Ko Ngai? Please read this.
 Buy a SIM card for Thailand—pick it up at the airport when you arrive.
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