Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Ko Ngai.
To/from the mainland
A ferry departs Pakmeng Pier every day in high season (November to April) at 12:00, costs 350 baht per person and takes over an hour, returning from Ko Ngai at 09:30. Longtail boats go out to meet the ferry and charge 80 baht per person to take you to your resort of choice.
While Pakmeng can be reached by hourly public minibus from the Trang bus station, most travellers book a combined minibus/ferry ticket from travel agents near the train station in Trang. These cost 500 baht all up and pick up at the travel offices at 10:00. (See the Trang transport section for info on getting there and onward transport.)
Expect to pay 1,900 baht for a private transfer to Ko Ngai from Trang, or around 1,200 for a private longtail direct from Pakmeng. All of the higher-end resorts on Ko Ngai offer their own pick-up and boat shuttle services from Trang/Pakmeng, often charging a premium for the service.
From November 1 to March 31 (perhaps into April for Tigerline and Petpailin), several boat companies connect Ko Ngai directly to a number of other islands. Tickets can be booked through any resort on Ko Ngai; whoever sells you the ticket will need to call ahead to tell your boat of choice to stop here, so it's best to give them prior notice.
Heading north, the Bundhaya and Satun Pakbara speedboats pick up at different points on Ngai's main beach at 11:30 and reach Ko Lanta at 12:00 for 650 baht. Passengers heading to Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Ko Jum and Krabi can make a transfer on Lanta.
The cheaper/slower Petpailin ferry also runs to Lanta, picking up at the Koh Ngai Resort pier at 09:30 and stopping at Ko Kradan and Ko Muk on the way back north. This option can include a direct transfer to Ko Phi Phi or Phuket.
Heading south, speedboats pick up on Ngai at 11:00 and reach Ko Muk at 11:30 for 350 baht; Ko Kradan at 11:45 for 400 baht (Satun Pakbara only); Ko Bulon Lae at 12:30 for 1,050 baht; and Ko Lipe at 13:30 for 1,600 baht.
Speedboats to Ko Ngai depart Ko Lipe at 09:00; Ko Bulon Lae at 10:00; Ko Lanta at 10:30; Ko Kradan at 10:45; and Ko Muk at 11:00.
A bit slower/cheaper than the speedboats, the Tigerline ferry connects Ko Ngai directly to Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Hat Yao pier in Trang, and Langkawi island in Malaysia, plus all of the other islands listed above except Ko Bulon Lae. The southbound boat departs Phuket at 08:00 and picks up on Ko Muk at 11:00, while the northbound boat departs Langkawi at 09:00 and picks up on Ngai at 14:00. More info and booking at www.tigerlinetravel.com.
You can also take a private longtail boat to Ko Muk or Ko Kradan for between 800 and 1,200 baht.