Showing posts with label Koh Tao. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Koh Tao. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2014

3 Days 2 Nights Inspection trip from Phuket to Koh Samui and Koh Nang Yuan

After an invitation by the transport company Lomprayah I recently joined this 3 Days and 2 nights trip to the Gulf of Thailand. This bus and ferry service is basically the only alternative to a flight between Phuket and Koh Samui, it's a good solution for those travelling on a tighter budget or when the few direct flights available daily are sold out. Of course the travel time is quite longer compared to a flight and you arrive at destination a bit tired, though in the overall the trip is comfortable and very well organised.


There are now two trips scheduled daily from Phuket to Koh Samui, one with early departure at 7:00 and a later one with departure at 10:00. For this occasion we were on the early trip, of course it's harder to wake up very early in the morning though I guess this is a better choice when people don't have many holiday days available, this way you don't waste a whole precious day just travelling especially considering that here in Thailand the sun sets quite early.

The meeting point for the start of this inspection trip was in Patong, though for the regular trips there is free pick up at all hotels in the main areas like Patong, Karon, Kata and Phuket Town. We started our trip right on time as soon as all the passengers were gathered. On this day we weren't many people travelling so we used two minivans rather than a larger coach. The air conditioned vans were clean and comfortable with and the staff made sure that there was plenty of space for passengers and luggage without squeezing anyone.

Minivan from Phuket to Samui
Aircon minivan Phuket-Samui

The driver safely drove us north over the Sarasin Bridge and then east trough Phang Nga, Krabi and Surat Thani provinces. The landscapes that can be seen out of the window are very nice, especially on the road to Krabi which is immersed in green lush vegetation and limestone karst formations. We had a quick stop half way at a service area for those who had to go to the restroom and to buy some drinks and snacks, then we finally reached Donsak Pier in Surat Thani around 11:30. The Lomprayah staff at their office at the pier gave us some free snacks and water while we had to wait for the ferry departing one hour later. There was a waiting area with chairs in the shades so the wait wasn't too bad.

Lomprayah office at Surat Thani Pier
Lomprayah office at Donsak Pier

At 12:30 the ferry was ready so we boarded and quickly started cruising towards Koh Samui. The ferry is a large high speed catamaran with three decks: the lower deck hosts the large Standard Class with the bar, on the middle deck are a shaded outdoor seating area plus the VIP and Exclusive rooms (accessible by paying a little surcharge, see pictures below). while on the open air upper deck can find several benches for the sun lovers though keep in mind that with the high cruising speed it gets quite windy up there.

The ferry is really "high speed" and it took just 45 minutes to get to Nathon Pier on the west coast of Koh Samui, the boat is very stable so the trip was smooth and comfortable, especially as I was in the Exclusive Room.  We had minivans waiting for us right on the pier and we quickly got transferred to a nearby restaurant for a tasty Thai lunch, while some of the other passengers stayed on the ferry which after Samui proceeds to Koh Phangan and then Koh Tao. Once back on the minivans we moved to visit the popular sightseeing site called "Grandfather and Grandmother rocks"  (Hin Ta and Hin Yai). The rocks are less than 50 meters far from each other and got this funny nicknames because they look, respectively, like male and female genitalia!

Hin Ta and Hin Yai - Samui
Grandfather and Grandmother rocks (Hin Yai and Hin Ta)

After this little sightseeing and driving around the island, in the late afternoon we finally got at Ibis Hotel on Bophut beach, on the northern side of Koh Samui. Here we spent both nights before returning to Phuket. The area is nice and quiet, I would say it's very suitable for families.


Another early wake up, ready for the day trip to Koh Nang Yuan Island offered once again by Lomprayah to show us the beautiful island and the facilities they provide. After some time for breakfast at the hotel we were transferred to Maenam Pier which is located on the northern coast of Samui, more conveniently for trips heading north. Once there we boarded the same ferry that we used on the previous day and around 8:00 we started cruising. After about 20 minutes we had a quick stop at Koh Phangan to drop off and pick up passengers there and then proceed further north until we finally reached Koh Nang Yuan around 10:00. This is the regular route and timing that the ferry does every day, and after Koh Tao proceeds all the way to Chumpon from where the passengers can then get the bus to Bangkok or other destinations in the north.

During the cruising I had a nap in the comfortable VIP room and when I got off the ferry I thought I was still dreaming because, before then, I believed that such a place could only exist in dreams. The tiny island is actually made up of three pieces of land which are connected by a huge white sandbar. The island hosts a very particular resort with the rooms hidden in the vegetation on the slopes, and the most of the shore is covered by large granite boulders among which can find a wooden walkway that allows people to reach the rooms and the pier. 

Pier Koh Nang Yuan - Koh Tao
Pier at Koh Nang Yuan

As this was an inspection trip and not just for leisure, the staff accompanied us to see some of the rooms, there are many different types that can meet pretty much all budget, group sizes (the Grand Family room sleeps up to 7 people) and levels of comfort. 

Thailand Best Beach
The white sandy beach

After looking at the rooms we hiked to the view point, to get there we had to walk for a while on the wooden walkways and then climb a good number of stairs but the view from the top is absolutely worth the effort, I guess the picture below speaks by itself!

View Point Nang Yuan Island - Koh Tao
The breath taking view from the viewpoint

Once back down to the beach, around noon, we had lunch at the central islet which hosts the only restaurant on the island and a small beach bar. Being on a small island of course most things purchased here will be a little more pricey than on the mainland. The menu is not so extensive but the food is of high quality.

Of course considered its layout and location the island does have a couple of drawbacks like certain times of the year there does tend to be a lot mosquitoes and there is obviously a limited supply of water but all this just adds the unique island way of life, if you like island in paradise setting then Koh Nang Yuan is the place to go. 

In the afternoon we boarded a different boat for a short snorkeling trip on the east coast of Koh Tao. This boat was large and comfortable with a lot of space so it's perfect also for larger groups, it’s also ideal for inexperienced snorkelers or non swimmers because they have all sorts of flotation devises for you to hang on to. The snorkeling site was quite good even though we were there at high tide and visibility wasn't the best, however ours was a different tour from the regular one in which itinerary is planned every day to offer the best experience to the participants.

Koh Tao Snorkeling Tour
Snorkeling boat (right) and catamaran ferry (left)

Lighthouse Bay Koh Tao Thailand
Snorkeling at Lighthouse Bay - Koh Tao

We had enough time to enjoy the snorkeling, then we went back to Koh Nang Yuan to get back on the ferry departing at 14:30 and return to Koh Samui. While in the morning the sea was calm, in the afternoon the weather got a bit worse and the sea became quite rough between Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, After years of diving nearly every day I am used to choppy seas and never suffered seasickness, but  I was still very glad to be on a large and stable catamaran ferry rather than on a small speedboat jumping from wave to wave and I'm sure most of the other passengers thought the same thing. The ferry was back at Maenam Pier right on time at 16:30, and as usual our minivans were already there to transfer us back to the hotel.


This last day, the return day, was obviously not much different from the first one except that we did the reversed route. We had the early start with pick up at 7:30 while ferry departed Nathon Pier at 8:30, though there is also a later ferry departing at 12:45 for those who prefer to sleep more and don't mind a later arrival in Phuket. Differently from the trip on day one, as this time we were more people, rather than in a minivan we were transferred by a large and comfortable coach.

We finally reached Phuket around 15:30, while with the late departure would have been around 19:00.

Lompryah travel Samui to Phuket
Lompraya's VIP coach

Monday, March 17, 2014

Koh Nang Yuan Island

Koh Nang Yuan is an island by Koh Tao that will simply take your breath away. There are paradise islands, and then there is Nang Yuan the little island is actually made up of three pieces of land and which are connected by a huge sandbar. It’s a place where postcard pictures are taken, and where people dream about when life is tough.
Koh Nang Yuan is owned by a local business and visitors can expect to be charged a 100 Baht entrance to get on the island. The small fee goes a long way in keeping the island in pristine condition, in fact guests are asked not to bring plastic onto the island  instead all drinking water is served in reusable glass. It is such a refreshing change to see people really care about the environment, in such a positive way.

Koh Nang Yuan is about a 10 minute journey from the west side of Koh Tao. There are speed boat tours available as well as the large ferry company offering a package day trip but you will be surrounded by literally hundreds of others, it may be cheap and cheerful if that is what you like.

The island host a small resort, which has excellent accommodations and the staff are just so friendly and helpful, you will not want to leave this idyllic tiny little piece of paradise. There really is not much to do on Nang Yuan other than explore the island itself sunbath or go scuba diving, there is a small dive centre located right on the island.

There is just one restaurant on the island and only one small beach bar. Remember that is is on a small island and most things purchased here will be a little more pricey than the main island. Then again you get what you pay for and the prices tend to keep any strays island beer bar flies away. The menu is not so extensive but the food is of high quality. The beach bar is, unsurprisingly, located on the beach and is on the expensive side too.

Depending on which time of the month you decide to go will dictate how much or how little of a beach you will have to lie on the beach can be a tiny lace of sand racked with sun loving bodies, or a wide, uninhabited stretch of paradise. Amazingly, it remains beautiful either way.

Words are hard to find when trying to describe the snorkeling on Koh Nang Yuan as simply put, it is one of the best snorkeling spots in Thailand. 

The shallow reefs surrounding the island are lined with intricate soft and hard corals as well as schools of beautiful coloured Wrasses, fascinating colorful Parrotfish, the Damselfish will try to nibble your toes it’s like a dream.   
Shelter from the islands means the water is calm and clear. 

There is also great diving here too and dive boats visit the area regularly the dive sites here are called Twin Peak and Japanese Gardens and lie just off the island and are shallow enough for snorkelers to enjoy too. Snorkeling gear can be rented in the Koh Nang Yuan Resort’s Dive Shop, if you want to try diving or are experienced then this is a great spot..

The island does have a couple of drawbacks like certain times of the year there does tend to be a lot mosquitos and there is obviously a limited supply of water but all this just adds the unique island way of life, if you like island in paradise setting then be prepared to fall in love with Koh NangYuan.

There is free transfer from the main pier on Koh Tao, usually by longtail boat, which will bring you directly here. 

Koh Nang Yuan View Point

Another great thing to do on the island is take a small trek to the top of the view point where you can get some great panoramic photos to show your friends at home just what you have doing. Be warned though the path is quite steep and it does get hot especially under the midday sun, don’t forget your camera and a bottle of water.  

Oh course I nearly did not mention that Koh Nang Yuan’s newest attraction is ziplining, oh yes you got it Ziplining. You will be giving a short brief before you take the plunge over the edge. The course consists of two lines that go between the island it is the world’s first island to island zipline, incredible.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Koh Tao Hillside Resort - Holiday package

Koh Tao Hillside ResortKoh Tao Hillside Resort is set, as it's name suggests, on a hillside overlooking
the ocean on Yai Nee Cape on the north west coast of Koh Tao to the north of Sairee Beach. Beautiful sunset views over Koh Nang Yuan make this a fantastic venue for just relaxing in Paradise.

Built into the jungle holding on to to this hill the resort is in symbiosis with the landscape, the small comfortable bungalows, truly stunning panoramic views and the serenity allow for true total relaxation of body, mind and soul.

  • Small Comfortable Bungalow holding on to the hill this is perfect for couples. 
  • Just One Kilometre from the  private beach. 
  • Wifi is available in the lobby and reception.

Amazing views from all over the resort and a small private beach make this the perfect Island getaway.

Enjoy your holidays at Koh Tao Hillside Resort starting from
2,000 Thai Baht per person
Three days two nights

Inclusive of return transfer  to Mae Haad Pier, two nights accommodation in twin or double sharing Standard room with breakfast, tax and insurance

Valid from now till 31 October 2013

Single supplement 2,000 Thai Baht

For information and booking don't hesitate to ask Easy Day Thailand team

How to get there - firstly you need to get to Koh Tao by ferry from Suratthani , Chumporn or from the other gulf of Thailand islands Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Once you are on the island from Mar Haad town head north past Sairee village to the end of Sairee beach, Koh Tao Hillside Resort is to your left.
Koh Tao Hillside Resort
19/1 Moo 1 , T. Koh Tao, A. Koh Phangan,
Suratthani 84360 Thailand
For more information about Kho Tao contact us

If you have been at this hotel please leave your comment

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Koh Tao Weather from 5 to 7 June 2013

This time a short report from Koh Tao the small island in the Gulf of Thailand, famous among those like to get certified as a new diver and for being best snorkeling destination in Thailand.

Koh Tao Thailand - Sairee Beach
Sairee Beach at Koh Tao
Koh Tao Thailand - Tanote Ba
Tanote Bay Koh Tao Thailand

During June and all through Summer the Gulf of Thailand offers very good condition with flat sea, sun shine and only few probability of rain. While the Andaman Coast on West side is exposed to South West monsoon that carry in may and June heavy rain, then normally quiet and good condition in July, August variable.

September and October are the same in both sides normally no wind but a lot of rain. When Monsoon change from North East then winter is coming and West Coast seas are flat, just few thunderstorm in November and December then sunshine and cool air (still between 24 and 27 Celsius) from January to April. At same time the Gulf of Thailand is exposed to strong wind and as result sea is rough with big waves. Rain can be heavy from October to December to then slow down from January to April.
Koh Tao Thailand - Ao Leuk Bay koh Tao
Ao Leuk Bay koh Tao

Koh Tao weather was good with flat see perfect to enjoy snorkeling, some short rain fall during the night then hot and clear sky,

Visibility underwater in Koh Tao during Summer is good as on west Coast less plankton and less suspension making scuba diving very pleasant.

Nang Yuan Island Thailand
Nang Yuan Island