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Koh Ngai, often referred to as Koh Hai, is another island off the coast of Trang. Although it is administratively a part of Krabi, it is mostly visited from Trang and the nearby islands like Koh Mook or Koh Kradan.

Koh Ngai and the Emerald Cave on Koh Mook – our day trip

Koh Ngai itself hasn’t much to offer. There are no roads and shops at all on the island. Only a couple of resorts, tranquility and a gorgeous beach scenery.

More than enough reasons to give this island a shot during our stay at the neighboring island of Koh Mook.

Journey to Koh Ngai, Trang
The way to Koh Ngai

How to get to Koh Ngai

The easiest option to get to Koh Ngai is a flight to Trang. The small airport is directly served by some cities within Thailand and is located closest to Koh Ngai. Get to know which airlines fly to Trang, how much the price for a ticket is and more information on Skyscanner.

From Trang Airport you will have to take a minibus to Pak Meng Pier, where the boats leave for Koh Mook, Koh Kradan or Koh Ngai. Usually local boats are used and you can expect 1-2 hours for the crossing. If you travel with several people, a private transfer is also available. Everything you can find at 12go.asia.

Note: Alternatively, it is also possible to get to the island via Krabi, but it is only worthwhile if you book this with stays, e.g. on Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. There are also regular speedboats to Koh Ngai, but only in the main season. From Koh Lanta there are even day trips to Koh Ngai.

Accommodation on Koh Ngai – our hotel tip

The choice of accommodation on Koh Ngai is not very big compared to Koh Mook, for example. A great hotel that stands out is the Thanya Beach Resort. Especially nice are the bungalows with beach view, which are much cheaper in the low season. The entire area is lovingly maintained and is generally very quiet. Simply ideal, if you want to spend more than a day on the beautiful island.

You can find even more accommodation on Koh Ngai here.

Starting the day trip at Koh Mook

We started our trip at 9.00 a.m. in the morning from our resort on Koh Mook. Since we absolutely wanted to visit the famous Emerald Cave on Koh Mook, we arranged that for the same day with our driver. Therefore, this was our first stop of the trip in the morning since the cave isn’t too crowded with tourists at that time of the day.

Emerald Cave – Koh Mook

The Emerald Cave, also known as Morakot Cave, can’t be accessed with a longtail boat. Bottom line is that you will either have to swim through a 80 meters long tunnel to get inside to the beach or you have a kayak with you to paddle through that tunnel. Some people do that as well.

Morakot Cave, Emerald Cave on the back of Koh Mook

However, the visitors don’t swim alone through the partly dark cave but rather have a guide to lead them. In our case one of our boatmen came along with us. He swam ahead using a flashlight and lit us the way.

It was a really short stretch of darkness until you saw light at the end. We thought it would be way worse and longer, but it’s actually nothing to worry about!

Many boats in front of the entrance to the Emerald Cave on Koh Mook

Koh Mook, the cave and the surrounding islands are part of the Had Chao Mai National Park and usually you have to pay a national park fee to visit the Emerald Cave. However, there was no one on site when we visited the cave to claim the fee.

Inside the cave you can relax at the tiny beach, take some pictures and enjoy the impressive atmosphere of the cave and the jungle before you swim the way back.

Tobi and Marcel inside the Emerald Cave on Koh Mook
Marcel and Tobi inside the cave

By the way, the cave was originally used by pirates as a hideout for their prey. You can only reach the Emerald Cave during low tide and because of that it was a perfect hiding spot for the pirates.

Koh Chueak, Koh Waen and Koh Ma

After the stop at the cave we went on to Koh Ngai. From Koh Mook to Koh Ngai it’s perhaps a 20 to 30 minutes boat ride. During the trip you will come past many islands which are often used for snorkeling trips.

Koh Chueak near Trang, Thailand
Koh Chueak

There are 3 more or less big islands on the way to Koh Ngai. The first one is Koh Chueak. It consists of 2 huge limestone cliffs. Most boats stop between the cliffs and you can directly jump into the water from the boat to go snorkeling. Unfortunately, there isn’t a beach on none of those islands.

Koh Waen near Trang, Thailand
Koh Waen

Then there are Koh Waen and Koh Ma. The last-named island has the same name as one of the islands on the west coast of Koh Phangan, which you can access through the Haad Mae Haad Beach. It’s not unusual that islands in Thailand have the exact same name. Don’t get confused by that.

Koh Ma off the coast of Koh Ngai, a popular snorkeling spot
Koh Ma

Past these islands you will eventually arrive on the paradise-like island Koh Ngai after a short boat ride. The journey is already exciting and beautiful!

Koh Ngai – arrival in paradise

The arrival on Koh Ngai is just terrific. You will float the last couple of meters with the boat through shallow, crystal clear turquoise water. The island looks already beautiful from the boat. Actually I wished for a few more palm trees since I’m a big fan of palm-fringed beaches.

The beach on Koh Ngai
Welcome to paradise on Koh Ngai

Like I said before, there isn’t much to do on Koh Ngai. No roads and no shops at all. Only a few resorts at the beach.

These resorts are usually more expensive and if you want to save some money on accommodation, then I recommend you to stay at Koh Mook and just visit Koh Ngai for a day trip.

View at the beach of Koh Ngai near Trang

We brought some food for lunch, went swimming and snorkeling. However, there are not so many fish in the water off the coast. Not really worth snorkeling. It’s maybe worth it a little bit further out, where the water is deeper. But for snorkeling Koh Chueak etc. are a better fit. So we just enjoyed our day at the ocean and the beach.

Marcel swimming at Koh Ngai, Trang

Crystal clear water on Koh Ngai, Trang, Thailand

Koh Ngai is a perfect location to take some pictures, because the scenery is fantastic with all those islands and the mainland in the background. Just like postcard motives.

Longtail boat at the beach of Koh Ngai, Trang

The view from Koh Ngai at the ocean and the mainland of Trang

We spent about 3 hours at the beach, simply relaxing and enjoying the peaceful island. We can absolutely recommend a day trip to you!

The way back to Koh Mook

After a perfect day we went back to the longtail boat and drove off to Koh Mook. The return trip was a great end of the day as we were passing those beautiful islands again and enjoyed an amazing view at the mainland of Trang.

Tobi on a longtail boat on the way back to Koh Mook

Have you ever been to Koh Ngai? Did you do a tour in the area? Did you like it? Leave us a comment below!


Hi, I'm Tobi, a passionate travel blogger and freelancer in translations and copy writing. Mostly I travel around Southeast Asia and work remotely from different locations. If you want to know where I am or what I'm doing, just follow me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.