Sunday, January 6, 2013
Julie's Ko Ngai trip report - visited December 2012
Koh Ngai/Hai is an easy island hop from Koh Lanta with medium sized fairly fast ferries (Tigerline and Petpailin) and speedboats dropping people off daily.
We hitched a ride with a long tail snorkelling trip from southern Lanta. The beach is quite long, but there are at least 3 passes cut through the reef so that the longtails meeting the ferries can drop you reasonably close to your resort.
Our far north end of the beach was the worst at low tide, but the walk along the sand to better swimming (above) was quite easy.
Fortunately our resort, Kohngai Cliff Beach, is one of the few with a pool, and what a pool. Situated at the highest point of the resort, the pool area has magnificent sea views, and a café for refreshments so you don’t have to brave the climb too often.
In the middle of the day, the main part of the beach is crowded with long tails giving daytrippers some island time. Still, there’s plenty of space for swimmers, and the water here is clear, warm, and it’s not hard to find a sandy bottom. The crowds of people weren’t too bad, we managed to find shady spots on the sand under the trees, the whole beach experience was very enjoyable.
The southern two-thirds of the beachfront is pretty much continuous resorts (but doesn't look overcrowded), each with a restaurant out front. Plenty of places for meals, though to our surprise we found the food at our upmarket resort was not much more expensive (and for some choices at the pool cafe, cheaper) and a better quality than that on offer at the budget resorts. Beer was less expensive on the beach, though, which may be a consideration for some although Beach Blogger thought the extra 30 baht for a large Chang at the pool was worth it for the view alone, not to mention the cool cool water. Cliff Resort's dining terrace (above) overlooking the corner of the beach was a nice place for a candle-lit dinner.
There are some karst islands off Koh Ngai which are very popular with snorkelling trips, and Koh Muk’s Emerald Cave is usually on the itinerary. The resorts all advertise various trips and transfers.
When it was time to move on, we picked up a Petpailin ferry to go from Ngai to Kradan, and it detoured to a karst and the Emerald Cave along the way for the passengers, mainly Thais, to snorkel and visit.
Leaving the beach on Cliff Beach Resort's long tail to meet Petpailin outside the reef.