Published: April 21st 2012January 5th 2012
Leaving Koh Lanta we were headed next to Koh Ngai which is a small island south of Koh Lanta and took about an hour to get there via speedboat. We were originally going to get picked up at LaLaanta and then it was only about a 20 minute boat ride but the water was to rough so that meant we had to go back to Saladan Pier at the Northern tip of the island and the boat had to go on the east side of Koh Lanta which was protected from the open ocean and calmer.
Koh Ngai is a small island with only a handful of resorts mostly on the east side of the island and there are no cars or scooters and no roads at all. All traveling is done either by walking or getting a boat from one beach to another. It is supposed to have some of the best beaches in Trang province and we were looking forward to checking out somewhere new.
Upon arriving, we and a few other people staying on the island were dropped off on the beach and waited for our boat ride to our resort which was a bit of
a ways down the beach supposadly. The boat never showed up, but 2 staff members did and so we all walked down to the resort which was only about 10 minutes, but we felt really sorry for the 2 staff that were carrying our 4 heavy bags! We did offer to help (well the boys did) a number of times but they wouldn't hear of that. They did get a good tip when we got there. Don't know why our bags are so heavy!
The beach at Koh Ngai is quite a small area, and we were a bit surprised at how small of an area it actually was with it virtually being nothing when the tide is in. We had read that it was smaller and that there was alot of coral in the water but have to say after being at LaLaanta with a big open beach it was a bit disappointing, but the views were absolutely beautifiul with the big rock islands sticking out of the water and the amazing turquoise water and golden sand. We think there must have been some recent beach erosion or storms too as the beach area looked even smaller than
photos we had seen and there were quite a few sand bags built up. The resort did have some tubes that you could use that were great for a float so you didn't have to kill your feet on the coral.
We were booked in for 5 nights including New Years Eve at Coco Cottage which is one of the most popular resorts on the island, and gets booked really early. It has about 20 or so bungalows and they were great as they had just been reno'd during the off season and were decorated and built in the Thai style and they have done a really good job. We loved them and especially the outdoor shower that has an open air roof and the water comes out of a piece of bamboo. Both of our bungalows ending up having a view to the water and we all get settled in quite quickly and realised that yes this is definitely a different kind of vacation than Koh Lanta. With no roads, no stores , no atm's and no scooters to rip around on, and then no TV, hardly any internet connection and no power or air con until 5pm
it was definitely going to be a relaxing, quiet 5 days. Not that really watch tv or spend our time on the internet while we have been away or even shopping this was just different. We knew it coming here that it was like that so we were prepared – we were a bit worried about how Mike was going to handle it, but he managed just fine! ha. Well we all managed just fine for the most part, it only got a bit much on New Years Day when it poured rain most of the day and the internet didn't work because of the clouds (!) and Brett and I were trying to figure out where we going to go next and with no guide book made it a bit difficult. But it was fine and we all got caught up on our reading.
We did check out a few other hotels on the island and decided other than Thanya Resort, we had made the right choice. Thanya had a pool which would have been nice but really we didn't miss it that much. We ate at a few different restaurants and by the end of the 5
days were getting a little bit tired of the choices, but do have to say Coco Cottage has some of the best Pasta Carbonara I have ever had (yes when in Thailand....eat Italian??!). And I think Kari and Mike can attest to the delicious french fries too, or should I say french fried as they were called. It was a bit tragic when the resort ran out of fries and also ice cream for Brett's milkshakes... It was a tense couple days! ha.
Brett was feeling better, sort of. It kinda went in waves. He would feel not bad, then worse. We were kinda getting a bit worried but he did seem to be on the mend. We were all joking that we were all gaining weight because of the food (and the Carbonara and french fries), and Brett was losing weight.
New Years was another big event, which seems to be the norm at all resorts in Thailand for Christmas and New Years. It's a buffet that is compulsory if you stay that night and then they put a show on. The food was great, not quite the amazing spread that LaLaanta put on for Christmas Eve)
but it was really good. There was a mix of Thai and then more Indian and Malaysian influenced food and bbq'd seafood and curries and the best Roti Bread we have ever head! It was so good. They also had a happy hour with cheap beer and wine for 3 hours that night. Too bad Brett still couldn't take advantage of it as he was on bottled water mixed with the odd fruit smoothie when things got a bit crazy. Ha! They also had a live band playing that were really good and then it was the show. This show involved a lot of wacky games and things that you had to do like coming up with a rap on stage.... Not exactly our cup of tea, and had us all on edge as they were pulling room numbers out of the hat and then you had to go up and do whatever they told you to do. Thank god out of the 20 or so rooms, our 2 rooms didn't get called. We were dying...! It was a pretty low key night and we amazingly all did make it past midnite, there were a few times we all thought
that wouldn't happen!
It was a pretty mellow quiet 5 days with alot of reading, a few walks down the beach and some swimming and add into that some eating and the odd drink here and there, we were all feeling a bit lazy. But relaxed. We had wanted to do snorkelling trip but the water was still to rough for the boats to go so they weren't running any trips. Would we come here again? I'm not sure – but probably not, since we have been here now. I am really glad we checked it out and and it is a really beautiful spot – but I don't know if I would say that Koh Ngai has the best beach as they claim (whoever 'they' are) since there isn't much of a beach. We were fine with the quietness and remoteness of the island (except when it rains which thankfully was only one day otherwise I can imagine getting a bit stir crazy), but I think the lack of beach and then all the coral in the water that makes it very difficult to walk out there were a bit of a let down (Damn you Mother Nature!
Ha). The food was pretty average at the few places we ate at – we have definitely had alot better food elsewhere in Thailand (besides that Carbonara...). But if you are looking for a good place to get away from it all and relax with amazing views out to the water and other islands, this place is perfect for that – and we did do alot of that so weren't complaining (even if it does sound like we are – it was still a great spot and glad we checked it out)!
From here we were heading seperate ways – Mike and Kari were off onto the next leg of their trip which was heading over to Germany and then Poland to see Mike's family (and winter!) and then back to Vancouver. Not an easy trip to pack for with one bag and going from 30 degrees and sunny to 0 degrees and snowing! We still had another 10 days in Thailand before heading back down under, so just needed to figure out where to go next... Thankfully the internet started working again and we did manage to get a reservation on another island north of here and closer
to Phuket where we are flying out. And always good to check out another new spot!
There are more photos below