Koh Nang Yuan

Koh Nang Yuan, with its three small, green islands connected by fine strips of white sand, is a picture postcard setting. A few minutes away by boat, it contains the Japanese Garden spot, a small bay with crystal-clear waters, lined with granite rocks that have been polished by the water. In the water you will see clownfish in their anemones, butterflyfish, clams and shoals of parrotfish, but the coral bed are damaged in some places.

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How to get there?

Koh Nang Yuan is a few hundred yards off the coast of Koh Tao. It costs around 150 bahts per person for a one-way trip to Sai Ree Beach (minimum 2 people) in a long-tail boat. An admission fee of 100 bahts per adult (50 bahts for children) is charged on site. A large number of snorkeling excursions are organised in Koh Tao, including a stop at this spot, as well as others nearby (Tanote Bay, Shark Bay, etc.). For an excursion including stops at 3 or 4 spots, the price is between 1 000 and 1 200 bahts per person.

Water entrance

Get into the water from the small stretch of sand between the isle where you landed and the island to the north (see map below).

Aerial view


Go straight ahead from the beach, crossing a few dozen yards of sandy sea bed, sometimes covered with pieces of dead coral (↕3-10ft/1-2m). Shoals of parrotfish and spinefoot feed tirelessly in this area, raising clouds of white sand. Move on further to reach the coral areas (↕6-12ft/2-4m). Soon you will see some heads of porous coral, incrusted with multi-coloured giant clams and Christmas tree worms. Look out for the large green and purple sea anemones attached to the sea bed. Each one is the home of pink skunk clownfish, which will keep a worried eye on you if you come too close, as they nestle in the tentacles of their hosts. In Japanese Garden, the sea bed is in poor condition, which is the case for almost all the snorkeling spots nearby.

Snorkeling Report Clownfish Koh Nang Yuan Thailand
Pink skunk clownfish at Japanese Garden

This spot is a great favourite with diving clubs, which come here for first-time snorkeling and lessons. Make yourself visible if you plan to go more than a few hundred yards from the beach.

Restaurants & accommodation

It is so easy to go to Koh Nang Yuan for the day that it is not essential to have accommodation there. If you wish, you can rent a bungalow at Nangyuan Island Dive Resort for a much higher price than at Ko Tao, however. There is a restaurant and a bar near the beach.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
  • Maximum depth
    25ft (8m)
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Usual precautions
  • Lifeguard
  • Visitor numbers
  • Access costs
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Public toilets & showers

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

Species you may spot while snorkeling Koh Nang Yuan

Common name Scientific name Abundance Fishbase Wikipedia
Pink skunk clownfish
Amphiprion perideraion
Barred thicklip wrasse
Hemigymnus fasciatus
Indo-Pacific sergeant
Abudefduf vaigiensis
Scissortail sergeant
Abudefduf sexfasciatus
Eightband butterflyfish
Chaetodon octofasciatus
Blacktip grouper
Epinephelus fasciatus
Giant clam
Tridacna sp.
You encountered a specie at this spot that is not listed here?