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Koh Nang Yuan, with its three small, lush islands linked by fine strips of white sand, is a picture postcard setting. On the island lies the Japanese Garden, a small bay with crystal-clear waters, lined with polished granite rocks. In the water you will see clownfish in their sea anemones, butterflyfish, clams, and shoals of parrotfish, but the coral bed is badly damaged.

View of Koh Nang Yuan
View of Koh Nang Yuan.

How to get to Koh Nang Yuan snorkeling spot?

Koh Nang Yuan is a few hundred yards off the northwestern coast of Koh Tao. A 100 bath pp. admission fee is charged on-site. Most snorkeling tours offered in Koh Tao include a stop at this spot, as well as others nearby snorkeling locations like Tanote Bay and Shark Bay.

Koh Nang Yuan snorkeling map, Koh Tao

Water entrance for snorkeling Koh Nang Yuan

Get into the water from the small stretch of sand between the island where you landed and the northernmost island (see map above).

Koh Nang Yuan snorkeling exploration tips

Starting from the beach, you will first cross a few dozen meters of sandy bed, covered in places with pieces of broken coral (↕3-10ft/1-2m). Shoals of parrotfish and spinefoot feed in this area, raising clouds of white sand.

Reef fish near Koh Nang Yuan beach
Although the seabed is badly damaged, big and colorful fish can be easily spotted in the shallows.

Swim further offshore to reach the reef areas (↕6-12ft/2-4m). Much of the coral is dead, but isolated patches remain, in particular heads of Porites, incrusted with multi-colored giant clams and Christmas tree worms.

A diversity of reef fish, including the pennant coralfish, the red-breasted wrasse and the bluebarred parrotfish, are easy to spot at this location.

Pink skunk clownfish in Koh Nang Yuan
The pink skunk clownfish is one Koh Tao shore waters’ most popular inhabitants.

Look out for the large green and purple sea anemones living on the reef. Each of them is home to pink skunk clownfish, generally found nestled in the tentacles of their hosts.

In Koh Nang Yuan, the seabed is in very poor condition, which is the case for almost all the snorkeling spots nearby.

A pair of pennant coralfish in Koh Nang Yuan
A pair of pennant coralfish noted at reef.

This spot is very popular with diving clubs, which come here for first dives. Make yourself visible if you plan to go more than a few hundred meters from the beach.

Restaurants and accommodation near Koh Nang Yuan

If you want to stay overnight on the island, you can rent a bungalow at Nangyuan Island Dive Resort. There is a restaurant and a bar near the beach.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth25ft (8m)
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersUsual precautions
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsEntrance fee 100 bath pp.
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.