A trip to a thai island with white sand, clear water & tropical fish.
It was mid-February, after the 2nd coronavirus wave in Thailand, when it was already allowed to travel again.
My thai wife & I came to Phuket from Jomtien Beach, Chon Buri. It took only 1 day with stops & about a thousand kilometers traveling by a rented car.
We stopped in Patong for a few days. My wife booked a trip to the Khai islands. And the next day we went to the sea port.
How to book a trip to Koh Khai Nok
We found the first Facebook page that offered a half-day trip to Khai islands on weekends only due to the small flow of tourists at that time.
The trip costed ฿699 per person. Before it was only ฿399. So for the 2 of us it was ≈฿1,400.
There is a lot of other companies that can offer a private boat from Phuket or Koh Yao Yai. Also you can ask for it in a hotel, look for a tourist information desk somewhere nearby. Although you can just google Khai islands tour. Prices and conditions may vary for everyone.
How to get to Koh Khai Nok
Khai Nok Island (เกาะไข่นอก, Koh Khai Nok) is located in Andaman Sea between Phuket & Yao Yai islands and belongs to Phang-nga province.
Tourists usually come there by public or private speedboats from east Phuket.
We came to the Asia Marina port by ourselves. Even though the company offered a free transfer from a hotel & back.
A speedboat with a duck was waiting for us at the port.
On the way to the island
Leaving the port, the water became clearer and clearer.
It took 13 km & 15 minutes to get to the island by the boat.
There may be strong waves depending on the weather. But in our case it was calm at +31℃ heat.
When we arrived there were only a couple of boats & a small sailing yacht nearby. Before the covid time, the island could be crowded with boats.
The feature of the Khai Nok island is that its shape is constantly being changed by waves, ebbs & flows of the sea. Looking at the oldest pictures it looked pretty different. And yeah there were a lot of tourists.
The island is mainly composed of white sand accumulated around several rocks.
The sand is so white that it’s hard to look without sunglasses. And the sand itself is fine as flour.
Crystal clear water
The sea water is really crystal clear. From a distance, you can see the transition from sandy color to turquoise.
The water temperature is about the same as the air.
In addition to sand, at the bottom you can see stones, corals, small creatures & fish.
Snorkeling with fish
One of the interesting things to do on Koh Khai Nok is snorkeling or just swimming with a lot of small fish in the shallow water between the rocks.
Small yellow-black striped sergeant major fish live there.
It’s prohibited to feed fish with any food. It’s explained that fish get used to the brought food & forget how to get food on their own, and as a result, they may die.
It’s easy to check: just come into the sea, shake your hands by the water, and the fish will come.
Despite this, tourists still continue to feed them white bread or even KFC nuggets! No one is fined. And it’s bad.
I also saw a long silver garfish that can be confused with a snake. It can be seen on the other side of the island.
From the very beginning of my arrival on the island, I expected that a Thai man would come up to me & persuade me to ride a jet ski. But this didn’t happen. And somehow it became unusual for me.
From my experience I will say that no matter what beach you are on, a Thai can come up several times & each time knock down the price until it reaches the ridiculous ฿1,000. Some may have the same, some may have less or more. Everything is individual. Also the price depends on how long it takes to ride it. Usually it’s 15-30 mins.
Food & drinks
Even though it was the high season, after the pandemy on the island there was not too much assortment of food to eat & drink. Before there used to be several cafes with a lot of variety.
However fruits & soft drinks were already included in the trip price. Plus I took my cooler by 7-11 with ice, water & soft drinks.
View around the island
The best way to capture the view around the island is a drone.
I flew with DJI Mini & it was enough for it.
On the north you can see the green uninhabited Leepee island.
There is a huge island Yao Yai (เกาะยาวใหญ่) in the east. And one more island Khai Nai (เกาะไข่ใน) from the Khai family.
If you look to the south, you can see 2 islands from afar: small rocky Dok Mai (เกาะดอกไม้) & Mai Thon (เกาะไม้ท่อน) with its private beach.
Also from the boat you can see Phuket with its mountains. Looking closely you can see Big Buddha & Monkey Hill.
Another smaller island
Khai Nui island (เกาะไข่นุ้ย, Koh Khai Nui) is the most smallest island of the Khai trio.
It’s located just 600 meters northwest of Khai Nok island. You can even swim to it without a boat.
The island has no beach. There are just rocks, trees & sea.
The place there is mainly for snorkeling to admire fish. However, I didn’t see many fish as it was said.
The water is clear enough to see the fish with no mask on.
At a depth of 3 meters there are sea urchins. Be careful.
Traveling to the islands during this difficult period was special, because there were less tourists and mostly Thais.
Tours usually include several islands & have up to 20 people at a time. Each stop lasts about an hour & a half. And it may not be enough. You will spend time waiting for other tourists, while they take pictures & get on the boat to the next island.
If you plan a trip to Koh Khai Nok, better book a private boat for a half day & enjoy your time. It’s worth it.
Watch my video of Koh Khai Nok, recorded with DJI Mini.