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2017-05-03 06:00
 Photo: carolyn borchardA view over one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Koh Nang Yuan.

Photo: carolyn borchardA view over one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Koh Nang Yuan.

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KOH Nang Yuan is said to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Where, I hear you ask. Well, let’s backtrack.

It’s just off Koh Tao, which is a fairly remote island 72km north of Koh Samui Island in Thailand.

Koh Tao together with Koh Nang Yuan forms a small archipelago with a total area of just 19 square kilometres and is an easy 90 minute speed boat trip from Koh Samui. Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Koh Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles which reside on its shores.

Samui of course is the original Thai island, a short one hour flight from Bangkok or Phuket. Where once it drew backpackers and ‘ravers’ for its sensational beaches with cheap huts and full-moon parties, it has now grown up, smartened up, and boasts some of the best luxury beach resorts anywhere in the world.

But back to Koh Nang Yuan. Koh Nang Yuan is actually made up of three very small islands connected by a sand bar. Its stunning scenery has made it a popular feature in books and postcards. A walk to the hilltop viewpoint affords a breathtaking view, one which in fact, will remain etched in my memory for ever.

Pictures do not actually do this unsurpassed beauty the justice it deserves. With its crystal clear, azure water, this is understandably, home to some of the best snorkelling and diving in the world. Longfin Bannerfish, Coral Fish and Parrot Fish abound, the diving experience here is akin to snorkelling in a rainbow hued aquarium.

Impressive and heartening too, are the many eco programmes in operation and no plastic or cans whatsoever may be taken on to Nang Yuan, a big thumbs up to that.

The atmosphere on Nang Yuan is peaceful, unrushed, uncrowded and food for the soul. From snorkelling, swimming, lying on the powder white sand, relaxing on a swing or hammock, listening to the sound of the waves and the handmade coral wind chimes, it’s not difficult to imagine having died and gone to heaven. It is surreal in every way.



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