This, the northern-most of Trang’s famed island trilogy, is sometimes called Koh Hai, an adaption hotel operators have come up with in response to some foreigners’ inability to pronounce the Ng sound in the real name. Koh Ngai is home to 9 beach resorts, cottages and bungalows, the most on these three islands.

The island has no roads or habitation other than the hotels, all strung along the island’s single, long sandy beach facing the protected East. The beach is a classic stretch of fine coral sand, shaded by coconut palms, with crystal clear water perfect for swimming. There is a coral reef offshore that gives good snorkelling, and most resorts here arrange diving trips by boat.

The island is accessed by boat from the small port of Pak Meng. Resorts generally take care of transport from the airport or mainland jetty for pre-booked visitors, but one can also rent a longtail boat and head out to the islands independently.

Koh Hai Fantasy is one of the most up-market resorts here, with hillside, sea view villas, a full service spa, dive centre and spacious coconut gardens. 3-star Mayalay Beach Resort has comfortable, bamboo beach cottages in tropical design. Again, it has full spa treatments, and a massage pavilion right on the beach.

Thapwarin Resort, at the northern end of the beach, offers simple but comfortable air con beach bungalows. The oldest and largest beach accommodation here is Koh Ngai Resort, sitting on a private beach at the South end. It has its own jetty, and focuses largely on the Thai market, offering a conference room and family suites.

by John Everingham