Ko Ngai (Hai) – quiet island bliss

Nov 3, 2012 by

Imagine a place with only a few upmarket resorts, electricity during nighttime only and a huge stretch of white sandy beach dropping off to aqua green sea and light breeze through the fine, wind swept trees.

When we hopped off the longtail boat (the only people getting off at this island after the 1hr 30 min trip), we clambered up the beach to the ‘only’ cheap place on the whole island (Koh Ngai Camping). Which was closed. Bugger.

Thankfully it was closed, as we might have taken one of their little tents without checking out the other resorts first.

We walked up the beach (leaving bags behind — the place is so empty in low season I can’t imagine anyone would come across them anyway) and tried our luck at all the resorts, and there are some amazing looking places!!

We finally stumbled into the Ngai Seafood Resort, and were relieved to find their off season prices still in effect and took a bungalow at 600b/night(fan). A bit beyond our budget, but sill well below the other resorts charging 1500b upwards — the only other cheapest place was next door at 850b/night, Koh Ngai Resort, which was the very first one on the island.

The place seems to be run by a group of roundish ladies from 18 to 50ish, who are there morning noon and night. All very lovely and friendly, and as I have discovered with all groups of Thai ladies, incredibly giggly at every opportunity. Especially when playing volleyball!

We heard the shrieks of laughter as we walked along the beach returning from our exploration of the nearby resorts. We arrived to find aroun 10 ladies attempting to hit he ball over the net over their fits I giggles.

We sat at our balcony and watched for a while, before I tentatively went over to see if I could join in. They welcomed me in when I said I didn’t really know how to play, as they said they didn’t either and were just learning.

For the next hour and a half I didn’t have much a clue what thy were saying, kwap seems to new the word to say when whacking the ball, Ow seems to refer to anyone nearby and whoop whoop wahey (followed by swinging of the knees) seems to happen randomly when someone ‘scores’. Later the owner told me that this is to ‘charge up the team with good luck’. I tried to join in with this manoeuvre, but looked a bit silly, but as it got even more peals of laughter, I carried on joining in and had a great time. We played again in much the same way and win similar positions on the next two afternoons just before sunset.

Or our first full day on the island we hired a Kayak, and paddled off around the island in search of coral to snorkel in, we moored up to a buoy and hopped into the water, a little bit of coral and some lovely fish around, but we didn’t really see a huge amount. Hopping back into the unstable kayak was a little more challenging than back in Phi Phi, and after Laura pulled herself on, it was my turn. Beached whale style, I pulled myself up, and then on, then over, and then the kayak tipped up and everything came off!!! Luckily most of it was floaty or strapped on. For the ext 20 minutes, I dick dives down and managed to retrieve my hat, sunglasses, mask and snorkel… We strapped everything on properly this time and managed to get on properly!

We found ourselves a little secluded beach to stop in and relax for a cut, before heading off for the next bay (with a resort on, but it was closed). We spotted a tour boat moored up on a buoy in the bay, ejecting snorkellers, so we went to find out what the fun was a about. By the time we go there the boat had moved on, and we were left with the place to ourselves again. We moored up to the buoy and went for a little snorkel. It was so peaceful and secluded, we even managed to see a couple of lesser spotted full moon fish 😉

We booked into the only dive centre on the island to do a dive on a nearby island where they promised turtles and leopard sharks. The dive centre had only opened for the season the day before and this was the fest I’ve with clients so far, so I was excited to perhaps see things that had. It been scared off by divers yet. The dive centre was run by a German chap who had mostly German staff, and I practiced my German a little (well actually I just said Danke Schoen a few times).

The dive was nice but the visibility quite poor, the longe range of the tides (full moon) seemed to have whipped up the sand a bit, however before we even left the beach on the boat we saw a massive Kobai fish, which looks a lot like a shark, we saw another smaller one when we dived also. I was up front of the dive ‘pack’ with the owner so had a really nice, un-interrupted view of everything before us lumbering oafs scared it all off.

The evenings in Ko Nghai have been quiet but very pleasant, it’s a beautiful place and well worth a stay, a great stop for a few nights, perfect for a bit of peace and quiet, if you can afford it!

We are on the speedboat (1600/b each!!! the only travel option available to us) to Ko Lipe now, where we hope to find a bit more liveliness, perhaps we will do some partying now. Oh, and Internet would be nice too. We have been blissfully offline for the best part of 4 days now 🙂

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