Khai Nok Islands, Phuket
For those of you who want a more personalized touch a private speed boat charter is available. This is ideal for groups of friends and family who want a more intimate Khai Island tour.
Koh Khai Nok is a small island tucked away in Phang Nga Bay. It’s only 30 minutes or so away from the east coast of Phuket but ask anyone on the island if they’ve been there and you will probably draw a blank stare.
Still, a hidden gem is sometimes all the more precious for being so and when we discovered a half day tour was going there we leapt at the opportunity to try it out.
Off we pile onto Koh Khai Nok, a small triangular island about the size of a large football pitch comprising a rocky headland and a snow-white beach. One special characteristic of Koh Khai Nok is that it has at least twelve types of exotic tropical fish and they aren’t afraid of humans. As a result a lot of people are swimming through them with people taking photos of them.
Loaves of bread are handed out to feed the shoals and there’s a colorful feeding frenzy every time a piece of bread is thrown in. Many more swim out to a retaining floating rope where the serious coral starts and some even swim further up the island’s south coast, marveling at the sub-aquatic life.
Still, there are three types of people in this world: Those who don mask, snorkel and fins and get in with the fish and coral; those who head for the free sandwiches and soft drinks, rest a bit then get in with the fishiest, and finally those who wrap a sarong around their head, clamber into a deck chair under the shade of a parasol and take in the colorful surroundings. Because of the photo opportunities there are more cameras on Koh Khai Nok than on Oscar night. There are people taking photos of people taking photos. It’s a classic poise that takes in you, the beautiful turquoise water stretching out behind, with tropical fish swimming through your legs.