Walking from Koh Chang to Koh Man Nai Island

Koh Mak Nai island is 400 metres from Koh Chang. During Low Season you can walk there.

In the High Season visitors staying in Kai Bae often paddle a kayak out to the island close to the southern tip of Kai Bae beach. The view of this island, taken from the roadside viewpoint is one of the most commonly seen on postcards and hotel booking sites.

It’s an easy paddle and the island has a nice little beach plus some great views north along the coast of Koh Chang towards Klong Prao and White Sand beach.  However, if you wanted to walk it you’d have to change your name to Jesus.

But in the Low Season, which is when we have the lowest tides of the year, it is sometimes possible for anyone, not only the son of God, to walk from Koh Chang to this island.   To do this safely requires a combination of good weather and a much lower than normal tide during the daytime.  This doesn’t occur very often.

It’s a simple walk but I’d advise wearing good sandals with hard soles.  As you can see from the photo above, and also in more pictures below, the first half of the walk is on sand.  But the remainder of the way is on dead coral, stones and a seabed littered with sharp shells.  These will hurt your feet if you’re in flip flops.   The deepest the water gets is around 50 – 60 cm.  But as it’s easy to lose your footing on rocks and you’ll sometimes have to tread carefully to avoid live coral and clams, it’s also worth keeping your camera in a dry bag – just in case you slip.   If you decide to walk along to the north of the island (i.e. on the right hand side of the photo above) then you’ll be walking on quite large granite stones which aren’t slippery but do move underfoot.

The people in the photos sitting in the water are Cambodian workers who are getting shellfish.  There must be lots of them as they were bringing sack after sack out of the sea.  Luckily they weren’t going after the large clams which are much rarer.  When the tides are this low it’s easy to see them just below the surface.

May 2020 update.  This year there were lots of sea urchins just off the south coast of the island.  That plus trying to avoid standing on living coral means that although it’s the shortest distance from, it’s not the best route to get to the island. Instead, from the end of the sandbar start walking towards the northern end of the beach (i.e. towards the right hand side of the island) There’s some dead coral but no sea urchins and it’s a longer but much easier walk to the the island. 

When is it possible?

To figure out when the tides are lowest just download this Tide Table for Laem Ngop.  (This tide table is actually for the mainland.  The timings on Koh Chang aren’t exactly the same but 15  -30  minutes won’t make much difference.)

You’re looking for a low tide of under 0.70 metres during the daytime.  And you’ll want to go within 30 minutes of that lowest tide.  So a quick look at the tide table shows that there are only windows during the low season.  In May, June and July. And only on a few days each month. Tides are much higher for most of the year meaning than anyone visiting in High Season won’t be able to do this walk – they’ll always have to paddle a canoe to get there.

May 2020 Photos:

Older Photos:



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Koh Chang Island Guide For Independent Travellers