Let’s start with its name first, if your readers don’t want to go along with it about how the name Koh Nang Yuan was given, just skip to the next paragraph.
People tried to determine why the island has the name ‘’Koh Nang Y(ญ)uan’’, (Koh = island).
The legend said, that a small group of fishermen once visited the island, when they looked at the 2 Sub-islands of Koh Nang Yuan, they imagined that it looked like a woman’s breasts.
And the Thai word for ‘’breast’’ is ‘’Nom’’. The name of the island would have been Koh Nom or Breasts Island.
It is understandable until now. But the fishermen added the word ‘’ Y(ญ)uan ‘’ after ‘’Nom’’ and no one can explain why they added the word.
So that time, the fishermen called the island ‘’ Koh Nom Y(ญ)uan’’. Since then, the fishermen called this name ‘’ Koh Nom Y(ญ)uan’’.
Time went by, and the name was changed to ‘’Koh Nang Y(ญ)uan’’ Why was Nom be changed to Nang, still no official explanation,
in my personal assumption, it is just because Nom = breasts sounds quite unpolite and was changed to Nang which still relates to lady or woman
and sounds officially polite and both words sound almost homophone. Now we are almost done.
Afterward, the locals noticed the tourist potentiality of the island. They changed the name again from ‘’Koh Nang Y(ญ)uan’’ to ‘’Koh Nang Y(ย)uan.
The difference between these old and new names is just Y(ญ)uan and Y(ย)uan. In Thai, Y(ย)uan means allure.
Since Nang = Lady and Y(ย)uan = allure. Then the whole name of the ‘’Koh Nang Y(ย)uan’’ means an alluring lady (island) that attracts people from all regions to visit.
In my personal thought, the second story should be real. It has more obvious physical pieces of evidence like 2 Sub-island of Koh Nang Yaun that look like the woman’s breasts.
Since it relates to the main figure of the island, is it important enough to influent the name of itself?
I know that these complicated stories might make you as foreigners get headaches, but one thing I just want to tell you is that even a Native Thai cannot easily understand these complicated stories.
Even so, the fishermen from other regions called this island ‘’Koh Hang Tao’’ (Turtle Tail Island) because it is located behind Ko Tao (Turtle Island).
But the people in Koh Pha-Ngan still called it Koh Nang Yuan unlike people from other regions did.
Because when Ko Tao was viewed from Koh Pha-Ngan, the turtle’s head is where the Sai Ri beach is.
Near the Sai Ri beach, there is Koh Nang Yuan, so with the view from Koh Pha-Ngan, Koh Nang Yuan is located at the head of Koh Tao.
But why they didn’t call it Turtlehead Island, I really don’t know.
Nowadays, Koh Nang Yuan is used to be an iconic vacation in Samui region. Because of it super clear water surrounds by and the white sand banks that people can walk on to reach each island.
I suggest you not to miss visiting this island when you visit Samui. Here is the full version of Koh Nang Yaun exploring # Personal Experience from Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan speed boat trip, December 2022.