Whilst not on the usual “Instagram’ list of beautiful beaches and islands, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are two large islands off the coast of Phuket that attract thousands of visitors each year.
Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are a pair of tranquil islands located in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, located between Phuket and Krabi. Both islands are a great place to escape the crowds of Phuket and enjoy some peace and quiet. The islands offer a variety of activities such as kayaking, hiking, snorkelling and swimming.
Koh Yao Noi has a variety of amenities such as internet service, restaurants, and shops, however, it is important to note that cash is king here, so make sure to withdraw some before your trip. The islanders are keen on preserving their traditional way of life, so it is important to respect their culture by dressing modestly and refraining from drinking alcohol in public areas.
To get to the Koh Yao Islands, take a longtail boat or speedboat from Bang Rong Pier located on the east coast of Phuket near Ao Por Grand Marina. The pier is about 25 minutes away from the Phuket International Airport. The journey takes 30 minutes to an hour, and makes a short stop on Koh Yao Yai before crossing to Koh Yao Noi.
On Koh Yao Noi, you will find a peaceful island that has changed very little over time. The island is surrounded by natural beauty such as wooden houses, buffalos taking mud baths in rice paddies, shaded roads passing through rubber plantations, and mangroves. The island is easy to explore on foot, bike or scooter as a mostly paved concrete road circles the island. The beaches are located on the east coast, while the west coast is covered with miles of rice fields and mangroves.
There are a few restaurants and bars along the coastline, as well as a small village near the pier with local shops and government buildings such as a school, hospital, police station, and post office. Visitors can also rent motorbikes, tuk-tuks or sea kayaks to explore the island or even arrange day trips to Koh Hong on the Krabi coastline.