About Koh Yao
Both islands Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are just starting to invite tourism. Some nice resorts have been opened during the last three or four years. Koh Yao Noi is flat with a few hills at the northern tip and has nice beaches to relax and enjoy snorkeling on the east coast. The western coast is mangrove swamp with no beaches. At any place of the island the exciting landscape of the phangnga bay can be seen. Their is a village with shops and banks and a restaurant and concrete roads to cross and explore the island by bicyle or motorbike. If you like to eat outside the resorts, some simple roadside restaurants are available. We recommend the nicely located The good view restaurant on the southern coast with a nice view on Koh Yao Yai. The southern part of Koh Yao Noi is used for farming and especially buffalows can be seen on the grazings The 3500 very friendly inhabitants are muslim fishermen and farmers, who ask tourists to take care of their religious behaviours and rules.
Koh Yao slide show
Koh Yao Yai has a more exciting landscape with rocky coasts, but not the same quality of beaches and less possibilities for activities. A long but dirty beach is Koh Yao Yai beach in the middle of the western coast. Snorkeling and kayaking is possible around this island, which is inhabited by appr. 8000 Thai muslimes, working on fishing boats and rubber tree plantations. They are just starting to open up for tourism. Not much infrastructure is available, only four small resorts have recently opened. A concrete road leads through the island from north to south. Electricity is availbale, but not around the clock. From the northeast of Koh Yao Yai you have a fantastic view on the Phangnga bay with its hundreds of small islands and mighty rocks. Especially at sunrise on a clear morning its a must see. Koh Yao Yai is still a hideaway and silent island not far from Phuket.
How to get there
Its possible to reach both islands of Koh Yao from Phuket or Krabi in about two hours with the regular boat. If you rent a private speed boat, its very much faster and they can bring you directly to the resorts. The connection between Noi and Yai is by longtail boats. The transfer for 100 baht needs 15 minutes.
321flights.com: find your cheapest flight
Expressboats and speedboats are leaving the piers on Phuket and Talen pier on Krabi mainland (see map) as follows:
- Bang Rong pier on Phuket (north east): every hour at daytime to Manoh pier (Ko Yao Noi)
- Bang Rong pier on Phuket: noon 12.30 to Chong Laad pier (Yao Yai)
- Tien Sin pier on Phuket: daily 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. to Jark pier on Yao Yai
- Laem Hin pier on Phuket: daily 2 p.m. to Laem Yai pier on Yao Yai
- Talen pier in Krabi: daily every hour to Takhao pier or Manoh pier (Ko Yao Noi)
- Tha Darn pier in Phangnga: daily noon 12 a.m. to Yao Noi (Sukkhaphiban pier)
Nokair, Airasia and Thai Lionair offer daily flights to Krabi and Phuket from Bangkok Don Mueang.
Accommodation [links to r24.org]
On Koh Yao Yai are already eight resorts with restaurants, from simple to luxury. In 2012 Santhiya Resort & Spa and Koh Yao Yai Village Resort opened. On Koh Yao Noi along the beaches of the east coast are eleven resorts with nice and clean rooms. Definitely high quality of facilities, environment and service offer the Koh Yao Island Resort [Video] and the KoYao Bay Pavillons [Video]. Near to the Koh Yao Island Resort, the Evason Hideaway Resort is one of southern Thailands best and most expensive hotelresorts. On the northern tip of Koh Yao Noi the Paradise Resort [Video] is a very good choice, if you are looking for a real hideaway with a beautiful beach and a very nice resort and spa. In 2012 Niramaya Villa Resort opened on that same beach area.
book your Koh Yao accommodation with agoda* right here
Good for: Travelers looking for silence on an nearby island, just reaching the edge to becoming known. Also good as an alternativ or supplement to a Phuket vacation.
* we have commission agreements with agoda.com, booking.com and r24.org