Those gorgeous serene beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets.
Phang Nga Bay | Photo Courtesy of Pear Blossom via Wikimedia Commons
I had been with my boyfriend for over three years, but we’d never taken a vacation together! I know, it sounds crazy, but between my school and his work, it seemed like there’d never be a time when our schedules were both free for a few days. Sometimes I’d look at photos of beautiful vacation destinations while he was at work. Of all the places I viewed, the one that stuck with me the most was Koh Yao Noi, Thailand. Those gorgeous serene beaches and jaw-dropping sunsets simply took my breath away. I longed to soak up that warm sun and explore the island with my love. When my boyfriend announced that he had been approved to take a few days off work, I immediately knew where we were going: Koh Yao Noi.
Getting to Koh Yao Noi
Resting on the beaches of Koh Yao Noi, you’d think you were a million miles away from everything. In fact, Koh Yao Noi is surprisingly accessible for such an island paradise. The island, whose name means “Small Long Island“, can be reached via speedboat from Phuket or Krabi in just 30 minutes! For a different experience, travelers can also charter a longboat to take them from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi.
Things to Do in Koh Yao Noi
Little people was smiling to us | Photo Courtesy of Riya
Travelers in search of bustling cities, amusement parks and big events won’t find them on Koh Yao Noi, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do on this small island. Lovers of natural beauty and those with independent spirits will find much to adore here.
Koh Yao Noi’s main beaches are located along the east coast. Enticing golden sands beckon sunbathers to their dunes, where the sun is said to warm your soul. More adventurous travelers can venture into the waters of the bay for diving and snorkeling – the marine life here is spectacular.
Relax by the beach | Photo Courtesy of Riya
Other popular activities include renting a sea kayak and paddling around the bay, taking a lesson at the island’s Muay Thai Boxing center and touring the island on a rented motorbike or bicycle to get a glimpse at the life of the locals.
The Best Time to Visit Koh Yao Noi
The best time to visit the tropical island of Koh Yao Noi is during the dry season, which occurs between November and April. During this time, rainy days give way to warm sun and allow for all of the island’s outdoor activities to go smoothly.
Sunset in Koh Yao Noi | Photo Courtesy of Vyacheslav Argenberg via Flickr
During monsoon season, which runs from May to October, rain can fall at any time, though the island’s position means it generally gets less rain than other islands. Visitors to Koh Yao Noi during monsoon season would be well advised to bring books or games with them in case they get rained in during their stay.
Transportation and Facilities in Koh Yao Noi
The best way to get around Koh Yao Noi independently is by motorcycle or bicycle. These are readily available for rent at most resorts and at businesses around the island. The island is mostly flat and easy to traverse on two wheels. Those who do not wish to rent a vehicle can flag down a tuk-tuk or hitch a ride with one of the locals, who are usually happy to give visitors a lift.
There are no banks and only a few ATMs on the island, so try to arrive with the money you’ll need in cash. Other than a 7-11, there are no franchise shops on Koh Yao Noi – all other businesses are locally owned. A small hospital is located near Saphan Yao Pier.
Accommodation in Koh Yao Noi
Beachfront villa facing Phang Nga bay | Photo Courtesy of Coastal Escape
For travelers looking for the modern accommodations, Coastal Escape is possibly the most luxurious holiday resort Koh Yao Noi has to offer. Contemporary villas offer unparalleled water views, smart TVs, free WiFi, poolside dining and free use of kayaks and bicycles. Coastal Escape is a good option for those who appreciate high-end amenities.
A more budget-friendly option is Lom’Lae Beach Resort. One of the island’s first resorts, Lom’Lae houses guests in private bungalows, some with beachfront entry. The rental price includes breakfast and WiFi. The resort also offers rock climbing, massage, motorbike rental and boat tours. The rustic vibe will appeal to those who want a taste of local life without sacrificing modern amenities such as mini-fridges and private hot showers.
Relaxing on the deck | Photo Courtesy of Madeleine Deaton via Flickr
Those looking for the best value would do well to check out the Pasai Beach Lodge. Located just across the road from Pasai Beach, the Lodge offers private bungalows with either fans or air conditioners depending on price. Each room has a TV, a fridge and WiFi. Quirky decor adds to the charm of the Lodge, which is centrally located for easy access to restaurants and shops.
No globetrotter’s bucket list is complete without a visit to Koh Yao Noi. Pristine beaches and untouched natural beauty are the main draws, but friendly locals, interesting shops and exciting outdoor activities are also great reasons to visit. Easily accessible and with plenty of comfortable accommodations, Koh Yao Noi is certainly one of Thailand’s hidden treasures, perfect for romance, relaxation and a fun vacation you’ll never forget.
What’s your favorite island in Thailand? Share with us in the comments.