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What to do in Kohyao  | Sightseeing on Koh Yao

Ko Yao Noi, or "Small Long Island", sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Found just a 30-minute speedboat trip away from Phuket, Yao Noi's tight-knit local Muslim community has led the island along a more low-impact, peaceful development path than its rowdy island neighbour.

Koh Yao When To Go
Best Time for Good Weather: December to March
Best Time for Diving: November to April
Best Time for Relax: April to November
Best Time for Sightseeing: December to March
Best Time for Honeymoon: December to April
Best Time for Saving Money: September and October

Ko Yao simply means 'Long Island,' which is kind of funny if you're familiar with the one in New York. Ko Yao Noi is 'Little Long Island,' which is where you'll find most of the accommodation and is the primary destination for most Backpackers Hostellers while they are enjoying their great deals on Family holidays vacation.

Rich in natural beauty, and as with Ko Yao Yai, Ko Yao Noi constitutes one of the last bastions of untouched wilderness in the region. There are some paved roads, a lot of them pretty rough, and many more are simply made of dirt. There's plenty of room to roam and explore in this area, and almost anywhere you choose to stay will be in a peaceful setting surrounded by nature.

The beach is no good on much of the coast at low tide -- too many rocks and mud flats -- but is largely swimmable at high tide, and a few beaches are good all day long. The Thais here are overwhelmingly Muslim, so alcohol, while available, is not ubiquitous. As with other Muslim areas in Thailand, nude sun-bathing and skimpy clothing are considered very offensive by locals.

None of the accommodation is walkable from the pier, so be sure to call ahead and they'll pick you up, usually for no charge. The centre of town is marked by a three-way intersection where you'll find the 7-eleven, which has a 24-hour ATM machine, and two internet places (dial-up only) which are open until about 21:00.

There aren't any road signs to be found, but the hospital is located on the same road as Amina Bungalows, quite a bit further down, on the road that leads to Pa Sai beach. The police station and the post office are near the centre of town, along the road that leads to Manok Pier, where you catch boats to Ko Yao Yai. Maps of the island are not readily available, but a lot of the guesthouses have some kind of map -- try stopping in and asking at Lemsai Village Guesthouse.

There are precious few restaurants here oriented towards tourists, so for the most part, it's local food or whatever's on the menu at the place you're staying in.

In the push to develop every inch of Thailand for the tourist industry, the Ko Yao islands represent something of a final frontier. Huge luxury developments are underway on both island, and this place won't remain a well-kept secret for long. Best to get here while the going is good.


Bangrong Pier

From Phuket

Bang Rong Pier
in Tambon Pha Khiok, Thalang District, (from the Heroines Monument to the tenth kilometer)
There are boats going to:

  • Manoh Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour, leaving Bang Rong Pier at 11.00, 12.30,14.30,17.00 hrs.
  • Chong Laad and Khiong Hia Piers on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour, leaving Bang Rong Pier at 12.30 hrs.

Laem Hin Pier
 in Tambon Koh Kaew, Muang District, Phuket.
There are boats going to:

  • Laem Yai Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour 20 minutes , leaving Laem Hin Pier at 2 p.m.

Tien Sin Pier
on the way to Koh Sirey in Phuket Town, there are boats going to:

  • Loh Jaak Pier on Koh Yao Yai, The trip takes an hour, leaving Tien Sin Pier at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Rassadana Port
in Tambon Rassada, Phuket Town, there are boats going to:

  • Loh Jaak Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes an hour and costs 50 baht. On Sunday-Thursday the boats leave at 2 p.m. On Saturday the boats leave at 6 a.m.

From Phang-nga

Customs Pier in Tambon Koh Panyee to Sukkhaphiban Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour 30 minutes, leaving the Customs Pier at 12.00 a.m. except Sunday.

From Krabi

Thalane Pier in Ao Luek District, there are boats going to:
- Baan Tha Khao Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour, leaving Laem Sak Pier at noon.
- Chong Laad Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour , leaving at noon.


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