Ko Yao Noi is a palm-fringed island marooned in the turquoise waters of Phang Nga Bay. It’s a stone’s throw from Phuket but feels worlds away from the buzzing beach resorts. Relax on footprint-free beaches, swim in the Andaman Sea and work up a sweat in a Muay Thai class.
Things to do in Ko Yao Noi
Set sail on a scenic boat ride around Phang Nga Bay. It’s a great chance to get up close with the enormous limestone karts that rise from the water, including the 40-metre-high James Bond Island. Some tours include kayaking excursions into hidden sea caves, grottoes and jewel-toned lagoons.
Find family-run shops, restaurants and tour operators in Koh Yao Noi Town. The pocket-sized town is a gateway to the island, with most people using it as a launchpad to beachside hotels and resorts. The food on Ko Yao Noi is excellent and ranges from traditional Thai curries and spicy green papaya salads to Western-style cuisine. Stay active with yoga classes and Muay Thai training.
It’s easy to find your own private stretch of beach on Koh Yao Noi. The island is ringed by gorgeous beaches framed by swaying palm trees. Some are completely deserted, and others feature beachside stalls where you can buy fresh coconuts.
The crystalline waters around Ko Yao Noi are perfect for snorkelling. Strap on a mask and watch colourful tropical fish and sea turtles cruise past. Charter a longtail boat to Koh Pak Bia to discover a wonderland of corals. Scuba schools run guided trips to popular Phang Nga Bay dive sites like the King Cruiser Wreck.
Getting around Ko Yao Noi
Motorbikes and scooters are a popular way to get around the island, which only has one main road. Bicycles are an eco-friendly option, or you can use “songthaew” local taxis. Speedboats travel between Ko Yao Noi and Phuket in 45 minutes.