Take a break from the hustle and bustle of busy beaches on the unspoiled island of Ko Yao Noi

Collectively known by locals as Ko Yao, the twin islands of Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai are located at the confluence of Phuket, Phang Nga, and Krabi, making them very easy to get to from all those popular attractions. We’re now setting sail for Ko Yao Noi, the smaller of the two, an unspoiled island of diverse landscapes and fertile nature where you can rest and experience the culture of the locals and their continued efforts to preserve their heritage.

Although we have to delay our trip due to COVID-19 and the closure of many tourist attractions, you can save this programme for future reference when all these places are ready to open their doors once again.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • 1.Stop by the Tourist Service Centre, Ko Yao Noi Community-based Tourism Initiative.
  • 2.Have a coffee at Namm Natawn Café and Homestay.
  • 3.Make khanom krok -Thai coconut pancake – at The Rest Calm Ko Yao Noi restaurant and café.
  • 4.Enjoy seafood at Ta Ton Do restaurant. 5.Watch the sunset at Hat Pasai Beach.

Day 2

  • 6.Visit a fish and lobster farm.
  • 7.Embark on island-hopping around Ko Yao Noi – Ko Lading, Ko Pakbia, Laem Hat, and San Lang
  • 8.Mungkon sand dune. 9.Relax at Café Kantary

Day 1 Ko Yao Noi tourism community

You get around on Ko Yao Noi either by using a songthaeo service or renting a motorbike. Once you have transportation sorted out and before you make any plans, stop off at the tourist service centre which is run by the Ko Yao Noi tourism community.

The Ko Yao Noi Community-based Tourism Initiative has been presented with awards for its sustainable approaches to preserving the local environmental and cultural heritage by many organisations, both domestic and international, including the Thailand Tourism Awards by TAT.

You can buy a tour package and enquire about local homestays as well as other information at the centre. Ko Yao Noi tourism community has a tour package of 2 days and 1 night that features sightseeing, learning about batik fabric, visiting a lobster farm, and taking a boat ride to the nearby islands. The package costs 3,500 Baht/ person, including all meals.

The majority of Ko Yao Noi residents are Thai Muslims. If you visit the island during Ramadan, expect to savor special treats both sweet and savory that are only made during this period.

A homestay run by the community members is 700 baht /night/2 persons.

You can learn to make simple batik fabrics or buy souvenirs from members of the community.

Ko Yao Noi is home to more than 162 species of birds, and over 200 black hornbills. Both indigenous and migrating birds settle on this small island, a testament to the fertility of its forests.

Hornbills, a rare bird species, are found in abundance in Ko Yao Noi. Look for the wooden nest boxes made by villagers and you may see one.

Ko Yao Noi boasts more than 1.6 square kilometers of rice fields that are planted in August and harvested by the end of the year. The 400-500 water buffalos seen grazing in the fields are not part of the labor; they are kept for their manure.

Namm Natawn café and homestay

Standing in the middle of the rice field and surrounded by mountains, this café and homestay is a nice place to have a cup of coffee. The owner, in an attempt to preserve the rustic atmosphere of his property by avoiding electricity poles, opts to use solar cells to generate power. Taking part in the clean energy movement is always commendable!

The Rest Calm Ko Yao Noi

This small restaurant by the sea welcomes customers to both sit and stretch out. There are no tables and chairs; food is served on a small tray put on the floor. The menu includes local dishes and seafood. It’s just perfect if you want to take a nap after eating!

Have you ever wanted to try making khanom krok – Thai coconut pancake? If so, you’ll have another reason to be here. The restaurant has prepared everything for you to successfully make it – your only job is to pour the batter in the pan.

  • ✨ The Rest Calm Ko Yao Noi
  • 📍 Tambon Ko Yao Noi, Amphoe Ko Yao, Phang-nga
  • ⏰ Open daily from 10:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. (closed Wednesday and Thursday)
  • 📞 Tel. 08 1370 0633
  • 🌐 https://goo.gl/maps/L6vYXFYXQErJuQ7G7

Tha Ton Do Seafood

Tha Ton Do Seafood is highly recommended. And if you also enjoy the southern style of cooking that is spicy and tasty, it is a must visit. Their menu is well illustrated but you can always ask for more details or their recommendations. The restaurant is by the sea and the ingredients are top-notch. FYI: when Thai celebrities are in Ko Yao Noi, they usually frequent this restaurant.

Hat Pasai Beach

Although Hat Pasai is the best-known beach of Ko Yao Noi and also where you will find a cluster of small guest houses and restaurants, it is still very peaceful, rustic and quiet. You will enjoy a long stretch of sandy beach that is good for swimming and relaxing. Come to watch the sunset and take a stroll along the beach. Ko Yao Noi is not a party island; it is rather a place to come if you’re looking for respite from the chaos of daily life.

Day 2

Fish and Lobster Farm Visit

The people of Ko Yao Noi earn their living mostly from fishing and farming while tourism is a welcome supplemental income. Just 10 minutes by boat from the shore of Ko Yao Noi, you can visit the fish and lobster farm of Bang Nhid, a pioneer of this type of business in Ko Yao Noi, where the water is said to be especially suitable for the nurturing of lobsters. You can hire a boat to visit the farm from the piers at Pasai and Tha Khao beaches for 500 baht per trip.

Island hopping around Ko Yao Noi

Beaches on many islands around Ko Yao Noi make for an excellent excursion. A boat trip costs about 1,500-2,500 baht and you can ask for information at your accommodation or at the piers.

Ko Lading or Laolading

Ko Laolading is part of Than Bok Khorani National Park, which is located in Krabi. Coming from Ko Yao Noi of Phang-nga, you will find this tiny island at the border of the two provinces. Ko Laolading is also featured in a package trip for visitors from Krabi, so it could be very busy at certain times, especially in the high season. Travel off season and you may have the entire beach to yourself!

Ko Pakbia

Another popular island of the Than Bok Khorani National Park and in the island package from Krabi, Ko Pakbia is also a small island with beautiful beaches. You can walk across the sand dune during low tide.

Laem Hat Beach

A famous beach of Ko Yao Yai that you can also visit on a day trip from Ko Yao Noi, Laem Hat is distinctively pretty, especially when seen from above. Its iconic curved powder beach is stunning and was used as a location in the film, Mechanic Resurrection 2

San Lang Mungkon sand dune

Does this sand dune look like a dragon’s backbone to you? Well, that what locals think and why they have given it that name!The sand dune is about 30 minutes by boat ride from Ko Yao Noi and only appears during the low tide so time your arrival well if you want to walk on the 2-kilometer beach in the middle of the sea.

Café Kantary

This stylish café is a good place to relax following the boat hopping. Located in Cape Kudu Hotel, it serves many beverages and cakes.

The fare for a songthaew starts from 700-1,800 baht, depending on the destination and number of people.

You can choose to visit Ko Yao Noi from Phuket, Phang-nga or Krabi.

  • In Phuket, get the ferry at Bang Rong Pier, which leaves for Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi every hour. -Speed boat 300 baht/person (1 and a half hours) -Long tail boat 200 baht/person (2 hours)
  • In Krabi, get the ferry at Ban Ta Lane Pier (1 and half hours, 3 trips daily), fare 100 baht/person
  • In Phang-nga, get the boat at the Custom Pier (only 1 trip daily), fare 150 baht/person
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