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Koh Yao Yai, Phuket Overview

Located near Phuket, quiet and pristine island of Koh Yao Yai is one of the best places in Thailand for a laid-back, leisurely holiday. Almost untouched by the development happening all around it, Koh Yao almost seems like a parallel universe in itself. It gives a glimpse of local culture and tradition and lets you experience nature like nowhere else - through its scenic landscapes of quiet beaches, rubber plantations and rice fields.

Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi are a pair of large islands in the centre of Phang Nga Bay, that sits halfway from Phuket and Krabi. For all the water babies, Koh Yao Yai is probably the island you have been dreaming of all along. For all the adventure enthusiasts there are lot many activities you could engage in while like kayaking, snorkelling, hiking, fishing and swimming. A trip to Koh Yao Yai Island is the closest experience of visiting the real Thailand you can get.

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Things to Do at Koh Yao Yai

Explore Koh Yao Yai on a motorbike
When on such a magnificent island there is nothing better than exploring every nook and corner of the place. And what better than a motorbike to explore it on. Rent a bike and go wandering around the whole island for hours on a stretch. You can interact with the locals, try new delicacies alongside getting to know more about the heavenly place.

Dive into the divine waters
The turquoise blue waters will lure you towards them on the island of Koh Yao Yai. There is nothing more enchanting than taking a deep dive into the aqua blue waters of the Andaman Sea. In case you are a water person and exploring the ocean is amongst one of your bucket list activities then you might want to try the Elixir Diving Package. With this package, you could explore the seabed and encounter various sea creatures. The prices of the Elixir Diving Package varies depending on the level, of course, you take up. 

Koh Yao Yai

Go island hopping
The best part about Koh Yao Yai is its fantastic location. With Phang Nga Bay in its vicinity. You could check out many such fabulous islands surrounding Koh Yao Yai. Ko Panyi the floating village is an extraordinary location that will leave you stunned.

Kayaking in the mangrove forest
There’s nothing more fun than getting to experience kayaking in a mangrove forest. And having said that Koh Yao Yai is the home to many large and beautiful mangrove forests in the whole of Thailand. You are sure to have a fun kayaking afternoon when on Koh Yao Yai. Just don’t forget to carry some drinking water and a hat along with you to beat the heat.

Koh Yao Yai

Places to Visit

Koh Yao Noi
When at Koh Yao Yai, you must surely visit its sister island located up in the north. Since the island is tiny, you can explore the whole place in a day. When visiting Koh Yao Noi, you shouldn’t miss going to Ao Kian also known as the Big Tree. The island also offers many attractions including a few unknown trails, mudflats and many panoramic viewpoints. Since it’s a small and isolated island you will not find many tourists here, so make sure while interacting towards the locals you aren’t disrespectful.

Koh Yao Yai Village
This scenic village located in the heart of Koh Yao Yai island is definitely worth a visit. You could attend the local market that is set up in the village every evening. The market is famous for it’s traditionally crafted Thai jewellery and other local products. You could also try many Thai delicacies and local restaurants while visiting the village.

Koh Nok
This is the perfect place for people looking forward to an hour or two long trip surrounding the island of Koh Yao Yai. For all the hiking enthusiasts, the hill on the island is a great hiking point with a sweeping view of the pure and clean sea. You will have an amazing snorkelling experience here since the sea level is shallow and the water is very clean with a wide range of aquatic life.

Koh Nok
Koh Nok

Koh Yao Yai Weather

The two main seasons in Koh Yao Yai are the wet and the dry seasons. The wet season starts in May and ends in October. The dry season prevails between November to April and is an ideal time to visit the island. Visiting Koh Yao Yai from December to February is the best time. The breeze is cooler, and the sun is not too harsh on the skin. You can laze around on the beach all day long and cool off the heat in the evening by the shore. This climate is ideal for spending time on the island.

During the dry season, the weather is pleasant, and one can have leisure time on beaches. The skies are clear, and winds are cooler. The sea is also very calm. This is a great holiday period. During the rainy season, the temperatures might comparatively rise, but the skies are always cloudy. The water levels rise in the ocean, and the region faces constant high tides. Diving, snorkelling and kayaking in this weather are next to impossible.

Hotels and Accommodation on Koh Yao Yai

In recent years, Koh Yao Yai has rapidly developed, so things in and around the area are changing at a great pace. There are plenty of accommodation options that have developed in recent times. In case you are looking for a luxury stay and want to spoil yourself on this island trip then Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort and Spa is the place you are looking for. This resort is all ready to pamper you throughout your stay there.

In case you are looking forward to experiencing the simplicity of life on the island, then you might want to try living in one of the Koh Yao Yai bungalows. There are great accommodation options in Thiw Son which is a comparatively quieter region. The bungalows might not be fancy with many of the modern day amenities but are clean and comfortable with all the basic facilities. You can loll in your lounge chair all day long in the tranquil environment. The view from the bungalows is all you will be looking forward to after a tiring day of Kayaking or hiking. Koh Yao Yai has incredible places where one could have a fabulous stay, you just need to look for your ideal one.

What to Eat and Restaurants

Koh Yao Yai
Sit and sip coconut water by the beach at Koh Yao Yai

The best part about your holiday at Koh Yao Yai would possibly be sitting on the white sandy beach sipping your favourite drink and eating the most scrumptious Thai dishes. The amount of scenic beauty you will come across while you go on an evening stroll looking for exotic places to eat at will leave you in awe of the glorious island.

Krachang Bar and Grill is one such place located on the beach with an open-air deck to dine on. It has the most romantic and tranquil atmosphere you will get to experience on Koh Yao Yai island overlooking the picturesque landscape of Phang Nga Bay. This place has a prodigious menu with a variety of Thai dishes to choose from. It serves the best seafood and gourmet meals in the whole area along with a wide range of drinks. If you are looking for a place with both Thai and Western cuisines, then you are sure to love the Kayee Restaurant. It offers plenty of options like burgers, pad Thai i.e Thai style fried noodles, pasta, Khao pad, etc. Most importantly do not miss their desserts.

How to Reach Koh Yao Yai

Phuket has an international airport and you can get frequent flights to and fro. Once out of the airport, you can take a cab to the Bang Rong Pier on the east coast of Phuket. From here, there are frequent ferries that will take you to Koh Yao Yai Island. The estimated price of this trip one hour journey is THB 50. Another common destination to travel to Koh Yao Yai is the island of Krabi. It has all the facilities as Phuket. If you are in the region of Phang Nga Bay, then take a short speedboat ride to the island.


1. While planning a trip to Koh Yao Yai, you must make sure you make your living arrangements well in advance because there is a chance that you might not find any accommodation facilities during the peak period.
2. While taking an island tour carry enough water supply, fresh towels and hats and shades to protect yourself from the sun’s scorching heat. Also, be sure you apply sunscreen every few hours to save yourself from any kind of burns.
3. In case you are planning to stay in a bungalow then be careful of any kind of insects and to protect yourself carry mosquito nets.
4. If you are prone to sunstrokes, then be sure to stay hydrated throughout your trip on Koh Yao Yai.

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