Koh Yao Guide: What to See and Do in Koh Yao, Thailand

Dreaming of traveling to Koh Yao? We explain what to see and what to do in Koh Yao so that you know the essentials of these Thai islands. Get ready to relax on its beaches and have fun surrounded by nature! And if you are looking for a more general overview of Thai beaches, do not miss our article Beaches in Thailand: the definitive guide.

What to see in Ko Yao

Koh Yao is made up of two islands: Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. These islands are located near Koh Phang Na Bay and are equidistant between Krabi and Phuket. If you are looking for a quiet beach destination , the Koh Yao (Noi and Yai) islands may be the place to be. Below we explain the best of the two islands so that you can prepare your trip perfectly.

Koh Yao Noi Island

The most developed island

Koh Yao Noi Island is the smallest island of Koh Yao. Even so, it is the most developed island . Koh Yao Noi has received several accolades , including one from National Geographic Traveler for its sustainable accommodations. So spending a night on the island can be a beautiful experience! In the eastern part of the island is where the beaches are located. Koh Yao Noi has several pristine beaches that are worth visiting. The most recommended beaches are Koh Yao Beach, Pasai Beach and Klong Jark Beach.

Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi

In the western part of Koh Yao Noi you can take a walk to enter its rice fields. It is an ideal visit for nature lovers. Within the island you can also visit a town, Nawik , to discover the daily life of its inhabitants and get to know the most authentic part of local life.

Koh Yao Yai Island
Koh Yao Yai Island

Koh Yao Yai Island

Koh Yao’s largest island

Koh Yao Yai is the largest island on Koh Yao. It is the least developed island and will allow you to enjoy silence, peace and its beautiful beaches. The most recommended is to tour the island by car or motorcycle to enjoy its incredible virgin beaches.

Things to do in Ko Yao

Taste a traditional dish

On the Koh Yao islands, and especially on its smaller island, Koh Yao Nai, we recommend you try the local cuisine. The fish and seafood dishes stand out, the star product . They are very fresh and quality products, which you can find at a reasonable price. Some of the restaurants are near the beach and have spectacular views of the sea , with wooden terraces in the purest Thai style. On the island you will find, above all, Thai cuisine, although if you fancy Western food there are also some restaurants with European-style dishes.

Stroll through Hua Lam Haad

Hua Lam Haad is a strip of sand on the beach that is only visible – and can only be walked along – when the tide is out. It is in Koh Yao Noi and you can get to it from the Laemsai town, although you must be very well informed about the hours of low tide to be able to see it. Walking through it will give you the feeling of walking through sea water. A unique sensation with a privileged environment.

Practice sports in the middle of nature

Are you a sports lover? On the Koh Yao islands you can enjoy many sports, both water and mountain. For those who enjoy the sea and its biodiversity, we recommend snorkeling, swimming or kayaking . In the case of snorkeling, it is best to ask for advice about the best areas in your hotel or resort, where they will inform you of the places with the best visibility. If, on the other hand, you opt for the mountains, climbing or trekking may be the best choice. On Koh Yao Noi, the most developed island, you will find several companies that will rent you the necessary equipment so that you can practice these sports without problems.

Take a motorcycle route on the road

The landscapes of Koh Yao Noi are very worthwhile, so there is nothing better than discovering them at your own pace on a motorcycle road trip. During the route you will be able to enter the island and discover the natural corners that it hides. The roads are usually little traveled and paved , which will allow you to discover the island quietly. Renting a motorcycle for a day costs about 200 baht (approximately €5). If you prefer, you can also rent bikes to discover Koh Yao Noi at your own pace.

Route on the road
Route on the road

Rent a kayak

Do you want to discover Koh Yai (Noi and Yai) on your own and from another perspective? A very good option is to rent a kayak with which you can easily move around these beautiful and calm islands. You will be able to see the typical rock formations of the area, in addition to seeing and bathing in its calm waters. A highly recommended activity for lovers of nature and/or sports.

How to get to Koh Yao (Noi and Yai)

To go to Koh Yao (Noi and Yai) you can do it from Krabi or from Phuket.

  • From Krabi: If you are in the downtown area of Krabi we recommend taking a minibus ( songthaew ) that will take you to Thalen Pier, from where you will go by boat to Koh Yao. The boat will drop you off at Thanhao Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The boat leaves every hour and costs approximately 150 baht.
  • From Phuket : You must take a boat from Phuket, specifically from the port area of Bang Rong Pier. The boat arrives at Manoh Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The price of the journey is 200 baht. There is also the option of taking a ferry from Chiarawanit Pier (Phuket) to Koh Yao Yai.

Now that you know what to do in Koh Yao (Noi and Yai), would you like to discover the Koh Yao islands? Take a look at our Thailand itineraries that include a few days at the beach:

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