The number of islands in Thailand is almost infinite and visiting all of them could be somewhat like a lifetime mission. Although I’ve been there 8 times now, by far I haven’t seen all of them – which is great – because it gives me the possibility to see a different island every time. I especially love the Andaman coast due to its dramatic limestone formations and – in my opinion – the clearer water and the whiter sand (don’t get me wrong, the gulf side is great too!). So this time we opted for Koh Yao Yai, one of the islands of the Koh Yao archipelago (the other one is Koh Yao Noi) in the bay of Phang Nga. And despite being located between the main tourist hot spots of Phuket and Krabi, this island remained an originality and calmness which is rarely found today. Infrastructure and tourism development are very basic, the Muslim population is mainly living of agriculture and fishing. Some exclusive resorts have found their way there, but luckily the beaches are still wonderfully empty and the countryside consists of a mix of rubber plantations, jungle and grasslands, therefore it’s very lush and green. The Koh Yao islands have established themselves as eco-tourism destinations and have been rewarded for that quite a few times now.
A simple road runs through the island and traffic is light – ideal conditions for touring with a scooter!
A typical island gas station.
One of the quiet beaches. Although it was high season we almost entirely had it for ourselves.
Honestly – fresh, young coconut water is one of the best things on the planet!
I was still suffering the after-effects of my food poisoning in Phuket, so I went for light food only: A delicious mushroom glass noodle salad!
Rubber trees are everywhere!
Regarding our stay, we found a real gem! Esmeralda View Resort is a lovely family-run resort located on a hill and offering a breathtaking ocean view. The heart of the property definitely was their amazing terrace overlooking the Bay of Phang Nga. Is there any better place to enjoy your breakfast or dinner?
The bungalows were really well equipped and taken care of. There’s an open air shower and a big veranda. I can’t recommend this place enough and I’m telling you this as a normal paying customer 😉
From Bang Rong pier in Phuket it’s just a short boat ride away. There are plenty of boats several times a day. Further travel to Krabi and also Koh Phi Phi is possible. If you’re looking for a peaceful, close-to-nature island experience – this might be something for you? What do you think?