Ko Yao Islands
Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai are a pair of islands in Phang Nga Bay, equidistant to Phuket and the Krabi mainland. Even with some big and small resorts, the islands remain a quiet refuge suitable for visitors looking to escape from the bustling Phuket. In 2002, Ko Yao Noi gained worldwide attention after receiving the World Legacy Award for Destination Stewardship from Conservation International and National Geographic Traveller magazine for the eco-friendly homestay programs offered by its local residents. Other activities available on the island include agricultural demonstrations (rubber and fishing), kayaking, hiking, snorkelling and swimming.
Note that the islanders are mostly Muslim, so it’s recommended to respect the local culture by dressing modestly and refraining from drinking alcohol outside the restaurants or resorts.
Getting to Ko Yao Islands can be done via a long tail boat, a speedboat or a public ferry. From Phuket airport, a taxi to the pier will take 25 minutes. The public boat will make a short stop on Ko Yao Yai, then cross to Ko Yao Noi, which is less than 10 minutes away.