Little Grey Box travel blogger Phoebe Lee discovers a quieter side to Thailand on a recent visit to Koh Yao Noi.
The tranquil island of Koh Yao Noi sits in between Phuket and Krabi, making it a true island escape. Sundrenched beaches, sparkling turquoise water make one heck of a backdrop for holidaymakers, paired perfectly with the island’s peaceful vibe. Here are 6 reasons to visit Koh Yao Noi.
It’s one of Thailand’s hidden gems
Koh Yao Noi is still under-the-radar! The island feels more spacious, owing to the fact there are no high-rises, packed bars, mega-resorts, busy shopping districts, traffic jams or crowds of any sort. Instead, Koh Yao Noi is laid-back and quiet, giving visitors a sense of peace and calm. As the local population is predominantly Muslim, there are only three bars on the island (don’t worry, you can still enjoy cocktails at your hotel!) which means it attracts a different kind of traveller as opposed to party hotspots like Phuket.
The locals are friendly and welcoming
Every single person we met was absolutely lovely and so welcoming. The hotel staff were genuinely lovely, making our stay that much more enjoyable and memorable. As we explored the island, we got the chance to meet a few local residents and each person was so open and willing to share their story, life and culture with us. There’s a distinct sense of community and honest living on Koh Yao Noi that puts you at ease, you feel like you can really relax and immerse yourself in local life.
There are lots of great things to do
Activities on Koh Yao Noi are all about relaxation but that doesn’t mean you’ll be bored! Explore the island by scooter, driving past rice paddies and farms, get your heart pumping with a rock-climbing adventure or take to the water for scuba diving, swimming and snorkelling. Join a Muay Thai boxing class or slow things down with yoga and meditation. Indulge at a day spa, join a Thai cooking class or simply relax by the pool.
You can go island hopping
Explore the many islands of Phang Nga Bay, just as we did. Even the boat ride out to the islands was incredible, sweeping along the coastline of Koh Yao Noi giving us a different perspective on just how beautiful it really is. We visited Kudu Island, jumping off the boat into turquoise waters to cool down then exploring with snorkelling gear before tucking into a picnic lunch on the beach.
The food is fantastic
From fantastic Khao Soi to mouth-watering Pad Thai and all kinds of tropical fruit, everything we ate was delicious. We even got to visit a local farm where visitors can try food they pick fresh themselves.
There’s a sense of adventure
With fewer travellers around Koh Yao Noi felt much more special, as though the island were somehow ours to enjoy. Whizzing about on scooters, meeting locals and exploring all the pockets of the island, I felt so happy and carefree. Not to mention, the island has a distinct sense of safety and calm to it, so you can let down your guard and immerse yourself in the world around you.
Read the full article on the Little Grey Box blog, which includes essential travel tips on how to get there, where to stay, even what to pack.