Best Things to Do in Koh Yao Yai Islands, Thailand

Best Things to Do in Koh Yao Yai Islands

Isn’t this Thai Island, breathtaking? It is ‘peace’ written all over it. Koh Yao Yai Islands is a chain of three islands and is located in the Andaman Sea. This means, the islands are on the west coast of Thailand.

Here is an iconic picture of Phang Nga Bay.

Phang Nga Bay

Koh Yao Yai island chain is floating off the shores of Phang Nga Bay. Incidentally, Phang Nga is the name of a province of southern Thailand, abutting the Andaman Sea.

The more popular Phuket province is further south of Phang Nga province.

Please be aware that the island of Phuket is connected with the Phang Nga province in Thai mainland by a road bridge called, ‘Sarasin’.

It measures only 660 meters so that you can just walk into an island from the mainland without wetting your feet!

All the three of them are located below each other.

Did you notice a small gap between the Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi? It is a ‘sound’ that floats between them. “Sound” is a unique geography that is rare.


The ‘sound’s’ width is so narrow that you can reach from Koh Yao Yai to Koh Yao Noi in only 5 minutes by a ferry.

There is more to it, buddy. There is a weird legendary story behind the creation of the ‘sound’. Two huge sea serpents fought with each other. That battle divided the two Koh Yao Islands.

Let us see the means of getting to Koh Yao Yai.

Phuket Island is your gateway to Koh Yao Islands. You can get on board a ferry from Bang Rong Pier. In about 4 hours, you can embark on the Koh Yao Noi Island.

Though the distance is just about 25 km, inexplicably, the voyage takes 4 hours. There must be a mistake in the information.

I reckon, only 15 to 20 minutes is enough to cover the 25 km distance on the Andaman Sea.

Alternatively, Koh Yao Noi can be reached from Krabi (mainland Thailand) by a speed boat. The voyage involves just half an hour of sea crossing.

Are there hotels on Koh Yao Yai Islands?

Yes, of course! Better hotels are on Koh Yao Noi Island. However, sice Phuket or Krabi are just 20 to 30 minutes away, one can contemplate a day drip to avoid lugging your suitcases or backpacks from either Krabi, or Phuket.

Nonetheless, I am sure the hotels’ prices would be cheaper on these three small islands.

What can you eat on the island?

  • Seafood naturally is the staple. If you are averse to the smell of fish, you can find beef in a few restaurants or in street food stalls.
  • Try fresh smoothies while touring the Koh Yao islands chain. The tropical veggies, and fruits are delicious.
  • Rice is eaten widely in the form of fried, and tossed rice with grilled crabs to bite.

What a combination!

  • If you are from a western country and miss the Kentucky fried chicken, you can find alternative grilled chicken. Maybe a tropical chicken that grew up eating morsels of fish, and crab, tastes better!
  • Just after a swim, you will feel like filling up your stomach with something starchy. Buy some fried bananas on the roadside.

I saw few images of fried bananas. They looked more liked fritters (bajji in India).

  • For exotic dessert lovers, there is the sweet ‘coconut tart’, mate!
  • Some street food stalls serve the Japanese special, ‘SuShi’.

Best Things to Do in Koh Yao Yai Islands, Thailand

  • Thai Massage

Thailand is very famous for massage parlours that are ubiquitously located all over the Thailand.

Even a small island, such as this, has a couple of massage spas. So, get yourself pampered by the masseuse.

  • Beaches

Since the Koh Yao Yai Islands attract fewer tourists, the beaches wear a romantic look. Therefore, enjoy the following beaches, and spend maximum time out on the Andaman Sea.

Ao Sai Beach

YouTube video

What a picturesque beach! The waves are almost absent, making it a swimmers-friendly beach.

In addition, the Ao Sai Beach is known for the sea withdrawal. II means, during low tides, the water withdraws into a few hundred meters. It is a rare sight!

  • Son Bay Beach
  • Lo Chak Beach
  • Klong Son Bay
  • Sand Bank Beach
  • Laem Haad Beach

This is another beach where the sea withdraws, exposing the wet land. You can walk on the space where the sea was before.

Numerous tiny sea creatures such as crabs, snails, squids, and fishes can still be seen live.

Each beach is different with a different backdrop. A mountain covered with trees, or a thick tropical rainforest as background give the place a nice, romantic feeling.

Charter a long-tail boat and ask the paddler to go around the islands and see the beaches on all its four sides. You will feel like Columbus.

  • Kayaking

Phang Nga Bay is known to sport limestone rocks. In such places, the bottom of the cliffs looks eerie and beckoning. Take a kayak and paddle around the place. You will feel proud of yourself when sitting in the narrow-leg boat all alone in the vast Andaman Sea.

  • Snorkeling

Though you can jump into any part of the sea with a snorkelling mask on, there are marked spots where you can watch very beautiful, and diverse marine creatures.

Join a guided snorkelling tour in a bigger paddle boat with other snorkelers, and enjoy a stint in the sea.

Make your date with the underwater living beings, memorable.

The exclusive snorkelling points include an uninhabited Coral Island.

  • Phang Nga Bay tour

As mentioned above, the Phang Nga Bay has jagged limestone cliffs on the shore. Even inside the sea, you can see some iconic rock formations.

The bay has a few islands and islets where nobody lives.

YouTube video

If you can afford a private chartered boat tour of island hopping around the Phang Nga Bay, you will enjoy the lifetime experience of seeing mind-boggling wilderness.

The video you watched above is so alluring that, you will buy a professional videographic gadget, and book your flight to Phuket Island.

  • Visit the breathtaking Phi Phi Islands

Phi Phi Islands

Isn’t it breathtaking, truly? Didn’t you let out an audible gasp? The mammoth cliffs right on the shores and in the sea are typical of Thailand Islands, and the Philippines.

Phi Phi Islands are located about 35 km southeast of Koh Yao Yai. 6 islands comprise the small archipelago.

  • Boat tour through the mangrove forest

YouTube video

One of the thrilling ways to explore the Koh Yao group of islands is to take a boat, and row yourself through the thick mangrove forests that have grown out of the Andaman Sea.

The sudden silence from the waves, will make the faint calls of fish-eating birds, louder. The experience is dramatic.

The attractions in Koh Yao Yai are really numerous that demand two full days from us. I am sure, the time is worth it.