Koh Yao Noi, all you need is modesty
The Andaman Sea is not only celebrated by the famous Phuket and Krabi. If you open the map of Thailand and check out, you will find a province in the south of Thailand called Pang-Nga that also take the critical role of the beauty of the Andaman Sea, too. As a hidden gem of Thailand west coat, Pang-Nga is rich in the natural resource and tourist spots that you would fall for since the first glance and a place that we don’t want you to skip from your trip in this region is “Koh Yao Noi“, the area with pure beauty but another heaven in the Andaman Sea.
Getting to know Koh Yao Noi
“Koh Yao” or “Yao Islands,” actually refers to an archipelago in the Pang Nga Bay of the Andaman Sea. The islands consist of the various scale of the islands scattered around the area for up to 44 sites in the estimate. As another district of Pang-Nga province which is about 42 km away from the town, they’re 2 main islands with the habitat; Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. According to the history, the ancestor of the residents migrated from Trang, Satun, and other areas nearby to settle at the islands in about the early of the RattanaKohsin Era (in 1785) while those areas were attacked by Burmese troop.
Then, in 1903, the location separated from Muaeng Pang-Nga district and appointed to be Koh Yao minor district (Ging Amphur in Thai) under the administration of Pang-Nga province. The first administrative building of the region was built for the first time in 1920, later the officials and citizen of Koh Yao minor district preferred to upgrade the site to be a district with the support of the provincial administrative office. Hence, it was appointed to be Koh Yao district, finally dated January 1, 1988. The location had been under the minor district status for 85 years, which is the most prolonged period as a minor district in Thailand.
Generally, the geography of the islands is the group of islands lines vertically from the north to the south with 2-km wide straits in the middle. Koh Yai Noi is a center of government offices and district office of Koh Yao where is the home of the local who has a simple lifestyle and welcome for the visitors.
Charming of Koh Yao Noi
The island located in the area of Koh Yao district in Pang Nga that the site covers about 147.8 sq.km of space consists of 2 islands and three sub-districts under control, including Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai, and Phru Nai. The villagers on the island mostly are Muslim and live life by fishing and trading. The location is not compromised in its charm with many different islands around the main one, that is to say, the place is so perfect hideaway for one who yearns for the tranquil and natural destination for the holidays.
The Ecotourism Club of Koh Yao Noi Community
Apart from staying in the resorts on Koh Yao Noi, it also the homestay accommodation to serve the tourist as well. In particular, the latter one which is very special as the homestay here runs by the cooperation of the residents “The Ecotourism Club of Koh Yao Noi Community” that accepted as one of the most famous and best in management guaranteed with lots of tourism awards. Not only the lovely rustic way of life that you will touch from the homestay living here you will also have a chance to try the number of exciting activities.
For example, taking the tour around the island, meet the people and see how they live the life, watching the rice farming, fishing culture, the manufacturing of OTOP products – Batik, natural dyed fabric, handicrafts from the coconut shell. Or sailing with the host to see the life in the sea that they do traditional fishing, lobster farming in floating baskets. Furthermore, swim and dive to see the vibrant coral and ecosystem and other unusual attractions nearby.
Abundant with the mangrove forest
Significantly, the surrounding property of Koh Yao Noi is abundant with the mangrove forest, partially Ban Pa Pao a small village that most of the residents live the life by fishing and rice farming, also the pier for them to get through the mangrove to the sea. When the low tide, the numerous mangrove tree roots emerged over the muddy surface with many playful mudskippers are wagging the tail and the sound of fiddler crabs. And this project the fruitfulness of the venue excellently.
While the east coast of the island features the 3 beautiful beaches which are Pa Sai Beach, Khlong Chak Beach, and Tha Khao Beach. All of those sea beaches are perfect for the tourist to enjoy a swim and step on the soft sandy beach since the places are nearby the accommodation. Besides, there are shops, ATM, hospital, and government offices.
Another awesome place on Koh Yao Noi that you would love to visit is the Pa Koh viewpoint that you can spot from the east of the island. The reason to call this place “Pa Koh” since it is the limestone mountains line connecting along the horizon line, included the famous Koh Hong and Koh Pak Bia. It could say that the view from this location is distinctive than the one you see in Krabi province. Also, the boat trip to visit the islands around the area which knows as “Island Hopping” would be great to be your casual one day trip, too.
Nonetheless, the real vibrant of Koh Yao Noi clustered in the lower half part of the island, on the other side, the north section is plentiful of the lush forest to the northmost of the island. However, over there is the location of “Paradise Koh Yao,” only one resort on the beach which well-known among the locals “Had Lo Ha” (Lo Ha Beach) that is allowed to get through by the laterite path crosses the abandoned rubber wood plantation and dense forest throughout the way.
Well, the northernmost of the island is a fabulous site of the nature trail where you can see the giant Indian Tulip Tree with about 20 men with outstretched arms. The trace leads you to cross the wild to Ao Khian that the boat stands by to pick up you to the next attraction “Koh Gudu.” Unfortunately, most of the tourist who travels this path are guests of Paradise Koh Yao.
Generally, the foreign visitors who come to Koh Yao Noi spend the weeks to make the proper holidays with this hidden paradise in nature. Here is abundant with beautiful sea, bright blue sky, verdant forest, and mountain. More than that, home of Oriental pied hornbill, a small species of hornbills in the north of the island. The bird flies away from home at the sunrise for food and comes back at the sunset that the tourists will see them easier than the kingfisher.
And last but not least, Koh Yao Noi is one of the most famous destinations among the cliff climbers all around the world with its imposing high cliff “Paradise Cliff” another challenging checkpoint in Thailand where every climber has to come to collect the point. The cliff is extraordinary with many accesses to the peak and once you reach to the goal the stunning beauty of the sea vista is your perfect reward for the fan of extreme adventure like you.
What to See at Koh Yao Noi
See the incredible scenery of the forest and the sunrise at Tha Khao Beach
The beautiful first light of the day never enough for the sunrise hunter, as well as Tha Khao Beach which is a lovely sea beach on Koh Yao Noi never stop to welcome the visitor to witness the aurora. The beach nestled in the deep bay inside the land part of the island provides the lovely sea for the tourist to enjoy whether swim during the high tide and beach activity during the flow is low.
Furthermore, the magnificent spot to immerse with the pure beauty of nature – island, forest, and limestone mountain on the eastern rim of the island, including Koh Hong, Koh Lading, Koh Pak Bia, etc. Plus, the most fantastic venue to watch the sundown on Koh Yao Noi. Also, a bit far from the island is Koh Nok, a small islet is accessible by walk when the low tide.
1. Pa Sai Beach
A beautiful soft powdery sand beach with a pleasant atmosphere which you can enjoy water playing without uneasiness. As well as, the perfect panorama of many islands of Krabi region that you can see from this location. Pa Sai Beach is about 7 km away from Koh Yao District Administration Office.
2. Ban MangKohrn (the Lobster Farm)
A local lobster culture plantation sited at the quiet “Ban Laem Sai Bay.” The place is not only for the lobster but also grouper, sea bass, and red snapper. More than that, a local guy called “Bang Need” initiated to find other fish to raise in the empty floating basket for the fish, such as Lemon fish, starfish, Triggerfishes, and more to attract the tourist, too. The farm uses tiny fish to feed the lobster and fish on the farm.
3. Fresh Water Pond in the Sea
A splendid lagoon is at Ban An Pao Beach in the north of Koh Yao Noi which the site actually the natural source of water into four pools. When the tide is high, the pond is salty resulted from the salt water from the sea, and it will emerge when the tide is low that the water inside the pool turns to be fresh water and drinkable.
4. Ao Pakarang (the Coral Bay)
A must-not-miss for anyone who would like to see the coral with no skill of diving. Resulted from the time of low tide many corals present above the water surface, for example, Staghorn coral and Brain coral. It is twice a month to witness this phenomenon and last up to 4 days per each during the low tide. Additionally, Ao Pakarang is another venue to watch the prettiest sunset in Koh Yao Noi, too.
5. Lo Ha Beach
A sandy beach in the north of Koh Yao Noi which about 10 km from the district center. However, the path to reach the location is quite severe, so it’s more suitable for anyone who enjoys a bit of extreme adventure like all terrains cycling. The route is pleasant and shady with the rubber plantation and cool breeze.
6. Back to basic with the homestay tour
For anyone who would like to touch the feeling of the real local, you should not miss making your trip here by staying in the homestay accommodation. At Koh Yao Noi, the residents gathered as a group called “Koh Yao Ruam Jai Group” with 14 members providing the homestay residence for the tourist together with the tour program based on the local lifestyle. For example, if the host owns the fish and lobster farm, you will have a remarkable meal as a grilled lobster fresh cook from the sea and have with the local style chili paste.
Begin the day before the light appears at the horizon to see the rubber trapping or try to do the rice farming by yourself as Koh Yao Noi recognized as the only island in Pang-Nga region to do rice farming for consumption in the family! Besides, on every 14th to 16th of the waxing moon night is the notable phenomenon of the sacred water pond here or also known the freshwater lake emerged in the middle of the sea that is strictly found in Ban Pa Pao in the west of Koh Yao Noi.
And after those we mentioned above you maintain your plan to Koh Yao Noi in Pang-Nga with the typical package tour provided by the agency. We have to say regret for you since you would miss a chance to experience the modesty of the lovely community here.
How to Travel to Koh Yao Noi
The journey to Koh Yao Noi can be made by two kinds of sea transportation which are;
- The speed boat serviced by the accommodation which departs from Heaven Pier and takes about 45 minutes. The boat docks at the pier in front of the resort.
- Alternatively, the villager’s boat offers in 2 kinds of boat – speed boat with approximately THB200 per person/trip and regular boat with THB120 per person/trip which takes twice the time than the previous one. And the boat schedules to leave the pier hourly and docks at Mano Pier.
Transportation on the island
There are a local pick-up truck services the tourist stands by at the pier. The cost depends on the distance between THB20 and THB80 per person. Also, the guided tour service to support the tourist who prefers a convenient one-day trip with the program included Pa Sai Beach, Lobster Farm, the Fresh Water Pond in the Sea, Rice Farm, and Watch the sunset at Pakarang Beach.
The tour is perfect for up to 10 people with the charter price is THB1,500. Anyhow, the price subjected to change, so we recommend you to check for the best deal. And if you don’t travel as a large group, another idea to take the tour here is a motorcycle that you can rent from the accommodation to stroll around the island by yourself. The charge is about THB250 per day.