Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi Holidays

Set in emerald-bright waters, the sister islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi offer stylish seclusion and authenticity in equal measure.

Zipping across Phang Nga Bay, it’s hard to realise you’re travelling in time as well as sea miles. Less than half an hour from the bright lights of Phuket, tranquil Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi offer a precious glimpse of rural Thai life as it’s been for centuries. Farming and fishing still reign supreme, and development here is so sensitively done that the handful of Instagramable, eco-friendly and discreetly luxurious resorts seem to melt into the landscape.

We wouldn’t blame you if you never stirred an inch from the beautifully designed sanctuary in which you’re staying – it’s why we chose it, after all. Venture out, though, and you’ll find bicycle-friendly tracks that lead to paddy fields and orchards, sleepy villages and hideaway coves, along with a sense of timelessness that is strangely comforting. And if offshore adventures are more your thing, you could grab a kayak for a gentle coastal paddle or hop on a boat bound for far-flung islets and reefs.

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Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi

Cape Kudu Hotel

A boutique beach retreat on the serene island of Koh Yao Noi.

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa

This resort blends eco-friendly luxury with traditional Thai style in a beachfront setting.

Anantara Koh Yao Yai Resort & Villas

This leafy beachside resort on one of Thailand’s quieter islands provides a luxurious haven for g...

Get to know Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT +7 hours


Thai Bhat


Phuket 14 hours


The most common religion in Thailand is Buddhism


Thai; over 73 languages are spoken throughout Thailand

Where are Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi?
In the sheltered, emerald-green waters of Phang Nga Bay, the utterly beguiling and unspoilt islands of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi sit midway between Phuket and Krabi. The more convenient airport is on the former, from where there are regular flights to Bangkok, Chiang Mai and nearby Asian destinations. Speedboat crossings to the islands take between 20 to 30 minutes depending on where exactly you’re staying. It’s also possible to cross by boat from Krabi.

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Koh Yao Yai
Twice the size of its neighbour, the ‘Big Long Island’ remains delightfully untouched, with most of the verdant interior given over to coconut and rubber plantations, small farms and clusters of traditional wooden houses. On the coast, fishing villages alternate with sweeps of pale sand backed by the occasional high-end, low-key resort. There are no sights as such, just simple pleasures: cycling along quiet tracks in search of another tucked-away cove, kayaking along mangrove-edged shores or heading out by boat to discover karst outcrops or kaleidoscope-bright coral reefs.

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Koh Yao Noi
The ‘Small Long Island’ may be more developed than its bigger sister, but you’d never know it. The scattering of private villas and quietly luxurious resorts are designed to be low-impact, fitting seamlessly into the lush rural landscape, and though they tend to gravitate towards the best of the beaches you can often barely see them through the trees from the sand. As on Koh Yao Yai, there are no ‘things to see’ to tick off the list, though you could learn Muay Thai boxing or rock climbing between beach, boat and bicycle trips.

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Koh Yao Yai’s busiest beach (though it’s only ‘busy’ by local standards) is Loh Paret, a strip of golden sand where you can splash about in the limpid waters even at low tide and watch the sun dip into the sea with a cocktail in hand. For something much more remote, shimmering Laem Had is at the end of a dirt track on a promontory nudging towards Koh Yao Noi. The main beach on Koh Yao Noi is Klong Jark, a stretch of sand backed by exclusive resorts from where you can savour the views of the island-dotted bay. North of here, Tha Khao has more castaway appeal, with just a hamlet and a few simple places to eat nearby.

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Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi Weather

Jan - Apr


Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi Weather by Month