Koh Yao Noi holiday guide (2020)

Koh Yao Noi


Thailand Koh Yao Noi Guide

What makes Koh Yao Noi memorable is not what you would think. While it brings all of the beaches and eco adventures, the dominant Muslim population of this island has done well in preventing the conversion of this relaxed haven to yet another party island. This does not mean alcohol cannot be found anywhere; neither are the residents and tourists here all-party poopers. However, this island brings with it a dash of aesthetic brilliance, impressive serenity, and a relaxed atmosphere to accommodate it all.

Koh Yao is located in the Phang Nga Bay of Thailand. Koh Yao Noi is partnered by yet another relatively more significant Koh Yao Yai – Noi means small in Thai, while Yai is large. Both islands are boxed in by the beautiful vast expanse of land that has come to be known as Phuket and Krabi coastline, respectively. This means that Koh Yao Noi also finds itself on the far side of Phuket to make the entire Ko Yao Archipelago. Separated from Koh Yao Yai by just a tiny detail, these two locations make up what is known today as the Koh Yao district.

Koh Yao Noi is far enough from Phuket to ensure it is not influenced by the party and busy lifestyle of the island-city. It is also not too far away that it suffers neglect, developing at a conservative pace, which allows for natural areas to coexist with the man-made attractions and beautiful installments. At the same time, Koh Yao Noi is also as serene as can be, thanks to the predominantly Muslim population in the area. Although they don’t have any of the best beaches in Thailand here, the water bodies are calm and inviting enough for any traveler.

Anytime between December and April is a good enough time to visit Koh Yao Noi since that is when the location will experience its dry season. Due to that being the best time for any events to happen; it is also the most preferred time for a lot of other travelers – meaning the island can be very crowded at these times. Fortunately, you have an expanse of four months to plan the trip within, and you can use that to good advantage.

The cheerful bungalows on this small island can be found at Nam Tok, providing an excellent space for families and groups traveling together. You would not get the luxury experience there, though, so you might want to see what the Koh Yao bay extensions have on offer. At the same time, other travelers will be best served by the leafy setting at Hill House, infusing some natural essence into the entire accommodation setup. Lest we forget, you can try out the compound hut experience provided by Pasai Cottage.

If there is one thing Koh Yao Noi makes possible, it is hopping from one island to the other in very close proximity. An even better situation than that is that the islands near Yao Noi are all great. Rather than let the sentiments speak, you should also check out all of Phuket, Koh Phi Phi islands, James Bond Island, Koh Panyee, Panak island, Rang Yai Island, Naka Noi, and Naka Yai island. Likewise, see what Koh Yao Yai island – which is a sister island much identical to Koh Yao Noi – has on offer.

Koh Yao Noi might be sandwiched between Krabi above and Phuket below, but these two extreme locations manage to share more in common with each other than with the smaller island they are closer to. Again, Phuket is also the home of party seekers who would give anything for a great nightlife on location. It is also the ideal pick for travelers who are looking to enjoy more prominent beaches. As stated above, the lifestyle in Koh Yao Noi is for a select group of tourists who are looking for more targeted, relaxed experiences.

There could not be a more significant contrast than this. On the one extreme of things, Krabi offers all the nightlife, clear waters in beaches and amazing landscapes that you could ask for. That is not mentioning the vast expanse of land and party vibes in this area. All of that is lost on Koh Yao Noi, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It just makes here a better location for romantic getaways and off-the-beaten-path vacations.

The two islands are separated by not much in terms of location, activities, beaches, and the kind of life that can be found on them. While Koh Yao Noi is the smaller of the bunch, that doesn’t make for a severe comparison tool at the end of the day. Thus, personal decision wins the crown here.

Best islands to see from Koh Yao Noi



Koh Yao Yai


Phang Nga Bay


Krabi islands


Phi Phi islands


Khai islands


Phuket islands