Koh Yao Yai holiday guide (2020)

Koh Yao Yai


Thailand Koh Yao Yai Guide

An interesting question to answer, seeing as this magical island has quite a lot to be recognized for. Its choice of location – just between the amazing Phuket and the equally impressive Krabi – makes Koh Yao Yai a sweet spot for travelers and tourists looking to have the fun thrice in three of the most beautiful, picturesque locations in all of Thailand. Besides that, Koh Yao Yai marvels with its array of rubber plantations, an abundance of pure nature and the local culture. Did we mention the deserted beaches yet?

Koh Yao Yai finds its nest in between the more significant, beautiful islands of Phuket and Krabi while retaining its identity as a standalone island on the Koh Yao Archipelago. Made up of two different islands, Koh Yao Yai is the largest and by far most interesting of both islands. Offering bite-sized packages of everything travelers are looking for in the ideal trip. With a name that literally translates to ‘Big Long Island,’ it lives up to this in providing a vast expanse of underdeveloped land, which brings the traveler as close to nature as can be.

If you have not already drawn an inference from the above, here is what Koh Yao Yai offers anyone who picks the location for their holidays. For one, the beaches are some of the best that could be found on what is a non-major island. The setting of Koh Yao Yai is also such that everything is tight-knit, giving you a sense of belonging and community while enjoying the best that this location has to offer. Speaking of the best on offer, that is where we come across the fantastic diving locations nearby, clear waters for snorkeling, and a vast expanse of beach to be explored on foot. If not for anything else, the fact that this island offers a quick entry into Phuket and Krabi – both also being great choice locations for travelers – is enough to make a consideration.

You would want to travel at the time when this region is enjoying its dry season, falling between December and April on the calendar. Note that this period will experience little to no rain, and the temperature is kind enough to support all outdoor activities too. However, you should know that this being the best time to visit means you also have a lot of people coming in. Thus, the area can get crowded, but that should do nothing to impact your experience negatively.

Some travelers will find the appeal and aesthetics of the west coast of Koh Yao Yai too captivating to leave behind. Hence they will be better lodged at the Yao Yai Resort. Even though they will get premium treatment here, though, it is better to seek luxury accommodations at around Santhiya and Blue Bay resorts. Of course, both locations are great for traveling family members, single tourists, and romantic types on the same beautiful voyage as the rest of the pack.

There are bigger islands close to Koh Yao Yai, but they have a whole new identity and perspective of their own that might not agree with your view of the entire trip; unless you are after the Thai island superstars like Koh Phi Phi and Phuket. Otherwise, you are better off visiting other relatively small islands close to this Koh Yao Yai. Such can be found at all of Khai islands, Naka Yai Island, Naka Noi, and Rang Yai. And of course other gems of Phang Nga Bay like James Bond Island and Koh Panyee.

Just like Krabi, Phuket is an island-city that also suffers from a loud party vibe as opposed to the laid-back nature of Koh Yao Yai. This will be a significant factor – as well as the size of location and development of tourist bases – when considering which to choose between both islands.

Krabi is a much bigger location than Koh Yao Yai, and that tells a lot. There is a more significant assortment of restaurants and hotels around Krabi. Likewise, the nightlife will be much better when compared to Koh Yao Yai. However, Krabi does not hold a candle to the serenity and calmness enjoyed on Koh Yao Yai, making it attractive for people seeking off-the-beaten-path getaways. Finally, Koh Yao Yai’s strategic location allows island-hopping to more spectacular islands easier.

Honestly, there is not much to see under this comparison. After all, you could spend one day on Koh Yao Yai and the other on Koh Yao Noi, and you would still feel the same relaxed vibe, beach setting, and all in both locations. Beaches are almost identical, too, with nature at its best all round. If you can, try to see both locations on the same trip.

Best islands to see from Koh Yao Yai



Koh Yao Noi


Phang Nga Bay


Krabi islands


Phi Phi islands


Khai islands


Phuket islands