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Thailand’s Ko Yao Yai Is The UNEXPLORED Island That No One Is Telling You About

Skip Phuket and Krabi, and head for this laidback island in Phang Nga Bay.

Located in the middle of the Andaman Sea, it promises sun, sea and sand (in short, a good time). So, pack your best shades and beachwear!

Eat + Drink

There’s no shortage of restaurants by the beach that serve fresh seafood, but the island boasts great cafes, too. Check out Odys Cafe’ if you’re looking for vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free options. Or, wind down at 24 Camping & Bar with a chilled beer and some friends after a long day of adventuring on the isle. (88/5 M. 7, Prunai, 83000; 54/2 M.7 A. Koh Yao Ban Pru, 83000)


Aside from the usual sea sport activities, the island is a great location to explore the neighbouring islands of Ko Yao Noi, a sister island, or farther away to the floating village of Ko Panyi and James Bond Island on a day trip.
Tip: Climb onto a traditional long tail boat to Ko Yao Noi for a unique seafaring experience!


Travellers looking for souvenirs can easily find them on these islands at gift shops, or on the main islands of Phuket and Krabi. However, if you’re travelling to Ko Yao Noi, stop by Ohm Shop on Sale for a large selection of Thai souvenirs. (5/6 M. 1, Ko Yao Noi, 82160)


Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort & Spa (from $100 a night) is popular in Ko Yao Yoi for good reason. This eco-luxury resort has deluxe rooms and teakwood villas, amenities like an Ayurvana spa, beach massages, and recreational activities for adults and kids to take part together in.

Ko Yao Yai, Thailand, island, spa, travel, southeast asia, asia

Getting There + Around

Catch a flight to Phuket, before getting on a speed boat from Bang Rong pier at northeast Phuket. Boats depart every hour and arrive on the island in 25 minutes. Once on the island, roam around on a songthaew, a shared truck for independent travel, or arrange transport from your resort.

By Melodi Ghui, The Finder Issue 301, December 2019 

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