Koh Yao Yai or Koh Yao Noi : Which Island to Visit First

If you are more interested in having a relaxing vacation, you may opt for a beach day and go swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling in the crystal-clear water or admire the stunning views while lying on the sand.

Koh Yao Yai is a part of the Ko Yao Archipelago, which consists of two major islands; Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi. Koh Yao Yai is the larger island which divides Phang Nga Bay into different sectors.

There are also plenty of spas to indulge in world-class pampering to refresh and rejuvenate you. The island also has yoga and meditation, and Koh Yao Noi is the perfect vacation destination if you are looking for a relaxing and rejuvenating holiday.  Koh Yao Yai is most known for its lovely beaches and luxury resorts.

If you’re finding it difficult to choose between these two holiday destinations, don’t worry, we have got you covered.

Let’s get started! 

White sandy beach - Koh Yao Yai Island
Koh Yao Yai Island

Koh Yao Noi Island.

The beautifully peaceful island is located on Phang Nga Bay’s outskirts and features clear, blue water, warm, white sand, luxurious hotels, and gourmet restaurants. Unlike many other islands and cities in Thailand, Koh Yao Noi is much more tranquil.

The island caters to a sophisticated and prestigious crowd interested in something different than the party scene or nightlife. The island is usually quiet because many people may not know about it, so that you will have lots of privacy throughout your vacation.

Koh Yao Yai Island nr Phuket
Koh Yao Noi Island

How to Get to Koh Yao Noi Island from Phuket?

To get to Koh Yao Noi, you must take a speedboat or longboat. It takes about 30 – 45 minutes from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi, depending on which boat you take. The boats typically cost about 150 – 200 baht and come hourly. When you are ready to return from Koh Yao Noi, you can take a boat back or catch a local airport flight to your next destination.

Things to Do in Koh Yao Noi

Numerous people come to Koh Yao Noi to relax on the beautiful beaches, but there are multiple other activities to partake in on your trip. Many people choose to rent motorbikes so they can easily explore the island.

1. If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you can go on a rock climbing excursion or take a Muay Thai boxing class.

2. You could also visit the historic 100 metres “Big Tree” which hangs over the lush jungle. 

3. The island also has many beautiful waterfalls, which you can swim right underneath and admire the tropical greenery and wildlife around you.

4. If you are more interested in having a relaxing vacation, you may opt for a beach day and go swimming, scuba diving Thailand, or snorkeling in the crystal-clear water or admire the stunning views while lying on the sand. 

5.There are also plenty of spas to indulge in world-class pampering to refresh and rejuvenate you. The island also has yoga, meditation, and sunrise tai chi classes you can take throughout your trip.

6. Additionally, you can even go island hopping around the surrounding islands. All you need to do is rent a boat for the day, and it will take you around to different islands so you can swim, snorkel, or scuba dive. Most island hopping tours also include a picnic lunch you can enjoy on the beach or go to one of the resorts or restaurants for a delicious meal. Island hopping is a great way to explore all the gorgeous islands surrounding Koh Yao Noi.

7. Another great thing about Koh Yao Noi is the boutique hotels, resorts, and delicious restaurants all over the island. Most hotels and resorts have gorgeous pools with stunning views of the islands, the ocean, and the beach.

8. A few bars and coffee shops on the island are perfect if you are a single traveler looking to meet people with your partner or even a group. You can also sign up for Their cooking classes that will teach you how to make traditional Thai cuisine from a Thai chef.

Koh Yao Noi Island Villa
Koh Yao Noi Island ocean view

If you want a luxurious and zen vacation, Koh Yao Noi is the best place for you. It is easily accessible with boats hourly, and numerous activities exist. There are gorgeous beaches and upscale restaurants and resorts all over the island. Whether you want an adventurous and exciting experience or a relaxing and serene trip, Koh Yao Noi is the perfect place for whatever kind of vacation you desire.

Koh Yao Noi Island hotel
Koh Yao Noi Island beaches

Koh Yao Yai Island.

There are plenty of beautiful islands to visit all over Thailand. There’s Koh Samui, Koh Lanti, and Similan Islands, plus over 1400 other islands to explore. But if you are looking for a gorgeous and relaxing island in Phang Nga Bay to stay on your vacation to Thailand, you should consider Koh Yao Yai.

Koh Yao Yai is most known for its lovely beaches and luxury resorts, but it is also known to the Muslim locals who own coconut and rubber farms.

The rubber trees are grown in perfectly straight lines – and easy to spot as each tree will have half a coconut shell attached to the tree – collecting the rubber from the trunk. Close to the trees; there will be a rubber processing area where the farmer will build the raw rubber from the tree, press out the water using a mangle, and then make the rubber sheets.

empty beaches at Koh Yao Yai Island
beautiful Koh Yao Noi Island

How to Get to Koh Yao Yai from Phuket?

You must take a boat to get to Koh Yao Yai from Phuket, and it only costs about 200 baht per person, and the driver will take you directly to the island. Once you get to the island, you can hire a tuk-tuk to rent to get around. A tuk-tuk is similar to a rickshaw and is commonly used all over Asia as cheap and quick transportation. You can rent a scooter if you want more freedom to travel around.

Things to Do in Koh Yao Yai

In Koh Yao Yai, there are many activities to partake in. 

1. Firstly, there are a ton of unique resorts and restaurants to enjoy. One of the most popular resorts on the island is the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort. This classy hotel is elegant and extravagant and is also home to the luxurious Ayuryana Spa and the decadent Khamtok Restaurant.

2. Another place to check out is the 24 Camping and Bar. The 24 Camping and Bar combines a restaurant, bar, and campsite. You can go there for food and drinks, or you can rent a campsite where you will spend the night and admire the gorgeous greenery of Koh Yao Yai. It is more popular amongst the locals, and very few tourists know about this attraction, but it is worth exploring.

3. The next thing Koh Yao Yai has to offer is the breathtaking beaches. You could spend your day lying on the beach while admiring the stunning sights surrounding you. Or you can also partake in some of the many underwater activities. You have the option to go snorkeling, scuba diving, or kayaking. Whichever way you would like to spend your day at the beach, you are sure to enjoy yourself thoroughly.

4. You should book an ATV tour around the island if you are searching for fun and unique activities that will get your adrenaline pumping. During your tour, you will ride through jungles, gardens, and farms and explore some of the island’s local villages and hidden beaches. This excursion is an exceptionally different experience that will give you and your travel companions memories that will constantly be a topic of conversation for years to come.


When visiting Koh Yao Yai, you will experience the lovely resorts, beautiful beaches, and exciting activities. Along with that, you will also experience the island’s natural beauty and rawness. Koh Yao Yai is versatile and a fantastic vacation destination for any occasion. If you are looking for a perfect couples vacation, a family vacation, or a trip with your friends, this island has activities for everyone to enjoy.

Koh Yao Yai Island sunset
Koh Yao Yai Island beach sunset

If you are seeking a holiday itinerary that balances tranquil relaxation with thrilling adventure, consider splitting your time between the serene Koh Yao Yai and the lively Phuket Island. At Thailand Divers, we offer an array of scuba diving and snorkeling day trips to satisfy any aquatic enthusiast. Our experienced and certified guides will take you to various locations, each with its unique marine ecosystems, allowing you to explore the vibrant underwater world of Thailand. Come and indulge in the natural beauty and excitement of the Andaman Sea with Thailand Divers.

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