During our Thailand trip we knew we wanted to visit at least one of the less ventured islands – we were craving the feeling of finding an untouched beach, immersing ourselves in nature as well as experiencing some true Thai island life. We absolutely found this and so much more with our visit to Koh Yao Noi.
One of the deciding factors for us was when we found The Island Hideout – a boutique eco-resort, tucked away in the jungle of Koh Yao Noi, where you can sleep in beautiful bamboo tree houses, detach yourself from everything (no electricity… no wifi) and enjoy the incredible surroundings.
We were lucky enough to spend four amazing nights with them. As soon as we arrived we completely fell in love with this place: every detail was perfect, our bamboo open-air room was one of the most beautiful and unique places we have ever stayed. Going to sleep and waking up to the sounds of nature, getting out of bed and looking straight out to the jungle and ocean view put as at peace in a way we’ve never experienced before. Plus Anita and her amazing team instantly made us feel like we were part of a new family. The Hideout also had an amazing infinity pool with the most beautiful view, and a restaurant where we enjoyed so much delicious, authentic thai food made with local ingredients.
Things to do
There is a lot to explore on and around Koh Yao Noi, we spent quite a bit of time just riding around the island on a scooter, we found beautiful rice paddies and lots of hidden, quiet beach spots (although we didn’t often swim because it was jellyfish season!). We’d highly recommend hiring a scooter, it’s always our favourite way to take in a new place and Koh Yao Noi is perfect for it, as you can leisurely ride all the way around the island in a few hours.
The island is also a great place to do to Muay Thai or a Thai cooking class. K.Y.N Muay Thai, and Mina’s Cooking Classes are renowned for being great.
The Boat Trip of Dreams
Our favourite day in our trip was the boat tour, this was actually one of the best things we did our entire Thailand trip! We were lucky enough to get our boat tour with Ahn, as arranged by the Island Hideout, and he was the best Captain ever! (think Thai Jack sparrow.! We had the option of going to the more touristy islands nearby, or the less visited spots throughout Phang Nga Bay – we opted for the quieter option and Ahn took us to all of the most incredible hidden spots – we experienced amazing coves, beautiful beaches and islands all to ourselves, swam through tiny caves to a giant opening where we followed the stream to a hidden forest full of flying foxes, and had lunch under the rocks at the fisherman’s village.
But the most memorable experience of the day was feeding wild swimming monkeys on monkey island. Tip: if ever you want to lure in a monkey they absolutely love coconut! As soon as they saw ours (which Ahn had earlier climbed a palm tree for) they were straight out of their trees and swimming over to our boat (we were actually worried at one point they were going to climb in).
We’d definitely love to go back and explore the islands closer to Koh Yao Noi, but we couldn’t recommend doing the quiet/secret islands highly enough. A lot of the beaches we visited didn’t seem to have names – but the boat drivers will all know about these heavenly spots, and you should be able to book with Ahn through The Hideout.
We had some of the best food in all of Thailand during our stay in Koh Yao Noi. We ate a lot of meals at The Island Hideout, because the food was all so delicious, and made from fresh, local ingredients. They also have another restaurant in town called Faye’s Kitchen which is equally delicious. We got addicted to the thai curries during our stay, so if you’re heading there we can definitely recommend those – can’t go wrong with any! We also loved eating at Garden Cafe, their papaya salad, tofu curries and pad thai wrapped in egg were all incredibly tasty and so reasonably priced!
Krabi & Phuket are about an equal distance from Koh Yao Noi – and boats run regularly throughout the day. You can either get a speedboat for 150 baht or a long-tail for 100 baht. However, as we went in low season we found that only the long-tails were running between Krabi-KYN.
If you want to go off the beaten track a little, enjoy some peace and quiet away from the crowds, and experience an unbelievable boat trip – Koh Yao Noi is the perfect spot. We would really recommend getting accommodation you really like – because in our experience, it wasn’t the kind of place where you can lie on the beach for hours. For us, The Island Hideout definitely stole a piece of our hearts, and we can’t recommend it enough… it might sound cheesy or cliche, but it really was a life changing experience for us.