Top
Cart 0
 

DAY 14: KO YAO NOI

 
IMG_2248.jpg
 

BEACH SAFARI BY BIKE

A brilliant way of exploring KO YAO NOI is to hire a motorcycle sidecar and potter around the island, following the main road as it runs just inches from the shoreline and cuts across a lush interior of tropical forests and rubber plantations. There’s very little traffic, and you can take it as slowly as you like. Most hotels carry copies of the free Map of Koh Yao, but it’s pretty hard to lose your way on what is for the most part a single circular road that loops around the island’s lower half. The beaches on Ko Yao Noi itself lack the pizazz of Phuket, Krabi and Ko Phi Phi, but then they also lack the crowds; apart from the odd local family or two, you’re likely to have only coconut trees for company.

The best beaches are on the island’s east coast, namely the southern end of laid-back PASAI BEACH and the northern end of pristine KLONG JARK BEACH, slender stretches of sand that look out onto the islands dotted around Phang Nga Bay; make sure you check the tide times before you set out, as some areas are unswimmable at low tide due to the coral that lies just offshore. It’s fun to explore the other side of the island as well, though – your route will take you through a patchwork of rice paddies, dotted with grazing water buffalos, and you’re bound to see some of Ko Yao Noi’s predominantly Muslim population tending their fields or on their way to the local mosque. The west coast is the place to be at sundown, when the Andaman Sea is bathed in a deep orange. It’s a glorious sight and a fitting way to bring your time on the island to a close.


TOP TIP Standard three-wheeled motorcycle sidecars cost around ฿600 for 24 hours and can fit up to 4 people, with an adult and a small child in the sidecar itself; make sure helmets are included in the rental. Another option are the contraptions that you’ll recognise from the night markets in Chiang Mai, a motorcycle and sidecar combo that looks more like a mobile street cart. These seat up to 5, are more comfortable for longer journeys and are covered, so you’ll be protected from the sun; they cost slightly less, too, at ฿500 for 24 hours. They take some getting used to, though, and are pretty cumbersome to manoeuvre, but they’re good fun once you (carefully) get the hang of it.


WHERE TO STAY

 
 



THE LIJOMA LOWDOWN

THAILAND INSIGHTS

Delve deeper with our tips on what to read and watch before you go, foods and drinks your kids must try, and some key cultural advice

OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO STAY IN THAILAND

From jungle treehouses to floating bungalows – our pick of the most memorable places for families to stay in Thailand


NEED TO KNOW

WHEN TO VISIT THAILAND

A handy overview of Thailand’s weather and climate throughout the year, with recommendations for the best time to visit

THAILAND ESSENTIALS

Pre-trip practicalities, including getting there, visas and passports, health and safety and how to get around


 

MORE AMAZING TRIPS

ICELAND

Inside glaciers, under waterfalls and out into the Atlantic to watch whales

MOROCCO

Eight days across Morocco, from spice souks to the Sahara