Finding the ideal untouched Thai island with footprint-free sand is rare…until you come to Koh Yao Noi…one of a pair of large islands in the Ko Yao Archipelago in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, between Phuket and the Krabi. Ko Yao Noi meaning ‘Small Long Island’, is larger and more developed than its counter-part Koh Yao Yai. Once inhabited by Sea Gypsies (Moken people), the present day 3,500-plus inhabitants of Koh Yao Noi are believed to be migrants from the Malay Peninsula. Get a sense of time-standing still, with the islands laid-back feel and locals seen chatting or enjoying a siesta in the afternoon under salas or in hammocks. The east coast has many lovely beaches, while the west is covered in rice fields and lined with mangroves. Take a day trip to the amazing ‘Koh Hong’…the stunning rocks facing the island or enjoy kayaking or snorkeling in the pristine waters. Venture on motorbikes or tuk-tuks to visit local shops, few restaurants and bars along the coastline.
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