The enchanting Koh Yao Island region encompasses some 44 small islands and covers an area of more than 140 square kilometres. Nestled in this archipelago are the two main islands, “Koh Yao Yai” and “Koh Yao Noi. The names translate to “Big Long Island” and “Little Long Island” respectively. Koh Yao Yai is double size the of Koh Yao Noi but is a bit more of a “local and isolated island”. The northern tips of Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi are part of Ao Phang Nga National Park.
Most of the island is covered by mountain ranges and various types of rainforests. Areas closer to the sea are cultivated with rice fields. The island and surroundings are abundant with wildlife, hidden beaches and traditional fishing villages, surrounded by natural beauty. The two seasons of Koh Yao are the rainy or wet season ( May-Oct) and the hot season( Nov-Apr).
There are many tourist attractions that still maintain their natural beauty along with many beautiful beaches. Apart from this, not far from the coast are many exotic islands, which add to the beauty of Koh Yao. Underwater is where the magic really happens. The area is home to some of the worlds most undisturbed and colourful sea life, making the island diving and snorkeling some of the best in the world. While Koh Yao Yai is lesser known, it bares a striking difference to the neighboring Phuket. Secluded and quiet, this lesser developed island is the perfect destination to relax, unwind, and unplug.
Religion and Culture
Buddhism is the prevalent religion in Thailand, however, the vast majority of inhabitants in Koh Yao Yai are of Muslim faith and retain this traditional culture. Largely unaffected by booming development in nearby Phuket, the people of this island lead a simple life, bonding with and making a living from the sea. Boat building and farming techniques here have been passed from father to son and, while some of the youngsters leave Koh Yao to seek the bright lights of Phuket, most return to their tight knit community. Most local establishments do not sell alcohol here, however the hotel has multiple bars and restaurants to fulfill those needs.