Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ko Yao Noi - Thailand's last unspoilt island?

I've been deliberating about whether to write this post or not as thought maybe I should keep this place a secret. However I figured that it's probably going to succumb to tourism at some stage soon so thought I'd share so you can get there before it does.

A year ago we discovered the beautiful and unspoilt island of Ko Yao Noi thanks to Mr C's cous and loved it so much for it's simplicity and true island life that we ended up staying there in a very basic hut for 10 days.

On a recent fishing trip to Krabi, we took a day to go back to our much loved island, one of 42 islands located in the middle of the stunning Phang Nga Bay -  400m2 of beautiful shallow marine waters ideal for snorkeling and unforgettable limestone cliffs jutting out of the crystal clear sea.

This is the place if you REALLY want to get away from it all and not get hassled. I can count the number of resorts on one hand and the rest is just about wooden huts with a few simple restaurants and bars to hang out at.

From Krabi, if you want to do it the truly authentic way, skip the speedboat and get on the "ferry" from Tha Len pier along with all the locals bringing their weekly shop and various other random items back to the island. It doesn't take much longer and worth it to be the only tourist there! It is also a fraction of the price :)

If you're travelling light, you can literally jump off the boat and straight onto a hired moped at the pier at the other end and cruise around the coastal road scouting for a place to stay. We bagged the last hut at Lom Lae Beach Resort overlooking the rice paddies with our very own hammock and buffalo.

It has it's own stretch of beach - sadly one draw back of the lack of commercialism means on the island is that the rest of the beaches can get a bit mucky with local rubbish at times.

You can also pick up fresh and really tasty food from one of the roadside stalls  - Thai BBQ chicken and green mango salad. Yum! You know it's good as it's where all the locals pick up their food and it doesn't come with a side of a funny tummy either!

In fact a moped is essential to explore the beauty of Ko Yao Noi so you can take in the rubber farms and the wonderful simplicity of island life. You can even scoot down the side tracks and discover some secret beaches and inlets surrounded by mangroves.

This is a very sleepy and traditional Muslim island so if you're looking for a low key escape, swimming far out to the sea, sitting in a hammock by the beach, feeling free on a moped with the wind in your hair and appreciating the locals and roosters waking you early in the morning then you should check out Ko Yao Noi before it falls to tourism.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

That looks like a sweet deal. Thanks for sharing! Hope it stays quaint and picaresque for a while longer.