Koh Yao Yai, Paradise found.

Trip Start Mar 18, 2009
Trip End Jan 12, 2010

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Where I stayed
Koh Yai Island Resort

Flag of Thailand  ,
Sunday, November 1, 2009

After a mixed stay at Patong in Phuket, it was time to move onto a smaller relatively unknown island called Koh Yao Yai and hopefully rediscover paradise. To get there, a ferry departs twice a day from Koh Sireh in Phuket Town and takes 1 hour to reach the Koh Yao group of islands. Koh Yao Yai (Big Long Island) is the largest and least developed when compared to its neighbour Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) and the former will be home for the next 3 nights.

We planned to stay at the Yao Yai Island Resort, a quiet getaway and the only resort on a remarkable untouched stretch of beach. Our first challenge was to get to the resort, no taxis or tuk-tuks seemed to exist and when we asked a local on the pier, he said it was a long walk, a definite first for us in Thailand. After asking nicely, a taxi was called and arrived shortly later, it was a 300 baht fare, but the resort is around 12 kilometres from the pier, and the scenery was worth it.

Tourism has barely touched the island, and rice cultivation seemed to be a dominant sight. It almost reminded us of our journeys through Cambodia, passing small self sufficient communities seemingly cut off from the rest of the world.  What a refreshing change! We arrived at the resort to the warmest of welcomes. Practically empty. we were given a free room upgrade, which had a beautiful view out to sea and the various karst formations. Wow!!

The next three days were spent reading books in a hammock (and falling out of one), playing bat and ball, watching the sunsets, kayaking and snorkeling. It was the first opportunity for me to snorkel ever since I injured my foot in Koh Tao. It was quite good and we did get to see a variety of clown fish, and one large puffer fish. The unfinished pier at the north end of the beach was a hot spot, especially at low tide, since the visibility was average. Although I did get a weird reaction afterwards. My head seemed to fill with water and it slowly dripped from my nose all day long, bizarre...

The beach is an excellent place to photograph wildlife. Hermit crabs were a particular favourite of mine. If you stand still you can trick them in to thinking the coast is clear. Then they slowly creep out from under their shell and it makes a quick break for it, quite comical. We also discovered a whole family of crab eating macaques at the southern end of the beach. They were very wary of us and we could see them scouting through the trees to see if the coast was clear. When it was they would run out onto the beach and chase crabs.

Our photos with this blog are definitely the most varied for a while and is a testament to the natural beauty of this place. We would highly recommend anyone around Krabi or Phuket to take a trip to Koh Yao Yai. You won't regret it.

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