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Ko Yao is a district (amphoe) in Phang Nga Province in Thailand's south.

The district covers several islands of the Ko Yao archipelago in Phang Nga Bay, near the island of Phuket. The two main islands are named Ko Yao Yai and Ko Yao Noi ('big long island' and 'small long island'). The northern tips of the islands are part of Ao Phang Nga National Park.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Koh Yao is between January and April, this is often the most popular and crowded time. Rates for hotels and villas will rise during this popular time as the weather is ideal for exploring the island.

However, if you choose to visit during the off-season or rainy season, between June and November, you will likely need to coordinate activities around the daily rainfall. While it generally only rains for a few hours at a time during monsoon season, this could mean flooding and cooler temperatures are possible. Activities and options will be limited during the monsoon season, though this often means accommodation rates are more affordable and crowd levels are down.

Check the below table for the general idea of Koh Yao weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 31.9 28.2 25.2
Feb 32.8 28.7 25.1
Mar 32.6 28.7 25.4
Apr 32 28.7 25.8
May 31.6 28.7 25.8
Jun 31.6 28.5 25.7
Jul 30.9 27.9 25.2
Aug 30.8 27.7 25.1
Sep 30.6 27.6 25
Oct 30.8 27.7 25.1
Nov 31.3 27.8 25.2
Dec 31.3 28 25.4

Koh Yao’s current weather and 7-day forecast

KOH YAO WEATHER

Beaches and Sunbathing

Unlike Phuket or Krabi, which are full of attractions, Koh Yao's biggest selling point is its lack of things to do. All of the island's three main beaches, as well as the smaller beaches close to many resorts, are perfect for sunbathing, relaxing with a good book and just enjoying life.

Snorkelling

Koh Yao's clear water and relaxed seas make it a great place for snorkelling off the beach, especially when the tide is out. For an even better snorkelling experience, charter a longtail boat to Koh Pak Bia, which has some of the best coral in the area.

Diving

There are several dive centres on Koh Yao, although none of the big diving schools you can find in Phuket. Chartered diving tours to sites in Phang Nga, Krabi and Phuket are available, as are PADI instructional courses.

Motorbiking

Koh Yao Noi's quiet roads — there is only one road around the island, which loops around the island close to the resorts and restaurants — making the island a great place to explore on a motorbike. Rental bikes are available from most resorts and for 200 to 300 baht per day.

Mountain Biking

Relatively flat, at least when compared to other Thai islands, Koh Yao Noi's easy terrain is great for cyclists. Mountain bikes are available for rent from many resorts. If you're planning to explore the island on a bicycle, make sure you wear sunscreen and bring plenty of water.

Best Luxury Hotels in Koh Yao

Six Senses Yao Noi

One of Southern Thailand's most luxurious hotels, Six Senses Yao Noi offers a selection of private pool villas for guests. Guests at the hotel have access to their own private section of Klong Jark Beach in addition to a spa and several dining options.

Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort and Spa

Located on Koh Yao Yai, Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort and Spa is a beautiful five star hotel with a selection of large rooms and private villas. The luxurious rooms offer amazing views over Phang Nga Bay.

Paradise @ Koh Yao Resort

Located on the northern tip of Koh Yao Noi, Paradise @ Koh Yao Resort is a peaceful luxury resort offering a selection of private rooms, bungalows and hilltop villas. Many rooms include private plunge pools and villas, as well as access to the resort’s private beach.

Best Mid Range Hotels in Koh Yao

Villaguna Residence & Hotel

Villaguna Residence & Hotel is a comfortable four star resort overlooking the Phang Nga Bay Marine Park. Spacious suites and direct access to the beach make this one of Koh Yao Noi is best mid range hotels.

Koh Yao Yai Village

With a large beachfront swimming pool and a selection of comfortable bungalows and private villas, Koh Yao Yai village is a convenient and relaxing four star hotel on the quieter and less populated Koh Yao Yai.

Thiwson Beach Resort

Located on the east coast of quiet and peaceful Koh Yao Yai, Thiwson Beach Resort is one of the best mid range resort choices in Phang Nga. An outdoor swimming pool and quiet garden setting make this a great place for relaxation.

Best Budget Hotels in Koh Yao

Tukonnee Villas

Quiet, inexpensive and conveniently located beside the water, Tukonnee Villas offers a great selection of comfortable bungalows and villas. Although it's located close to the sea, the hotel is a short walk away from Koh Yao Noi's best beaches.

Sabai Corner Bungalows

Perched on a hill overlooking Phang Nga Bay, Sabai Corner Bungalows offers comfortable and affordable bungalows for solo travellers, couples and families. Rooms are simple and minimalistic, but comfortable enough for the beautiful surroundings.

Pasai Beach Lodge

Simply furnished fan bungalows and great views of Phang Nga Bay make Pasai Beach Lodge a good budget choice for guests staying on Koh Yao Noi. Surrounded by local farmland and a quiet and deserted beach, this comfortable budget resort offers a great peaceful location.
 

Je T’aime

Excellent steaks, lobster and seafood dishes make Je T’aime one of the best places on Koh Yao Noi for a satisfying Thai or French meal.

Kaya

Located along side Koh Yao Noi's loop road, Kaya serves a great selection of Thai dishes and desserts, including excellent fresh seafood.

Baan Chang Restaurant

Tasty Thai comfort food and great drinks make Baan Chang Restaurant a fantastic choice for an affordable lunch or dinner on Koh Yao Noi.

La Sala

Located close to Lom Lae Beach, La Sala serves an excellent selection of classic Thai dishes and fresh seafood.

Rice Paddy

Equal parts Thai restaurant and dessert parlour, Rice Paddy serves a menu that's made up of well known Thai dishes and sweet, tasty desserts.

Pasai Seafood

Located right in the middle of Pasai Beach, Pasai Seafood offers a selection of freshly caught seafood as well as a good choice of lunch and breakfast dishes.

By Boat

The nearest airports to Koh Yao are Phuket International Airport and Krabi International Airport. Bus and boat connections to Koh Yao are available from both locations.

Koh Yao is located halfway between Phuket and Krabi in Phang Nga Bay, making it easy to access from either direction.

Boats to Koh Yao depart from Phuket, Krabi and Phang Nga on a frequent basis, making it easy to travel to either major island.

Boats from Phuket to Koh Yao Yai depart from Bang Rong Pier every 90 minutes from 9:30 am until 12:30 pm, and then at 2:30, 4:00 and 5 pm.

Boats to Koh Yao Noi depart Phuket at 6:30, 7:15, 7:30, 9:00, 10:10 and 11:30 am, as well as 1:30 pm, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00 and 4:40 pm. Ferries also travel between Phuket and Koh Yao from Phuk's Chianwanich Pier, albeit on a less frequent schedule.

Speedboats and longtail boats depart from Krabi'sThalen Pier to Koh Yao Noi at 9 am, 10:00, 11:00, 1 pm, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00 and 5:30 pm. There is also a once-daily ferry from Tha Dan Pier in Phang Nga to Koh Yao Noi, which leaves at 1 pm on all days except Sunday.

By Air

The nearest airports to Koh Yao are Phuket International Airport and Krabi International Airports. Check Skyscanner to compare airlines for the best prices and flight times.

For high rollers, there’s a helicopter landing pad located near to the Six Senses Yao Noi resort

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