Connect with us

Thai Life

Adventure on Koh Yao Noi – Phuket Explore

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Koh Yao Noi is a little island located in between Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi and is part of the Phang Nga province.

The island has not yet seen a massive invasion of tourists and it has gained a reputation as a quiet place to escape from the buzz of Phuket, in particular for local expats and for all those tourists looking for something a little bit different.

Back in 2002, the National Geographic Traveler Magazine gave the island a World Legacy Award for Destination Stewardship for the eco-friendly homestay programs offered by many of its local residents.

Since then, not many big developments have come to the island, however, taking into consideration that a few new luxury hotels have popped up on the east coast and the fact that AirAsia has also launched a transfer service from the Phuket International Airport, it seems likely that things might change drastically very soon.

Frankly speaking, when compared with other destinations in Southern Thailand, Koh Yao Noi doesn’t have any particularly enchanting beaches or any amazing viewpoint to show off. On the other hand, it still conserves an authentic atmosphere where time is not necessarily related to money and its people run their lives following a more natural rhythm instead of a 9-5 workday routine.

The best way to explore the island is to rent a motorbike and independently ride around the coastline. For those seeking something that puts them in even closer sensory contact with nature, renting a mountain bike is a great option.

The island is almost entirely covered by rubber plantations and rice paddies. Landscapes are painted bright green and decorated with hundreds of water buffaloes and a huge variety of birds.

At Kien Bay, located on the extreme north of the island and reachable only by boat, lies the famous Big Tree, a giant at more than 30 meters tall and with a circumference so large more than 20 people holding hands would be needed to encircle it.

Koh Yao Noi also has something that might remain unknown for the majority of people visiting the island: it’s quickly becoming an important hot spot for international rock climbers.

Climbing in Koh Yao Noi is something absolutely different from that in neighboring Railay or Koh Phi Phi. It is unquestionably wilder, but the rock quality is excellent and on average, the combination of length and grade of difficulty make each route an amazing and enjoy- able climb.

The climbing area is located on the top north of the island and there are only two possible ways to reach it, either by long tail boat from Tha Khao Pier by motorbike through the rubber plantations up and down the hills in a very adventurous back-road route to near the Paradise Kho Yao Resort.

From the urban center of Koh Yao Noi to the extreme north of the island takes about 20 minutes by motorcycle. The first part of the road is quite smooth and allows you to see the locals going about their daily tasks.

The majority of the island’s residents are Muslim, so it’s common to hear the call of the local Muezzin and see entire families going to pray at the mosque.

The second section of the road is surrounded by a vibrant green environment which alternates between rubber plantations, rice fields, and deep wild forest before it arrives at the beach.

In Koh Yao Noi there are four main climbing walls reachable on foot; The Bee Wall, perfect for morning climbing: The HD Wall and The Big Tree Wall, which are in shade in the afternoon and overlook the ocean; and The Mitt, the biggest wall in the area, which is in shade the entire day. Another amazing site is called the Grateful Wall, a terrific orange vertical wall only accessible by longtail boat.

The paths to reach the different spots are quite easy to find and do not present any real difficulty, so these locations are also great for all those wanting to have a nice walk in the forest to take in the wonderful views.

If you plan to rent a boat you can go to Tha Hao Pier. Once there make sure you pay a visit to the local women’s community workshop. Right in front of the pier there is a little handicraft shop run by a group of local women, who create some amazing paintings using only natural wax and aquarelle colors.

The artists use pencil on a white canvas to create their designs, later re-marking the lines using a special paintbrush fed with wax. Once this is done pigments are applied covering the entire surface and filling in the spaces created by the wax covered lines. The result is just amazing and if you are looking for something really authentic, then this is the place to go.

Longtail boats leave for Koh Yao Noi several times a day from Bang Rong Pier on the east coast of Phuket. To get to the pier, turn east from the Heroines’ Monument onto route 4027, then turn right at the sign for Bang Rong and follow that road for a few kilometers to the pier.

For specific information about rock climbing in Koh Yao Noi feel free to check out Riccardo’s blog at

Keep checking our Lifestyle pages for the latest happenings across Phuket. Alternatively, join our Facebook fan page or follow us on Twitter.

This article appeared in the August 10-16 issue of the hard-copy
Phuket Gazette newspaper. Digital subscribers may download the full newspaper, this week and every week, by clicking here.

— Riccardo Mereu


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand30 mins ago

Thailand to apply for Guinness World Record for longest petrified log

Coronavirus (Covid-19)45 mins ago

Koh Samui bar and club finds 16 Covid-19 infections

Best of2 hours ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand2 hours ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Best of3 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of3 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Girls infected with Covid after mother dies at home; public criticises healthcare system

Coronavirus Vaccines5 hours ago

Crowds rush to Bang Sue for vaccination ahead of walk-in registration ending

Coronavirus Thailand6 hours ago

Thai PM predicts current Covid crisis will be over in 2 or 3 weeks – 4 at the most

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Health Ministry says all frontline medical workers will get donated Pfizer doses

Coronavirus Vaccines7 hours ago

Study confirms mixing AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines as good as 2 mRNA doses

Coronavirus Phuket7 hours ago

Officials reluctant to cancel Phuket sandbox, lifeline for desperate locals

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 art museums in Pattaya

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 16,533 new cases

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8