In the centre of the world-famous Phang Nga Bay, two large islands offer adventurous travellers to Thailand a unique experience. Isolated from the bustling tourist hotspots, they both offer stunning views, natural beauty, pure white sand beaches, and warm turquoise waters. These tranquil islands also offer a glimpse into traditional Thai culture and a range of fascinating activities and places to discover and explore.
However, there are subtle differences between the two islands which may make you favour one island over the other. We’ll offer a comparison of Koh Yao Noi vs Koh Yao Yai to provide you with enough information to choose between the two when making plans and booking your trip. We’ll also recommend a great hotel to book Koh Yao Noi accommodations.
Size and Atmosphere
Koh Yao Yai is the larger of the two islands (“Yai” means “large” in Thai, and “Noi” means “small”). The big island boasts lush mountainous landscapes and endless pristine beaches resembling Hollywood backdrops. The island’s size means that travellers wanting to “get away from it all” have arrived at their ideal destination. The island is perfect for hikers and explorers seeking solitude and tranquillity.
Despite its smaller size, Koh Yao Noi offers more development and more choices in places to stay. The development of the island has been carefully managed and doesn’t intrude on the natural resources and beauty. The natural resources and ecosystems in Koh Yao Noi are located closer to populated access points. This can make them easier for senior visitors and families with children to explore and enjoy.
Koh Yao Noi offers natural beauty, a more vibrant atmosphere, entertainment options when the sun goes down, modern conveniences, and travel resources.
Both islands offer accommodation options. However, Koh Yao Yai caters primarily to luxury travellers looking for exclusivity, although it attracts more day tourists, ironically, because of the beauty and seclusion of its beaches.
On the other hand, Koh Yao Noi offers various accommodation options and more supporting resources. The island provides transportation options, shops, pharmacies, restaurants, and tours. Koh Yao Noi caters to a range of visitors, from budget to luxury travellers. The accommodations include boutique guesthouses, charming homestays, beachfront bungalows and luxury hilltop hotel accommodations with sweeping views of Phang Nga Bay.
Beaches and Scenery
The beaches on Koh Yao Yai are more secluded and less crowded, offering unspoiled stretches of sand and clear blue waters. It’s a paradise for travellers and beach lovers who yearn for privacy and relaxation.
The beaches on Koh Yao Noi are equally stunning but tend to be livelier, with beachfront bars, restaurants and opportunities for water sports. Adventurous, social travellers may prefer Koh Yao Noi for its vibrant beach scene.
Activities and Excursions
Both Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi offer various tours and excursions, mostly arranged through the hotels and accommodations on Koh Yao Yai. Koh Yao Yai mainly focuses on activities that use the island’s natural resources, such as kayaking and hiking. It also offers yoga sessions, wellness retreats and meditative experiences.
Koh Yao Noi also offers more engagement with local residents and opportunities for cultural exchanges like immersive cooking classes and touring the island’s fishing villages and fish farms. Visitors who want to book a number of day trips to explore the islands in the bay are urged to book accommodations on Koh Yao Noi, as the island offers a range of boat charters.
The smaller island also offers a wealth of dining experiences. Although neither island has a nightlife scene that compares with nearby Phuket’s, Koh Yao Noi offers a unique and fun range of restaurants and bars that offer a colourful nightlife “island-style”.
Book a Stay at Cape Kudu Hotel on Koh Yao Noi
If you’ve decided on Koh Yao Noi as your holiday destination, why not also consider the Cape Kudu Hotel for your 5-star luxury accommodations? We offer rooms and suites with panoramic views of Phang Nga Bay and luxury one and two-bedroom exclusive pool villas that provide privacy and the ultimate tropical holiday experience.
With three dining experiences, a beautiful and tranquil spa, and a range of boats and yachts to explore Phang Nga Bay, the Cape Kudu Hotel promises an unforgettable luxury holiday experience. Learn more about the 5-star accommodations and hotel experiences at the Cape Kudu Hotel by contacting us directly.