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Explore the Differences Between Koh Yao Noi vs Koh Samui

Travellers planning a tropical island holiday in Thailand are faced with a wide variety of options, both on the western coast and in the Gulf of Thailand.

When planning your holiday, it’s always good to have a general idea of the type of accommodation, activities and surroundings you’re looking for. Let’s look at two of the most popular options from both areas. Koh Samui is a popular destination in the Gulf of Thailand, while Koh Yao Noi is in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, just east of Phuket on the west coast of Thailand. We’ll compare Koh Samui vs Koh Yao Noi to see how they match up in the areas of:

  • Holiday environment 
  • Budget 
  • Weather
  • Meeting your travel needs

Holiday Environment

Koh Yao Noi, in the middle of spectacular Phang Nga Bay, is less than half the size of Koh Samui and is a much less populated and quieter island. The island can only be reached by ferry ride from Phuket. Visitors travel to Koh Yao Noi to experience the island’s natural beauty, enjoy the local culture, and have easy access to some of the other stunning islands in Phang Nga Bay that have served as backdrops in countless Hollywood movies. The island is perfect for a quiet couple’s getaway or a memorable honeymoon riding bikes around the island or simply basking by the pool.

Koh Samui offers plenty of nightlife and parties.

Koh Samui, in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of the most well-developed and popular islands in Thailand. It has an airport, many hotels and attractions, and lush jungles and beaches. It’s the top choice for many travellers who appreciate the variety of attractions, watersports, shopping, dining and nightlife it offers. The island is also the gateway to Koh Phangan, with its world-famous full-moon party.

When comparing Koh Yao Noi to Koh Samui, travellers who want to experience more of Thailand’s natural beauty and culture are recommended to spend their holiday on Koh Yao Noi. In contrast, visitors who want to fill their days and nights with activities and excitement should head to Koh Samui.


Unfortunately, Koh Samui is one of Thailand’s more expensive holiday destinations. The prices reflect the island’s popularity. With travellers flocking to the island during the high season months of December to March, accommodation rates often match the demand for rooms. On the other hand, Koh Yao Noi is free of tourist crowds. With no airport on the island, you’ll be spared the traffic, noise, and prices of some of the more frequently visited islands, like Koh Samui.


The whole point of a holiday in a tropical environment is to lay on the beach, swim and savour the warm, sultry atmosphere, so being aware of the weather when booking your holiday is essential

Thailand has two monsoon seasons, depending on where you’re located. Islands in the Gulf of Thailand, like Koh Samui, are rainier between the months of October and December. Islands on the west coast, like Koh Yao Noi, are rainier from May to October.

It’s important to remember that the monsoon season doesn’t mean it rains every day in Thailand. Travellers can still enjoy days of sunshine with an hour or so of light rain.

Meeting Your Travel Needs

You may have realised that comparing Koh Yao Noi to Koh Samui is like comparing apples and oranges. They both have lush forests, endless stretches of pristine tropical beaches, and friendly locals who will welcome you to their islands. However, they may appeal to different types of travellers. People who love to be entertained, soak up the day’s activities and revel in the nightlife while on holiday will prefer Koh Samui. People who appreciate natural beauty and want to explore an island in one of the most spectacular bays in the world will choose Koh Yao Noi.

Book Your Holiday at Cape Kudu Hotel

Book a holiday in paradise at Cape Kudu Hotel.

If you choose to spend your holiday in the fantastic Phang Nga Bay, we’d like to invite you to our Koh Yao Noi hotel. Cape Kudu Hotel is the perfect destination for visitors who appreciate 5-star luxury accommodation and exquisite service. We look forward to welcoming you.