Loh Paret Beach - home of Yao Yai Beach Resort.
Ko Yao Yai is another quieter island yet to have mass tourist development, although being so close to Phuket you feel it’s only a matter of time. The locals apparently are averse to major development and have managed to veto a proposed 500 bungalow resort on the island's most northerly pristine beach. Former Prime Minister Thaksin bought up huge tracts on Yao Yai. There are very few good beaches on Yao Yai.
We set off from Ko Bulon Le back north to Koh Yao Yai via Ao Nang and Krabi Town. Krabi Town is nothing special but it has a night market and a very good Italian restaurant ‘Viva’ where we ate to have a rest from Thai food.
The following day we took the speedboat direct to Koh Yao Yai via Yao Noi direct from Ao Nang with ‘Green Planet’ ferries. It’s very quick and we were there in no time at Yao Yai Klong Hier pier where it’s about a half hour taxi ride south to Yao Yai Beach Resort.
Yao Yai Beach Resort is the best positioned resort and on a beautiful westerly facing beach (Loh Paret), perfect for Sunset drinks.
We spotted monkeys at the end of the beach the first day. Note the sand flies here can almost be bad enough to make you love mosquitoes. The resort has a tricky way of juggling you out of your aircon accom into a standard deluxe fan room so new guests initially get the aircon room. The food at Yao Yai resort is average and the inclusive breakfast is loveless. They do serve good chips.
The only other eating option is Heimat Gardens restaurant about 400 metres up the road. The food is excellent here especially the Green Papaya salad with crispy anchovies and the whole bbq fish with special sauce. Yamalia spent time living in Italy so the pasta dishes are good too. It’s a pity about the atmosphere of the restaurant which is kind of stark and uncosy.
We hired motorbikes and checked out some of the other accom on the island. Elixir Resort further south is pseudo posh on a very ordinary beach.
Twison Resort on the northern tip has very good accom but with hardly any beach, the east facing views over the monolithic karsts rising from the sea towards Krabi province are stunning.
Wet sand right up to the sea-wall at low-tide Twison Resort's beach.
Unfortunately the beach at Loh Paret is polluted, that’s no different to anywhere else in Thailand except we continually picked up lethal shards of glass from the shoreline.
We would go back to Yao Yai Resort in spite of its short comings. The accom is a getting a bit old now and it is in need of some upgrading in the rooms. It is a bit exxy for what you get but it’s very layed back with cool esoteric music, hammocks and sun lounges. They have internet but Wi fi would be good if you need to stay connected with the outside world…but hey, Han the owner is a kind of latter day hippie living the dream and he inspires you to live it too.
Some of Yao Yai Beach Resort's bungalows.
Yao Yai Beach Resort’s location is hard to beat… in that respect you are a million miles away from the dross of Phuket (less than 1 hour away) gazing over an emerald sea sipping a sunset drink.
Loh Paret sunset over Phuket - image Heimet Gardens
I modified this Google Earth image to show the places John mentions. Might be clearer if you click to expand - Tezza
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