Even though I’ve been to Thailand three times, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the Land Of Smiles, or its many islands. I’ve been to Koh Chang in the Gulf of Thailand (did you know that there’s another Koh Chang in the Andaman Sea?), I’ve been to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, to the Phi Phi Islands and Koh Poda, and to Koh Lanta. My Thai island wish list is long though: I’ve yet to visit Koh Lipe (highest on my list), Koh Mook and Koh Kood, Koh Samet and Koh Mak.
So when I spontaneously decided to add on a quick island getaway to Thailand to my Singapore trip a couple of months ago, I knew I had to check out a new island instead of returning to old favorites (sorry Koh Tao!). When I consulted the map to see which island would make the most sense, I zeroed in on not one, but two islands: the Yao Islands. And they happened to be two islands that have been on my Thailand wish list for years – score!
The Koh Yao island group is made up of 44 islands in total, but only the two largest ones, Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) and Koh Yao Yai (Big Long Island), are inhabited. The smaller islands can be visited but don’t have hotels or resorts. Both islands are surrounded by a number of uninhabited scenic limestone karst rocks, a typical feature of the Andaman Sea.