Long-tail boat ride in Phang Nga Bay. (Thailand, February 2009)
Long-tail boat ride in Phang Nga Bay. (Thailand, February 2009)

Koh Yao Noi, a quiet island in Thailand

#Thailand

  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

In the heart of Thailand's Phang Nga Bay, Koh Yao Noi is an unknown, peaceful island. Remains authentic despite the proximity of Phuket, one hour by boat.

In the middle of Phang Nga Bay

Koh Yao Noi, February 2009. That's where I chose to settle down, to gently attack this little Thai holiday... Good for me!

Koh Yao Noi is in the heart of the fabulous bay of Phang Nga, scattered with islets and limestone peaks, which stand out in the bluish haze of the horizon. (Thailand, February 2009)
Koh Yao Noi is in the heart of the fabulous bay of Phang Nga, scattered with islets and limestone peaks, which stand out in the bluish haze of the horizon. (Thailand, February 2009)
On the horizon, the karstic rocks that dot the bay of Phang Nga. (Thailand, Koh Yao Noi, February 2009)
On the horizon, the karstic rocks that dot the bay of Phang Nga. (Thailand, Koh Yao Noi, February 2009)

There are still bungalows on this small island at 500 baht (ten euros) and traditional wooden houses on stilts.

There are paddy fields, rubber forests, gray buffaloes and brown goats grazing along the embankments. You can ride your motorbike in the wind, along the small road that goes around the island, without fear of traffic, minimal.

But what first catches the eye here is the sea and its spectacular archipelago of islets and limestone peaks, which stand out in the bluish haze of the horizon.

Everyone knows Halong Bay, Vietnam. Phang Nga Bay is "Same same but different"... better, even, I find.

The view from Tabeak View Point

Today, I moved from my small bungalow in Koh Yao Noi Beach where I had first settled, with basic but nice comfort (pictured left below), to another one at Tabeak View Point, slightly less basic, but which has the advantage of being higher, on the hillside (photo right).

I moved for the view ... ???? ???? ???? For 600 baht, from my overhanging terrace, I can admire endlessly the fabulous spectacle of the bay, Krabi side. I do not get enough…

The view from the terrace of my bungalow on the hillside, at Tabeak View Point. (Koh Yao Noi, Thailand, February 2009)
The view from the terrace of my bungalow on the hillside, at Tabeak View Point. (Koh Yao Noi, Thailand, February 2009)

Video: long-tail boat ride

Long-tail boat ride in Phang Nga Bay. (Thailand, February 2009)
Long-tail boat ride in Phang Nga Bay. (Thailand, February 2009)

Alex, Tabeak's nephew, walks tourists on his long-tail boat, or "long-tail" boat as there are everywhere in the bay. These are big traditional boats, so called in English because of the long engine shaft at the rear - usually a diesel engine 'recu', very noisy ...

We spent the day sailing from rocks to islets, in the jade waters of Phang Nga, stopping on small cute beaches for swimming ...

The holidays start well!

Only small problem: my camera (a small compact Canon A95, which follows me on a trip for several years) begins to show signs of weakness and only lights up from time to time, when it sings (read below, at the end of this post).

Luckily, he deigned to continue to work the time of the ride ... So, I took the opportunity to also operate the video mode and bring some jittering images, for the memory. On return, I made a small editing, which I add to you below:

Very very nice, really, this walk in the middle of the karst islands of the bay Phang Nga ...

😎

Koh Yao Noi, the tranquil island

The islanders are very nice. Great warm smiles everywhere. Koh Yao Noi is far from Phuket's touristic-commercial frenzy ... It's soothing.

There is one large town, where the main shops are located, and a handful of villages scattered around the island. According to the brochure with the map of the island, Koh Yao Noi has about 4,000 inhabitants.

We are in the south of Thailand, many people are Muslim. But religion here is not austere or heavy for the foreign tourist that I am. No particular dress constraint to observe as a woman, if not mere decency. Many women on the island wear the headscarf, but not all, and there are many women to wear this kind of mesh hat that is often seen in the islands of the area. Forearms and lower legs remain uncovered and clothes are colored.

Skewers at the market of the town. Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)
Skewers at the market of the town. Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)
In the main street of the village of Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)
In the main street of the village of Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)

Side tourism, there are a lot of family guesthouses and some luxury hotels.

Koh Yao Noi reminds me a little Siquijor in the Philippines and Nusa Lembongan off Bali in Indonesia, for its peaceful and relaxed atmosphere, simple, without artifice.

Mangrove and melancholic strike

Even if we can observe new constructions in progress, I hope that the island escapes some time for the mass tourism, thanks to its beaches point quite as "paradisiac" as those of Phuket or Koh Phi Phi, according to the dreams of postcards sold by the tour operators. At low tide, the sand gives way to rock and dead coral, or muddy mangrove sand.

The strike, with its boats aground, has a melancholy and wild side.

Low tide at Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)
Low tide at Koh Yao Noi. (Thailand, February 2009)

I find them beautiful, these beaches not too domesticated. No street vendors or banana boats noisy, no rows of loungers with their hideous parasols.

The beaches of Koh Yao Noi remind me a bit also those of the Malaysian island of Tioman, between the village of Tekek and ABC Beach.

The camera lets me go ...

In any case, enjoy these images. It does not say that I can continue to do many more. My camera lets go ... I was talking about "little worry" above, but it's my big annoyance since I arrived here.

????

One of the electronic components of this modest Canon A95 compact camera must be dead. Nine times out of ten, when I turn it on, the screen stays black. And the sensor "sees" only black. Even if I trigger, I get a black rectangle ... I have to turn it on and off a dozen times to hope to see it light up, without guarantee of success.

For spontaneous photos, scenes taken on the spot, it's a bit damn.

On the boat, in Phang Nga Bay, he deigned to walk. But suddenly, I left it on, during the whole ride, not daring to turn it off for fear that it will definitely return to "black" mode and it has eaten the battery in no time ...

However, I finally have a picture of the attraction that is in all the cameras of tourists visiting the area, the famous rock of James Bond Island!

The famous rock of James Bond Island, seen from the sea. (Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, February 2009)
The famous rock of James Bond Island, seen from the sea. (Phang Nga Bay, Thailand, February 2009)
Walk in the bay of Phang Nga. (Thailand, February 2009)
Walk in the bay of Phang Nga. (Thailand, February 2009)

But I can't show you the well known, more spectacular view we take from the beach... When we saw the crowd disembark by speed-boats on the rocks, to trample this tiny tongue of sand, we preferred to stay offshore and head for other, less crowded islets...

I am a bit sad. It's been four years since I lug around everywhere, this little device. Until then, it was reliable and robust. The heat and the humidity had to be right of him.

It's about time that I team up more seriously ... ????

A great video of Koh Yao Noi

I put you here, after the fact, this beautiful video, which is not mine. I unearthed it in 2017, six years after this trip which dates from February 2009. Published in 2014 on Vimeo by the British director Philip Bloom, it restores the atmosphere of the island, which does not seem to have changed much since my passage. It's really anti-Phuket:

😎

  Thailand: Islands - February 2009

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