From Phuket we took the speed boat to Koh Yao Yai, a small island off the coast of Phuket. Koh Yao Yai is one of Thailand’s last unspoiled islands, and it is a true paradise. The big advantage of this is that you’ll have a real Thai island experience without huge crowds on the beach. The disadvantage is that many people consider the island ‘underdeveloped’ and that you can’t buy food and drinks on every street corner.

We stayed on Koh Yao Yai for four nights, which was the perfect amount of time to explore the entire island. We could’ve even stayed longer to relax a bit, but we had to move on to our next destination.

During our three full days on the island, we rented a scooter and drove to every corner of the island. The first day we explored the southern part, the second day the northern part and the last day the western part was the only unexplored part left. The beaches at the northern and southern parts of the island are the most beautiful and definitely worth a visit.

The northern beach (left) and the southern beach (right)

While driving south on the main road towards the beaches, we spotted a sign indicating a view point. We took the turn and after a ride through the jungle and a sweaty walk up, we reached a point with stunning views overlooking the palm tree jungle and the sea.

Although Koh Yao Yai is considered an ‘underdeveloped’ island, the main road is very well-maintained, there’s a 7-Eleven (with ATM) and a gas station along the main road and the Wi-Fi at our hotel was pretty good. While driving around the island you’ll come across many restaurants that serve Thai food all day. We specifically loved the food at Chill Chill @ Pai and we were lucky this place was so close to our hotel.

Dinner at Chill Chill

If you love to experience the beauty of the Thai islands but are not into overcrowded beaches and tourist attractions, Koh Yao Yai is the place for you. Furthermore, Koh Yao Yai is also a central place to do day trips from to other surrounding islands such as Maya Bay (or better known as ‘James Bond Island’).

Koh Yao Yai Sunrise

In case you know about any other ‘unspoiled’ Thai islands like Koh Yao Yai, drop a comment below because we’d love to find out!

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