Nestled between tourist hotspots Phuket and Krabi, Koh Yao Noi has somehow gone unnoticed. It doesn’t even get a proper mention in Lonely Planet which I used to think the holy grail of travel but now I’m thinking otherwise…
How have these pristine beaches, idyllic views and quaint little wooden bungalows not even taken the Instagram world by storm?! Not that I am complaining though. It meant we felt as though we had this beautiful little island all to ourselves.
Island Paradise on Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi was absolutely beautiful and completely stole my heart. I could have stayed another week. It was just what I imagined island life to be and more. Paradise, off the beaten track, undisturbed, authentic, quiet, peaceful and extremely beautiful. It also had just enough little cafes, restaurants and mini marts to ensure that we ate well and for relatively cheap. There are enough amenities to feel looked after and safe on the island but nothing more than what we needed.
We stayed in Sabai Corner Bungalows on Pasai beach. We had our own little rustic treehouse complete with hammocks and a private bathroom. I have to admit the bungalows were not the most robust and we felt quite close to the elements at night! The sound of the rain and wind (which was common in the early hours of the morning) and the insects were both pretty loud and I had to wear ear plugs. I was also aware of little critters making their way into our bed but thankfully our mosquito net meant this never happened. (As far as I am aware).
Sleeping with the sun
Life was just a lovely slow pace on the island.
The sun set at 6.30pm which meant that after dinner we would retreat to our little bungalow and fall to sleep not long after. I then woke around 7am just after the sun rose. I loved the routine of waking and sleeping quite naturally with the cycle of the sun. It felt a million miles away from my alarm clock woken mornings when I worked an office job…
We spent that days swimming in the warm sea, eating, relaxing on the beach or in our bungalow and exploring the island by scooter. One day we hired a kayak and rowed over to another nearby little island. It was pure bliss. Although the rowing was more difficult that I expected and my arms were on fire! We also had to dart back quickly to avoid oncoming rain.
The warm rain showers were common and random downpours happened quite regularly. The skies would turn dark grey and the water a brilliant bright turquoise colour. The rain would then just pour with such force and determination!
A few days of pause
I got a real ‘end of holiday’ vibe leaving Koh Yao Noi and felt so reluctant to go. I guess this felt like a little break from our travelling adventure. It was a few days of pause. The island was small enough to become familiar quickly and it really was a home away from home. Unlike other places where there is so much exploring to do (which of course I absolutely love) it was nice to make a nest here in one place and enjoy the tranquility and beauty.
This was the kind of place where you want to feel in the moment as much as possible. However I always felt that I couldn’t be in the moment enough. It was so beautiful I wanted to savour every view yet I was just so aware that time was slipping away and that I’d have to move on at some point. Perhaps I was trying too hard to make time stand still. Perhaps I need to let go of that need to capture a moment in my mind and just feel the movement of time as it moulds the scene in front of me. Nothing ever really stops does it and life is always moving forward…
Anyway, if you’re ever in Southern Thailand you must visit Koh Yao Noi. It was just magical.