Koh Yao Noi : The Island

   Welcome to Koh Yao Noi

KOH YAO NOI: Time has passed since my first visit, and now I can even say that I am a regular. I never get tired of disembarking for a few hours or even a day or more in this little haven of peace.

This island lives very slowly : calm, peaceful, almost asleep, Koh Yao Noi welcomes you with a smile and hand signals as you pass by.

I'll just say one word: it's great.

Some people say that this is the Phuket of thirty years ago, and I can confirm that this reflection is largely justified.

Fortunately, the countless speed-boats carrying hordes of Asian tourists from Phuket have not yet had the reflex to come here... as long as it lasts.

This report is intended for my readers... but please don't spread it too much as I would like this island to stay like this. Let's keep it between us.

 Departure to Koh Yao Noi 

The longtail boat in the direction of Koh Yao Noi... you can sit in a cabin sheltered from the sun... you can also sit above it, in full sun, facing the wind. 
The small Manoh Pier
The taxi services to take you across the island 

 Koh Yao Noi: a small and quiet village


Koh Yao Noi is a very small island. You won't get lost... you walk around it comfortably, slowly, taking your time. You can get a taxi pick-up, or rent a motorbike (300 baht per day), or rent a bicycle. Bicycles are really appreciated here... The landscape and the general configuration are really suitable for cycling...

The population (about 3 to 4000 inhabitants) is almost 100% Muslim, but I was surprised by the number of smiles and hand greets as I passed by.

Among the main activities of the island, the rubber tree forests which produce rubber and allow many inhabitants to feed their families, but also and above all... fishing, and the breeding of shrimps, crabs etc...

In the rubber tree forests, the cutting of the trunks is generally done during the night around 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. A product which brings a lot of money at the end of the chain but which is very badly paid to the locals... It is not new...

Koh Yao Noi has kept this natural and authentic side which is really appreciable. No urban traffic, no girl bars, no noise except that of the fishermen in the distance, no jet-skis, no vendors on the beach, no mafia!
The flat calm, incredible, but true, yes, it still exists!

For the one who needs to decompress, this is the ideal place.

Stress, here... don't know!

Latex is harvested by bleeding the bark of the rubber tree trunk. They take place during the rainy season, around 3 to 4 o'clock in the morning: using a special knife, the bleeders, equipped with a headlamp, go through the rows of trees and make a slight notch going down to 40° on half or a third of the circumference of the trunk of each tree. The latex flows for several hours from the incision and is collected in a small pot. Then the notch dries by coagulation of the latex and the flow stops. Around 9:00 a.m. the contents of the jars are collected. At each bleeding, the notch is refreshed by cutting a thin strip about 2 mm thick, over the entire depth of the bark. However, it is important not to cut too deep into the bark, which damages the tree and makes it more fragile. Bleeding takes place periodically, usually every two days. The tree can thus produce latex from the age of 5 to 6 years and for about 20 to 25 years.
Harvesting can be done in liquid form (called latex harvest) if it is done just after bleeding, or in solid form if the latex is left to coagulate in the cup (coagulum harvest). If harvesting in liquid form, a little ammonia is added to prevent early clotting. Conversely, the post-harvest processing process starts by adding a little acid (usually formic) to coagulate the latex: the latex is poured into moulds and then mixed with the acid. The coagulate is then passed through a press to form sheets. These are then hung up to dry.
Shipment of latex sheets to processing plants
Typical dwelling close to the Manoh Pier lighthouse
Some shops in the centre of the village allow tourists to bring back the local t-shirt or hat...
You only have to drive a few hundred meters outside the village to find places like this one...
To get around the island, nothing beats a scooter rented from my friend Opal... then, on the road, you'll find small shops where you can get petrol, water, sweets and all sorts of things. The welcome is really nice.

 Koh Yao Noi : la Côte Sud

This southern part, on the side of Laem Sai Pier and Laem Sai Village is probably the least touristic part of the island. I walked there all the same to discover the true authentic side, to meet people who make their fishing, their cultures, or boat constructions. 
That day, a Songtaew (traditional bus) was parked on Laem Sai's small pier... the driver was settled and took his nap. 
The small pier of Laem Sai... on the right, higher up: Koh Nok
Life in Laem Sai Village... people live mainly from fishing.
Fresh shrimp brought back in the morning...
They build boats too... at their own pace, in their own way...
That's it for this southern part of the island of Koh Yao Noi, Laem Sai Village, mainly occupied by fishermen, simple but smiling people. We take our road again, very quietly. Here... traffic, rush hour...? don't know.

  Koh Yao Noi, la côte Est

We take the direction of the "East" coast of the island... namely Pasai Beach the first of the beaches which are on this coast after this river mouth at a few tens of meters from the beach.
Des petits bungalows simples à louer du côté de Pasai Beach
As you can see on this sign, canoes and kayaks can be rented. The place is ideal to make this kind of trip on the water, to reach for example Koh Nok which is not very far away. 
As mentioned above, cycling is an excellent means of locomotion. Everyone goes at his own pace, stops when he wants, settles down to drink a good refreshment or a club-sandwich...
Example of bungalows that can be rented on the spot... by the night, by the week...
In Pasai Beach, there are a few small restaurants that offer Thai dishes, fish brochettes, chicken... it's always nice to come and settle here in the afternoon.

 Koh Yao Noi: The West Coast

The East Coast really amazed us... but the West Coast has nothing to envy it. 
Although much less frequented: apart from a few rare inhabitants, we don't meet many people, the landscapes there are also very beautiful and we can say that the trip is worth it, we have all the time to enjoy these magnificent landscapes... 

A glimpse of the west coast of Koh yao Noi... there, in the background, due west... we can see the coast of Phang Nga (the Phang Nga bay is more on the right)

The West Coast at Tha Tondo Pier
Tha Tondo Pier
We're leaving Tha Tondo and heading north on this west coast... 
It's almost the end of the island... over there in the distance, you can see part of Phang Nga Bay...
We are now almost at the end of the small road along this west coast. At this place, an Italian (Boubou) had installed his restaurant "Le Coco Bello" a few years ago and I can tell you that it was a great pleasure not only to chat with him but also to taste spaghetti, tagliatelle or other lasagne accompanied by a good fresh birn beer. Unfortunately I have just learned that he has sold his business.
Too bad... maybe he will start another restaurant in Koh Yao Noi... wait and see...

 Koh Yao Noi, beautiful start to the day

Our long trip the day before (visiting the islands of the archipelago) had filled our eyes with excitement. Dreamlike landscapes, fantastic colours of the sky blending into the water, a sea of oil, in short, everything had been carefully orchestrated by Mother Nature in order to offer us a superb day...
Before that, I had proposed to my small group to spend the night in Koh Yao Noi, just to end this one day excursion in beauty. But in my head, I had a fixed idea: that of getting up the next morning before the sun and being able to witness the changing colors of the sky as time went by.
At 6:15 a.m., I was ready on the beach, camera in hand and ready to capture all the color variations from purple to mauve, orange to yellow...
With a dream setting, the silhouettes of the islands visited the day before standing out superbly and the first cliffs of the Krabi region in the background, these photos could only become beautiful.

 The Map Koh Yao Noi...

  Video  the island of Koh Yao Noi...