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Koh Phayam is the second largest island in the Andaman sea, Ranong Province. This island is known as the “paradise on earth” with white sand, blue sea, sunshine and palm forests, surrounded green by palm forests and pine forests. Especially, today, Koh Phayam island is still very deserted visitors..
In Koh Phayam there are not many colorful coral reefs for snorkeling to attract visitors. However, dropping yourself in the clear blue waters of the sea or renting a motorbike to wander, explore the rubber plantations and the nice little restaurants on the island is also very rewarding experiences worth to try.
Beaches on Koh Phayam
Long beach (Haad Yai) in the west is the longest and best beach for sunsets and enjoying beach life. There is a lot of space for a lonesome spot under a tree or for jogging on the wide beach during low tide. There is nothing much to do but relaxing, reading books or having a drink in a beach bar or restaurant. Wifi is available in some places. And at nighttime a few bars are open for pool billard and music.
Buffalo bay (Ao Khwai) is a flat sandy bay in the north of Phayam. During low tides the water disappears from half of the bay, but at high tide it is like a big bath tube with warm and calm bright blue water. The beach is divided into two areas, where the small beach resorts are located. It is a place to be for people who are seeking silence and a very relaxing atmosphere.
There are some short beaches like Ao Mae Mai on the eastern side of Koh Phayam near to the piers and the village. These places are ok for people without a focus on beach life but to do some other activities.
Things to do
A few resorts on Ko Phayam offer boat trips for fishing, snorkeling or diving. The best places are not around the island but a bit more south in the Andaman Sea. Daytrips to Ko Surin national park or to the smaller islands of Ko Kam can be worthwhile, if the weather and sea conditions are fine. In the future trips into the Mergui archipelago in Myanmar with its hundreds of unspoiled islands will be possible.
Exploring the small island is an option using a rental motorbike or a bicycle. In about one hour nearly every spot reachable by roads can be visited.
How to get to Koh Phayam
- Ko Phayam is usually accessed from Ko Phayam Pier in Ranong town on the mainland; see the Ranong travel section for details on getting there and to the pier.
- If you prefer to book your travel in advance, you can book ferry tickets to Ko Phayam online with Ranong Ferry who can arrange both slow boat and speed boat ticketing.
- In high season, slow boats depart for Phayam from Ranong at 09:30, 10:00 and 14:00 for 200 baht and take two hours. Speedboats depart at least once every two hours from 09:30 to 16:30 for 350 baht and take 45 minutes, with hourly departures in peak season. In low season, one slow boat departs at 09:30, weather permitting.
- From the main village pier on Ko Phayam, slow boats return to Ranong in high season at 08:30, 14:00 and 15:00. Speedboats return hourly in peak season from 07:00 to 17:00, with fewer departures during the shoulder months.
- Two of the Ranong-bound speedboats departing from Phayam can usually stop at the New Pier on the east coast of Ko Chang Noi for 350 baht; times depend on tides so ask a travel agent. A private longtail boat costs around 2,500 baht, per boat not per person, and can drop you at any of the west-coast resorts on Chang.
- If you’re heading to Ao Siad on the south coast of Ko Chang Noi, take the 14:00 slow boat from Phayam and call one of the bungalow joints to request a pick up by longtail, and be sure to tell the slow boat crew what you’re up to.
- Nokair offers two flights daily (early morning and afternoon) from Bangkok Don Mueang to Ranong. Minibus shuttles drive from the airport to the town or pier for 200 Baht p.p. If taking the flight in the afternoon, an overnight stay is necessary in Ranong.
- Overland buses are reaching Ranong from Bangkok (8-9 hours) or Phuket/Khao Lak (4/2 hours).
- Walking is not a great way to get around Ko Phayam due to the relatively long distances between beaches. Motorbike taxis hang out near the pier and charge 70 to 100 baht to take you any place on the island. Resorts can call them to pick you up whenever you need.
- Phayam’s narrow lanes are great for bicycling along the mostly flat or rolling terrain. Quality mountain bikes can be rented at Took’s Place in the village for 100 baht per day. Several resorts rent out bicycles as well.
- Motorbikes can be rented for around 200 baht per day at several places in the village and most resorts. Travellers are occasionally overcharged for minor bumps and scratches at certain shops; we had a good experience at Oak & Amy on the immediate right after leaving the pier, and some expats suggested Popeye, located a little further up from the pier on the left.
- There are no cars or trucks on Phayam, just the motorbikes and a few tractors and ATVs. Be careful when riding, as deep ruts and patches of slippery sand often appear without warning on the not-so-well-maintained lanes.
Weather and climate
The climate on Ko Phayam is tropical with a long rainy period from May till end of November and lots of rain and storm coming from he indian ocean. From December till april the weather is fine and calm with sunshine and blue seas. The daytime temperature ranges between 28 and 33 degrees Celsius and the water temperature is around 28 degrees. High season is from December till March.
Where to stay in Koh Phayam
There are many small bungalow resorts along the beaches and in the middle of the island. They are all family owned with a very friendly but simple atmosphere. The prices are still quite low. If you decide to live along the small road that leads thru the island, you will be part of the daily life on Ko Phayam. While being on the beach will mean relaxing and hiding away from life a bit. An interesting location to sleep is Lamai Resort in the center of the island on a hill top with wonderful views and a panoramic restaurant. The best beach resorts is probably the Blue Sky Resort on the east side, but the beach is not the best. On Buffalo Bay we recommend The Buffalo Bay Vacation Club and the Heaven Beach Resort. On Long Beach Phayam Lodge is a good choice, if you like higher quality bungalows.
See more Koh Phayam images
Koh Yao Noi
Although the location of Kho Yao Noi is quite close to Phuket but the island is less known to tourists. Therefore, Koh Yao Noi become an ideal vacation place for tourists who love the rustic, quiet, tranquility, love to explore and want to experience the romantic private moments.
To explore this island, you can rent a mountain bike and cycling along the trails to go around the island. You can also visit the rubber plantations, learn about the idyllic life of the locals and taste the local delicacies such as banana smoothies, coconut curry …
Things to do in Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi does not have any particular landmark or stunning view point, nevertheless, while driving around, you will discover a place that has changed very little in 20 years, aside from a few more motorbikes and the new 7-Eleven. A drive around its quiet roads reveals a place of true peace and simplicity for the traveller.
Wooden houses all along the roads, buffalos taking mud baths in the rice paddies, the cool, shaded roads passing through the many rubber plantations and the beauty of the mangrove with its trees standing in the middle of the sea are just a few of the natural charms of this simple island.
The laid-back feeling of the island is contagious, time slows down and nothing seems to pressure the inhabitants who spend a lot of time chatting in small groups, lounging in the afternoon under salas or in hammocks.
You will find few restaurants and few bars along the coastline with only a small village near the pier with small local shops and all the government buildings including a school, hospital, police station, and electricity and post offices. Another small concentration can be found at the Tha Krao Pier to Krabi on the east coast.
To get around, motorbikes (200 Baht for a half day) and tuk-tuks are available for hire.
Some local shops have sea kayaks for rent, but your hotel or bungalow will certainly offer these, as well as day trips to the amazing “Koh Hong” – the stunning rocks facing the island. See Kayaking tours (from Phuket) for more information.
How to get to Koh Yao Noi
You can get to the island from the airport, by a taxi which will take you to the pier in 25 minutes. Long-tail boat ferries make daily trips to Yao Noi from Bang Rong Pier on the east coast of Phuket. The fare is 80 Baht for the one-hour journey, with daily departures from Phuket at 9.30 am, 12 noon and 5 pm. The boat will make a short stop on Koh Yao Yai, then cross to Koh Yao Noi, only 8 minutes away. Long-tail boats can also be hired at Ao Po pier for charter to Koh Yao.
The island is between Phuket, Krabi and Phang-Nga Bay. It lies 42 kilometers south of the mainland of Phang-Nga Province. The bay has an area of 141,067 square kilometers, consisting of 44 islands. The two most important of these islands are Koh Yao Noi (Little Long Island) and Koh Yao Yai (Big Long Island).
Long-tail boat ferries make daily trips to Yao Noi from Bang Rong Pier on the east coast of Phuket. From the airport, a taxi will take you to the pier in 25 minutes. To get to the pier, take route 4027 east from the Heroines’ Monument, then turn right at the sign for Bang Rong (or Bangrong) and follow along for a few kilometers.
The fare is 50 Baht for the one-hour journey, with daily departures from Phuket at 9.30 am, 12 noon and 5 pm. The boat will make a short stop on Koh Yao Yai, then cross to Koh Yao Noi, only 8 minutes away. Long-tail boats can also be hired at Ao Po pier for charter to Koh Yao.
Transportation from Phuket Island to Kohyao Noi/Yai
The public boats (longtail and speed boats) are becoming more reliable and thus more popular with our adventurous or travel-savvy guests. This is public transportation though and comfort levels may not meet your expectations.
- Take a taxi from the Airport / hotel on Phuket to Bang Rong Pier
- Longtail boat or speed boat transfer from Bang Rong Pier to Manoh Pier Koh Yao Noi
- Take Tuk Tuk (taxi) from Manoh Pier to Hotel /Bungalow/Resort
Weather of Koh Yao Noi
The island sits at Latitude 8 degrees north and enjoys a tropical climate characterized by year round high temperatures and fairly little rainfall due to the position. During the months of May-July and again in September-October Monsoon winds refresh the island with evening gusts that see the palm trees swaying and the odd downpour is possible. Best advice is to arm yourself with sun cream as the weather is mostly good.
The island sits at Latitude 8 degrees north and enjoys a tropical climate characterized by year round high temperatures and fairly little rainfall due to the position. During the months of May-July and again in September-October Monsoon winds refresh the island with evening gusts that see the palm trees swaying and the odd downpour is possible.
Where to stay in Koh Yao Noi
A favourite of families with a good mix of accommodation, Pasai Beach stretches to meet the upscale Lom Lae Beach at the island’s southeastern tip. Head up the east coast to the lovely Klong Jark beach, which hosts a couple of high-end resorts along with some flashpacker options. Backpackers will be better served on Tha Khao Beach over on the southwest coast. Closer to the fishing boats, Nawik and Laem Sai offer more of a local air.
For a lesser-developed island on the Andaman coast, Ko Yao Noi has a good variety of places to stay. From a 500 baht a night bamboo shack to a 50,000 baht pool villa, Yao Noi has it all. Peeking into most every bungalow and resort choice on the island, we were impressed with the quality and value of the offerings here.
Most places are small scale and family-run, and where they might lack cool efficiency they usually make up for it with a warm and helpful attitude. There’s little in the rock-bottom budget price range but for moderately cheap to flashpacker budgets, Yao Noi offers many solid choices. If you’re in need of mid-priced accommodation with air-con and swimming pools, you’ll find a better range on nearby Ko Yao Yai or Ko Lanta.
At the budget end, one of our favourites is Pasai Cottage, set across the road from Pasai beach in a cluster of bungalow resorts. Its 10 fan bungalows brim with colour and character, and the staff are friendly. The attached cafe offers sea views and a good gathering spot with a traveller’s ambience. Just up the road near Tha Khao beach is Nam Tok bungalow, another friendly spot where travellers will find good company. Though Nam Tok’s cheaper huts could use some fixing up, its welcoming owner and common kitchen and bar area add to its appeal, especially for those travelling solo.
Those visiting Yao Noi and seeking a place to stay in the 800-1,500 baht range really have a wealth of choice, and we had a tough time selecting the best. But three flashpacker-budget bungalows stood out for us. We really liked Suntisook Resort, a collection of fan and air-con bungalows found across the road from Tha Khao beach, for its cheerful design touches and relaxed, family-friendly garden setting. The restaurant is good, too, and run with care by a friendly mother and daughter team.
The nearby Baan Tha Khao Bungalow is another good spot with an absolute beachfront setting and a good variety of options for travellers, from smaller beach huts for two, to a family-sized bungalow with two double beds to concrete bungalows with air-con. If you’re not desperate for a beachfront spot, then try Hill House, found in a shaded rubber-tree plantation setting up a steep hill from Tha Khao beach. Its wooden fan bungalows have generous-sized balconies, which you’ll likely spend a lot of time on to take in the spectacular sea and sunrise views.
At the top end of the range, Six Senses Yao Noi (You can check rates, reviews & availability for this hotel on Agoda.com or Booking.com) resort is not only the best on Ko Yao Noi but is rated among the best in the world – it doesn’t appear in the Living Nomads accommodation list for the island only because we didn’t personally inspect it. On the bucket list! But if you have cash to burn and are looking for a romantic, pampered getaway, we’re certain you won’t go wrong there.
See more photos of Koh Yao Noi
Koh Kradan is an island with a relatively small area (about 4 km long and 1000 m wide) in Trang province. Because of the size of the island is quite small to visit the island, visitors only take about 3 hours kayaking.
For couples in love, Koh Kradan is an ideal destination by the poetic space, the waves whispering and the cool breezes carry the salty taste of the sea. When you come Koh Kradan, you will have really comfortable relaxing moments in unspoiled natural space, tranquility here.
How to get to Koh Kradan
By private boats from Koh Mook or Koh Libong or Koh Ngai or from the pier at Trang coast. Day trip boats from Koh Lanta stop at Koh Kradan as well as speedboats from Koh Lipe like Tigerlinetravel.com or Bundhayaspeedboat.com. During the rainy season Koh Kradan can not be visited on a regular basis.
Whether from the mainland or other islands, all boats pick up and drop off in front of Kradan Beach Resort towards the south end of the main beach.
To/from the mainland
Trang town is the main jumping off point for Ko Kradan, with travel agents near the train station offering combined minibus/longtail boat transfers departing in high season at 11:00 and 16:00 for 450 baht. After arriving at Kuan Thung Khu Pier on the mainland you’ll hop in the boat for the one-hour cruise to Kradan. Boats return to Kuan Thung Khu and a waiting minibus to Trang at 08:30 and 13:30. See the Trang transport section for info on getting there and onward transport.
There are no shared boats to/from Kradan in low season. A private transfer will run 2,200 baht all up from Trang—per group, not per person—and will depend on weather conditions.
From around November 1 to March 31, speedboats and ferries connect Ko Kradan directly to a number of other islands. Tickets can be booked through any resort on Ko Kradan; whoever sells you the ticket will need to call the boat so it’s best to give them prior notice.
Heading north, the Satun Pakbara speedboat picks up on Kradan at 10:45 and reaches Ko Muk at 11:00 for 300 baht; Ko Ngai at 11:30 for 400 baht; Ko Lanta at 12:00 for 1,150 baht; Ko Phi Phi at 13:30 for 1,850 baht; and Phuket at 14:30 for 2,650 baht. This boat is usually late so don’t count on making a 16:00 flight out of Phuket.
The cheaper and slower Petpailin ferry also runs to Kradan, picking up at 09:30 and running north to Ko Ngai for 300 baht and Ko Lanta for 400 baht. Another ferry stops at Kradan at 13:00 and runs up to Ko Phi for 450 baht and Phuket for 800 baht, arriving there at 16:30.
Heading south, the speedboat picks up on Kradan at 11:40 and reaches Ko Bulon Lae at 12:30 for 900 baht; and Ko Lipe at 13:30 for 1,400 baht.
Speedboats to Ko Kradan depart from Phuket at 08:30; Ko Lipe at 09:00; Ko Phi at 09:30; Ko Bulon Lae at 10:00; Ko Lanta at 10:30; Ko Kradan at 11:00; and Ko Muk at 11:30.
The Tigerline high-speed ferry also connects Kradan directly to Ko Phi Phi, Phuket, Hat Yao pier in Trang, and Langkawi Island in Malaysia, plus all of the other islands listed above except Ko Bulon Lae. The southbound boat departs Phuket at 08:00 and picks up on Ko Kradan at 11:30, while the northbound boat departs Langkawi at 09:00 and stops on Kradan at 13:30.
You can also take a private longtail boat to Ko Muk or Ko Ngai for 800 to 1,200 baht. Ko Libong can be reached by private longtail for around 2,500 baht; you could save cash by heading back to Trang and transferring to a local minibus bound for the Libong ferry pier at Hat Yao.