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Koh Yao is located in the south of Phang-nga Bay, lying horizontally, 42 kilometers away from the mainland of Phang-nga Province. It is a district of Phang-nga Province with a total area of 141.067 square kilometers, consisting of 44 islands. Of these islands, the two most important ones are Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, which is twice size of of Koh Yao Noi. Koh Yao Noi is the center of government with all government offices located there. Koh Yao has many tourist attractions that still maintain their natural beauty along with many beautiful beaches. The people of this island lead a simple life bond with the sea along with making a living from the sea. Apart from this, not far from the coast of Koh Yao are many exotic islands, which increase the beauty of Koh Yao.

In record in Thalang history, which was written in 1841, were the word, During the end of the Ayutthaya era Koh Yao, Koh Lang, Laem Pak Pra were under Thalang, which shows that Koh Yao used to be under the government of Thalang or Phuket of now. In 1903 Koh Yao changed its status to a sub-district and later in 1988 was changed to a district. It is believed that the early population of Koh Yao sought refuge from war in Trang and Satun provinces. Those who came from Trang settled on Koh Yao Noi while those from Satun settled on Koh Yao Yai. Now (in 2002) Koh Yao has a population of Koh Yao are rubber, coconut and cashew nut plantations, fishery, and herding.

Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is the location of Koh Yao District Administrative Office. Interesting tourist attractions on Koh Yao Noi are as follow:

Pa Sai Beach is about seven kilometers away from the District Administrative Office. This long stretch of white, pristine beach is a place where you can swim is shady with lots of trees. It also provides a spectacular view of the islands.

Klong Jaak Beach from a viewpoint on this beach you can see almost the whole of Koh Yao.

Ao Kian is under the control of the Phang-nga Bay National Park, located on the north of Koh Yao Noi. It has a lush forest with many large trees, along with a white beach and perfect swimming place.

Apart from this, tourist may hire a boat from Koh Yao to Pa Koh, which is a group of more than 100 islands, such as Koh Lao Ka Lao, Koh Lao La Ding, and Koh Pak Bia. They can also go snorkeling at Koh Hong and Krabi.

Koh Yao Yai
Koh Yao Yai is the largest island on Koh Yao District and many interesting beaches, such as Ao Thi Kud, Ao Klong Son, Ao Sai, La Pa Raed Beach, Ao Laan, Ao Hin Kong, and Laem Nok Og. Lo Jaak pier is an important pier from Koh Yao to Phuket. The water at the pier is clear and schools of fish swim near the bridge at the pier. Visitors can see the production of dried anchovies (pla ching chang) here. There are inexpensive bungalows on the island along with home-stay accommodations with the local people, who make a living by fishery or agriculture, to learn their lifestyle. Beautiful beaches on Koh Yao Yai are:

Loh Jaak Beach and Loh Jaak Pier is an important pier from Koh Yao Yai to Phuket. Merchandise worth over 100,000 baht pass through this pier daily. The beach here is white, and the water is clean and clear. Schools of fish swimming near the bridge are a beautiful attracttion. Visitors can also go fishing or search for shells or see the production process of making dried anchovies (pla ching chang). Long-tail boats can be hired to go to Koh Kai Nok or Koh Kai Nai. There are two trips leaving the pier to Phuket everyday at 8 pm and 2 pm daily.

Loh Pa Raed Beach is located in the middle of the island, on the west coast. The long, white beach is parallel to coconut plantations, ideal for camping, swimming, and seeing different types of shells, along with the lifestyle of the Hua Tong boat fishermen. Moreover, there are beautiful rocks on the north of the beach.

Klong Son Beach is ideal for camping amidst the wilderness where you can see boars, mouse deer, and various kinds of birds. You can also take a walk on the beach and look for shells or arrange a campfire night.

Ao Thi Kud is located on the west of the island. At the north of the bay is a cape with a beautiful view.

Ao Laan has a beautiful beach where you can also go swimming. To the north of the beach is deep waters. Getting to this beach would be more convenient by boat.

There are also many other interesting islands around Koh Yao as follows:

Koh Kai Nog has rocks and beautiful beaches with clear water. You can also dive around the island to see the coral and the various types of fish. A school of dolphins can be seen here almost everyday. Koh Kai Nog can be reached by boat from Lo Jaak pier or from Phuket, which is 15 kilometers away.

Koh Kai Nai is a small island with beautiful beaches and shady trees. There are no constructions on the island to come between you and nature. Snorkelling here you will feel that you truly are in a marine national park. See different types of coral and underwater marine life up close. It takes about 25 minutes by long-tail boat to get to Koh Kai Nai from Loh Jaak pier.

Koh Rang Nok (Li Peh) is one of the many islands where swallows make their nests. Swallows nests from Koh Yao are considered to be of the highest quality. Normally visitors are only allowed to see the island from the boat, as going on the island would be disturbing the swallows.

Koh Nog is an island nearby Koh Yao Noi. It has beautiful beaches suitable for camping. This is a very private island and can be reached by a small long-tail boat, which can accept about 5-10 passengers per trip. The price is about 300-500 baht per boat.

Koh Phii (Pu Lao Hantu), this island has the skeletons of sea gypsies in a cave. Sea gypsies normally pass by this island. Visitors can go diving around island. The island is also another place where swallows make their nests and visitors are not allowed on it.

To Koh Yao

From Phuket

Bang Rong Pier
in Tambon Pha Khlok, Thalang District. (from the Heronies Monument to the tenth kilometer) There are boats going
- To Manoh Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour and costs 50 baht, leaving Bang Rong Pier at 11.00, 12.30, 14.30 17.00 hrs.
- To Chong laad and Khlong Hia Piers on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour and costs 50 baht, leaving Bang Rong Pier at 12.30 hrs.

Laem Hin Pier in Tambon Koh Kaew, Muang District, Phuket. There are boats going
- To Laem Yai Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour and costs 50 baht, leaving Laem Hin Pier at 2 p.m.

Tien Sin Pier on the way to Koh Sirey in Phuket Town, there are boats going
- To Loh Jaak Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes an hour and costs 50 baht, leaving Tien Sin Pier at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Rassada port in Tambon Rassada, Phuket Town, there are boats going
- To Loh Jaak Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes an hour and costs 50 baht. On Sunday-Thursday the boats leave at 2 p.m. On Saturday the boats leave at 6 a.m.

From Phan-nga
Customs Pier in Tambon Koh Panyee To Sukkhaphiban Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour 30 minutes and costs 100 baht, leaving the customs Pier at 12.00 a.m. except Sunday.

From Krabi
Thalane Pier in Ao Luek District, there are boats going
- To Baan Tha Khao Pier on Koh Yao Noi. The trip takes 1 hour and costs 50 baht, leaving Laem Sak Pier at noon.
- To Chong Laad Pier on Koh Yao Yai. The trip takes 1 hour and costs 50 baht, leaving at noon.

From Koh Yao

- From Koh Yao Noi to Bang Rong Pier, Phuket. The boat leaves Manoh and Sukkhaphiban pier at 7 and 7.30 a.m. There are 3-4 trips a day.
- From Koh Yao Noi to Customs Pier, Phang-nga. The boat leaves at 7 a.m.
- From Koh Yao Yai to Bang Rong Pier, the boat leaves from Chong Laad and Khlong Hia Pier at 7 a.m.
- From Koh Yao Yai to Laem Hin Pier, the boat leaves from Laem Yai Pier at 8 a.m.
- From Koh Yao Yai to Tien Sin Pier, the boat leaves Loh Jaak Pier at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
- From Koh Yao Yai to Rassada Pier, the boat leaves Loh Jaak Pier at 8.30 a.m. on Sunday-thursday and Saturday, and 2.30 p.m. on Friday.
* Timetable and rates may change.

Apart from those that run according to the aforesaid times, boats must be chartered.
- From Koh Yao Yai to other small islands : Long-tail boat can be chartered.
- From Manoh Pier on Koh Yao Noi to Chong Laad Pier on Koh Yao Yai, There are long-tail boats running all day long. The trip takes 15 minutes and costs 20 baht.

- Fish Scale Flowers: are made by the Housewives of Koh Yao Club by creating flowers, such as roses, geraniums, and bougainvillea from fish scales.
- Dried Anchovies (Pla Ching Chang): are made from small anchovies that have been boiled and then sun-dried. These dried anchovies are rather salty but very natritious and can be used in many local dishes such as dips, soups, or curries, or simply deep-fried and eaten as a snack.