Koh Yao Noi Island in Phang-Nga Bay,Andaman Sea,Thailand
Koh Yao Noi Island has around 4,000 inhabitants and is around 10 x 12 km in size. It is one of the largest in an archipelago of 44 islands which is famous since it was featured in the James Bond movie “The Man With the Golden Gun“. Yao Noi’s sister island Yao Yai lies only 15 minutes away by boat and offers a chance to enjoy a pleasant day’s trekking or cycling.
According to local legend the strait between the two islands was created when a very angry Naga – Sea Dragon – crashed through on his way to Krabi to see his fiancée being married to someone else.
For centuries it has been believed that the two islands were populated by Chao Lay people, also called Sea Gypsies – nomadic groups who travelled from island to island for fish and other seafood.
It is, indeed, obvious from the darker skins that some Koh Yao Noi inhabitants are relatives of the Sea Gypsies but there is also evidence that many early settlers here migrated from Thailand’s southern Province and from Malaysia . Like all people of South Thailand, these migrants have mixed origins such as Thai, Burmese, Malay, Indian and Chinese.
On Koh Yao Noi the locals speak a dialect similar in many ways to some of the Malay languages but they also speak “Bangkok Thai”, should you want to practice. The main sources of income on the island are from rubber, sea food, rice, palm oil and coconuts.
Sea farms, holding bays for live fish and lobsters, are also popular and a common sight around the island. Tourism here has not been developed as it is in Phuket or Krabi therefore – if you take the time to look – you can experience the island as it was centuries ago, observing local people going about their daily business.
The Island remains a very natural, quiet and easy place to live: Koh Yao Noi and its surroundings gathers in a short distance some of the most interesting things to be discovered in South Thailand, in one of the most beautiful locations.
Koh Yao Noi Wildlife Our region is home to more than 250 species of mammals and 900 birds – the whole area contains an astonishing wealth of nature. The surrounding sea with its many coral reefs is also renowned as one of the finest diving areas in the world
The island sits at latitude eight degrees north and enjoys a tropical climate characterized by year round high temperatures and fairly little rainfall due to its 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, however, is to arm yourself with sun tan lotion as the weather is mostly good.
Temperatures are constant all year round (Maximum 30 °C to 33 °C and Minimum 20 °C to 23 °C,)