Far from the Madding Crowd in Koh Yao Noi
Description of Koh Yao Noi
Koh Yao Noi is very accessible from Sumalee Boxing Gym. It is a must for those who want to combine their Muay Thai training with sightseeing off the beaten track. Koh Yao Noi in Phang Nga Bay is a Muslim island which has been largely untouched by tourism. The island is much the same as it would have been a hundred years ago. It is peaceful, natural and beautiful. Although there is some tourist infrastructure, the island remains a quiet refuge that feels far removed from the crowds and mass tourism of other more commercialized islands.
Koh Yao Noi has many natural charms. These include: 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. In 2002, Koh Yao Noi gained worldwide attention after receiving the World Legacy Award for Destination Stewardship from Conservation International. It also received National Geographic Traveler magazine award for the eco-friendly homestay programs offered by its local residents.
To get there from Sumalee Boxing Gym, you take a local ferry from Bang Rong pier. This is approximately 10 kms from the gym. The cost is approximately 100 thb each way. The journey through the stunning Phang Nga Bay takes about one hour. It is possible to do the trip easily in a day. Alternatively, spending the night on this supremely peaceful island where the pace of life is so relaxed is an enjoyable alternative.
Thanks to Jan Mati, a Sumalee student who recently visited the island, for these photographs.