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Koh Yao yai, kids ride scooter
Koh Yao yai, kids ride scooter

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com


Riding a scooter on Koh Yao Yai is a very fun way to explore the island, most roads are good and it’s never crowded! Luckily because the taxis on the island are quite expensive. A ten minute drive costs about 250 baht per taxi.

If you have been to Thailand before, you know that riding a scooter with three or even four people is quite common in Thailand. Striking on Koh Yao Yai is that very young children already ride a scooter. The youngest we saw was about 10 years old! On the one hand we do understand, because cycling on the somewhat hilly roads is of course not to be done with the high temperatures in Thailand. But we always hope for the best.

Riding the scooter through Koh Yao Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Other tourists can easily be recognized on the scooter, they usually (very wisely) wear a helmet, the locals rarely do that. Probably there are hardly any police on the island, or the rules are not so strictly observed.

Important to know if you are going to ride a scooter on Koh Yao Yai is that the scooters in Thailand are actually often motorcycles, if you don’t have a motorcycle license you are not insured and your travel insurance will not compensate any kind of damage.

Abandoned road on Koh Yao Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Cost of riding a scooter on Koh Yao Yai

Usually you pay 250 baht per day for a scooter. Once in a while we saw a shop that asked 300 baht, for a rather special reason by the way (see the picture below). You usually rent a scooter near your hotel or at the busy piers of Koh Yao Yai. There is always a rental company nearby or someone who knows where to rent one. The helpful inhabitants of the island will be happy to help you. 

Refueling on the island is also a bit different than we are used to in the Netherlands. At small stalls along the road are glass bottles of soft drinks filled with gasoline, for 40 baht the bottle is emptied by a friendly lady in the tank of your scooter. Once in a while we saw a real petrol pump. 

A scooter rental company on Koh Yao Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Renting a scooter, giving your passport?

At many scooter rental companies on Koh Yao Yai they ask for your passport as a deposit. This is the same in many other places in Thailand. Whether you want to leave your passport behind is up to you, we never do this. Instead we give a copy of our passports and a large amount of baht as deposit. This varies somewhere between 1.000 and sometimes as much as 4.000 baht. Usually this is no problem at all and otherwise we will look for another scooter rental company. We rented our scooter less than 5 minutes walk from the Glow Elixir Resort at a local shop.

A gas station along the road on Koh Yai Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Good to know is that approximately in the middle of the island on the main road there is one 7-Eleven. Next to this 7-Eleven is an ATM. It is quite a big shop and they sell everything you are used to. So yes, also the famous 7-Eleven toasties and delicious iced coffees! Scattered over the island are also a few Family Shops supermarkets, here they sell not only everything the average tourist needs, but also beer and bottles of spirits. 

Smiling locals behind the glass of a local 7-Eleven on Koh Yao Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Be surprised!

The beaches we describe here are all easily accessible, you don’t have to cross sandy paths or other bad roads. Only for Ao Muong Beach you have to walk a bit on an unpaved path. Besides the beautiful beaches of Koh Yao Yai, the beauty of the island is mainly in the enjoyment of everyday life.

longtail boat on dry beach of koh yao yai
Authentic Thai wooden house on Koh Yao Yai

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Just try to drive around aimlessly and be surprised by what the island has to offer! Before you know it, you will be lying on a massage table with loud music from the boxes at the famous masseur Dr. Saad! Or visit small simple shops with sweet families selling delicious fresh fruit or snacks.

Koh Yao Yai Massage table by Dr. Saad
Koh Yao Yai, speakers at Dr Saad's cabin

Dr. Saad | Images: ThailandMagazine.com

Who knows, maybe you will meet the 10 baht bus just like us during our scooter trip on Koh Yao Yai, a fully loaded bus with household goods and trinkets, accompanied by an almost nostalgic tune. Surely it’s great to wander around among the merchandise, just like the locals, and then buy something you weren’t looking for at all?

Happiness is in the little things on Koh Yao Yai and if you can appreciate it, this is the island for you!

The ten baht Bus full of stuff for 10 baht

 Image: ThailandMagazine.com

Fun to do on Koh Yao Yai

On Koh Yao Yai there are of course many other fun things to do! We have picked a few nice locations for you. Like the best accommodations, well appreciated restaurants, bars and places of interest that are worth a visit. We hope this will make your visit to Koh Yao Yai even more fun! Via the InfoBox below you can find more information per tab. We wish you a very nice holiday!

Sleeping on Koh Yao Yai

Curious about the best hotels of Koh Yao Yai? Then read Best hotels in Koh Yao Yai

Eating & Drinking on Koh Yao Yai

  • Jikgo Bar & Restaurant
    Tasty authentic Thai dishes! A fine reflection of Koh Yao Yai! Also for a cocktail or other drink Jikgo is a top location.
  • Baan Rim Nam Restaurant
    At Baan Rim Nam you can have lunch or dinner with a fantastic view over the sea.
  • Chill Chill @ Pai
    At Chill Chill you eat delicious cakes and cookies but also fantastic dishes. And after dinner, chill out with a cocktail or two!
  • Iyara Cafe
    When visiting the Iyara Cafe you can enjoy delicious shakes and cakes! A top spot for a hot or cold coffee!
  • Laem Had Bar
    Eating and drinking on a special beach in Koh Yao Yai.
  • Emm Restaurant
    The Emm Restaurant is not far from the Loh Jak Pier. A beautiful location in the middle of a beautiful green garden!
  • Together Restaurant
    Whether it’s western or Thai food, here you eat together!
  • De restaurants van het Santhiya Resort
    This immense Santhiya Resort has several restaurants. For example Jettin Teppan at the pier from where you can see a beautiful sunset. Or the Titan Grill for grilled dishes. Besides these restaurants there are also By the Sea and the Saaitara Restaurant. More than enough choice!

Wil je meer te weten komen over de bovenstaande restaurants lees dan ons artikel “Beste restaurants in Railay Beach

Going out Koh Yao Yai

The nightlife on Koh Yao Yai is limited to a single bar, usually in places where most tourists come. Because 90% of the population is Muslim, alcohol is not available everywhere. Small local shops do not sell alcoholic beverages. The Family Shops, 7 Elevens and most hotels do.

Taxi & Scooter on Koh Yao Yai

Koh Yao Yai can be reached from many destinations in Thailand, because the island has no airport you can only get there by boat. Taxis on the island are quite expensive, if you travel on the island from north to south you will soon be half an hour away and will cost you around 500 baht by taxi, one way. For short trips (10 minutes) you pay around 250 baht by taxi. Cheaper and maybe even more fun is exploring the island by scooter.

Boats and departure times Koh Yao Yai

Loh Jark Pier -> Chean Vanich (Phuket)
From Loh Jark Pier speedboats depart 11 times a day to Phuket’s Jain Vanit Pier, the boat trip takes about 30 minutes.
Departure times speedboats: 06:30 – 07:30 – 08:00 – 09:00 – 10:00 – 11:30 – 12:30 – 13:30 – 15:10 – 16:10 – 17:00.
On Friday the boat departs from 13:30 at 14:00.

Baan Larm Yai Pier / Laem Yai Pier ->Chean Vanich* (Phuket)
From the Lam Jay Pier a ferry leaves twice a day to the Chean Vanich Pier on Phuket.
Departure times ferry: 07.30 and 14.00, the trip takes between 1.5 and 2 hours.

*If you want to go to Patong Beach/ Kata Beach, the Chean Vanish Pier on Phuket is the nearest pier. From this pier it is about 30 minutes drive.

Chong Lard Pier -> Thalane Pier (Krabi)
From the Chong Lat Pier longtail boats and speedboats leave for the Tha Len pier, the speedboat takes about 30 minutes and the longtail boat 1 hour.
Departure times speedboats: 06:40 – 09:40 – 14:00
Departure times longtail boats: 07:40 – 08.40 – 13.00
Prices: Speedboat 300 baht, longtail boat 200 baht

Chong Lard -> Ao Nang
From this pier speedboats depart 3 times a day, the trip takes about 40 minutes.
Departure times speedboats: 09:00 – 13:00 – 15:30

Chong Lard Pier -> Phi Phi
From Chong Lat there are 2 speedboats a day to Phi Phi island, you are about an hour away by boat.
Departure times speedboats: 09:00 and 13:00

Khlong Hia Pier – >Bang Rong* (Phuket)
8 times a day speedboats depart from the Khlong Hia Pier to the Bang Rong Pier on Phuket. You’re about 30 minutes away.
Departure times speedboats: 06:30 – 07:50 – 09:30 – 10:30 – 11:30 – 14:00 – 15:00 – 16:00.

*If you want to go to the Phuket international airport the Bong Rong Pier on Phuket is the nearest pier. From this pier it is about a 30 minute drive.

Khlong Hia Pier – > Railay Beach ( Krabi)
Once a day a speedboat goes to Railay Beach,
Departure time Speedboat: 08:30, the speedboat is about 40 minutes away.

Take a look at our selection of some beautiful pictures of Koh Yao Yai through our fifth Picture This article.

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Click here if you want to see the best pictures of Koh Yao Yai
Dr. Saad, click here for the full article on Dr. Saad massage on Koh Yao Yai
Click here if you want to know all about GLOW Elixir Koh Yao Yai Resort.
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