Koh Yao Noi, Thailand - 6 days of idleness

Published: May 17th 2013
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Koh Yao Noi snorkellingKoh Yao Noi snorkellingKoh Yao Noi snorkelling

We had this beach completely to ourselves
We were only one hour as the crow flies from Phuket and yet we felt wonderfully remote. 'Our' island, Koh Yao Noi, ('long, little island' in Thai) lies in Phang Nga Bay marine park, an archipelago of 44 islands, some inhabited but mostly tiny limestone outcrops. Koh Yao Noi measures 50 square kilometres but has less than 4,000 inhabitants, mainly small fishing communities; our hotel (aptly named 'Paradise Hotel'😉 had its own bay at the northern end, an hour's bumpy drive by four wheel tuk-tuk over tracks through the forest from the island's harbour. At least the journey was worth it. Against a backdrop of mountains, looking out over a bay of craggy islands, we felt like we were in a scene out of The Beach.

This was to be a time of rest and recuperation from a month of continuous travelling. However the clear warm sea on our doorstep was just too inviting and most of our time was spent swimming, snorkelling, island hopping and kayaking in the bay. Eve was lucky for her first ever snorkel in the sea to see healthy coral reef and was amazed by the sheer numbers of fish around her. Only
Koh Yao Noi Phang Nga BayKoh Yao Noi Phang Nga BayKoh Yao Noi Phang Nga Bay

Kayaking and exploring these islands was fun
the jellyfish that stung her was unwelcome. We also explored the coast by kayak, looking in caves and 'hongs' (lagoons) created by the limestone, spotting water monitors and snakes in the rock. 'James Bond' Island was a huge disappointment though - swamped with tourists and hawkers stalls on every flat piece of land and encircled by flotillas of tourist boats there was not much to see of the island itself. In our rented longtail we only had to sail 10 minutes away to find a tiny deserted island for our own private beach.

Moving on from Phuket to the Malaysian city of Penang we are preparing to hire a car for 3 weeks to explore peninsular Malaysia. Penang for me has lost its cultural charm since my visit 20 years ago; skyrise hotels, shopping malls and so many taxis, with only the odd trishaw trying to fend off the traffic. We are looking forward to setting off again tomorrow, heading east to the northern region of Kelantan first.

Eve's Blog - My first Snorkel in the sea

I was amazed to see so many fish around me, and tickling my toes. There were
Hornbill Koh Yao NoiHornbill Koh Yao NoiHornbill Koh Yao Noi

our early morning wake up call
so many different fish of bright and dazzling colours but my favourite were the shoal of thirty yellow and black striped fish which followed me around in the water. I also saw two anenome fish like Nemo, and pink and purple coral waving around in the sea. My least favourite was the huge pink jellyfish that stung me one day, but the pain did not last very long.


19th May 2013

Eve's blog
Hi Eve It's sad to hear that you got stung by a jelly fish.Thank you for my postcard that arrived last Monday. Your handwriting was lovely. Enjoy the rest of your trip
22nd May 2013

Hello to Emily
My (JELLY) fish sting has all most gone now, it took a long time to heal though. I'm MISSING YOU SOOO! MUCH. Love from Eve. XXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXxxxx xxXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXx
20th May 2013

Hello Eve
Dear Eve, We are still really missing you however we're happy that you are having such a lovely time. We hope you are feeling much better after your jellyfish sting. The weather looks lovely and warm. Over here the weather is still rather dull (Sebastian describes it as 'rubbish') and chilly. How big was the James Bond island? It looks tiny in the film. What kind of interesting animals are you encountering? Have you learnt any new languages? We look forward to hearing from you soon, Lots of love Class 2 xxx
20th May 2013

Hello to Year 2
Selamat Pagi Mr Matthews and Year 2 - I am missing you all loads. The weather here is still very very hot and humid and I wish a little for the weather in Jersey ! But we spent three days in the mountains by the edge of a lake the size of Penang Island and explored some huge caves where there were lots of bats and scary spiders. We had frogs in our bathroom and bats were in the roof of the hotel. Now we are near the beach again on the east coast of Malaysia. Last night I went on a boat trip and saw twinkling fireflies. We also saw a green turtle come ashore and laid over 50 eggs in the sand. Then I was able to release a hatchling into the sea. I learnt that turtles only lay eggs when they are 20 years old and also that they always come back to the same beach where they hatched - amazing! I have learnt a little bit of Malay language but they speak English very well here. Today we took a kayak through a mangrove forest; it was unusual to see tree roots so high above the river. We saw a family of otters but they were shy and swam away. Mum has put some photos on the internet for you to see. I am also preparing some writing for our travel blog very soon. I wish I was at school with you often but am having lots of fun here. Lots of love Evexxxx

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