Koh 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 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 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.
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