If you take a short boat trip from the Island of Phuket, you can escape the tourist beaches and find some quiet, almost deserted islands just off the east coast. The one I'm visiting is Ko Yao Noi, the smaller northern island next to Ko Yao Yai.
Although it's small, it has a village, a few cheap hotels next to the beaches on the eastern side, and a few more upscale villas for rent. But it's not necessary to stay here, you can make a day trip here from Phuket if you start your day early.
I caught a boat from the port of Bang Rong, in the North-East of Phuket, there's also a boat from Phuket Port in the south. Boats leave Bang Rong every 30 minutes starting at 7:30am until 17:30, on the return leg, the last one leaves at 16:40. It's frequent enough to go and come back the same day, and still have time for a full day there.
There are two types of boats, the slow boat also takes bikes but takes 1 hour for the journey, the faster speedboats only take 30 minutes, but won't take any bikes. I wish I'd taken my bike there, but the woman at gate, collecting an entry fee to the port, told me the later boats back are speedboats and won't take my scooter. Better to leave it in the bike shed, in any case there were bike rental, on the island.
There are a few places to park cars, or if you leave your scooter at the port, leave it in the bike shed, and don't lock the front wheel. They told me, they have to move them around sometimes. The price of the bike shed was included in the entry to the port, but I also tipped the guard there 20 baht.
You don't need to be able to speak Thai, just watch the locals get onto a boat, and follow them, and pay on exit.
It's low season and the island is deserted, the water is warm, the view is breathtaking and there's no queue at the few Thai cafes along the beach. Across the bay to Ko Yao Yai, the larger island, I see a tapering sandy beach I want to explore next time.
There's a lot of crabs scampering around the beach, and a lot of strange bugs on the rocks. They scatter as I came close, thousands of them ran for cover. Just next to this beach is a very fancy resort, Villaguna Residence with villas next to the beach.
Speaking of rocks, further out past the sand, the beach starts to get rocky, so watch your step, if you go swimming. Kayaks are for rent, if you want to kayak out to one to Ko Hong 3km away. I found the beach quiet enough, that I didn't see the point of Kayaking out to another island to find an even quieter beach!
Entry to the port is 10 baht, the slow boats cost 120 baht per person, or 200 for the speedboat. A bike costs 200 baht, each way. Taxi vans on the Island are quite expensive, 75-100 baht each person, depending on where you want to go.
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