The lovely Thai Island of Koh Yao Noi is the second biggest island in the Koh Yao group. Koh Yao Yai is the biggest island (the name means big long island), and Koh Yao Noi is “little long island”. The islands are separated by a narrow sound (and a ferry service). Legend has it that the islands were originally one and were split by battling serpents. Depending on what you read Koh Yao Noi is the busier and more built up of the two islands, or it’s the quieter one. We’re here right now and it’s delightfully quiet, there are enough places to eat, (especially if you choose where you stay carefully), and there’s a whole lot of relaxing to do here. This guide covers you whether you’re going from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi or Koh Yao Noi to Phuket as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two destinations. There are several options for transport between Phuket and Koh Yao Noi, but what’s the best way to go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi? And what are the options for traveling to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket? Here’s our guide on how to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket
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Where is Koh Yao Noi
The island of Koh Yao Noi is in Phang Nha Bay in Southern Thailand. Phang Nha Bay is part of the Andaman Sea.Phang Nha Bay is probably most famous for the karst limestone islands and specifically, James Bond Island. Koh Yao Noi is about 24 kilometers (15 miles) as the crow flies from Phuket. Koh Yao Noi is 46 kilometers (28.5 miles) from Krabi and it’s often approached from both Phuket and Krabi. As we had flown into Phuket we came from there to Koh Yao Noi. There are several piers on the island and which one you arrive on depends on the boat service you’ve taken and where you embarked.
Where to Stay on Koh Yao Noi
There are places to stay all around the coast of the island, we think that the east coast of the island is the best place to stay, as it has a group of places to eat and some good beaches that you can explore easily without having to hike a long way. Here’s our tips for the best places to stay on Koh Yao Noi
The five star Cape Kudu Hotel gets top billing here. It’s in a great location, has a fabulous pool, and amazing amenities. If you want luxury on Koh Yao Noi this is the place to come. Check out the Pool Villas for the absolute max in luxury.
Just along the road from Cape Kudu is where we’re staying right now. The Holiday Resort. We have a beachfront bungalow with a private deck and ocean view. The A/C is great (although we haven’t needed it most nights), the staff here are really friendly and so helpful. There’s scooter rental for 300 THB a day and the breakfast fills you up all day. Oh yeah, and the pool, that’s pretty nice too! Check rates and availability here.
How to Go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi – Transport Options
In this guide on how to go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi, we’ll cover the fastest way to travel go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi, the easiest way to go to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket, and the cheapest way to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket. Our guide on Koh Yao Noi is here.
How to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket
For transport from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket, you have a single option, this is an island after all. But if you’re coming from further afield, then you can fly to Phuket Airport (HKT), and then you’ll need a transfer to the pier and then a ferry.
You can book through trips overland from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi here. If you book a through ticket from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi then you’ll get transport to your hotel or accommodation in Koh Yao Noi.
You can see piers on both Phuket and Koh Yao Noi on our map later in this article.
The majority of boats from Phuket Island to Koh Yao Noi leave from Bang Rong Pier.
Some boats leave from different piers – Rassada Pier, Phuket Town, (there’s more on what to do on Phuket in our guide here), and also Ao Po pier (north of Bang Rong Pier) I’ll cover those after this main route of Bang Rong Pier to Koh Yao Noi
Phuket to Koh Yao Noi – Bang Rong Pier to Koh Yao Noi
So your first task is to get to Bang Rong Pier.
Phuket International Airport to Bang Rong Pier, Phuket
Bang Rong Pier is about a 20-25 minutes drive from Phuket International Airport. There are no buses or shared shuttles that go from Phuket Airport to Bang Rong Pier – unless you take the Tigerline boat at 9 am, so you’ll need to take a taxi or a Grab to get there.
There are some through tickets that you can buy to get a pick up from Phuket Airport and get dropped directly at your accommodation on Koh Yao Noi – you can check the prices here (but they are more expensive.)
Taxis from the airport to Bang Rong pier will cost 650 THB. A Grab shows a price of 620 THB. We stayed at the Snug Airportel after our overnight flights from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and took a taxi from the hotel, which cost us 500 THB. (It’s a great small hotel, 10 minutes walk from the airport with private rooms and dorms as well as a fabulous pool, and close to some super places to eat – you can check the hotel out here).
Bang Rong Pier to Phuket Airport
If you are arriving at Bang Rong Pier from Koh Yao Yai or Koh Yao Noi and wanting to go to the airport, then a taxi will cost you 600 THB. Ask on the boat if anyone else is wanting to go to the airport and share the fee. We shared with a fellow traveler and paid 600 THB for three of us. We were transported in a minivan, as there are strict rules in Thailand as to how many people can go in each vehicle.
Phuket Town to Bang Rong Pier
Thai Songthaews – those shared trucks with seats in – run from Phuket Town to Bang Rong Pier and you can get them from the Phuket Town Market. Expect to pay around 35-40 THB per person and the journey to Bang Rong Pier from Phuket Town to take about an hour.
There are also boats that you can take from Rassada pier in Phuket Town to Koh Yao Noi, but they take about 3.5 hours. They’re run by Tigerline and you can book them here.
Boats from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi (Bang Rong Pier to Koh Yao Noi
Two types of boats go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi – speed boats (we took this type) and long tail boats. Regardless of what your ticket confirmation says you do NOT have to print the ticket, a mobile confirmation will do.
Speedboats to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket
There are usually 35-40 people on the speed boats. There are life jackets for everyone and if you don’t pre-book your Phuket to Koh Yao Noi speed boat ticket, then you should get there about an hour beforehand to buy it. I was delighted to see the 12goAsia logo slapped all over the speed boat we took from Koh Yao Sun Smile.
Tickets from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi cost from 400 THB per person. You can buy them here with 12goAsia. Note that the price is for the cheapest speedboat, and it only goes once a day.
You can pay an extra 100 THB to get a transfer directly to your hotel or accommodation on most trips. It’s well worth it. We traveled around the island during our 6 days here and visited all the piers on the island. Apart from the Tha Khao Pier on Koh Yao Noi (in the North East of the Island and used for ferries from Krabi) there’s pretty much nothing close to the piers, so unless your accommodation is sending a transfer for you, it’s quite a walk.
Luggage goes in the front of the boat and passengers (apart from a few) sit in the back area. There are under cover areas and seats in the sun. There are about 8 forward-facing seats, all others line the boat and face inwards. And yes it’s a squeeze, these seats are made for Thai bums, not mine. The crew will handle all the big bags getting on and off the boat and they’ll help you too.
Speedboats usually go to the other island, Koh Yao Yai first (and so that means everyone else gets off), and then tootle over to Koh Yao Noi. And so it happened that we had a private boat for that last part of the trip and enjoyed it from the bow.
Speedboat Companies that go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
The most frequent boat company that goes to and from Koh Yao Noi is Koh Yao Sun Smile (and they have 4 ferries in each direction each day).
There are also speedboats from Green Planet and Tigerline Travel. Green Plant is the cheapest of the speedboats, but only goes once a day (at 3 pm) and Tigerline is the most expensive, but also only goes once a day.
Times of Speedboats from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
Speedboats to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket (Bang Rong Pier) takes about 30 minutes and usually go via Koh Yao Yai. Speedboats cost 400 THB per person.
Here are the times for Phuket to Koh Yao Noi speedboats.
09:30 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (Bang Rong Pier to Laem Sai Pier)
11:00 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (Bang Rong Pier to Laem Sai Pier)
15:00 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (goes to Manoh Pier – operated by Green Planet)
15:30 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (Bang Rong Pier to Laem Sai Pier)
17:00 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (Bang Rong Pier to Laem Sai Pier)
Times of Speedboats from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket
Here are the times to Phuket from Koh Yao Noi
06:30 speedboat from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket > buy tickets here (Laem Sai Pier to Bang Rong Pier)
10:30 speedboat from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket > buy tickets here (Laem Sai Pier to Bang Rong Pier)
11:40 speedboat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi > buy tickets here (goes from Manoh Pier – operated by Green Planet)
13:00 speedboat from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket > buy tickets here (Laem Sai Pier to Bang Rong Pier)
15:00 speedboat from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket > buy tickets here (Laem Sai Pier to Bang Rong Pier)
Long Tail Boats from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
You can also take a longtail boat to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket. These cost a little less (the price in January 2023 was 300 THB) and take a little longer than the speedboats. Long tail boats to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket leave when full.
Phuket International Airport to Koh Yao Noi
Tigerline also runs one boat a day each way that goes includes a transfer that goes to and from Phuket International Airport. Your ticket includes your transfer from the airport to Ao Po Pier, your speedboat crossing to Koh Yao Noi, and your transfer to your accommodation on Koh Yao Noi.
09:00 from Phuket International Airport – arrives at Koh Yao Noi 10:30
16:00 from Koh Yao Noi to Phuket International Airport – arrives at the airport at 17:30
You can buy tickets for just the boat, the transfer from the airport, and the transfer on Koh Yao Noi and you can check the prices here
Phuket Town to Koh Yao Noi
Tigerline also runs one boat a day from Phuket Town to Koh Yao Noi. This boat takes 3.5 hours and leaves from Rassada Pier. You can check the times and prices here.
Where Do Boats Arrive in Koh Yao Noi
The pier that your boat from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi arrives on depends on the service you take. Check with the service, and check on your ticket. Make it easy on yourself and get a transfer to your accommodation. While many historic posts about Koh Yao Noi indicate that you can rent a scooter as soon as you get off the boat we didn’t see any evidence of this in 2023. It’s easy to rent a scooter, motorbike, or motorbike and sidecar from your hotel in Koh Yao Noi.
Ferries from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi will either arrive at Manoh Pier or Laem Sai Pier.
We arrived at Laem Sai Pier and our Songthaew transfer to Holiday Resort Bungalows was waiting for us. (we paid for it on a through ticket)
Map of Piers for going boats from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
You can also see the piers on Phuket and Koh Yao Noi here
The quickest way to get from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
The quickest way to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket is to take a speedboat. Speedboats from Bang Rong pier to Koh Yao Noi take about 30 minutes. You can book tickets from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi here.
The easiest way to go to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket
The easiest way to get from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi is to prebook a speed boat and transfer to your accommodation. (there’s a separate charge for the transfer and you do NOT have to take it). Check the costs here.
The cheapest way to go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
The cheapest way to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket is to take a longtail boat, which will save you about 100 THB, but it will take at least twice as long to get to Koh Yao Noi from Bang Rong Pier.
The best way to go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
Much as I like the idea of traveling on a long tail boat, I’ve got my feet (and bags) wet so many times that I prefer the speedboat (it’s so much better if it’s windy and the seat state is choppy to get wet and bounced around for as little time as possible!
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Popular Routes in Thailand
Want to know more about different forms of transport in Thailand? Our guide to Thailand transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Thailand, your options, and how we did it.
- How to go from Bangkok to Pakse (Laos)
- Going from Langkawi (Malaysia) to Koh Lipe
- How to go from Koh Tao to Krabi
- How to go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Tao
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Phangan
- Bangkok to Koh Kood and back
- How to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui
- How to go from Bangkok to Ayutthaya
- How to go from Bangkok to Sukhothai
- How to go from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi
- How to travel from Krabi to Langkawi (Malaysia)
- How to go from Cambodia to Thailand
Final Words on How to Go from Phuket to Koh Yao Noi
The hardest part for us in figuring out how to get to Koh Yao Noi from Phuket was which pier we needed to get to and then how to get to that pier, so we hope this clarifies all of that. This is an easy trip (as are many of the routes around Thailand) and this is such a chilled-out island that yes it’s going to be hard to leave it!
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