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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Unspoiled Paradise Awaits: Discover Koh Yao Noi

Paradise Koh Yao Resort - Photo credit AJ Wood.Finding unspoilt natural beauty is a passion of mine. Add the exploration of new places and new experiences, and I’m hooked—caught up in the desire to travel and ready to leap into action.

We’d read about Southern Thailand’s ‘Andaman Pearls’ but had yet to explore them fully. It was time to hit the road again. Our destination was Ao Phang Nga National Park (established by royal decree in 1981, the park spans an area of approximately 250,000 rai, equivalent to around 400 square kilometres) and the stunning resort of Paradise Koh Yao.

Set amid the emerald blue waters of the Andaman Sea, the Paradise Koh Yao Resort is located on the smaller pristine island of Koh Yao Noi. It exemplifies the unspoiled natural beauty of Southern Thailand. A jewel in the crown of Phang Nga Bay, this exquisite retreat offers an escape into unspoilt nature, providing a perfect antidote to the pressures of my modern life.

The transfer across the spectacular Phang Nga Bay - Photo AJ Wood
The transfer across the spectacular Phang Nga Bay.

The Paradise Koh Yao Noi Resort. Nestled on the tranquil island of Koh Yao Noi.

We decided to drive from Bangkok to Krabi, a 797 km journey, rest for a few days, and then transfer by boat for the 35-minute crossing to Koh Yao Noi (literally the long small island).

Travelling to Koh Yao Noi from Bangkok by air with the allure of a scenic sea voyage is more common. A short flight from Bangkok to Phuket or Krabi, each taking approximately an hour, will take you directly to the island. From either airport, a picturesque speedboat ride across Phang Nga Bay (the marine park is magnificent) will take you directly to the island.

Koh Yao Noi is only accessible by boat. The most convenient option is to arrive by air and let the resort organise your transfer. This way, your vacation begins when you leave the airport. Representatives will greet you at the exit and drive you to the jetty.

A Luxurious Sanctuary

This is one of Thailand’s least developed islands. We were immediately enveloped in tranquillity and calm upon arrival at the resort. The private pool villas, each a superb home away from home, are spacious 91 sqm villas, superbly designed in keeping with the resort’s island colour scheme of turquoise blue hues and nature’s greenery, with stunning views of the sea or lush tropical gardens. The indoor/outdoor shower area and the dressing room, with walk-in wardrobes, are enormous. The interiors are an elegant mix of traditional Thai craftsmanship and contemporary luxury, providing a perfect sanctuary for relaxation. Daily turn-downs, ceiling fans, air conditioning and a host of modern amenities with coffee machines, kettles, excellent WiFi, TV and fully stocked minibars. Your needs are fully provided for.

The spacious outdoor pool deck has a covered bar (with a small mini-bar and separate wine fridge). There is also a shaded outdoor dining area overlooking the pool with a built-in jacuzzi/waterfall. The deck and garden include beach furniture, a cabana, sun beds, a shower, and even a porch swing /settee!

Nature’s Embrace

The authentic charm of Paradise Koh Yao lies in its seamless integration with nature. Here, the vibrant greens of the jungle meld effortlessly with the deep blues of the sea, creating a stunning natural palette. Guests can explore the surrounding jungle, beaches, and hidden coves, all teeming with diverse wildlife. The resort’s commitment to preserving the local ecosystem is full-on, with eco-friendly initiatives and sustainable practices ensuring that this paradise remains unspoiled.

The island’s landscapes range from dense mangroves and tropical rainforests to pristine beaches, with diverse habitats supporting many plant and animal life. The island is in vibrant hues with towering trees, palms, and exotic flora. The different ecosystems contribute to the island’s stunning aesthetics and support a remarkable variety of fauna.

The island’s jungles are alive with nature’s sounds. Cicadas and crickets form a constant symphony, their songs interspersed with the calls of various bird species. The forest floor is a lively expanse where one might encounter monitor lizards or the occasional troop of macaques. The surrounding waters, part of the marine park, are rich, teeming with colourful fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional visiting dolphin.

Avian Wonders: The Hornbills of Paradise

Among Koh Yai Noi’s most treasured inhabitants are its avian species, with birdwatchers from across the globe drawn to the island’s prolific birdlife. The crown jewels of this aerial community are undoubtedly the Oriental Pied Hornbills. These magnificent birds, with their large, curved beaks and striking plumage, are often seen gliding majestically over the forest canopy.

The Paradise Koh Yao offers a unique vantage point for observing these splendid creatures.

A Harmonious Escape

Koh Yai Noi’s appeal lies in its ecological treasures and the harmonious way these natural wonders coexist with human presence. The local community, deeply connected to the land, has embraced sustainable practices that ensure the island remains a wildlife sanctuary. Traditional fishing and farming methods are still prevalent, and the island’s development has been thoughtfully managed to preserve its environmental integrity.

For those seeking respite from the frenetic pace of urban life, Koh Yai Noi provides an enriching experience that fosters relaxation and a profound appreciation for the natural world. Whether lounging on the beach, kayaking through the mangroves, or taking a yoga class, the environment is invigorating and calming.

In Koh Yai Noi, nature is not merely a backdrop but the essence of the island’s charm. The symbiotic relationship between the island’s inhabitants and their environment ensures that this paradise remains a sanctuary of natural splendour for generations. As the sun sets over Phang Nga Bay, casting a golden glow over the island, one cannot help but feel deeply grateful for such unspoiled beauty.

Wellness Redefined

Intrinsic wellness is at the heart of the Paradise Koh Yao experience. The resort’s spa offers a range of treatments designed to rejuvenate the mind, body, and soul. Traditional Thai massages, invigorating body scrubs, and soothing aromatherapy sessions are just a few of the bespoke treatments available.

Wellness and Adventure

The Paradise Koh Yao Noi Resort is a haven for wellness enthusiasts and adventurers. The unique jungle gym initiative is highlighted – a natural fitness experience set amidst the tropical jungle. GM Stefan Heintze says, “This outdoor gym combines physical exercise with the therapeutic benefits of being surrounded by nature, offering a refreshing alternative to traditional workout routines for guests of not only Paradise Koh Yao but also its sister property, the adjacent Treehouse Villas,” he explained.

Activities Abound

The resort provides many activities for guests to immerse themselves in the local environment. Explore the vibrant marine life with guided snorkelling and diving trips in the crystal-clear waters of Phang Nga Bay. Kayaking through the mangroves and around the island’s coastline offers a unique perspective on the marine park’s landscape.

The resort organises guided jungle treks for land-based adventures, where guests can discover the island’s diverse flora and fauna. Cycling tours are also available, allowing visitors to explore the local villages and experience the warm hospitality of the island’s inhabitants.

The resort’s hallmark is intuitive service. Nothing is too much trouble. The team is trained to help and assist guests without their asking or possibly even before they know they need something.

Culinary Delights

The culinary offerings at Paradise Koh Yao are as remarkable as its natural beauty. The resort’s restaurants serve a delectable array of dishes, from fresh seafood caught daily by local fishermen to authentic Thai cuisine with exotic flavours. Each meal celebrates the region’s rich culinary heritage, prepared with the freshest ingredients and a passion for excellence.

A Holistic Escape

For those seeking a holistic escape, the resort offers various activities to promote wellness and relaxation. Yoga sessions on the beach at sunrise guided meditation in the tranquil gardens, and kayaking through the serene waters of Phang Nga Bay are just a few of the experiences that await. These activities and the resort’s luxurious amenities and intuitive service create a wellness holiday.

More than just a destination.

Paradise Koh Yao offers you more, and every moment is an opportunity to enjoy the 3Rs.

  • Relax
  • Rejuvenate
  • Reconnect

For those seeking an escape, this resort offers a tranquil retreat where the body and soul can be at peace.

 

 

 

Written by:  Andrew J Wood

 

 

 

 

 

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