The Twin Islands
Koh Yao Yoi and Koh Yao Noi are twin islands off the coast Phuket, Thailand. They have safeguarded the iconic identity of tropical islands of South-east Asia for long. Only a handful of tourists ever make it to these islands and venture into the wild interiors, dotted with small Thai hamlets, where the only language to communicate with outsiders is good old body language of olden days.
You can choose to stay at either of these islands and explore the other by long-tail boat.
The local population is mostly Muslim. A few community tourist practices are trying to bridge the gap between locals and guests. I found the young generation to be extremely warm-hearted and ready to be friends. You can take up Batik printing class, honey collection, mangrove tours.
You can choose to stay in a few of the home-stays of the island as well.
By the virtue of being pristine, the beaches here are unspoiled and often reserved for only a single guest. There are plenty of spots for diving and snorkeling.
Every day, long-tail boat ply towards Koh Yai Noi from the ferry terminal at Phuket and Natai beach.
Dotted with coconut groves, it is a heaven for tender coconut lovers. Be like a local and drink coconut water directly from the shell. Ditch that straw! Also, look out for the hornbill birds. They look magnificent with protruding yellow beaks.
These islands do not have any facility for elephant riding. In fact, they do not have any elephants living close-by.
If you are in a mood to splurge, you can book a stay at Santhia Resort. Set up at the backdrop of a small hillock, Santhia Resort is one of the most stunning properties of the country! In fact, Santhia Resort has a private ferry transfer from Phuket for its guests, making it a very sweet deal.