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Untouched Island Paradise
The small dream island Ko Yao Noi with very little tourism is a good place to live. In our small wooden hut in the Namtok bungalows you can really relax. Namtok means waterfall and it was next to one. But for the waterfall it was much too dry. It just dripped.
Ko Yao Yai is already known as a paradisiacal holiday
destination, which is reflected in the prices. Therefore we decided to go to
the smaller island of Ko Yao Noi, which has only been visited daily with
speedboat and longtail boat since a few months. We decided to explore Ko Yao
The trip to Ko Yao Noi
The trip started in Phuket Old Town with the local bus in which there are very few tourists. For 50 Baht per person (about 1,30 Euro) we drove from the city center to the Bang Rong Pier. The half hour drive in the open vehicle was eventful. Again and again passengers got on from the roadside, who lifted bigger purchases, like a flat screen, and tires. With hands and feet a conversation came about.
Unfortunately we missed the longtail boat at the Bang Rong
Pier. So we had to transfer instead of the comfortable and traditional variant
with the brand new, small speedboat. Since the boat actually takes off in
places, in order to bang then again with full force on the sea, I was quite
taken away from the journey. Arriving at the Manoh Pier I didn’t want to know
anything about the rides. I felt like walking, even if Alf and all the
Songthaews passing by told me not to. A Songthaew is, by the way, a flatbed
truck on which benches were mounted. We also often call it a big tuk tuk
because we still can’t pronounce Songthaew properly.
The way to the town of Ko Yao Noi
After a sweaty three kilometers we reached the Market. This
is the official name for the island centre with its 50 houses. To refresh our
energy we first had a Tom Ka soup. During the meal break the desire arose in us
not to cover the further five kilometres on foot. Since at 35 degrees midday
heat no human soul was to be seen on the road, we simply stood with our large
backpacks at the roadside and waited. Our aimlessness worked out and an older
gentleman on his scooter spoke to us. “Wait, wait” he said and is
again sprayed away. After three minutes he was returned with a tuk tuk. At
first I was not convinced that this construction would bring us and our four backpacks
safely to the other end of the island. When Alf asked “Run or get
in?” I gave myself a push.
My first Tuk Tuk ride will always remain in my memory. I am
afraid but Alf also made big eyes when the Tuk Tuk touched the ground. By the
way, our driver wore a helmet, we didn’t. That made me even more insecure.
However, he took my fear very calmly and drove on very routinely. Meanwhile Alf
had fun and said that 200 Baht for transport and roller coaster would be really
fair. Oh what I tell them, just ride with us. Our GoPro Fusion recorded
everything for you as a 360 degree video.
Namtok without Nam
I was delighted when we arrived safely at our accommodation,
the Namtok Bungalows. Nam means water in Thai and a Namtok is a waterfall. But
we got to know this relatively late, because the Namtok, which was next to us,
was not seen or heard. We also searched for him, but unfortunately we had to
find out that he was dried out at this time. He just dripped.
The facility of our accommodation was really beautiful and
above all very green and alive. No paved roads and at night you only hear the
jungle and the animals. For us a completely new experience and especially
exciting. We are both very close to nature. We had been looking forward to
coming here long before and were not disappointed. Our host often lay in the
hammock and we were happy to follow him. A great attitude towards life and we
knew we were right here.
Our bungalow in Ko Yao Noi
I had never been camping before, I first had to get used to the open architecture of our hut. Especially the airy bathroom with toilet and ice-cold shower took some getting used to. Animals of all kinds are of course included.
Thanks to the mosquito net over the bed we could still sleep
undisturbed, but outside this safety zone I was a very popular victim of these
little monsters. I had some heavy allergic reactions from the bites. Alf had
more luck, he was almost never stung. So it is true, the best mosquito
repellent is a travel partner who is constantly bitten. If we had already known
more about mosquito repellent at that time, I would have been saved
Nevertheless we used our own terrace with hammock directly
at the small lake every day, above all to sip fresh coconut, which we could
harvest from the palm tree next to the house. Also drinking water could be
replenished in Namtok for free. This saves a lot of money and reduces the
plastic waste. We recommend the Namtok Bungalows to others. Who is looking for
nature and peace will find them here.
In one of those hammocks, the soul also dangles well.
Alf while dangling
Scooter or bike tour on Koh Yao Noi?
The island is not very big and so we decided to rent two
mountain bikes instead of the scooter. One scooter would have cost us 250 Baht
for a whole day, the two bikes 400 Baht. But since they were quite decent
mountain bikes, we found the price for one day in ok. We could rent the bikes
in a small souvenir shop at Tha Khao Pier only 500 meters away from Namtok
bungalow. The saleswoman gave us some tips on the way. The recommended rice
fields were unfortunately similarly dried out as the waterfall, but the view
over the green hills of the island was great.
At the roadside we saw beside free running cows also many
rubber trees and coconut palms. Rubber, coconuts and fishing are besides
tourism the main source of income of the islanders, who are very helpful and
friendly. We were taken several times on the pickup truck on the island,
without the drivers ever accepting a single Baht for it.
We did not imagine the small island near the tourist magnet Phuket to be so original and visitor-friendly.
After some ascents we reached the market quite sweaty. There you don’t only find shops and small restaurants, but also a tattoo studio that we both liked immediately.
Alf was interested in a traditional bamboo tattoo, while my
filigree wish motif with shades should be better engraved with a machine. We
got an appointment the next day for a prepayment. You can see the result in the
article Machine vs. Bamboo.
A short guided tour in home garden
After a snack we drove along the coast. From the southern
part of the island you can see the dream beach on Ko Yao Yai. From there taxi
boats from 50 Baht per person also go to the white dream beach, but we had not
planned for this. Besides it was incredibly hot and our drinking reserves were
At our next stop we had a pleasant surprise. In Coffee Time
by Amalena there was not only a guided tour through the huge garden. The proud
owner let us also try all imaginable fruits. Only a few of them we were able to
identify immediately. The garden was wonderful. The garden was simply
wonderful. The nice lady showed us some bushes and made us understand with hand
movements that the fruits cannot be eaten. But they are the favourite plants of
butterflies. I was completely enchanted. What a great woman. If we should land
on Ko Yao Noi again, then certainly also in a bungalow in Amalena. Oh, and as
you may have noticed. We had a great time talking to each other, although the
friendly hostess couldn’t speak a single word of English or German. Really everything very easy on Ko Yao Noi.
Clean and lonely dream beaches
Our last stop was at the main beaches of the island,
especially the beautiful Klong Jark Beach. Although some hotels and resorts
have already opened here, the clean dream beaches are deserted. Here you will
find untouched paradise and untroubled bathing fun.
We took that for granted, but after dozens of islands with
littered beaches we almost see it as a miracle that Ko Yao Noi is so clean.
I think you should visit this paradise as long as it is not
built-up yet. As we learned on the island from a German hotel manager, the mass
tourism is not long in coming here either. If this were not the case, we would
never have written an article about Ko Yao Noi, instead we would have kept this
little paradise for ourselves.
The week went by much too fast. We would have extended without hesitation, but there are more islands waiting for us. Next on our itinerary is a bamboo hut in the jungle on Ko Lanta. Join us again.
More interesting articles about Ko Yao Noi
Ko Yao Noi is also described by neverendingfootsteps as a touristically undeveloped island and paradise thai island. Especially because she is travelling a bit differently than us, the article is a good addition.
We haven’t tried the yoga offer on Koh Yao Noi yet. Julie from traveldudes reports about her experiences. We are looking forward to a pleasant yoga hour on our next visit to Ko Yao Noi.
From Naiyang Beach we went on to Phuket City. We wanted a little bit more action after the cosy beach days. But above all we were interested in the temples, the famous beaches Patong and Karon Beach as well as Phuket Old Town. But already at the arrival we were shocked.
The trip to Phuket City took almost an hour, was very comfortable and with 500 Baht extremely fair. You will probably not get this price directly at the airport, about 600-800 Baht should be usual. The airport bus would have brought us for 200 Baht. From the bus terminal to the hostel in the glowing heat one hour with full luggage, we avoided that. We are still getting used to it.
In Phuket City some surprises are waiting for us. For the first time Asian city life with street dogs, noise and stench was already much for Jana. But the biggest surprise was our new accommodation, which we don’t want to name here by name. First of all, we do not recommend our hosts in Phuket City.
The dosshouse of Phuket city
The entrance to the hotel led through a restaurant and not a soul was to be seen. We got uncomfortable from a bad smell, which we could not assign at first. Only later in the evening did we discover the rotten Durian, who gave her the name Stinkfruit ?this disgusting stench all over the house
Somewhat reluctantly and listlessly a boy led us to our room. At first sight the room was clean. It contained nothing more than a mattress, a trash can, a shaky clothes rail and a wall fan. So we checked in and thankfully said goodbye to our hostess and taxi driver. She had stayed with us for so long to make sure that we were well taken care of. Dear people in the Baan Rom Pruk. We can really recommend our first hosts at Naiyang Beach.
(War sie wirklich gammelig? Ich glaube nicht )
Our room in Phuket City
The mattress lying on the floor is covered with unwashed bed linen. The musty smell and the stains are not very inviting. We decide to take out the sleeping bags for a first nap. That’s exactly why we bought them. The heat in the room is bad, so first we go to the toilet and take a shower.
The toilets take getting used to for us Europeans. There is no toilet paper and if you had some, you shouldn’t throw it into the bowl, but into the bucket. It smells like this. But there are practical small showers, which are meant to clean the bottom, but work at least as well to spray the place before and after the business. Well, you get used to not having toilet paper over time.
We didn’t want to get used to the dirty showers, the stinking garbage and the tank, in which a blue toothbrush cup was doing its rounds for a week. Nevertheless we had at least two showers a day.
The fire chef
After a nap of some hours, we were really hungry. In the immediate neighbourhood all the cookshops and the food stalls were only with meat, so we had to walk some meters through the unknown Phuket at night. The street dogs didn’t want anything from us, but in packs they were a bit scary for Jana. After some kitchens the fire cook caught our eye. He really enjoys lighting his kitchen, as you can see on the cover picture. He also saved our evening with twice fried rice with vegetables for 50 Baht. Water on ice and a fire show was for free.
The nights in Phuket Town
In front of the guesthouse is a small brake hill, which misses its purpose. It is used for jumping. Who has never been in Thailand before: Mopeds and scooters can be loud, very loud, at night even louder. Sometimes we thought there would be a motorcycle race outside. The police of Phuket has its buildings like tourist police up to the forensics in this street along, but the traffic police is seldom at home or takes at the Patong Beach scooter driving tourists some money. In the article Scooter driving in Thailand we write about it in detail. For all, which have fun on two wheels, whether scooter or bicycle.
Oh, but that wasn’t all the noise. After a short arrangement our neighbour had a loud conversation with an Italian roommate. She often had fun with guests behind the thin wall in the next room and last but not least there were the mobile phone alarm clocks at every imaginable time, from onward travellers or the Thais, who were on work in the opposite hospital. Ringing sometimes an eternity, probably because they use Ohropax themselves. We also had Thai TV in the evening and smells of the actually forbidden room kitchens.
We don’t want to complain too much, it was just a shock after our great accommodation and we were disappointed by the staff. On the other hand, we appreciate how well we are doing. We can move on, but for other residents this guesthouse is their home. It is one of the cheapest accommodations in Phuket City and for many the only possibility to live near their place of work. Especially for the young women it is a chance for a better future.
The cheap and plentiful breakfast was by the way the best of the accommodation. There was rice with vegetables or tofu and – unfortunately we noticed it too late – some fish sauce for 40 Baht. We also got water and spices. In the article Food in Thailand more about vegan and vegetarian food and what to do if it goes wrong.
Rang Hill and Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham
We got up very early for our first temple visit in Thailand. First of all we wanted to capture the beautiful light in the morning on pictures and secondly you get a sunburn quickly in the midday hours.
From the accommodation it went only a few hundred meters steeply up a mountain to Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham. Some monks were just driven up by scooter and I can’t blame them, it is already quite hot around this time.
Before we climb the stairs to the temple, we change in the toilets. Fortunately I have Zip-Off trousers and my T-shirt is sufficient. It is important that the knees and shoulders are covered. In the article Temple Visit we have summarized some rules and tips for you.
Our conclusion and how it continues with us
The accommodation in Phuket City had positive sides beyond breakfast. The short walk to a beautiful temple, the Rang Hill Viewpoint and the central location at a reasonable price. Better said, it is one of the cheapest accommodations in Phuket.
For us this experience was enriching. It has hardened us both for what is yet to come. Our next adventure was the journey to Ko Yao Noi with the Phuket Local Bus. We hope you will join us again.
Dream beach in the flight lane
Phuket has a bad reputation if you are looking for a quiet, family-friendly beach location. You know the Patong Beach and the Karon Beach, the Naiyang Beach is almost unknown. For us the beautiful and quiet beach at Phuket Airport was the perfect start of our trip around the world. Therefore we extended the booked three nights for two more nights.
Fortunately we are late with our blog and are writing this article now. We were now three months in Thailand and one month in Cambodia. So we have a comparison concerning accommodation, food and prices. After many beaches, islands and accommodations we still like to think back to Naiyang Beach. Many things like the friendliness of the people, the cheap and good food and the spotlessly clean accommodation we appreciate all the more today.
Swimming in the flight lane
Naiyang Beach is located at Phuket Airport and you can see the planes arriving. Nevertheless it took us three days to notice the proximity of the airport at all, because the waves swallow the aircraft noise without any problems. In our 10 minutes walk away accommodation the airplanes were not to be heard.
To go swimming directly in the flight path is of course a bit louder, but the big planes give you the extra bathing kick. We didn’t try it out and preferred to lie around the corner, where it was quieter and also shadier. You burn very fast in the sun and we wanted to do without sun cream.
Beautiful bathing beach, lonely for Phuket
Naiyang Beach is beautiful, very clean and surprisingly empty. The turquoise blue water has a pleasant bathing temperature. You can walk out on the slightly coarser sand and swim perfectly at Naiyang Beach. A few sections of the beach you have for yourself. The front part of the beach is directly on the flight path to Phuket Airport. Despite aircraft noise there is often more going on than a bit further, where the waves are the only background noise. There we spent some time alone at a nice shady place. Only in the back area, where there are also a couple of nice beach restaurants and a handful of resorts, there is a bit more going on.
Clean and family friendly beach
Naiyang Beach belongs to the Sirinat National Park and there are regular cleaning activities, which collect washed-up flotsam and rubbsih. We were very happy to participate. If you want to find out more, you can find current activities in the Green Nai Yang Group on Facebook.
The beach is family-friendly and there is no party mile like at Patong Beach. However, there are a some of peaceful beach dogs who sometimes don’t want to be disturbed during their siesta.
Beeing lonely at Naiyang Beach
Cooking kitchen and breakfast soup
The restaurants at the beach were a bit too expensive for us backpackers, for two dishes and two water you can quickly get rid of 10-15 €. We preferred to walk a few hundred meters the Thep Krasat Tri-Nai Yang Road into the Muslim small village Ban Wong Li, there everything costs half and tastes more delicious. Pleasant side effect: one supports small kitchens and local families instead of large resorts or investment groups. Something we have worked out in our travel codex in the meantime.??
The Khao Tom Soup in vegan execution without meat, fish or egg costs only sensational 10 Baht (approx. 30 cent). With some mango sticky rice, for 5 Baht for dessert, the breakfast lasts the whole day. Once we each had two soups, but then we really reached the filling limit of our stomachs.
Water and all possibilities for spicing are on the table, as we are used to from good street kitchens. By the way, the breakfast offer is valid for early risers from 5:30 and ends for late risers only in the late morning. Those who want to be sure rather go there before 10:00 o’clock.
When the soup is sold out, it is quiet in Ban Wong Li. At noon, the whole Ban Wong Li is resting. From afternoon until late in the evening one finds there good street kitchens with Pad Thai and fried rice, both without fish and egg for 50 Baht (approx. 1.50 Euro). Roti with banana, the typical Thai pancake you can enjoy for 40 Baht. At the fruit stands you can get an arm full of bananas, 1 pound of dragon fruit, 1 pound of Charon and a mango for 100 Baht. More about Thai fruits soon here in the blog.
In Ban Wong Li we washed our laundry for the first time. We don’t have much with us, as you’ll soon see on our packing list. The laundry self-service cost 20 Baht, the liquid laundry detergent 10 Baht so almost one Euro together. We could hang the laundry in our accommodation at the Baan Rom Pruk. Comfortable accommodation with very friendly hosts. We recommend the Baan Rom Pruk to you also gladly. In our article Start in Thailand you can find pictures and information about the bungalow.
The first pictures and videos
At Naiyang Beach we tested most of the equipment for the first time. We had received many of the technical equipment at very short notice. Especially the Sony Alpha 7 S II with the motorzoom and the GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera we were curious about. You can already see the first pictures. The videos are coming soon.
With the tripod and the high-quality photo equipment on the beach is once again a new experience. It’s something different if you take a few photos with your mobile phone as a holidaymaker or if you are on the road with a big backpack of equipment. So that we could nevertheless splash around in a relaxed manner, we have our anti-theft device with us. More about this soon in the article Travel Security.
The market on the way to Naiyang beach
When we came from the beach on Wednesday, the road was unusually busy. A few hundred meters away from the beach we realized why so many cars and motorcycles are on the way. It’s a market time. The market at Naiyang Beach is not huge and the vegetarian and vegan possibilities are very limited there, but at least we could buy cheap fruits. For the kilo of yellow mangoes 80 Baht was of course a dream for us. We eat pineapple, mango and coconut almost daily. A dream!
The on Wednesdays and Fridays in the evening, on all other days there is only one stand with some fruit. For a larger selection you have to go to Ban Wong Li.
à Da müssen wir überlegen wie wir das machen mit den Öffnungszeiten
The drive to Phuket City
It was also our hostess who brought us to Phuket City for 500 Baht. That’s fair. At the airport you pay between 600 and 800 Baht. She took us directly to our next accommodation and was shocked at what we booked for accommodation in Phuket City. You will see in the next article. Be curious and follow us.
We have just started our world trip. In our first days in Phuket we already learned a lot about Thailand. The Thai food, mosquitoes, geckos, beautiful plants and tasty fruits. Some of the first experiences in Southeast Asia we tell you in this article. Our first days on a trip around the world.
In Cologne it was freezing temperatures. We had already packed away our jackets and sweaters, but were then brought to the plane with a badly organized bus transfer and were forced to bibble again. The flight with Eurowings was without surprises. As booked we also had a vegan snack and a dinner on board. A fair package for a 200-Euro direct flight from Cologne to Phuket.
Ten hours later at 5:00 a.m. Thai time (we are 6 hours ahead of Germany to Thailand) we landed in Phuket. We were tired, but ready for the first steps in our new life as traveling backpackers and travel bloggers. At Phuket Airport we expected a flood of tuk tuks and taxis, but there were only a few buses waiting for our fellow travellers. They had probably all booked a transfer from the airport.
Our first accommodation was only a half hour walk away, so we decided to take advantage of the cool morning and look for our first Asian breakfast. Not so easy, because the builders of Phuket Airport didn’t think about footpaths. A few workers had to get us friendly on the right track. We walked over the quiet road to Ban Ruean Udomlak.
Our first breakfast in Thailand
We took our first breakfast where our feet were tired. About halfway along the way Jana gave up with 27 kilos of luggage on her shoulders. I would have made it 50 meters further with my 30 kilos.
But so we came to our first breakfast soup. The Thai rice soup Khao Tom Soup is often translated as porridge on the menu. One soup costs us 40 Baht, about one Euro. Without egg or meat the soup is vegan and gives power for the whole morning. You have to like the ginger taste, but you can’t start the day better from a health point of view.
In the well-stocked soup kitchen there is free drinking water and everything for flavouring and spicing. On the picture I have the chilli sauce in my hand.
Our first coconut
When we arrived around 8:00 am at our first accommodation, the Baan Rom Pruk, we got rid of the big backpacks. Our room was ready around noon, so we first walked towards the beach and explored the area. The way goes through a small temple complex, then a few hostels and five hundred meters further the beach. Not a lot was going on here, but there was a fresh, cooled coconut on the way. We have drunk more than 100 now, but that day it was a new experience.
Only a straw fit through the hole in the coconut. But Jana absolutely wanted the pulp and so the fight ended in a 1-0 for Jana. When it comes to food, she understands no fun.
Sirinat National Park and Naiyang Beach
The first coconut we sipped without noticing that we’ve been in the Sirinat National Park. Before 9:00 am there was neither a cash register nor a barrier and the way to Naiyang Beach was almost abandoned. We were surprised by the loneliness on a beach so close to Phuket Airport. We didn’t notice much about the pre-christmas flights at Phuket Airport. The sounds of the waves and the small jungle completely cover the aircraft noise. We found the Naiyang Beach beautiful and we are glad that we started at this beautiful place.
You can read more about Sirinat National Park and Naiyang Beach soon in the following article. Here only a small insight.
Our first accommodation
For the first days of our trip we have a luxurious accommodation with air conditioning and private bathroom. We had already booked the bungalow in Germany via Airbnb. With 25 Euro per night this actually exceeds our complete daily budget, but we wanted a comfortable start after the flight. In our three months Thailand has remained the most expensive and at the same time cleanest accommodation. But we enjoyed it so much that we stayed three days longer than planned. We gladly recommend the Baan Rom Pruk to everybody.
We only used the terrace in front of our bungalow for a short time on the first evening. The mosquitoes were certainly very pleased to bite such inexperienced victims. First of all we moved inside. Soon we’ll tell you in a new article what we’ve learned about mosquito repelling in Southeast Asia during the last months.
Our friends, the geckos.
Every good house should have some house geckos. They protect us from mosquitoes. So we decided to retire early to our bungalow. There we not only had a glass door to close, but also discovered for the first time our new pet, to whose presence we got used. We love Geckos.
They eat a lot of mosquitoes every day and we are so grateful to them that they soon get their own article on Catch-Life.
Almost forgotten our food
At noon we indulged ourselves for the fast hunger something in the Sirinat National Park. Fried Vegetables and Morning Glory with rice for together 120 Baht, a little more than 3 Euro. The water was free of charge, an advantage to which we got used with street kitchens. We’ll soon tell you more about Morning Glory and street kitchens.
Our first dinner was fried noodles with vegetables, vegan rice and two iced teas for 120 Baht on the way home.
The next morning we should get to know even cheaper prices. We only walked a few hundred meters and paid for two Khao Tom soups, 1 kg bananas, two coffees and four sweet pieces a total of 90 Baht. How good and cheap we ate in the following days and much more about the Naiyang Beach, the Sirinat National Park and the surroundings we tell you in the next article.