Phuket and many other parts of Thailand are quickly developing due to the continuing rise of tourism rates. There’s definitely nothing wrong with this, but these places become less able to show visitors the traditional Thai way of life.
Fortunately, if you want to learn more about the local culture and know how ordinary Thais live, there are lots of places in the country that will give you this opportunity. One of these is Koh Yao, which can be easily reached by Phuket private boat tours.
Yao Yai and Yao Noi
Koh Yao is a district in southern Thailand that’s part of the Phang Nga province. It’s actually an archipelago of several islands and islets, but its two main islands are Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi.
The former is bigger than the latter — “yai” means “large” in Thai while “noi” means “small”. However, Koh Yao Noi is the more developed island between the two and has the basic infrastructure to cater to tourists’ needs. Koh Yao Yai, despite being less developed, is still a must-see due to the fact that it has mostly retained its raw beauty over the years.
However, it’s important to note that both islands have been able to preserve their original environment as well as their culture. In fact, the Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler gave the World Legacy Destination Stewardship Award to Koh Yao Noi in 2002. This was mainly due to the environmentally friendly home-stay programs that its residents support and maintain.
The Koh Yao islands are located between Phuket and Krabi and are equidistant to both areas. So, you can reach the islands from the place that’s more convenient to you. If you’re planning to spend a few days in Phuket, for example, you can simply hire a Phuket to Koh Yao Yai speedboat to reach the area.
To fully enjoy the islands, you’ll want to opt for a boat rental. This way, you can easily explore Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi and see what they have to offer — without having to rely on public transportation.
Once you’re on the islands, you can join agricultural demonstrations that will illustrate local fishing and rubber planting/harvesting methods. Taking part in these demonstrations will help you gain a deeper understanding of the locals’ way of life and appreciate how they strive to earn an income while still protecting the environment. Of course, after the demonstrations, you can relax and enjoy by going swimming, hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling.
(Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/revstan/7153841515/)