In the sheltered, emerald green waters of Phang Nga Bay, the utterly beguiling and unspoilt islands of Koh Yao Yai an Koh Yao Noi sit midway between Phuket and Krabi. There's a sense of preserved authenticity here, making them great places to experience traditional Thai island life. Koh Yao Yai is home to the beautiful eco-friendly Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort& Spa, as well as some of Thailand’s most stunning vistas, while on the smaller Koh Yai Noi you'll find a glamorous seaside retreat at Cape Kudu Hotel.
GMT +7 hours
Thai. English is widely spoken at beach resorts.
• You need a full EU 10-year passport. We recommend that the expiry date is at least six months after your arrival back in the UK.
• You only need a visa if you’re staying longer than 30 days (29 nights), and you can get one from the Thai Embassy.
• Theravada Buddhism. Minority religions include Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.
• Thais revere their royal family, so never express disregard for it.
• Outward expressions of anger are regarded as crude and boorish.
• Each Buddha image - large or small, ruined or not - is considered sacred. Never climb onto one to take a photograph or do anything that might show lack of respect.
• Public displays of affection between couples are frowned upon. Westernised Thai couples may hold hands but that’s as far as it goes in polite society.
• It is considered rude to point your foot at a person or object.
No vaccinations are compulsory but some are recommended. For more detailed and up-to-date information, contact your GP or a specialised vaccination centre.
Tip porters and hotel staff if you’re happy with their service. If a service charge isn’t added to your restaurant bill, tip 10-15%.
• Dress neatly in all religious shrines - never go shirtless or in shorts, hot pants or other scanty attire.
• Take off your shoes when entering private Thai homes, chapels that house Buddhist images, and mosques.
Try a plethora of watersports including diving, snorkelling and kayaking.
• Restaurants serve European, Levantine, Asian and oriental cuisines.
• Most hotels offer American, English and continental breakfasts, and you may find western-style fast food outlets, snack bars and ice cream parlours.
• Thai cuisine is a spicy mixof noodles, curries, sweet-and-sour dishes, slow- and fast-cooked ingredients, exotic spices and condiments.
• Don’t drink the tap water or ice – stick to bottled mineral water or purified water in hotels.