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HomeColumnsArticlesAndrew J Wood’s Travel Secrets – Escape to Paradise Koh Yao Thailand – Unspoiled Splendour

Andrew J Wood’s Travel Secrets – Escape to Paradise Koh Yao Thailand – Unspoiled Splendour

National Park of Ao Phang Nga
The beautiful National Park of Ao Phang Nga and the stunning resort of Paradise Koh Yao/ AJWood

Paradise Koh Yao offers an idyllic retreat on Koh Yao Noi, Thailand, blending natural beauty with luxury and wellness for an unforgettable escape.

Koh Yao Noi, THAILAND – Finding unspoiled natural beauty is a passion of mine. Add 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 fully explore. It was time to hit the road again. Our destination – 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. Koh Yao Noi 3

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 and exemplifies the unspoiled natural beauty of Southern Thailand. A jewel in the crown of Phang Nga Bay, this exquisite retreat offers an escape into unspoiled nature, providing a perfect antidote to the pressures of my modern life.

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

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

Traveling 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. From either airport, a picturesque speedboat ride across Phang Nga Bay (the marine park is magnificent), will bring you directly to the island.

Koh Yao Noi

The transfer across the spectacular Phang Nga Bay /AJWood

Koh Yao Noi Map

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 the moment you step out of 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. Upon arrival at the resort, we were immediately enveloped in a sense of tranquility and calm. 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 color 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 huge. 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 which has a built in jacuzzi/waterfall. The deck and garden also include beach furniture, a cabana, sun beds, a shower and even a porch swing /settee!

Nature’s Embrace

The true 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 that support a multitude of plant and animal life. With towering trees, palms, and exotic flora, the island in vibrant hues. The different ecosystems not only contribute to the island’s stunning aesthetics but also support a remarkable variety of fauna.

The island’s jungles are alive with the sounds of nature. 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 equally rich, teeming with colorful 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.

Koh Yao Noi life

Pic: Oriental Pied Hornbill /AJWood.

A Harmonious Escape

Koh Yai Noi’s appeal lies not just in its ecological treasures but in 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 sanctuary for wildlife. 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 both relaxation and a profound appreciation for the natural world. Whether it is lounging on the beach, kayaking through the mangroves, or taking a yoga class it is an environment that is both invigorating and calming.

In Koh Yai Noi, nature is not merely a backdrop; it is 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 splendor for generations to come. As the sun sets over Phang Nga Bay, casting a golden glow over the island, one cannot help but feel a deep sense of gratitude 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 alike. A highlight is the unique jungle gym initiative – 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 a wealth of activities for guests to immerse themselves in the local environment. Explore the vibrant marine life with guided snorkeling 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.

For land-based adventures, the resort organises guided jungle treks, 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 intuitive service is a hallmark of the resort. Nothing is too much trouble. The team is trained to help and assist guests without the guest asking or even possibly even before the guests themselves lnow 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 bursting with exotic flavours. Each meal is a celebration of the region’s rich culinary heritage, prepared with the freshest ingredients and a passion for excellence.

A Holistic Escape

For those seeking an holistic escape, the resort offers an array of activities designed 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, combined with the resort’s luxurious amenities and intuitive service, create a wellness holiday like no other.

More than just a destination

Paradise Koh Yao offers you more, 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 truly be at peace.

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Andrew J Wood was born in Yorkshire England, he is a former hotelier, Skalleague and travel writer. Andrew has 48 years of hospitality and travel experience. Educated at Batley Grammar School and a hotel graduate of Napier University, Edinburgh. Andrew started his career in London, working with various hotels. His first posting overseas was with Hilton International, in Paris, and he later arrived in Asia in 1991 on Bangkok with his appointment as Director of Marketing at the Shangri-La Hotel and has remained in Thailand ever since. Andrew has also worked with the Royal Garden Resort Group now Anantara (Vice President) and the Landmark Group of Hotels (Vice President of Sales and Marketing). Latterly he has been the General Manager at the Royal Cliff Group of Hotels in Pattaya and the Chaophya Park Hotel Bangkok & Resorts.

A past board member and Director of Skål International (SI), a former National President with SI Thailand and a two time past President of the Bangkok Club. Andrew is the former President of Skål Asia. In 2019, Andrew was awarded SKÅL’s highest award the distinction of Membre D’Honneur.

He is a regular guest lecturer at various Universities in Asia.