Koh Yah Noi / Thailand

After seeing some pictures of Koh Yah Noi island, it was immediately clear that this could become a very special trip. They just looked amazing.

Our trip to Thailand started at Phra Nang. The idea was to stay at a place which is not as crowded as Krabi. But unfortunately the times are changing everywhere. Especially this village has changed a lot the last 12 years. Everything is much bigger, louder and more colorful than before.

From there we went to a nearby crack. It`s called “Spirit Mountain“. We climbed together with some “local foreigners“. Western people who have already lived in Thailand for many years. Very nice, very relaxed atmosphere. The next day we went to Tonsai. The climbing hotspot in Thailand. It must have been a fantastic nice place in former years. Now the first thing which came into our mind is: It`s crowded. Really crowded. Climbing there felt like in a gym back home, just without the roof. Climbers everywhere. We did not see any sense in staying longer than the one day we planned before, and left happy in the evening.

Our next stop was Koh Lao Liang. A nice, small island. About an hour boatcruise from the mainland. There is nothing on the island itself. Just a couple of tents, a beach, a all-inclusive buffet, some kayaks and a crack to climb. No street, no houses, no traffic, no noise. Nothing. This also means, no infrastructure. Even the water needed for cooking and toilets has to be brought by boat. Something which makes the stay kind of "elitist".

From there we went to Koh Yah Noi. The island is located between Krabi and Phuket. The majority of the local people are Muslims. So the atmosphere is a little more conservative than on other Thai islands. Koh Yah Noi is not as touristic, because some people say, the beaches are not as nice as on some other islands. (Our opinion: The whole sea in the area changed dramatically in the last years. All over Thailand. Specially the underwater life. Mainly from dynamite fishing, which they still practise a lot. It is very strange, if you put on your goggles and have a look. Quite often, very few fishes. Or sometimes no fishes. Nowhere ).

As a climber your view is normaly more upwards. To the crack. And therefore Koh Yah Noi is really nice. Same as the atmosphere on the island and the people living there. We had a really good time. And to find a crack like "Greatfull Wall", you have to search very, very long. Whereever you search. Hope the island will stay like this. We definitely want to come back.

Add. Jan.2015: On our Laos trip we got the information that they build a big resort at Tonsai Beach. Nobody knows, if it is a international hotel organization or a Russian investor, who is behind this project. There are a lot of rumors at the moment. But however you turn it, the concrete work has started and the whole beachfront is off limits. Only one bar is left. So you better try to find out what’s up, before you start your next trip to Tonsai.

Pics: © Ralf Heuber