Thailand: Koh Yao Yai.

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Far from the madding crowd of Bangkok and Phuket, in Phang Nga Bay, is a pair of two tiny islands – Koh Yao Noi & Koh Yao Yai. Represented by no more than a tiny dot on a map, we travelled by air, water and land to be there, to be amid one of the most amazing topographical features – the random karsts ย jutting out from an emerald sea.

And here’s to the memory of four beautiful days spent at Santhiya Resort & Spa, Koh Yao Yai.

To reach here, we flew to Phuket airport from Bangkok, where a staff from the hotel picked us up and drove to a port where we waited a few hours for their speed boat to arrive. For all the wait, they consoled us with an adult pacifier aka iced tea (which as we all know is a self replenishing drink, thanks to all the ice).

The day was on the duller side, a bit hazy and there wasn’t much at the port to entertain oneself.

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The port in Phuket where we waited

 

But we found something really amusing!!

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Finally, one found a home. What a co-incidence! ;D

 

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Tea, temple and lots of time to kill!

 

Finally their speed boat arrived & speeded us away bobbing and bumping on the waves. For the next forty five minutes of the journey we sat looking like two lego toys in our screaming bright orange life jackets, holding the rail tight.

Past some flying fishes and lots of karsts, we caught the sight of our home for next four days.

 

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First glimpse of Santhiya

 

The first impressions of the place were pretty good. I have to talk about Thai people again for their politeness is very humbling. As we stepped on the Santhiya jetty, they greeted us with folded hands and a bow, saying a sing-song Swadeeka(p). And this was the case throughout our stay there, every single staff member made it a point to acknowledge you and greet you, never once sparing the hand folding gesture and saying Swadeeka(p).

The resort was larger and prettier than we had been left to imagine by their modest website. We stayed in a Royal Grand Pool Villa Suite and yes it was as grand as it has been named.

Having spent a greater part of our Thai holiday at Santhiya I’m mostly going to talk about our time in Santhiya in this post. Besides I have some really good memories of the place to share.

 

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Swadeeka!

 

 

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A few snippets from the accommodation put together.

 

I loved our villa the moment I saw it. ย The wooden villa exuding earthiness, was done up with a lot of attention to detail. It was spread over two levels, that was too much space for two of us so we mostly stayed on the top floor/level (as in the pictures). They had done a brilliant job with the woodwork, making it look so beautiful without actually adding any pieces of decor. There was so much beauty in simple things as cloth hangers, ceilings, lamps even the door stopper!! Set in seclusion it had a very rustic and natural feel to it.

 

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A very ‘Thai’ villa

 

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Beautiful doors at the villa

 

The environs were very private and peaceful, with villas set wide apart spread over a huge area. The call of birds during the day and insects & geckos by night made you feel, you were quite far from your city life and tasting the tropics. Weather was good and sun was more than welcome. We were quite excited to welcome the new year here. ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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We enjoyed an eyeful of sprawling views of Andaman sea.

 

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A long tailed Thai boat at Santhiya’s private beach.

 

 

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Although a bit dim lit, the villa looked just as beautiful by night.

 

Beside being bowled over by the villa, it was food at Santhiya that was ovation worthy.

Being a vegetarian traveller has its own cons (that weigh, way higher than the pros). It becomes very frustrating at times and I wonder whether, by being a vegetarian, I’m at the wrong end of the stick. But being presented a Vegetarian Thai food menu (Thai being one of my favourite cuisines) was like holding a winning ticket to a lottery! ย The menu was big enough to taste a different dish at each meal. And oh boy! What an amazing culinary experience we had!

The dinning area was on a deck, by the beach and the food was just WONDERFUL. Beautifully presented and tasting as good as it looked!

And this time I DO have some food pictures!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mouth watering Thai food and desserts! and of course, a happy diner. ๐Ÿ™‚

 

With an accommodation that was comfortable and stunning and food that was delicious and varied, I must say we, more or less, met the objective of this part of the travel. But there were a few cherries on the cake too! For example, a lovely beach. ๐Ÿ™‚

Santhiya had a small but clean and lovely private beach where we enjoyed a barefoot walk.

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Santhiya’s beach!

 

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Shadows frozen in time ๐Ÿ™‚

 

 

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A lovely little beach.

 

Besides the beach, the property was huge enough to spend the day walking. Green and blue in equal parts, it formed the perfect dose of summer for us!

 

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High on holiday spirit!

 

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Really cute decor at the property

 

 

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Dancing my way into the villa!

 

Our villa had a large infinity pool and we thoroughly enjoyed it! Especially at sunset the pool and sky made a stunning pair of fraternal twins.

 

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Pool at our villa was cherry #2

 

We enjoyed a nice long spa session at the Ayurvana Spa at Santhiya (as if all this was not relaxing enough!). But at times, its good to be pampered. Together ๐Ÿ™‚

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The spa was small but service was simply great.

 

After a hazy start at this island, the days became better and beautiful. After our small siestas, we woke up to some stunning orangey sunsets.

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Sunsets from our deck.

 

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The best things in life are free!

 

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Priceless indeed.

 

 

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They say things are never perfect. Sometimes they just are!

 

 

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Needless to say but I’ll say it anyways- happy as a clam at high water!

 

The big question, do we recommend staying at Santhiya? The place is beautiful but not without a spot. It’s a relatively newer kid on the block so tends to falter a bit here & there. But then, you tend to take in a few things when in the holiday mood! So yeah! its a stunning property and a good getaway option in sea, sun, sand & seclusion.

This was our share of activities and things we did at Koh Yao Yai. BUT THIS IS NOT ALL. There’s some more ๐Ÿ™‚

Read the next part here.

 

Comments

  1. Very nice blog. We will celebrate our 25 th anniversary this July at this hotel in Koh Yao Yai. Maybe you could be so kind and give me some information, which day trips they are offering. Did you try the restaurants at the hotel which is nearby. Thank and best regards

    • pastlifeseamstress says:

      Hello Ines,
      Thank you so very much for your kind comment. Congratulations in advance on your silver jubilee!

      Regarding the day trips, other than the one we took (James Bond Island and a few other places) which I’ve already posted in the blog, you have the option of Phi phi island, Hong Island, Krabi – as far as I can remember. Also the day trips being conducted also depend on the number of people opting for a particular option (for some trips min number of people is 6). So it is advisable to have an idea about each and inform them in advance. Aside from this weather at a particular location also decides the day trip. They take on some snorkelling trips as well.Since all the places are as beautiful as the other, it was tough to decide which one to opt for ๐Ÿ™‚ We eventually opted for the one that was covering a lot of things. All the trips are well guided and include lunch, if they go well past noon. We also hired a private car with a driver for us for a day trip to Phuket (as our flight was late at night ) before the driver left us at the airport. You might want to do that depending on your flight timings. And I’m really glad to have done that.

      So there are a few options to choose from but all these conditions apply. We did not try out any other restaurant as we were quite happy with the vegetarian food options. So I’m really sorry about not being able to help you out with that but hope the rest of information helps.

      Have a great time!

      Best,
      Nykita

  2. veryyyyyyyyy beautiful, a good blend of art, craft n natural beauty. a perfect place for holidaying.your smiles speak it all(of course cherries on the cake)

  3. Anonymous says:

    wonderful,incredible,a proof that “a thing of beauty is a joy forever.”nice travelogue.keep traveling n enjoying.