Arts + Culture

Asia Undercover

by Christopher R. Cox, Deborah Dunn, and Colin Hinshelwood

Koh Yao Noi, Thailand

One of the best-kept secrets along Thailand's Andaman seaboard, Koh Yao Noi lacks sugar-white beaches, which has discouraged large-scale tourism; most of the 5,000 friendly Muslim inhabitants make a modest living as fishermen or rubber tappers. Aside from relaxing in hammocks or feasting on seafood, visitors cycle the island's ring road through rice paddies and rubber-tree plantations or hire longtail boats to explore scenic Phang-Nga Bay, including the pinnacle of Khao Tapu (the so-called James Bond Island, for its star turn in The Man with the Golden Gun) and the turquoise lagoon of Koh Hong. Don't expect much nightlife: This is the kind of place where men play checkers with bottle caps beneath beachfront casuarina trees, and the loudest sound is the muezzin's call to prayer.

Where to stay: The 56-villa Six Senses Hideaway overlooks the bay.

When to go: December through March is driest.

How to go: Most ferries leave from Phuket's Ban Rong Pier; the crossing takes about an hour.

Six Senses Hideaway
Tel: 66 76 418 500
Doubles, $650–$950

Next: More crowd-free getaways >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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