The islands of Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are just about midway between the northern tip of Phuket and mainland Krabi, so getting there is quite straightforward.
The distance from Krabi is around 40 kimometres and the same from Phuket. Boat services from both locations will get you over to one of the newest of the many tropical island destinations in Thailand.
The ferries coming from Phuket leaving the Jian Warnit Pier are car ferries, and run at 10am and 2pm. This pier is not too far from Phuket town and is on the eastern side of the island.
The alternative longtail boat service from Phuket goes from Ban Rong Pier further north and they leave hourly from 8am to 12pm and then there is an afternoon service at 3pm.
The journey time depends on the weather conditions and there may be periods of the year such as the monsoon season when the ferries are postponed. If you are coming from the airport then the more northerly point is better than going to the bigger pier at Jian Warnit – unless you intend taking a car over, of course.
There are lots of air and bus services to Phuket from Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Taipei and Hong Kong.
Contact airlines such as Thai International, Air Asia, Bangkok Airways, One2Go and Nok Air for their service to Phuket. There are something like 20 or more flights into Phuket from Bangkok every day. The international airlines landing at Phuket are Silk Air, Malaysian, China Airlines, Korean and Dragonair.
From Krabi it is not possible to bring a car, but that's not such a bad thing. The ferry service is a Super Longtail boat which can take up to 50 passengers and a couple of motorbikes.
This ferry leaves the Thalen Pier for Koh Yao. All the arrivals on the island are on the north eastern side of the island between Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai, which is the larger island.
It would also be possible to make the sea journey from Phang Nga where longtail boats can be hired to go to any of the many islands in this group. There are buses from Phuket to Phang Nga, and buses arrive regularly from Bangkok and Surrathani.
The idea of leaving the frantic life of Bangkok or Hong Kong and within a day being on such a beautiful tropical island will ensure Koh Yao becomes very popular in coming years