Introducing Hat Yao
A laid-back fishing hamlet just south of Hat Yong Ling, Hat Yao is sandwiched between the sea and imposing limestone cliffs. A rocky headland at the southern end of Hat Yao is pockmarked with caves and there’s good snorkelling around the island immediately offshore. The best beach in the area is the tiny Hat Apo, hidden away among the cliffs; you can get here by long-tail or wade around from the sandy spit in front of Sinchai’s Chaomai Resort.
Apparently pirates used to hoard their treasure south of Hat Yao at Tham Chao Mai, a vast cave, full of crystal cascades and impressive stalactites and stalagmites, which can be explored by boat. To visit Tham Chao Mai, you can charter a long-tail for 300B per hour from Yao pier. Haad Yao Nature Resort offers sea-kayaking trips to the cave, including lunch, for around 700B to 900B per person, including guide. You can also rent a kayak and self-explore the cave for 500B.
Just south of the headland in Ban Chao Mai is the new concrete Yao pier, the main departure point for Ko Kradan and Ko Libong. Currently there are a few boats offering day trips to Ko Kradan and other islands in the bay for 700/450B per adult/child, or you can make arrangements with local long-tail boatmen.
The Haad Yao Nature Resort (0 1894 6936; www.trangsea.com; r 300-500B, bungalows 800B; ) is run by enthusiastic naturalists and offers a variety of environmental tours in the region. Very orderly and homey bungalows come with shared baths, while the better self-contained bungalows have verandas and frilly extras. There’s also a great pier restaurant here where you can watch the fishermen ply their trade over tasty Thai victuals.
Sinchai’s Chaomai Resort (0 7520 3034; bungalows 300-1500B; ) is an activity oriented place that offers a handful of bungalows nestled under the rocky cliffs at the northern end of Hat Yao. The family that owns it arranges kayaking tours (600B), rents mountain bikes (per day 100B) and runs multiday-tour packages around Trang and the Andaman coast – prices vary.
Last updated: Feb 17, 2009