Flashpacker budget, five-star view
If you’re on a flashpacker budget but seeking a five-star view, then look no further than Hill House bungalows, found on the hillside over Thakhao beach on Ko Yao Noi’s east coast.
The four fan-cooled, wooden stilted bungalows at Hill House are set in a shady rubber tree grove, all offering views of the sea and Phang Nga Bay’s limestone karsts from their balconies. All have a similar design with three different sizes to choose from, ranging in price from 900 baht to 1,100 baht.
The family-run bungalows are designed in a style typical to Ko Yao Noi but with some added touches of comfort including hammocks on the balcony, glass sink basins in the bathroom and small desks. Each has a king-sized bed swathed in mosquito netting, a wardrobe, mini-fridge and private tiled bathroom with hot water. WiFi is included and accessible from all rooms.
The price also includes breakfast, which is served from a platform just down the hill from the bungalows. Breakfast consists of two servings of sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf, a fruit plate, and toast and coffee or tea that are taken at the self-service counter at the side. It’s fresh and tasty, and views from here are spectacular, but those who need a big breakfast may need to find more nourishment elsewhere afterwards.
The platform area serves as the Hill House lobby and lounging area. Aside from breakfast, no meals are served but you can pick up some cold drinks from the fridge. Here’s where you can also arrange for tours and transport, too. We were told that the husband of the Hill House receptionist was Yao Noi’s best boatman, but we didn’t have a chance to try his tour.
More restaurants are found within a short walk down along the beach, which is 70 metres away, and a good spot for dinner is at the Tha Khao Bay View restaurant just up the hill, which also boasts fantastic views.
If you’re on a motorbike, take care on the hill getting up (and down from) here. The road is paved but brutally steep!
Ko Yao Noi’s Thakhao beach area is becoming something of a flashpacker haven with a good choice of bungalows in the 1,000 to 1,500 baht range, but we rate Hill House among the best of the lot with its leafy-green surrounds and those amazing sunrise sea views.
By Lana Willocks
Last updated on 28th July, 2014.