Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Ko Yao Yai.
Getting to Ko Yao Yai
Boats depart Phuket (three piers) and Krabi (two piers) for Ko Yao Yai:
Phuket (Bang Rong Pier to Klong Hia Pier): Speedboats depart at 07:40, 08:40, 09:15, 09:40, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:15, 14:30, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00 and 17:30.
Phuket (Laem Hin Pier to Laem Yai Pier): One speedboat a day at 16:00.
Phuket (Chianwanich Pier to Loh Jark Pier): A car ferry departs at 08:30, 10:00, 14:00 (except Fridays) and a speedboat at 17:00
Krabi (Tha Len to Klong Hia Pier via Ko Yao Noi): Daily at 13:00
Krabi (Nopparat Thara Pier to Klong Hia Pier via Ko Yao Noi): One speedboat at 11:00.
Leaving Ko Yao Yai
Boats depart Ko Yao Yai for Phuket (three piers) and Krabi (two piers) and Phang Nga at these times:
Phuket (Klong Hia Pier to Bang Rong Pier): Speedboats depart at 06:30, 07:30, 07:50, 09:00, 10:20, 11:30, 13:30, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00 and 16:40. (departure times are from Yao Noi's Manoh pier, with a stop at Yao Yai)
Phuket (Laem Yai Pier to Laem Hin Pier): 08:00 speedboat
Phuket (Loh Jark Pier to Chianwanich Pier): Car ferries at 08:30, 10:00, 14:00 (except Fridays) and 17:00 by speedboat
Krabi (Klong Hia Pier to Tha Len Pier via Ko Yao Noi): 07:20
Krabi (Klong Hia Pier to Nopparat Thara Pier via Ko Yao Noi): 15:25 speedboat
Trips cost 120 baht per person or 200 baht on a speedboat, 140 baht to transport a motorcycle, and 400 baht for a car including the driver, each way. The car ferry tends to fill up so it's best to call ahead to reserve a spot. Calls are made direct to the boat captains, zero English spoken, so you'll probably need to ask for some help from your hotel reception staff or Thai-speaking friend. The numbers for the Yao Yai to Phuket leg: (081) 091 0630 or (081) 956 5470. For Phuket to Yao Yai, call (087) 896 0756 or (087) 2720132.
To reach the Phang Nga mainland, you'll need to catch the ferry from Ko Yao Noi. From Yao Noi's Sukha Pier, a ferry departs at 07:30 every day except Sunday, for a 90-minute trip to Tha Dan Pier in Phang Nga. For the Phang Nga to Yao Noi run there's a 13:00 ferry every day except Sunday. The fare is 150 baht per passenger, each way.
Regular long-tails ply between Chong Lad Pier on Ko Yao Yai and Manoh Pier on Ko Yao Noi during daylight hours -- 20B per person, 30B extra to bring a motorcycle, takes 10 to 15 minutes.
Ko Yao Yai has no public transport so you'll need to hire a taxi or your own wheels to explore the island. Most resorts will arrange motorbike rental for you, charging anywhere between 300 and 500 baht per day, though cheaper rentals at 250 baht daily are available at some of the shops found along the main roads. Bicycling is another way to get around and some resorts offer bikes for rent.
Yao Yai does not have any roving taxis or tuk-tuks so you'll need to arrange taxi hire via your resort or one of the handful of tour offices around the island. Travelling by foot is not a bad way to go either, and if you walk, within minutes someone driving a pick-up truck will usually stop to offer a lift.
Car rental is available at one shop in Prunai village (look for the sign), otherwise you can bring a car over from Phuket on the car ferry.