Koh Tapao Yai
Location: Off the southeast coast.
How to get there: Catch a boat from Ao Makham Pier.
Koh Tapao Yai is the larger twin of Koh Tapao Noi. Koh Tapao Yai is actually home to a couple of hotels, although they aren’t especially big or plush. The attraction of the rare hornbill birds on Koh Tapao Noi is also a draw of Koh Tapao Yai.
Koh Tapao Yai is very popular for its beaches, which are much larger and expansive than those found on Koh Tapao Noi.
The beaches are so popular, in fact, that they’ve actually become a problem as irresponsible tourists, snorkellers and divers have been destroying the natural reef structures surround the island.
As eco-friendly tourism has begun taking the world by storm, especially in areas that support endangered and rare species of animals, tourists have begun to be more responsible in most places, although not always in and around Phuket.
Although Koh Tapao Yai was once home to nothing more than a small fishermen’s village, it has begun to grow into something of an exclusive resort-type island that is most assuredly tourist-friendly. For a long time, there was only one small bungalow available on the island, but the whole island is slowly expanding into a major destination.