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Koh Yao Yai & Ao Labu

The west coast of Koh Yao Yai, north and south of Ao Labu is currently undergoing resort and residential development in several locations. Some of these have plans for small jetties or floating docks.

Situated halfway down the west coast of Koh Yao Yai, Ao Labu is easily recognised as the bay directly east of the twin stack islands of Koh Sup. Good anchorages can be found just offshore any of the beaches on this coast.

Ao Labu North

In the northeast monsoon season good holding in 5-6 metres on a muddy bottom, and excellent shelter, can be found on a line roughly due east of the headland. It is unwise to try anchoring too close in; there are some coral outcrops in the bay, and the recommended anchorage is perfectly sheltered.

At very low tide the bay is shallow some distance from the beach. Ashore is a long sandy beach fringed with casuarinas and other tropical trees typical of the area. In the northern corner of the bay lies the mouth of a river which extends 800 metres and more into the headland toward a small settlement where coconut and rubber is cultivated.

This is an extraordinarily peaceful anchorage, and it presents a rare opportunity for extended walks on level ground surrounding the bay.

Ao Labu South

The west coast of Koh Yao Yai, north and south of Ao Labu is currently undergoing resort and residential development in several locations. Some of these have plans for small jetties or floating docks.

Situated halfway down the west coast of Koh Yao Yai, Ao Labu is easily recognised as the bay directly east of the twin stack islands of Koh Sup. Good anchorages can be found just offshore any of the beaches on this coast.

In the northeast monsoon season good holding in 5-6 metres on a muddy bottom, and excellent shelter, can be found on a line roughly due east of the headland. It is unwise to try anchoring too close in; there are some coral outcrops in the bay, and the recommended anchorage is perfectly sheltered.

At very low tide the bay is shallow some distance from the beach. Ashore is a long sandy beach fringed with casuarinas and other tropical trees typical of the area. In the northern corner of the bay lies the mouth of a river which extends 800 metres and more into the headland toward a small settlement where coconut and rubber is cultivated.

This is an extraordinarily peaceful anchorage, and it presents a rare opportunity for extended walks on level ground surrounding the bay.

In the southwest monsoon season there is good overnight anchorage in 4-5 metres behind the small island of Koh Nui. Do not attempt to get farther south in the bay, as it is extremely shallow and the channel which the local fishing boats use is constantly shifting.

When approaching the anchorage, head due east to the centre of the bay before heading south, in this way avoiding a rock some 400 metres north of Koh Nui and just visible at high tide.

For the adventurous, a dinghy trip to the village at the southern end of the bay is an interesting experience; but do not expect restaurants or Western provisions. Once again, this is a Muslim community, and appropriate, polite dress should be worn, and alcohol should not be brought into the village area.

Koh yao yai and Ao labu
Chart courtesy of Southeast Asia Pilot
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