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Food on Koh Yao Island varies from cuisine of central and southern Thailand. Southern Thai recipes are renowned for their spiciness and have strong influences from Malay, Indonesian and Indian cuisines as these groups have played a historic role in the region. Dishes representative of these influences include Massaman, an Indian-style Muslim curry and Khanom Jeen, rice noodles in fish curry sauce. A favorite sweet treat is the local baked cake (Tao So).
One of the dominating influences on Phang Nga cuisine is seafood, caught in local waters. Most herbs, vegetables and fruits are grown on the island.
Fresh fish and shellfish are typically on display outside beachfront restaurants, where diners can select the fish they wish to eat and then order it served in a variety of ways, including grilled with a selection of spices.
Famed island Chef Mina offers cooking classes for a limited number of people, in her own traditional Thai house just outside the market.