Southeast AsiaThailand

Crowded Island Hopping in Krabi, Thailand

Is there anything better to do on holiday than jumping on a boat to explore pristine island paradises? I’ve done it all over Southeast Asia – so how does island hopping in Krabi rate? Really highly, as long as you don’t mind sharing the experience with a lot of other people. Here’s what island hopping in Krabi entails:

The island hopping in Krabi tour begins: Pick up from Railay West Beach

We stayed at Tonsai Bay and had to walk over to Railay West Beach to meet the boat. Tonsai Bay is Krabi’s backpacker ghetto, so I can’t blame the tour operators for not wanting to go there. We paid 400 baht for the tour including lunch (possibly 450, it was a few months ago and my memory isn’t great), which makes it a pretty good value day trip. You can also organise these tours from Ao Nang and Krabi Town.

Koh Tup (and Koh Mor)

The sea was rough which made the boat ride from Railay West a bit unpleasant, but that faded once we landed on the sand bar between Koh Tup and Koh Mor. We definitely weren’t the only ones with the bright idea to do a Krabi island hopping tour though – it was completely packed. We saw more skin than sand (only a slight exaggeration), but the beach that peeked through the gaps was stunning. The water was great as well, just as clear and blue as tropical water should be. The scores of boats in the water meant there weren’t many spots for swimming, but the water was a bit rough anyway. I’m not really selling this to you, am I? It is actually a really nice island(s) and I wasn’t too bothered by the crowds – people should know that these kinds of tours in Thailand are packed and shouldn’t complain about it.

island hopping in Krabi 4 island tour, ThailandKoh Tup and Koh Mor, part of the island hopping in Krabi tour, Thailand

Chicken Island – the snorkelling that never was

We were supposed to go snorkelling near chicken island (named so because it looks like a chicken, obviously) but the sea was too rough so we scrapped it. No one looked that disappointed – snorkelling in waves is never that fun. If you snorkelled at Chicken Island leave a comment and let me know how it was.

Koh Poda

This was our final stop before heading back to the mainland and it turned out to be a pretty amazing little island. The sea, while really rough, was great for swimming (well, it was more standing around trying not to get bowled over by waves, but it was still fun) and the beaches were great. It’s actually one of the nicest beach/water combos I’ve been to in Thailand so far and because it’s bigger than Koh Tup/Koh Mor, the crowds are a lot more spread out. There’s plenty of room to relax under palm trees and there’s a whole section of beach with no boats.  Koh Poda is where you’ll eat lunch if you’re on a tour – it’s the typical island hopping fare except for the lack of fish.

READ MORE: Two Weeks in Thailand: The Ultimate Holiday Itinerary

Boats on Koh Poda, part of the island hopping in Krabi tourKoh Poda - seen while island hopping in Krabi, Thailanda beach on Koh Poda, part of the island hopping in Krabi tour

Phra Nang Beach

The last stop on our island hopping in Krabi adventure isn’t even an island; it’s a beach that’s pretty accessible for those staying at the Railay beaches or Tonsai Bay if you fancy a walk. I guess they add this on to the tour for people who aren’t staying in the area. We’d been there a couple of days before so didn’t hang around, but I’ll tell you about it anyway because I’m nice and this article would be a bit short otherwise. Phra Nang Beach is regarded as one of the best beaches in Krabi and I’ll concur with the crowd on this one – it is nice (although I didn’t get a good photo for some reason). Also, if you’re a penis fan you’re in luck – there are two caves full of them (of the wood-carved variety) which seamen have left over the years, believing it’ll bring them good luck. Maybe you can say your own prayer to the penis gods while visiting Phra Nang beach. It probably won’t get answered unless you leave a gift though, so get carving!

READ MORE: Backpacking in Thailand: Costs, Tips and Places to See

restaurant at Phra Nang Beach, part of the island hopping in Krabi tourPenis cave in Krabi - part of the island hopping in Krabi tour

Have you been island hopping in Krabi? Did you enjoy it or were the crowds too much? Let me know!

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Jon Algie

A travel blogger from New Zealand who hates talking about himself in the third person and has no imagination when it comes to naming websites.
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  1. Brandon
    June 14, 2015 at 9:16 am — Reply

    Are there any particular Thai islands you would recommend visiting that are more secluded?

    • June 14, 2015 at 10:03 am — Reply

      I recommend Koh Lanta, it’s not exactly secluded but it’s easy to find a quiet spot. I haven’t been to that many islands in Thailand, but if you want a great island head over to Koh Rong in Cambodia, it might have changed a bit since I was last there but it was really quiet and beautiful.

  2. June 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm — Reply

    Brandon, I’d suggest checking out Koh Tao or Koh Phangan. The North of Koh Phangan has secluded pristine beaches. Be sure to visit when it’s non full moon time to avoid the full moon party crowd.

    • June 15, 2015 at 11:55 pm — Reply

      Good advice Mary, I’ve heard good things about those places and will probably visit them early next year. Also Koh Lipe is supposed to be good. There are so many islands in Thailand though, so just get out and explore them!

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