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 oragnise 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 go island hopping 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.
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.
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.
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!
Further reading: Looking for information on other islands in Thailand (and the rest of Southeast Asia)? Travelfish.org has some great guides!
Have you been island hopping in Krabi? Did you enjoy it or were the crowds too much? Let me know!