An Ultimate Krabi Island Hopping Guide

Posted on Jan 24 2019 - 10:22am by Archie Ward

Krabi is well-known as the gateway to the stunning Andaman islands. It’s crystal-clear waters, and unspoiled beaches attract tourists from all over the world. The options for outdoor activities are endless making it a traveler’s paradise. Krabi is the perfect holiday destination for those who love spectacular scenery and relaxation. Each island features turquoise waters, white-sand beaches, limestone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, and exotic wildlife.

If you’re planning on island-hopping in Krabi, you can partake in rock climbing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and jungle trekking. Its prominent destinations include Railay, Phi Phi Islands, Ao Luk, Ao Nam Mao, Koh Lanta, and Ao Thalane. The Krabi province is less crowded and developed compared to Phuket and is more laid-back. It’s only an 80-minute flight from Bangkok and offers budget-friendly accommodations.

With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming planning what to do in Krabi. For the ultimate Krabi experience, it’s crucial you understand the 150 different islands and what they have to offer. Some have vast coastlines where you can snorkel, swim, or bask in the sun, while others are uninhabited and have no landing access. Save yourself the time and energy with this guide to the top islands in Krabi.

Hong Island

Untouched and immaculate, Hong Island should be at the top of your Krabi island trip list. There are two white sand beaches with shallow waters making it ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and exploring. Hong, in Thai, refers to an elusive lagoon on the island. The lagoon provides visitors with a spectacular view and during the low tide, you’ll notice the water changes color from emerald green to turquoise. This island requires more preparation on your part. Since it’s uninhabited, you will have to bring your own food, water, and towels.

Aerial view of Raiay Beach

Phra Nang

This island has an endless stretch of beachfront and a favorite among tourists. Phra Nang is a limestone-cliff island located South of the Railay Peninsula. With so many human activities available, it makes for the best island hopping in Krabi. Along the Northern end of the island, there are food boats selling fruit juice, BBQ corn, and freshly made sandwiches. Rock climbing is what has made Phra Nang so famous. There are multiple overhanging rocks, towering karst formations and limestone pinnacles that draw hundreds of climbers to Phra Nang each year.

Koh Poda

Koh Poda is a smaller island geared towards those who enjoy peaceful solitude. There are no boats, or crowds, only you and the stunning turquoise water. Visitors can relax listening to the sound of the gentle waves while resting on the pristine white beach. Koh Poda is a spectacular island to snorkel through the coral reef and experience the variety of marine life. There is a small beach bungalow that sells water and cold drinks, a National Park Rangers’ Camp, and a small hotel called the Poda Island Resort.

Chicken Island

Chicken Island got its name by tourists thanks to the chicken-shaped boulder at its southernmost tip. Visitors can explore during a water tour and take Instagram-worthy photos of the strange chicken head. The island is also known for its sand bridge connecting to nearby islands Koh Mor, and Koh Tup. It’s the perfect location to take a romantic stroll across the ivory sand and vast oceans.

Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Don is the island that never sleeps and is not for those who want peace and quiet. It’s home to crowded beach parties, bustling nightlife, and a long stretch of bars, restaurants, and tour operators. The west side of the island is noisy and can be overwhelming for newcomers and seem chaotic. The eastern end is more isolated and void of loud music and lively crowds.

Phi Phi Island Tour

Choose Your Accommodations

Once you’ve chosen the island you want to visit, step two is to determine the right accommodations which can make or break your vacation. Ao Nang features many resorts for family. It’s the most accessible and convenient and is the harbor for speedboats and long-tail boats. All of the hotels here will put you right in the middle of the action. There are several inexpensive restaurants and hotels in Ao Nang to choose from.

The nearest islands are Koh Poda, Phra Nang, Koh Tup, and Chicken Island. It has the beauty of a resort and the atmosphere of a small town. It provides the comforts of home and the friendliness of the residents and staff is what sets Thailand apart. It only takes 30 minutes to walk from one end to the other. Ao Nang is 20 minutes away from Klong Muang Beach and Krabi Town.

Go At The Right Time

The best time to visit Krabi is in late January through March. You can expect calm waves, clear skies, and mild temperatures perfect for the beach. It’s also a cheaper time to go when you’ll avoid peak season hotel charges. This time of year can get crowded but the weather and activities at your disposal make it worth your while.

There are a few routes to choose from when planning your island-hopping adventure. The Phi Phi islands is the most straightforward route that also takes you to Bamboo Island which is a Phuket’s must-see. Crowd-lovers will enjoy taking this route, and those who aren’t will dislike it. The Hong Island route appeals to nature lovers and has fabulous snorkeling destinations close to the island coast. You can also visit the neighboring islands including Koh Pakka and Koh Lahding.

Archie Ward
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About the Author

Archie is a long time traveller in Asia, as well as a blogger, writer and entrepreneur. He wishes he could spend more time in Indonesia.