Islands of Krabi
Krabi province in southwestern Thailand is a paradise of epic proportions. Because much of the province’s land is located along the Andaman coast, you can expect a lot of sand, sun and sea. What’s more, the islands of Krabi are plentiful, with no shortage of beaches. The islands of Krabi can be counted to almost 200. Krabi islands have become popular destinations with travelers looking to expand their exploration game. Krabi islands come in many shapes and sizes. Set in crystal turquoise waters, this is truly one of the most stunning places on Earth.
With hundreds of kilometers of coastline, you could enjoy Krabi without ever setting foot on a boat, but why would you do that? The islands of Krabi are part of what makes this unique province so special. Krabi islands range from large and grandiose to tiny and uninhabitable. For every Krabi island that you can overnight on, there’s a handful that can only be admired from the water.
An Untouched Paradise
Magnificent limestone cliffs are the trademark of this province, and the islands of Krabi are no exception. Because many of Krabi’s islands are sheer rock jutting out from crystal seas, it’s sometimes impossible to set foot on them. However, there are always secrets to discover where the ocean meets the land. Day trips to Krabi islands for snorkeling, diving and kayaking are popular, even if you never touch the ground!
Experience the Island Lifestyle
But also possible here is the opportunity to experience lavish vacations on larger Krabi islands. Those with more land are home to rich industry. Accommodation ranging from basic to luxurious is plentiful on Krabi islands. Exciting nightlife scenes are out of this world. Dining and sightseeing options match the spectacular landscape in wonder and amazement.
It’s impossible to visit all of the islands of Krabi; it would take a lifetime! However, if you don’t wish to make it your life’s mission, there are a few islands of Krabi that simply can’t be missed. If you’re undecided on which Krabi island to stay or visit, read on. We’ve listed the specs on islands of Krabi – from the remote and mysterious to the tested and true.
Koh Haa is a Krabi island that remains protected. As such, it’s not possible to set foot on land. However, don’t let that stop you from planning your visit. Home to the famous cathedral and chimney Scuba diving sites, Koh Haa is a Krabi island that you won’t soon forget.
Haa means “five” in Thai language (ask the locals how to pronounce it!). As you might have guessed it, Koh Haa is actually a cluster of five islands. Part of the Lanta Island district, a visit to Koh Haa is usually included in day trips to nearby Koh Rok. These Krabi islands huddle together like a family, protecting a nursery of coral. The underwater landscape here is unrivaled. With 12 official dive sites, this Krabi island is a prime destination for Scuba addicts. Those with diving certification already can jump right in to some of the most amazing underwater scenes around. Don’t have a ticket yet? Not to worry, because you can get certified nearby.
If you’re more of a snorkeler, Koh Haa’s lagoon is perfect for you. Colorful fish and other interesting creatures await you in these crystal-clear seas. Because of the lagoon’s shallow waters, visibility is excellent. Even approaching the islands by boat is a thrilling experience, as they are comprised of tall cliffs soaring out of the sea. Like its larger neighbor Koh Rok, Koh Haa is only accessible during the high season – November to May.
Like many islands around here, Koh Rok can’t effectively be considered a Krabi island. That’s because it’s two Krabi islands! Koh Rok Nai (inner island) and Koh Rok Nok (outer island) are connected to each other by a band of coral. Located to the south of Koh Lanta, these Krabi islands are part of the Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park. Because of this status, you can expect to see an abundance of nature here.
Though this Krabi island is not off-limits to foot traffic, you won’t find much industry here. There are no hotels to speak of. With both islands being only a few kilometers in diameter, there wouldn’t be much space for them! However, you can do something a little more rugged – camping. Though you could charter a boat from Saladan Pier to take you here, it’s more economical (and more exciting) to book a snorkeling trip that includes Koh Rok. If you wish to hire a tent, you can arrange with your tour guide to pick you up at a specified time. There is a small restaurant there, but some travelers recommend bringing your own food as a backup.
Once you’ve had your fill of world-class snorkeling, you can explore the island on foot. Pha Samet Daeng viewpoint is an excellent place to watch the sunset, and you’ll have the chance to see some interesting flora and fauna.
Koh Rok is open to visitors only during the high season – November to May.
For more information on Koh Rok or to camp on Koh Rok visit our page on here: Koh Rok
Koh Phee & Koh Talabeng
Counted amongst the more mysterious of the Krabi islands, Koh Phee and Koh Talabeng are best explored by sea kayak. Phee means “ghost” in Thai language, and you’ll see why as you approach it by longtail boat. An eerie face resembling a skull peers out from the cliff face. This is one Krabi island where the main attraction isn’t underwater – it’s all about the rock!
Rock climbing is one of the main activities here. With a seasoned guide to help, you can climb into the eyes of the skull to a panoramic scene. Tours are offered to everyone, so you don’t have to be a seasoned climber to accomplish this feat. After exploring the caves of Koh Phee, you can continue your journey by kayak to Koh Talabeng. On this Krabi island you’ll find a relaxing beach, complete with monkeys. After some swimming, you can enjoy a scenic paddle around the island.
Tour operators include fruit, water and lunch on this day trip. It’s not the most common thing to do, so you’ll find it a good escape from the crowds.
Koh Poda is the largest in a group of four Krabi islands found just offshore of Ao Nang. Also included in this group are Koh Gai (Chicken Island), Koh Tup and Koh Mor. Together, these Krabi islands make up what’s know as the four-island tour. One of the most popular tours departing from Ao Nang, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing in a variety of environments, all over the course of a day.
Poda Island itself is a popular destination on its own. Without a tour, a longtail boat can be hired for around 300 THB. It takes around 25 minutes to reach the Krabi island, which can be seen from Ao Nang beach. Once there, you’ll have to pay an additional 400 THB for the national park fee. You can expect crystal-clear waters, fine sand beaches and a whole lot of relaxation. A small reef lies just off the coast, making it a great snorkeling destination. There’s a small restaurant and one hotel. Though they are a bit pricey, it can be nice to have this idyllic Krabi island all to yourself once the tours boats retire for the day.
For more information on Koh Poda visit our page on here: Koh Poda
Four Islands in One Day
Gai means chicken in Thai. Though you won’t find any chickens here, a large rock formation resembling the head of a chicken gives this Krabi island its name. Koh Tup and Koh Mor are tiny islands connected by a sandbar. At low tide, it’s possible to walk between the two and even and far as Koh Gai, located around 500 meters away. Because of the shallow and clear water, this is where the snorkeling fanatics will want to be.
Though it’s possible to hire a private longtail to any of these four Krabi islands, we recommend saving your money for Koh Poda, unless you’re taking the four-island tour. The latter three islands are relatively small and tend to be quite busy, especially during the high season.
Koh Hong is a breathtakingly beautiful group of Krabi islands, numbering around twelve. Though many of the islands are small and don’t have beaches, they are still a sight to behold. One of the most popular day trips from Ao Nang, the largest of the Hong Islands boasts a number of white sand beaches. In the back of this Krabi island you’ll find a stunning lagoon that is perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Day trips to Koh Hong are the only way to see this Krabi island, as the government doesn’t allow overnight guests here. Because of its National Park status, expect to pay an additional 400 THB fee upon arrival. Tour groups often include the fee in their price, so make sure to ask. If you’re a fan of lazy beach days filled with swimming, snorkeling and outstanding scenery, Koh Hong is just right for you.
For more information on Koh Hong visit our page on here: Koh Hong
James Bond Island
Koh Tapu and Koh Ping Ghan have collectively come to be known as James Bond Island, ever since it was featured in the 1974 movie The Man With the Golden Gun. A popular day trip from Ao Nang, James Bond Island doesn’t allow overnight guests, though it is not completely devoid of industry.
Koh Tapu itself is a miracle of nature. Meaning “nail island” in Thai, it’s an extremely tall pillar, jutting out of the sea and held up by what could only be divine forces. Because of its precarious position, boats are restricted from entering the area. The best place to view the pillar is from the beach on nearby Koh Ping Ghan. You’ll also find a small strip of vendors here, peddling souvenirs made from local materials.
Koh Ping Ghan boasts its own towering heights, as well as an interesting network of caves that can be explored on foot. Day trips here often include lunch at a nearby Muslim fishing village. As far as Krabi islands go, these two gems are quite unique. They can get crowded at times, but it’s worth it.
For more information on James Bond visit our page on here: James Bond
Located in between the mainland and Koh Jum, Koh Siboya is definitely off the tourist trail. Offering only about three resorts, the rest of the island is made up of small shops catering to about 1,500 local residents. Most of the industry here revolves around fishing or rubber plantations. You can get around on foot or by motorbike, but don’t expect any paved roads. With the economic rise in the area, you’ll see a few more cars these days, but most people get around by walking.
Koh Siboya has a pretty strong following of repeat visitors. There are a few nice beaches, and a 15 kilometer path around the Krabi island makes for great local exploration. Thai hospitality is at a peak here, and you’ll have a true taste of island life. Perfect for anyone who’s looking to finish writing that book they’ve been working on!
Koh Jum and Koh Pu
Let’s clear any confusion straight away : Koh Jum and Koh Pu are north and south ends of the same island. Here we venture into the territory of larger islands, ones with a little more industry. Of the habitable Krabi islands, Koh Jum is one of the sleepiest. Big enough for motorbikes and tuktuks but not for cars, Koh Jum is perfect for those who wish to get away from it all.
Although there is a reasonable selection of accommodation on Koh Jum, low key is the name of the game. You won’t find any raging full moon parties or endless boats packed with tourists here. Don’t get us wrong, there’s not nothing to do on Koh Jum, it’s just a quiet place. Because the beaches here are a touch rockier than some of its well-known neighbors, Koh Jum is favored by those who love the sand. It’s perfect for couples, solos and anyone wishing to escape a busy lifestyle.
In addition to lazy days on the beach, there’s a fair amount of snorkeling and diving opportunities on this Krabi island. A viewpoint hike can be found for anyone who wishes to adventure over land. It’s also big enough to host some great eateries and nightlife. If you’re looking to get on island time, Koh Jum is the place for you.
For more information on Koh Jum visit our page on here: Koh Jum
The largest of the islands of Krabi, Koh Lanta is made up of two islands, Koh Lanta Noi and Yai. Koh Lanta Noi is the smaller, more northerly of the two, and hosts mostly local fishing villages. A bridge between the two was completed in 2016, making tourism more accessible on the larger Koh Lanta Yai.
Because of the relatively fast economic growth in the area, Koh Lanta does an excellent job of retaining its island charm. With a car ferry available from the mainland, the island is well-supplied. A vast range of accommodation is available here, from basic bungalows to five-star resorts. It’s not uncommon for travelers to spend their entire holiday on this Krabi island, as there is so much to do.
Koh Lanta Yai is home to nine world-class beaches, some of the best in Krabi. White sand extends far into the turquoise waters, with excellent depths. Because some more well-known beaches, such as Klong Dao, tend to attract most of the attention, travelers can usually find a slice of serenity on a more private beach.
Koh Lanta’s main economic center is located on its northwestern tip, in Ban Saladan. Shopping, restaurants and markets here are lively and beautiful. Many over-water excursions leave from the man pier at Ban Saladan, as well as being the port for passenger ferries arriving from Krabi Town.
For more information on Koh Lanta visit our page on here: Koh Lanta
Exploring Koh Lanta
Venture further down the island and you’ll find a range of accommodation, most of it being sea view. Industry has sprung up here, and you’ll find plenty of offerings including cooking schools, yoga studios and dive shops. The eastern side of the island is home to Lanta Old Town, a sleepy fishing village that has been transformed into a boutique tourist attraction.
The southern end of this Krabi island is a little more rugged, offering secluded beaches, winding roads and total privacy. The landscape gets a little more rugged around here, and is perfect for nature lovers. The tip of the island is home to the Mu Koh Lanta National Park, a must-see for anyone who loves hiking, swimming, wildlife and spectacular scenery.
Koh Phi Phi
The Phi Phi islands are located in Phang Nga Bay, between Krabi and Phuket. An archipelago consisting of six Krabi islands, Phi Phi is likely the most well known of the Krabi islands. Approaching the islands by boat is an unforgettable experience – as the surrounding seas begin to shallow, the sun’s rays turn the water a blinding aquamarine. Combined with soaring cliffs covered in emerald vegetation, Phi Phi is truly one of the most spectacular places on the planet. As you might expect, there’s a lot to do here. It’s one of the world’s premier Scuba diving destinations. It hosts some of the best beaches, snorkeling and parties.
Koh Phi Phi has been attracting attention for much of history. Archaeological discoveries tell a story of ancient human habitation here. In the 1940s, the Krabi island became home to Muslim fishermen and coconut plantations. More recently, it’s become one of the most sought after tourist destinations in this part of the world. After the 2000 film The Beach was filmed in the area, these Krabi islands have exploded in popularity.
For more information on Koh Phi Phi visit our page on here: Koh Phi Phi
Phi Phi Don
Koh Phi Phi Don is where you’ll stay while overnighting on the archipelago. The Krabi island hosts the chain’s only accommodation, and is its main economic center. Home to a myriad of shops and services, Phi Phi Don is well-equipped for tourism. Restaurants, hotels and nightlife come in all shapes and sizes. Because of the island’s small size, transportation is limited to foot traffic and longtail boats.
Actually two islands connected by a sandbar, Phi Phi Don boasts a stunning hourglass shape, with two crescent beaches on either side. A popular viewpoint hike allows visitors to soak in the panoramic views. Tours of surrounding islands leave constantly to show off the rest of the archipelago.
Because of the phenomenal diving in the area, you’ll find a myriad of dive shops, hawking fun dives, courses and exploration days. Snorkeling is also top-notch, as are lazy beach days. Hosting a famous nightlife scene, Phi Phi Don’s offerings are not only for the daylight.
With its outstanding beauty and ample things to do, you could easily spend your whole holiday on Phi Phi Don. But with the other islands so near, they definitely deserve a closer look.
Phi Phi Leh
Phi Phi is known the world over as being the scene of the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows a group of backpackers who settle on a hidden Thai island, shunning society and forming their own off-color community. It attained cult status, and Phi Phi Leh has been attracting fans ever since, hoping to catch a glimpse of the paradise advertised in the movie.
Unfortunately, all that attention has negatively impacted the landscape. Vegetation was altered for the film’s production, and efforts to replant after shooting were not enough to weather the devastating tsunami of 2004. Combined with irresponsible tourism, Maya Bay, where the movie was filmed, has experienced a host of ecological problems.
As of June 2018, boats are no longer allowed through the world-famous gateway into Maya Bay. However, the bay can still be viewed from the entrance, and it’s just as spectacular. Hopefully, this time off will give the area a chance to heal. Maya Bay is projected to open to the public in November of 2018, depending on its recovery status. As visitors here, we can all do our part to keep this area and its wildlife healthy by using biodegradable sunscreen, putting trash in its place and not feeding any fish.
As the southernmost islands making up the Phi Phi archipelago, Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Noi are a mecca for the diving community. Uninhabited, the islands are not accessible by foot. It’s a diving-only experience around here, and you’ll get your money’s worth.
Both Bida Noi and Nok are home to some of the most popular dive sites in Krabi. Its underwater topography ranges from a shallow, sheltered bay to steep, underwater cliffs covered in coral. You can expect to find a variety of marine life here, including sea snakes, hawksbill turtles and barracuda.
Though these Krabi islands are easily reached from mainland Krabi or even Koh Lanta, we recommend to include them during a trip to the more well-known Krabi island, Koh Phi Phi Don.
Making up the northermost island of the Phi Phi chain, this Krabi island rests beside its sister, Mosquito Island. Mosquito island itself is closed to foot traffic, but many snorkeling boats pass by here on their way to Bamboo.
Bamboo Island is a popular day trip from Phi Phi Don, mostly as part of larger island tours. There’s not much here – just a beach, some nature and some snorkeling. For those who dream of tiny, idyllic islands with just enough space for the essentials, Bamboo is worth a visit. If the weather is good, it might even be worth it to hire a private longtail to take you here. Because there are no services, make sure to bring any food and water you may need, and pack out what you bring in.
Plan Your Trip!
With so many Krabi islands to choose from, there’s something for everyone in this paradisiacal place. Depending on the length of your holiday, you might be able to hit up several of these magical isles during your stay in Krabi. Wherever you choose to go, we hope to see you there!
Koh Yao Noi & Koh Yao Yai
Although technically not part or Krabi province Koh Yao Yao and Koh Yao Noi are a couple of worth mentioning islands. Located in between Phuket and Krabi, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai are actually part of PhangNga province. getting to these islands can be rather easy if you when when and where to go. We’ve listed this information and more in our full page on Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. For the full write up on times to visit, how to get around, things to do, places to see and much more visit our page on Koh Yao Yai and Koh Yao Noi: A complete guide to the Koh Yao islands