Visiting Krabi, islands hopping is a must do. The islands surrounding Krabi are beautiful, and only can be accessed by boat. We booked the tour through Krabi Somporn Travel Agency.
As the name stated, the tour will cover islands hoping to 7 islands. Here are the islands in the package:
- Railay Beach
- Tup Island
- Tang Ming Island
- Poda Island
- Ya Wa Bon island
- Chicken Island
- Phra Nang Cave
The tour package includes hotel pickup, snack (fruits), dinner, snorkeling equipment, insurance, national park entrance fee (THB 400/pax), fire show attraction and tour guides.
Tour duration: about 8 hours, from 1 PM (Hotel pickup) to 9.00 PM (get back to the hotel).
Tour operator: Amazing Andaman Tour.
This is the price list from Krabi Somporn Travel brochure that we got.
- 7 islands Sunset Tour Using Big boat: adult THB 1,800 | Child THB 1,000 (400 THB national park fee is included)
- 5 Islands Tour Using Longtail boat: adult THB 1,600 | Child THB 800 (this tour doesn’t accept pregnant woman)
From that options, we take the first option: 7 islands sunset tour with a big boat. After some negotiations, we ended up paying THB 1650/pax (including the national park fee)
However, this is the price of 7 Islands Sunset tour from Amazing Andaman Tour:
- Islands Sunset tour with Amazing Andaman Tour THB 1,200/ adult (it seems national park fee is not included)
As what the tour agency staff wrote on the receipt, our pickup time for the tour was between 12.30-13.00. I assumed, the pickup staff would have our phone number and would call us when they reach our hotel or at least ask the hotel reception to call us. Until 13.00 I didn’t get any call to my mobile phone or room phone. I slightly felt worried again. Did we get scammed? I still think it will be less likely. Although the travel agent might give a slightly higher price, we believed that they are legitimate. Closing to 13.00, I decided to go down to the lobby while wifey waited in the room.
In the lobby, I asked a hotel staff asking if there are any tour company looking for us. Then the hotel staff called a woman that seemed had been waiting for some time. After saying hi and clarified if they are really our tour operator for that day, I went up again to our room to fetch wifey. While climbing the stair up, I was thinking that they should have called us instead of just waiting.
The tour operator picked us up using Songthaew, a pick-up truck that is modified to carry passengers. There was already a Thai couple that waited in the Songthaew. They were sweating because of the day heat and humidity. I slightly felt guilty to make them wait. From the hotel, we still went around Krabi to fetch some others passenger. At the end, there were 8 of us in the Songthaew. The car brought us to Ao Nammo Pier the place where we should hop on the boat.
We reached the pier in no time and immediately greeted by the tour operator staff. I couldn’t recall the staff name but he and also the rest of the crews are very nice. Seeing from some brochures in the staff desk and the logo on the boat, the tour operator name is Amazing Andaman Tour. We were brought to one desk at the entrance of the pier. Upon our arrival there, we had to write our names in a form, which later I know it’s an insurance form. The staff also collected national park fee from tour participants who haven’t paid. We didn’t need to as our package already includes such fee.
The tour should have started at 2PM. But because the operator staff said we still need to wait for some more groups, at the end we only start to ride boat on 2.30PM. While waiting, I was worried about what kind of boat that we need to ride considering my prego wifey. But the worried were gone once I saw the big boat which seems reliable.
After we start cruising, the crew immediately introduce themselves and gave a short intro about what and where the tour will bring us. Technically, not all of those places are islands and we didn’t really alight and spend some time at all of them.
The boat riding is exciting. It sailed at a moderate speed, thus it’s less bumpy compared to a speedboat and more steady compared to a long tail boat. Prego wifey feels comfortable and was able to enjoy the tour.
The first stop was at Railay beach to pick up some more tour participants. We didn’t get down but the crew seemed to load some stuff onto the boat. Railay beach actually is part of Thailand mainland. However, because of the land structure, this place is not reachable from the land except by boat. Thus, a boat is the only transport to go from and to Railay beach.
Not too far from Railay beach, this was our real first stop. I have to admit that the beach is very nice. According to the crew, at low tide, we can walk along the sandbank causeway to the neighboring island. After we reached the island, some people immediately went for a swim while some just took some photo. There was one dedicated section to swim at the beach, marked by yellow floating balls. There were some beach guards too.
It was very hot that afternoon, so we just sit under the tree enjoying the view and took some pictures. We didn’t stay on the island for too long. I think it was only about 30 minutes. Leaving the island, somehow the boat picked us up on the other side of the beach. We need to walk on the water to reach there. Using a proper foot gear will be helpful. We also need to ensure none of our digital devices got water splash or worst fall to the sea water. Having a dry bag will give a peace of mind but a plastic bag should also do.
Next stop is Poda island. The island looks larger than Tup Island. Some people were swimming on the beach while both of us went to the quiet side of the beach and took some baby bump photos. After taking pictures we just sit facing the sea and one giant cliff. I wanted to swim but the sun is still too hot. While sitting, one of our boat crew said hi to us and offering if we want to have our photo taken by him. We declined because we already have our tripod that works best for that purpose. He left and continuing what he did. He picked trashes that can be seen on the beach as well as on water. Not really sure whether those trashes are tourist leftover or trashes from the mainland because of people or trashing in river or beachside.
Ya Wa Bon island
This was our first snorkeling location. Wifey decided to stay on the boat, although in general there is no prohibition for pregnant women to snorkel as long as she is healthy. For myself, I only had snorkeled one time in one Lombok beach a few years ago. Since I easily freak out by my own imagination, I was reluctant to go down. Furthermore, this snorkeling spot is on the side of the island but facing the cliff instead of a beach and the water seems a bit deep. I can swim but not get used to open water swimming. Hence I went down using safety life vest.
The water was a bit not clear though I could see some fishes and corals. Wifey stayed on the boat and watched me. There were some other people that also decided for not snorkeling. Several times I was poked by one of the boat crew that wanted to show me a Nemo fishes. Unfortunately, because of the unclear water and also the Nemo fish that usually laid in the bottom of the water, it was difficult for me to see it. I went back to the boat after got tired. Not long after that, we resume the ride to the next stop.
Tang Ming Island
This is our second snorkeling spot. I went down from the boat again. I didn’t really notice too much different from the previous stop except when the sea was getting darker because the sunshine was abating approaching the end of the day. The current also stronger in this second spot, thankfully I didn’t force wifey to try to join us. I kept getting pushed away from the boat if I didn’t paddle myself. Again after got tired I went back to the boat.
While continuing journey to the next stop, the boat crew start passing some cut fruits. The options are pineapple and watermelon. We were given 1 bottle mineral water each as well. The was quite refreshing because it was cold and the fruits are also nice. The boat was approaching Chicken Island. We didn’t stop on the island but just half encircling it. The island name comes from a limestone shape at the edge of the island that makes it look like a chicken. After slowing down near the island, the boat continues the journey. In our behind the sun start setting. It was a very nice scenery, especially enjoyed on a sailing boat in the middle of the sea.
Phra Nang Beach
The sun was already fully setting once we almost reaching Phra Nang beach. Somehow, we need to transfer from our big boat to a long tail boat to approach the island. Although I was concerned of wifey that needs to climb up and down stairs to transfer to another boat, she did it very well.
Once all passengers transferred to the long tail boat, we started moving approaching the beach. We were getting down one by one. The main agenda in the beach was dinner. The menu is a home cooking food. A rice, some vegetables, BBQ chicken stick and some fishes. The food was ok for us but not something that is very amazing. After queueing for the meal, we sat in one corner of the beach. Actually, we stopped at this beach just for having this dinner. Because after that we went back straight to the long tail boat.
Using the long tail boat, we moved to a bit outside the beach. I was wondering whether we will return to the big boat again because we have left our backpack in the big boat and that boat is nowhere to be seen. Shortly after that, finally we can see that boat we were looking for. We transferred back to our boat.
The next agenda was snorkeling to see phytoplankton. I decided for not going down because it was already dark. The lights were off, to be able to clearly see the shining phytoplankton. For people who stay on the boat, the crew took some seawater using a bucket. The seawater then was soaked to the boat floor, so that people onboard also can enjoy seeing the shiny phytoplankton. It looks like fireflies but in the water.
After the short snorkeling session with the phytoplankton, our boat crews were preparing something on the roof of the long tail boat we were transferred from. It seemed they are going to do a final highlight of the tour, the fire show. It turned out, the boat crews were the performer. They use some sticks and ropes with fires and do some attractions. The sh0w was quite interesting. Basically, the performer swing around the stick and rope with fire burned on both edges. But considering they are not really a professional performer, sometimes they were made a mistake such as dropping the stick and no real choreography in the show. It would have been nice if they have at least some music in to accompany the show. But anyway, most of us seemed quite entertained.
Finally, after the show, the big boat brought us back to the pier. On the way there, the crew put a tip jar for people who want to give tips. Once we reached the pier, we walked outside the pier where our transfer car has waited. This time we got an air-conditioned van instead of Songthaew. There were six of us in the van. In no time we had reached back our hotel and became the first passenger dropped back home. Then, as we reach back, it concluded our tour of that day.
The main thing to note, although the tour states 7 islands tour, we didn’t really stop in whole 7 islands at the end. So you might want to manage your expectation before commencing the tour. The time we had at each stop also not very long. To have more conveniences and flexibilities, you might want to try a private tour.
Overall, the tour was a nice experience. The crews were very kind and supportive. The fruits are refreshing. The dinner was not a five stars level but not really horrible too. The hotel transfer support was reliable. The program could be better if it had a longer duration in an island instead of rushing move to next destination for every 30 minutes. However, some tour operator provides 4 or 5 islands for that purpose.
To see what other fun activities you can do in Krabi, please see this post.