Initially, we didn’t have the plan to do many activities during our visit to Krabi. However, after reaching there, we felt something missing for not having at least an easy island hopping experience because there are many nice islands around Krabi.
Therefore, when our taxi ride from Krabi airport to the hotel stopped shortly at one tour agency called Krabi Somporn Travel, we decide to went down and see what kind of packages that they have. Honestly, we were a bit clueless and got enticed by the sales staff approach. It seemed it is a common practice for a taxi driver to drop tourist at such tour agency and getting some commissions if there is any deal made by the passenger. I expected this tourist trapping approach after reading some other people blogging this experience. We were pretty sure that there is no obligation to buy and we could decline if we are not interested.
Nonetheless, we still spent some time in the agency office listening to several tour options that they have while looking for an activity inspiration at the same time. Entering the office we are directed to a Muslim Malay lady staff desk (the staff wears a hijab), most likely because the staff saw my wife is also using a hijab. That approach for sure boosted our likelihood to buy a package because it is more convenient to speak with someone we can relate to. I am still quite surprised to know quite many Malay people in Southern Thailand.
We asked about several tour options that are safe for pregnancy. With that condition, we cannot go to the famous island such as Phi Phi that will need a speedboat to reach as it will be very bumpy. In the beginning, the staff lady offers a private boat tour for that cost about 7000 THB which immediately we declined because that was really out of our budget. Then she offered a jungle tour to visit some hot spring places, which also we refused because we preferred an island hopping activity. Then she explained shortly about 4 islands hopping with a long tail boat, but after quickly check with her colleague she withdraws the offer because the boat company couldn’t accept pregnant passenger. Last, she presented 7 islands sunset hopping tour using a big boat.
We decided to take 7 islands sunset tour after listening to the explanation and book a date. We were sure if we might get a cheaper package in Ao Nang. From a quick internet search, the price that was offered to us seemed not a rip-off. Considering we didn’t need to shop again, we decided to finalize the deal. Normally, 7 islands tour with big boat costs THB 1,800 per pax, but we ended up paying THB 3,300 for 2 pax after some negotiation. This price includes hotel pickups, mineral water, snorkeling equipment, mandatory national park entrance fee ( THB 400/pax), insurance, tour guides, fruits, fire performance, and dinner. After paying, we got a receipt stating the tour package, price and pickup time in our hotel. Not bad, we thought.
After done with the tour booking, the driver took us to the hotel, which is not far from the tour agency office. When we reached the hotel, I googled the travel agency name, Krabi Somporn Travel and found several complaints of overcharging the package. Although I didn’t think they overcharged us too much, I felt slightly uncomfortable worried if they will send us to very bad tour operator with that price. Anyway, that is one of the reasons why traveling is exciting because you always need to be prepared for unexpected.
After experiencing the tour, we would say Krabi Somporn still a legitimate travel agency although the approach that they do by partnering with taxi driver can trap innocent customer. There are many tour agency and operator in Ao Nang. We believe with that situation we can try to bargain and negotiate the package with more option in Ao Nang. Although it seems we ended up paying a bit high, but we still not regretting it because overall tour experiences are good. Afterall, Krabi Somporn is just a travel agency while the tour operator will be another company.
To see what other fun activities you can do in Krabi, please see this post.