Islands of Krabi province – Part 2

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5 Is tour 12There’s an unofficial hierarchy when it comes to island hopping tours in Krabi. First you do the ‘4 Islands’, followed by the Phi Phi Islands. Then if you still have time, throw in the Hong Islands or ‘5 Islands’ tour. I wonder if there’s a subtext in the tourist information: stay long enough and get rewarded with what is possibly the loveliest of all the island tours.

We returned to Barracuda Tours to cruise the ‘5 Islands’ by longtail boat. First stop, Koh Deng, is a rocky red outcrop where Roo snorkelled and Tash fed green, black and white striped fish from the prow of the boat, sitting with our otherwise purely decorative guide Em.

5 Is tour 6Next up was Pakbia Island where we had a swim and collected huge shells to decorate the sandcastle built by Canadian twins Roya and Yasmin, whom Tash had befriended on the boat. The twins’ parents Christina and Nadim were taking the girls on a year-long world tour. Watching them made me realise how much easier it is travelling: a) with two children; b) with eight-year-olds. I can’t remember the last time I got to read on the beach!

5 Is tour 13 swing 2We stopped for lunch on Lading Island at a small idyllic bay called Paradise Beach where five Thai police were stationed to protect the resident swallows’ nests (a kilo of which fetches 100,000 baht on the export market). These were the most laid-back Thai cops I’ve ever met, which is not surprising as this must be the cushiest police posting in all of Thailand. There was just enough infrastructure on the island – rough-hewn wooden tables, benches and a huge swing – to indulge in the three most important traditional pastimes: eating, sleeping and sanuk (having fun).

Then it was on to the main attraction, Hong Island. Hong meaning ‘room’ in Thai refers to the lagoon in the middle of the island, accessible only at high tide through a narrow chasm. Inside the hong, surrounded on all sides by limestone cliffs, it felt like being let in on a wonderful secret.

5 Is tour 18 Hong 3To one side of the same island was an exquisite beach: soft white sand, aqua water (‘aqua’ in Thai is si far talay, literally ‘sea-blue colour’), limestone outcrops and tropical fish to gaze upon – with or without a snorkelling mask. Tash found a ‘baby pool’ in a cleft among the rocks and Roo and I took turns at swimming with her and with the fish.

Apparently there is an walk that shows how far a boat was tossed inland by the December 2004 tsunami, but we were too enchanted by the beach to drag ourselves off to see it. And true to form, we were having too much fun to take photos – although there is a good one of the beach at Hong Island on Christina and Nadim’s travel blog.

Tash slept wrapped in a towel on my lap during the ride back to Ao Nang. It’s hard to know at times if she really enjoys what we plan for her, or whether she feels obliged to enjoy it because of our enthusiasm. So it was a great moment, as we got off the boat, to have her come out unprompted with, ‘That was fun!’

[As I write this, almost three months to the day since we took the 5 Islands Tour of Krabi, a State of Emergency has been declared in Thailand and parts of Bangkok are on fire. Krabi is a long way from Bangkok, but concerned travellers can check the Paknam Web Thailand Forum Q&A site for updated information on the security situation].

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7 Responses to “Islands of Krabi province – Part 2”

  1. Islands of Krabi province - Part 2 Says:

    […] here to see the original:  Islands of Krabi province – Part 2 Posted in Travel Thailand | Tags: bay-of-islands, boat-tour, hong-island, krabi, […]

  2. bapester Says:

    Hi there, got to know of your blog via Lonely Planet. Nice writeup!
    My friends and I are taking a mini break in Krabi in a few months time.

    I would love to try all 3 island hopping tours that you mentioned but with my limited time I can only choose 2 of them. Out of the three tours that you did, which one is a must-go, and which one would you give a miss if you had to?

  3. angelasavage Says:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for reading and for your compliments 🙂 I’m sure you and your friends will enjoy Krabi though be aware that the weather may be less conductive to island hopping during the monsoon.

    If you only have time for 2 out of the 3 island hopping tours described in this and the previous posts, I recommend the ‘4 Islands’ and ‘5 Islands’ tours. Both tours involve less time travelling and more time in the water and on the beaches.

    I know some people would think this is sacrilegious (“How could you miss Maya Beach on Koh Phi Phi, you know, where they made that film!”), but there is beauty to rival Koh Phi Phi in the other islands, especially Hong Island, despite it’s lesser celebrity status 😉

    Enjoy! And please let me know how you get on,

    Angela

  4. Krabi Says:

    Great Post and thank you Angela for sharing this beautiful post.

  5. Minnie Pwerle Says:

    I am also going to plan Thailand tour with my college friends and I got really nice knowledge by this useful post, regarding the island tour. We also added this option to our plan for visiting these 5 islands.

    Thank you for the information post and keep it up!

    Alex

  6. Chicago Tours Says:

    Hi, this is really a very beautiful and lovely place… I spend my last summer vocations with my friends in islands-of-krabi-province… it is really a great time to spend there… i just remember my past memories when i read your post… I am also want to go all 3 island which you mention.. but i have an urgent work so i just enjoy the 2 island….

    Thanks for the great post…
    Jenifer

  7. TL Chua Photography Says:

    I’m a photographer and just came back from Bandung, West Java, Indonesia in Sep-2011. (my blog http://tlchua99.blogspot.com/2011/10/bandung-29aug-30aug2011-travel-advice.html/ … actually a photographer’s viewpoint… 3 pages in all) I’ll be going to Krabi for 9D/8N starting from 14.Nov.2011 and I’ll be taking your recommendations with me. Thanks for your great effort to advice us about the sights and scenes of the islands around Krabi. Don’t know if I can cover all the interesting places you mentioned. 🙂

    TL Chua
    My Flickr a/c = http://www.flickr.com/photos/tlchua99/
    (just in case u want to see more lovely photos)

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