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Krabi Island Tours: What To Expect, Thailand

Krabi is one of the most popular destinations in Thailand on the Andaman Sea – and along with Phuket, the best spot to get to know those postcard islands you see in magazines. With its relaxed holiday atmosphere and its proximity to some of the best islands of southern Thailand, Krabi actually is an excellent alternative to Phuket.

In order to visit some islands, you can always try to befriend a local and convince him to take you around in his boat, but if you don’t want to think too much the easiest way is to go on island tours.

There are a few island tours departing from Krabi, all with their specific itinerary and list of islands they include. I tried 3 of these tours: the Hong Islands Tour, the 4 Islands Tour, and the tour to Koh Phi Phi Leh and Bamboo Island.

Let’s see what they look like!

Hong Islands Tour

This tour takes you north of Krabi in Phang Nga Bay and lets you visit 3 islands: Koh Pak Bia, Koh Lading, and Koh Hong. It is a good opportunity to get a closer look at the typical karst islands of the region, with jungle-covered limestone cliffs, and white sand beaches.

Lading Island Krabi Thailand
Lading Island

Koh Pakbia and Koh Lading are quite small, and Koh Hong is the main island of the group. It has a gorgeous emerald lagoon, similar to the one of Koh Phi Phi Leh, totally surrounded by tall cliffs, with only a small passage to the open sea.

But what is probably the most memorable is the fantastic postcard-like beach on Koh Hong. It is really nested in the cliffs and offers very welcoming shallow turquoise waters to dip yourself in.

VIRTUAL TOUR – Hong Islands

Visit the dream islands of Koh Pakbia, Koh Lading, and Koh Hong, and walk on its incredible beach (8 panoramas).

Click Here to View The Virtual Tour

The virtual tour opens in a lightbox. Use your mouse to move around the 360° panoramas.

4 Islands Tour

One of the most popular island-hopping tours is the “4 Islands Tour”, and I am wondering why they call it this way as we only get to visit 3 islands plus a beach on the mainland. But they probably figured that tourists have no clue of where they are taken to when they go on a tour so… Anyway, doesn’t matter.

What matters is the amazing beauty of the places we are taken to, and this tour doesn’t disappoint!

The first stop is at Phra Nang Cave Beach, located on a headland just south of Ao Nang, where all backpackers end up flocking to when wanting to go to Krabi. As its name suggests, there is a cave on the beach, with a very… specific decoration. Indeed, the cave is a spiritual place filled with representations of erect penises.

After this first stop, the boat heads to a group of islands, 5 to 7 km away: Chicken Island, Tup Island, and Poda Island. This is where the real fun- and the real island hopping begins. Nature once again found a way to amaze me, by creating a “Chicken Island” that indeed has the shape of a chicken. At the time of my visit, it was low tide and we could walk freely on the sand bars linking the islands together. A really fantastic place!

Chicken Island Krabi Thailand
Chicken Island

As if it still wasn’t beautiful enough, the last ingredient came to make the postcard image even more perfect, the sunset!

If you are traveling to Krabi and are wondering what tour you should take, this is definitely a good choice, as you will experience the beauty of Thai islands, both with daylight and sunset, and even the glowing plankton at night! Unfortunately, I didn’t have a waterproof camera at that moment.

Chicken Island Sunset Krabi Thailand
Sunset at Chicken Island and Tup Island

VIRTUAL TOUR – 4 Islands Tour

Go island-hopping until sunset, with truly postcard-like beaches (5 panoramas).

Click Here to View The Virtual Tour

The virtual tour opens in a lightbox. Use your mouse to move around the 360° panoramas.

Bamboo Island & Koh Phi Phi Leh (with Maya Bay) Tour

Update: It is no longer possible to visit Maya Bay, since the Thai government made the area off-limits to tourists, for a well-needed regeneration of the environment to take place.

The main attraction of this tour is of course the mesmerizing Maya Bay in the Phi Phi Islands, and it’s on the way that you will stop at Bamboo Island for a little while. Its main attraction is definitely the amazingly large patch of white thin sand where all the visitors like to play and relax.

If you are craving some quiet and alone time, you will need to walk away from the main beach. The shore becomes rockier but the sea is still incredibly turquoise. And there are much fewer people.

The proximity to the wild island of Koh Yung plus the empty shores of Bamboo Island makes you feel like an explorer, even though you are on a very touristic island. Often, you don’t need to walk very far to escape the crowds.

VIRTUAL TOUR – Bamboo Island

Visit the main beach and the less crowded parts of Bamboo Island (3 panoramas).

Click Here to View The Virtual Tour

The virtual tour opens in a lightbox. Use your mouse to move around the 360° panoramas.

It’s now time to head to the dream islands of Koh Phi Phi. While Koh Phi Phi Don is a little more developed, her little sister Koh Phi Phi Leh is still largely wild and untouched.

This gorgeous island is home to what was a nice little white sandy beach nestled in quite spectacular cliffs, Maya Bay. But in 2000 came Hollywood superstar Leonardo Dicaprio with the movie The Beach, and the whole world was blown away by the beauty of this little piece of Thailand.

Since then, the beach kept attracting more and more tourists. It is now a crowded paradise.

krabi island tours
These overhanging rocks and their shadow make a perfect frame for the famous Maya Bay beach in Thailand.

The place is indeed really beautiful, and the sand is incredibly thin and white. But for me, the hordes of tourists kind of killed the mood. Maya Bay has become the number one spot that each tourist in the south of Thailand wants to see, and it has become a formidable cash machine for all the local tour operators.

That said, I wouldn’t tell you that it’s not worth visiting Maya Bay – it remains a very nice memory. Just forget the wild empty beach of the movie, and be prepared to share the place with a whole bunch of people!


Walk on the world-famous Maya Bay beach on Koh Phi Phi Leh Island (3 panoramas).

Click Here to View The Virtual Tour

The virtual tour opens in a lightbox. Use your mouse to move around the 360° panoramas.

Wrapping Up

That’s it for today! There are of course various other tours available in Krabi, visiting other islands, but I think you have here a good overview of what such tours look like and what you can expect to see.

Of course, there won’t be any feeling of exclusivity as you are part of a tourist group. But most of the time, it is still possible to escape the crowd and find yourself a little spot where you can really appreciate the natural beauty of these islands and feel a little like an explorer!

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