Krabi Island Hopping: 10 of the Best Krabi Islands
No visit to Krabi, Thailand would be complete without exploring its beautiful islands. In this guide, we set out the best Krabi islands to add to your Krabi island hopping bucket list. You’ll also get tons of tips and tricks to help you explore Krabi’s best island getaways with ease.
Krabi is a gorgeous province in the south of Thailand and offers a wealth of fun activities for all kinds of travelers. From rock climbing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, bird watching, and trekking through the lush jungle – Krabi has all the makings for an adventure-filled trip. One of the biggest draws to the Krabi Province, however, is the chance to explore the stunning islands dotted near Krabi’s coastline.
With more than 80 islands near Krabi, seeing them all can be a bit tricky, which is why we’ve compiled this curated list covering the best islands near Krabi in Southern Thailand. With the help of fellow traveling friends, we’ve narrowed down Krabi’s best islands and crafted the perfect Krabi island-hopping bucket list for you here!
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In a rush? Pin this Krabi Island Hopping guide for later.
Is this your first visit to Krabi, Thailand? Get off the beaten path and escape to dreamy Railay Bay. Read my comprehensive guide on what to do in Railay here.
Krabi Island Hopping Essentials
Before diving into the dreamy gems dotted near Krabi’s coast, there are a few things you may need to enjoy your Krabi island adventures fully. We highly recommend packing these essentials to explore Krabi’s beautiful islands with ease.
Krabi Island Hopping Packing List
A waterproof cellphone case – Since you’ll be spending most of your time near the water, it’s a good idea to protect your phone. This waterproof phone case is just what you need if you want to avoid getting your phone wet while snorkeling, scuba diving, or kayaking.
A dry bag – Another item I highly recommend bringing along when exploring the islands around Krabi is a proper dry bag. This dry bag will ensure all your belongings stay dry, so you can spend more time enjoying yourself and less time worrying about keeping your belongings safe.
A microfiber towel – Since your hotel might not provide beach towels, it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight microfiber towel that won’t weigh you down. These Dock and Bay microfiber towels come in many different cool colors and several sizes.
Reef Safe Sunscreen – Stay protected against the harsh UV rays with this eco-friendly sunscreen. It’s reef-safe, so you’ll also minimize your impact on marine life.
Eco-friendly mosquito repellant – With South Thailand’s tropical climate and lush jungles, mosquitoes aren’t uncommon. Avoid getting bitten with this eco-friendly mosquito repellant.
GoPro – Make sure you don’t get weighed down with a bulky DSLR by grabbing this lightweight waterproof GoPro.
Travel Insurance – It’s always best to get travel insurance when traveling in Thailand. World Nomads is my go-to insurance provider, and I highly recommend you use them too. They offer excellent prices, and it only takes a few clicks to get covered. If you’re going to do some adventure activities, like rock climbing, snorkeling, kayaking, or scuba diving, make sure to get the adventure travel cover.
10 Best Islands Near Krabi to Add to Your Krabi Island Hopping Bucket List
Now that you know what to pack for your Krabi island hopping trip, it’s time to discover Krabi’s best islands. Ready to explore the most dreamy islands near Krabi? Let’s go! Here are the TOP Krabi islands in Southern Thailand!
There are so many beautiful gems to discover near Krabi, Thailand. Whether you’re looking for a quick island hopping trip or planning a more extended stay, this Krabi island hopping guide includes the perfect mix of Krabi islands! From Krabi’s most popular getaways like Phuket and Koh Lanta to a few lesser-known gems perfect for getting off the beaten path. Throughout this guide, we’ve also included tons of tips to help you plan an epic Krabi island trip. And, hopefully, you’ll have a good idea of which Krabi islands not to miss after reading this post!
Beyond Krabi, there’s a lot to explore in the area, including some of the best islands in Thailand. One island that should top your Krabi island hopping bucket list is Koh Hong or Hong Island.
Hong island is a dreamy island group consisting of several smaller islands in the Than Bok Khorani National Park. It boasts soft powdery beaches, towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear waters, and a lovely turquoise lagoon.
How to get to Hong Island from Krabi
Since Hong Island is only open for day visits, the easiest way to get here is by joining a day tour from Krabi. Speed boats and long-tail boats depart from Nopporhat Thara Pier, Ao Nang or Railay. It’s a quick trip taking less than 20 minutes by speedboat and 45 minutes by long-tail boat.
More independent travelers can also rent a private long-tail boat, which is a fun way to explore Krabi’s coastline at your own pace. Private long-tail boats take up to 6 people and cost roughly 3000 Baht for a return trip.
Top Tip: Not sure where to stay in Krabi? Read my detailed guide on the best places to stay in Ao Nang.
What to do at Hong Island
Spend your day lounging on the beach and taking in the stunning surroundings. Snorkeling is a popular pastime here. And not surprisingly, it‘s one of the best places in Krabi to see a variety of colorful fish. In fact, you won’t need to swim too far to spot parrotfish, sergeant majors, and even a few rabbitfish.
Besides sunbathing and snorkeling, you can also rent a kayak near the pier for 300 Baht an hour. It’s an excellent way to see the island from a different vantage point and will afford stunning views. When you have a kayak, you can also make your way to the beautiful lagoon. The lagoon is only accessible through a narrow opening in a high rising cliff, so it’s best to come at low tide.
Hikers and nature lovers, on the other hand, can follow the trail near the small restaurant. It’s a scenic stroll taking you through lush jungle and past towering limestone cliffs. The path is only 500m long, so it’s a very easy walk. Along the way, you might even spot a few white-faced gibbons and water monitors (huge lizards). Just a word of warning, water monitors aren’t as dangerous as Komodo dragons, but it’s best not to approach them.
Top tip: If you are visiting Koh Hong independently, remember to bring 300 Baht along to pay the admission fee.
With crystal clear turquoise water, epic beaches lined with towering palm trees, and spectacular snorkeling opportunities, it doesn’t take much convincing to add Koh Poda to your Krabi island hopping list. Koh Poda is a real Thai island paradise.
Poda Island is located 6km offshore from Krabi, and forms part of the Haad Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The best way to get to Koh Poda is by joining an organized day tour from Krabi. Alternatively, you can also rent a long-tail boat to explore the island at your own pace. But remember to bring 400 Baht along to pay the visitors fee. Speed boats take about 15 minutes, while long-tail boats take about 25 minutes to get here.
What to do at Poda Island
Since Koh Poda is only 1km in diameter, it can get crowded quite quickly. Therefore, the very first thing you should do is try to move away from the boat landing. A short stroll away, you could easily have an entire stretch of beach all to yourself. Perfect for sunbathing, taking pictures, or snorkeling. There is also a little restaurant selling drinks, snacks, and Thai food. However, packing a picnic basket to enjoy on the beach is highly encouraged.
It is also possible to spend a night on Poda Island. Poda Island Resort is the only hotel on the island. Although it is quite pricy, it is a rather basic hotel. But, you’ll practically have the entire island all to yourself once the day tour crowds leave.
Koh Tup/ Koh Mor
Koh Tup and Koh Mor are two tiny islands near Krabi and a massive must on any Krabi island hopping itinerary. What really sets Koh Tup and Koh Mor apart from other Krabi islands is that they are joined together by a sandbar called ‘Talay waek,’ which means ‘divided sea.’
The easiest way to get to these idyllic islets is to join a Krabi 4 Islands day tour. Besides spending some time here, you’ll also get a chance to discover a few other gems on Krabi’s coastline. Alternatively, if you’d like to explore Koh Tub at your own pace, it’s pretty easy to rent a private long-tail boat at Ao Nang, Railay, or Nopparat Thara Pier. The boat ride takes about 30 minutes, and expect to pay around 3000 Baht for a return trip.
There’s nothing much to do at Koh Tub except relaxing and enjoying the magnificent scenery. It’s lots of fun to walk across the sandbar during low tide. And if time permits, wade your way through the shallow water to Chicken Islands (Koh Kai). Alternatively, spend your time swimming in the crystal clear shallow waters, basking in the sun, and snorkeling on both sides of the sandbar. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, climb up to the top of each little island for a bird’s eye view of the beaches below. You’ll need to pay a small conservational fee, so remember to bring along some cash.
Top tip: Since Tup Island and Mor Island are only accessible during the day, it’s best to time your visit here. It’s also important to know you can only access the sandbar during low tide. So, remember to check the tide schedule before leaving Ao Nang.
Koh Phi Phi
If you’re looking for a postcard-perfect island destination near Krabi, it doesn’t get much better than Koh Phi Phi. With soft white-sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, mind-blowing views, and a booming party scene, Koh Phi Phi is a top tourist destination in Krabi.
How to get to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi
There are many day trips from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi, but if time permits, spending a few days here to soak up the vibes is highly encouraged. The easiest way to get to Koh Phi Phi from Krabi is to book a transfer directly from Krabi International Airport. Alternatively, catch a ferry from either Nopporhat Thara Pier or Klong Jilad Pier. The ferry ride takes about 2 hours and costs roughly 400 Baht. Boats from Krabi run four times a day and disembark at Tonsai Pier.
What to do at Koh Phi Phi
The most popular activity to do in Koh Phi Phi is undeniably exploring the Phi Phi archipelago. Besides visiting the islands nearby, diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, and sunbathing are other popular activities to while away the time. For panoramic views of the islands, be sure to hike to the famous Phi Phi Viewpoint. It’s a low-intensity 30-minute stroll, and you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views along the way.
Although Phi Phi is not as laidback as it used to be, it is still relatively easy to escape the party crowd and day-trippers. In general, Phi Phi’s east coast and the far western section of Ao Tonsai offer more peaceful accommodation options. Checking-in at Phi Phi The Beach Resort is the perfect base if you want a relaxing stay, sans the crowd. That said, if you want to be right in the middle of Phi Phi’s bustling nightlife area, ChaoKoh Phi Phi Hotel & Resort is an excellent choice.
Koh Phi Phi is one of the most breathtaking islands near Krabi in Southern Thailand and an absolute must-visit!
Koh Pu/Koh Jum
Recommended by Emily, Wander-Lush
If you’re looking for a quieter alternative to Southern Thailand’s party islands, Koh Pu/Koh Jum is the perfect escape from Krabi.
The island with two names (the northern portion is known as Koh Pu, or ‘Crab Island,’ while the southern half goes by Koh Jum) is located just off the coast of Krabi, north of Koh Lanta. It may be lesser-known, but it’s one of the most accessible islands to access from the mainland. The main pier and village at Ban Koh Jum is just a 10km ride from Krabi’s Laem Kruat Pier. My preferred way to reach the island is by local ferry. It costs only 100 Baht, and because locals use it, it runs year-round. Another option is to take a tourist ferry bound for Koh Lanta and jump off early. This costs more (400 Baht per person) and is only available during high season (November through April). Either way, the journey takes under an hour.
Where to stay & what to do
Arriving at Koh Jum dock, the first thing you’ll notice is how laid back it feels. There probably won’t be any taxi drivers waiting to greet you, so it’s essential to organize your onward transportation in advance.
The best place to stay is on the north-western coast (technically Koh Pu), where you’ll find a collection of bungalow-style accommodations right on the water. My favorite is Bonhomie Beach Cottage, locally run, private bamboo bungalows. There’s a kitchen on-site (you won’t find many restaurants or bars on this part of the island), and a mountain shades the beach in the morning for perfect swimming conditions. From the beachfront hammocks, you get uninterrupted views of the Andaman sea – the sunsets, as you can imagine, are out of this world.
There is absolutely nothing to do on Koh Pu except enjoy the empty beaches and perhaps take a walk or hire a bicycle or motorbike to ride through the island’s green interior. You’re almost guaranteed to find beaches all but deserted – a refreshing change to most other Krabi islands.
Recommended by Yen, Wandering Journal
At first sight, Phuket might seem like another touristy town in Thailand, which is blessed with fantastic beaches and pristine ocean with tropical landscapes.
For some parts, it is true as there are many tours to do in Phuket, but there are many free and cheap things to do as well. The best example would be visiting all the viewpoints for free on your motorbike. And I promise you that you’ll be satisfied with the pristine island views around Phuket island. An hour ride from the town lies Samet Nangshe Viewpoint, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Thailand.
The easiest way of getting from Krabi to Phuket is by bus or minivan. Head to the Krabi bus terminal and simply buy the ticket. It costs around 140 Baht per person and it takes about 3 hours. (For a stress-free trip, book your Phuket transfer online here.)
If you want to save the hassle, simply book with your hotel manager to get it sorted. If you’re asked whether to drop off at Phuket Bus Terminal 1 or 2, I’d suggest Terminal 1 since it’s more central with plenty of accommodation around.
For the best place to stay, stay in the Old Town area since there are more things to do there. A motorbike would be perfect for getting around the town.
If you’re visiting on Sunday, don’t miss the Sunday Walking Street Market!
If you’re headed to Koh Lanta after exploring Phuket, this guide on how to get to Koh Lanta from Phuket answers all your questions.
Recommended by Megan, Meganstrarr
One of the best islands to visit from Krabi is Bamboo Island. It tends to be a bit under-appreciated by those who have never been since its name suggests that it is not that tropical at all. But, even though Bamboo Island doesn’t have any palm trees, the water surrounding the small island is some of the best you’ll see anywhere in the world. Bamboo Island is stunning.
Part of the Phi Phi Islands in the Andaman Sea, Bamboo Island, is small and can easily be visited as a day trip or as part of another Krabi island-hopping adventure. It doesn’t get as many tourists, and many of the organized tours leave it off of the itinerary, which makes it all that more special when you get a chance to visit. The island is flat, and you can walk its circumference within an hour or two. There is no official hotel on the island, but there are options for camping overnight, although most people visit as a quick excursion.
There is a small, open-air eatery on Bamboo Island where you can indulge in fresh fish and other quick bites as you relax on the peaceful island with calm waters. You can also see several creatures along the shores – from sea cucumbers to schools of colorful fish. It is also a great place to go snorkeling. If you’re looking for a unique adventure from Krabi, definitely find your way to Bamboo Island for some downtime and relaxation.
Koh Yao Yai
Recommended by Bridget, The Flashpacker
Are you looking for an unspoiled island near Krabi where life is laid back, and development has been restrained? If so, visit Koh Yao Yai.
It’s a 50-minute public speedboat journey to Koh Yao Yai from Krabi’s Thalen Pier, which will cost you 38 USD; discounts may be available if you book on-line. Alternatively, Koh Yao Travel provides a shared or private transfer service from Krabi airport from around 35 USD.
Where to stay in Koh Yao Yai
For a touch of affordable luxury, stay at the Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort. This 5-star beach resort, built on a hill overlooking a picture-perfect beach, features elegant rooms, constructed from teak wood, which are housed in steep-roofed pavilions. Nearby there is a small, friendly Muslim village with a few local shops and restaurants, and a chilled beach bar to watch the sunset from.
What to do in Koh Yao Yai
Koh Yao Yai is all about kicking back and retreating from the pressures of day-to-day life in an idyllic setting. Walk along its near-empty, gently sloping white sandy beaches or explore the island on two wheels. If you’re in the mood for something a little more active, local operators offer day trips, including boat trips, diving excursions, and off-roading adventures.
Finally, it is worth mentioning that this is not a party island. Outside of the resorts, alcohol can be tricky to come by. But fear not. Some of the restaurants in the villages will serve you a cooling beer, and there is the occasional beach bar.
Recommended by Veronica Primm, Travel Geekery
Getting to Koh Lanta is relatively easy from Krabi Airport, even though the trip includes a ferry ride. At the Krabi Airport, get a minivan to transport you to Koh Lanta. The journey takes about 2 hours, and many providers even offer to drop you off straight at your hotel.
One of the best places to stay in Koh Lanta is a tiny mid-range resort called Escape Cabins. It’s within walking distance to the Long Beach, yet in a quiet area near a mountain.
What to do in Koh Lanta
The best thing about Koh Lanta is how laid-back it is, while still providing a developed infrastructure. Whether you prefer to just lounge on the beach all day long, watch sunsets and fire shows every evening, take in the night food markets or explore the wildlife and nature of the island, you’ll always find plenty to do in Koh Lanta for a few days’ stay.
As opposed to other developed islands in Thailand, Koh Lanta does not indulge in parties. That makes it an ideal relaxation spot. Get ready to slow down, take it easy, enjoy Koh Lanta’s beaches, get a massage or two and explore with your taste buds.
Recommended by Chris, More Life In Your Days
Koh Ngai has to be one of the best islands close to Krabi. It has perfect white sand, calm sea for snorkeling, and some of the best views that you can find anywhere.
How to get to Koh Ngai from Krabi
Koh Ngai is right on the edge of Krabi province, but it is easy enough to get to from Krabi town by catching a high-speed ferry from Klong Jilad Pier in Krabi town. Alternatively, you can find a bus to Trang and then catch the boat from the Hat Yao pier.
Where to stay in Koh Ngai
Most of the accommodation on the island is strung out along the main beach, while there is just one place to stay on Paradise Beach. The hotels here are all pretty low key, and Koh Ngai remains mostly unspoiled by development. Koh Hai Fantasy Resort is the best option for families, while couples may like to stay at the more upscale Coco Resort.
What to do in Koh Ngai
The main thing to do here is relax on the beach, soak up the views, and take a dip in the warm, shallow sea. For a bit more of an adventure, there are some beautiful spots just off the beach where you can go snorkeling. It is also a great place to go kayaking. You can work your way around the island past rock formations before reaching the aptly named ‘Paradise Beach.’ If you prefer to keep your feet on dry land, explore the jungle interior of the island on some rough hiking trails.
Where to next?
As you can see, there are so many wonderful islands near Krabi ready to be explored! Which Krabi island is your favorite? And, what tips or suggestions do you have for fellow travelers planning an island hopping trip to Krabi, Thailand? Drop your comments below.
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