When you touch down in a place that’s within easy reach of around 200 islands, it pays to allow a little time for island hopping. And while we’d recommend you get to as many archipelagos and outcrops as possible, 200 is probably a stretch. So we’ve handpicked the best places in Krabi for island hopping. Whether you’re looking for facility-packed stop offs, laid back beach life or a dive spot you’ll never forget, Krabi island sightseeing trips more than deliver. And getting there? In Krabi it’s usually a matter of speaking to the right skipper or hopping on a ferry.
Koh Lanta Yai
If we ease you into your Krabi island sightseeing with an island with something for everyone, you could make the mistake of thinking Koh Lanta Yai is a bit bland. Far from it. Yes, it’s accommodating to travellers of every wallet size and is a mere hour from Krabi, but that certainly doesn’t make it one to skip. Come here and you can kayak past mangroves, take your first dive in the rich waters, flit from one palm fringed beach bar to the next and even book a spa experience. The keyword on this island is facilities. All the holiday classics can be found, with a generous helping of Thai island scenery. Easily one of the best places in Krabi for island hopping that’s still pleasingly far from many travellers’ must–see list.
Orbzii tip: Koh Lanta Yai is the larger island among the Koh Lanta archipelago. There’s over 50 islands to choose from here, so explorers will be well rewarded.
Much fuss is made about the decidedly creepy looking ‘skull’ shape in Koh Talabeng’s rock face. As you’d expect, mythical lore surrounds the formidable visage, with tales of treasure, pirates and smuggling. And, while you’re more than welcome to get swept up in the fables, the kayaking here is the best way to enjoy every bit of this island. Calm currents make paddling easy, handy when there are so many secret beaches to discover. Rugged and uninhabited, you won’t find any beach bars or souvenir shops. The island’s all the better for the lack of facilities, just remember to bring some supplies and a picnic to make the best of it.
Orbzii tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, the guides at Talabeng Sea Kayaking can show the ropes that lead up to the caves that sit behind the eyes of the ‘skull’. You’ll have to negotiate some fairly tricky climbs, so upper body strength and a head for heights is needed.
Koh Pu & Koh Jum
If you’re looking for a larger island to get your travel teeth into, Koh Pu and Koh Jum should feature on your Krabi island sightseeing itinerary. Don’t let the two names confuse you, they are just to distinguish between the north and south of the island. Vast compared to some stops on our list, this island’s best explored by scooter – or cycle. Handily available for hire in the main village, your trusty two wheels are just the thing to get you to any of the 9 beaches. Of the lot, Make it Ao Si delivers on ‘grammable vibes, with facilities on hand from the nearby beach resort. Away from the sunbathing spots, Koh Jum’s villages are ripe for exploring. Ban Koh Jum is just the place to stock up on souvenirs and groceries or book your next island stop. Despite its size, this island doesn’t come with a vast array of activities, but is a stellar shout for a few days of laidback life and meeting the island residents. Lean in to the slower pace of life and you’ll love every second here.
Orbzii tips: To get to Koh Pu & Koh Jum, hop on the ferry from Krabi to Koh Lanta. Your ferry will stop in open water for you to transfer to waiting long-tail boats that will take you to shore. If you don’t feel up to navigating by scooter, tuk tuks are an alternative option.
Koh Haa Island
Some of the best places in Krabi for island hopping are the protected islands that forbid you from going assure. And well, the Koh Haa group of five islands definitely falls into the look, but don’t touch, category. Happily, you can still drop anchor here and experience some of the region’s very best dive sites. All are worthy of your time, but you’ll likely be drawn to Koh Haa Yai. Whale sharks seem to like the spot too, as do the hawksbill turtles and seahorses that call the islands home. Squid and barracuda drop by from time to time – but it’s the underwater architecture you’re really here for. Two submerged caves are mesmerisingly lit from above. Gliding through the ethereal glow’s a nice prequel to a possible encounter with a manta ray.
Koh Yao Yai
We hesitate to recommend Koh Yao Yai. Not because it might disappoint. Quite the opposite. It’s a stunning island that gets a rep for being the untouched island every Thai traveller is looking for. For that reason, it does sit high on many people’s wish list. But, dock here and you’ll find ATV tours, fairy-lit beach bars and tourist-centric experiences across the island. And then, well, there’s the luxury spa resort that’s left one side of the island very much festooned with private villas. Tourism has crowbarred its way in here, so it’s best to go in with both eyes open. Yes, there are relatively remote beaches that are delightfully devoid of sunbathers. But there are also seaside bars serving sumptuous sea food. A mixed bag – but overall, the charms of Koh Yao Yai are hard to resist.
It can be all too easy to miss this wildlife-packed island, as Koh Ngai isn’t always listed on Krabi island sightseeing lists due a technicality. But it pays to never let an admin loophole cause you to miss out on a cracking travel experience. Part of the Trang Islands, this forest-strewn piece of paradise brings out your inner explorer. With no roads to whisk you to the heart of the action, you’ll be scoping out the wildlife by paddling a kayak, hiking on foot or swimming with a snorkel. But what will you be pointing your binoculars or snorkel mask at? Flying lizards is a bold start to any list, but here we are. Hornbills give the trees that totally tropical feel and nurse sharks give a menacing, but ultimately harmless, edge to the coral wonders in the shallows.
Orbzii tip: Due to its diminutive size, there’s no airport on Koh Ngai. It’s still easy to reach the sandy shores though. Ferry services run from Koh Lanta. Or to really zip in, in style, speedboats will whisk you here from Krabi, albeit in a rather un-speedy sounding 2.5 hours.