Thinking about a Krabi Island tour when you’re in Thailand? I’ve now done the popular four island tour from Ao Nang twice. Both experiences were very different so here’s some points to help you make the best decision on what to do when you’re there. The island tour program visits Railay Beach/Pranang Beach, Chicken Island, Tub Island and Poda Island.

krabi island tour
The beautiful beaches of Thailand

 

Cost

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT = 2,200 Thai Baht – maximum six people (approx: 365 Thai Baht per person)
GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR = Approximately 500 – 600 Thai Baht per person. The tour can be booked all over town. The price will depend on your bargaining skills and how much business you give the agent with extra tours. On our recent tour there was about 20 participants

krabi island tour
Long tail boat on Ao Nang beach

 

Inclusions

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT = Boat, driver, lifejackets
GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR = Boat, driver, hotel pick up and drop off, guide (often hilarious) lunch, water, soft drink, fruit, snorkel gear, lifejackets

 

Additional costs

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT  

  • National Park Fee for Tub Island (If you want to get off the boat and step foot on the island the fee is 200 Thai Baht per person)
  • Snorkel gear (rented for about 100 Thai Baht each at the pier)
  • Lunch (You can either bring your own food, or there are places to buy food at both Railay Beach and Poda Island)
  • Drinks (As with lunch)

GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR

  • National Park Fee for Tub Island (If you want to get off the boat and step foot on the island the fee is 200 Thai Baht per person)

If you choose to do the group speedboat tour, the agent that sells you the ticket may or may not advise you that Tub Island has an additional cost. If you do not pay the entry fee you spend around 45 minutes on the boat – waiting. 

Krabi Island tour
Tub Island which is a national park.

 

Pros

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT

  • We determined how long we stayed at any given place for. The boat was ours for six hours. Given the point above, we didn’t think it was worth paying 200 Thai Baht each for Tub Island so we moved on straight away
  • We missed the crowds at Pranang Beach/Cave as we went first to Railay Beach.
  • We could eat and drink when we wanted – We could also eat and drink WHAT we wanted. We’d been to Tescos the day before and picked up a foam esky. We brought beers along for our trip
  • We could play music and have fun
  • The departure point is in Ao Nang so we maximised our time
krabi island tour
Poda Island is great for relaxation

 

GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR

  • Lunch was delicious
  • Our guide spoke good english and was quite funny
  • Everything was included
  • Met some new people from other parts of the world
krabi island tour
Our lunch being prepared during our speedboat tour

 

Cons

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT

  • The cost – although this could be a pro, depending on how you look at it. The more people you have, the better the cost is
  • All the extras need to be organised and paid for by you
  • They aren’t as sturdy in a swell and rough seas so if you get sea sick this might not be a suitable option

GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR

  • We followed every other speedboat tour out there that day. We visited each spot at the busiest times
  • Snorkelling was limited to one spot – it wasn’t very good
  • From our quoted pick up time, to actually getting on the boat was over an hour. The speedboats use Nopparat Thara pier as their starting point which is about 10 minutes away
krabi island tour
Speedboats lined up at each stop

 

Our Experiences

PRIVATE LONG TAIL BOAT

We took this Krabi island tour as a group of six, so the cost for us was great. We easily arranged the tour through the long tail boat office on Ao Nang beach. We paid a driver a deposit of 500 Thai Baht and went a couple of days later. Snorkel gear was available for hire at the office as well. Our first stop was Railay Beach, so once we arrived at Pranang Beach the crowds had moved onto the next island of the tour program and it was nowhere near as busy. It was fun being able to have a few drinks on the boat, listen to our own music and move about freely. We snorkelled multiple times in different areas.

Krabi island tour
Hanging out on our long tail boat

 

GROUP SPEEDBOAT TOUR

As I mentioned above, it was a slow start to actually get going on the boat trip. We chose to sit up the front of the speedboat which was great with the wind blowing. The stops were coordinated and timed. The guide was good fun and cracked quite a few jokes throughout the day. The staff were incredibly helpful in getting guests on and off the boat. The lunch was really yummy. As we were following the tour trail that day it was packed and extremely busy everywhere we went.

 

Verdict

If you have the funds available take a private long tail boat for the Krabi island tour. Even for a group of four I think the value is worth the extra. It ends up ticking two ‘essentially Thai’ things off your list by means of island hopping and the boat type used. The schedule and time spent at each island is determined by you. I enjoyed the food on the speedboat tour but taking your own boat trip means you can have a selection at either Railay Beach or Poda Island.

Have you done a Krabi island tour? What did you think?

2 thoughts

  1. hi do you do booking from online or at krabi itself for private long tail boat. How about hong island. did you manage to visist?

    1. Hello. We booked in Krabi itself for the long tail boat. You’ll see them down by the beach with the prices so it’s an easy process. I went to Hong Island with a scheduled tour group as there was only two of us travelling on that trip. But I’m sure you could get a long tail boat there as well. Have a great time in Krabi!

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