Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Krabi Islands, a Slice of Paradise on Earth

by Regin Reyno

Blinding white-sand beaches, towering limestone cliffs, emerald green waters, lush-foliage islands, clear blue sky; these were the sights I behold aboard a long-tail boat on the Andaman Sea in Krabi. As the warm summer sea breeze caressed my face while the boat sped off leaving a white stream and the port of Nopparathara, Aonang became less visible, my excitement grew stronger as I knew we were heading to paradise.

The 38-degree summer heat in Bangkok, coupled with a 3-day Songkran holiday prompted us to leave Bangkok’s cemented pavements and busy lifestyle to experience white-powdery beaches, refreshing waters, solitary islands and a laid-back atmosphere of Krabi.

Located approximately 800 km south of Bangkok, Thailand, Krabi is one of the top tourist destinations in the country. It is a province along the Andaman Sea blessed with lush forests, world-class beaches, glorious mountains and hills, stunning islands, scenic rivers, and magnificent karsts. Enough reasons to attract tons of tourists each year.

We were on a “4 island tour” that day, taken care of by one of the countless tour agencies located in Aonang, one of the towns in Krabi where the beaches are located. It is the jump-off of tours and boat rides to the islands. Laden with restaurants, bars, hotels, hostels, bungalows, tour agencies, souvenir shops and dive shops-it is a typical touristy town.

About 25 tourists coming from countries such as Russia, UK, Australia, India, Finland, China, Malaysia, and of course we, Filipinos, plus 4 Thai crews including our guide  were aboard that big long-tail boat during that time-all excited for the day’s activities, and to experience a slice of paradise on earth.

Passing by limestone cliffs
Leaving Aonang behind, we finally passed some islands with towering limestone cliffs. It is a wonderful sight to behold. It is so stunning that by just looking at it will certainly leave you breathless. Different rock formations were seen-white limestone rocks, small caves, and the green foliage that covered those islands. There were lots of islands in that area, both huge and tiny. My eyes enjoyed that moment of beholding those glorious limestone islands.

The 4 islands tour is an organized tour to 4 of the many islands in Krabi. And is just one of the many choices for day tours in Krabi. For only 600 baht per person, you will be able to experience the beauty of Krabi. Included in that fee is your Thai buffet lunch, water, and snorkel rental.

Swimming, Relaxing, and Basking under the sun in Tub Island

 First stop for that day; relaxing, swimming, or just bask under the sun in an island called Tub Island. As our boat decreased the speed and about to drop its anchor, I was so excited to the point where I want to jump right away into that clear, pristine waters. The waters were so clear that you can see the corals at the bottom. And finally the anchor was dropped into shallow waters near the white-sand beach of Tub island. Lots of tourists from other day trippers as well were basking under the sun, swimming, snorkeling and enjoying the moment. After sipping some complimentary water on the boat, I too, jumped and enjoyed the shallow, warm waters and powdery white-sand beach of the island. Our guide, allotted 45 minutes to enjoy the moment. With my life vest on, I spent most of my time lying on warm water and just savoring the nature that surrounds me, a very relaxing moment indeed. 

basking under the sun
Tub Island has a sandy pathway that connects to its neighbor island, called Chicken Island. And during low-tide, you can actually walk on the pathway going to Chicken Island. During our stint there, it was high-tide so the whole pathway was covered with water.  

Snorkeling at Chicken Island

Our next destination was Chicken Island. It is there where we did our snorkeling activity. They call it Chicken Island or Koh Kai in Thai because the island is amazingly shaped like a chicken. The waters near that island is so clear-you can actually see the corals at the bottom. And by looking at it, it seems that it is shallow, but according to our guide, it is 30 feet deep. “Please don’t step on the corals for the next generation to enjoy”, said our guide. Putting on my snorkel and life vest, I immediately dived into the waters ala Badjao of southern Philippines. The view was astounding- it’s like I am in a different world. Fish of different colors swam with me. Corals, sea urchins, and other marine animals were seen. The visibility was amazing. It was one of the best dives of my life. I admire the Thais on how they preserved their coral reefs and marine life.

Chicken Island or Koh Kai
An hour of snorkeling drained our energy, nevertheless a fulfilling and meaningful experience. Good thing when I checked our itinerary, it says “Thai buffet lunch in Poda Island”, our next destination.
Snorkeling at Chicken Island
We once again passed by spectacular rock formations en route to the island. These are uninhabited islands with gigantic limestone cliffs or karsts. They make the view and environment on the Andaman Sea one of the best in the world. And what makes it more amazing is the number of those in that area. They are astonishingly everywhere.

Thai Buffet Lunch at Poda bay in Poda island

As we came near to one of those islands with gigantic karsts as our destination for lunch, I noticed a small bay. And that was actually where we are going to have our lunch. It is a bay enclosed with giant rocks. “This is Poda bay, one of the bays of Poda island sir. Same same Maya bay but just smaller”, said our guide. Maya bay is the shooting location of the 2000 movie “The Beach”. And when he said that it is the same as Maya Bay, albeit smaller, it caught my interest. And when the crew finally moored the boat on that bay, I knew the reason why they compare it to Maya Bay. It is the best beach that I have been to.  It was completely spectacular; so beautiful. I was stunned for a moment. After catching my breath, I went down from the boat and felt the fine white sand of the island.  Calm and clear turquoise waters, small caves nearby, lots of colorful fish swimming, fine white-sand beach enclosed in a marvelous rock formation, this is total paradise. An unspoiled tropical hideaway, it is a perfect place if you want to unwind and be in touch with nature. It is uninhabited. No infrastructures, no fishermen, no nothing. It’s just raw beauty of nature.   
A European tourist enjoying the beautiful Poda bay
As our crew downloaded the tables and foods from our boat in preparation for our Thai buffet lunch, I wasted no time in capturing the moment with my Nikon. The other tourists went to the small caves. The others immersed immediately in the warm clear waters, while others contented themselves by putting a Sarong on the beach to lie and read a book. For them it is the best place to read a book and I couldn’t agree more. The view of the emerald green and turquoise sea in front of you, towering rock formation and small caves on your sides, the sea breeze touching your face, powdery white sand massaging your soles; we finally experienced a slice of paradise on earth.

“Food is ready now”, shouted our guide. I was surprised on how good the presentation was. With all the tables and candle-heated food containers, it matched the delicious flavors of the food. Thai buffet wonderfully set on the beach. What more could you ask for. I immediately took a plate full of rice and Thai chicken curry cooked in onions and egg with sweet Thai sauce. It is the right timing as our souls were so tired and hungry from all the swimming and snorkeling that we did. As I sipped my vegetables soup while gazing at the sea, I just savored that moment, as it was one of my best meals in Thailand; delicious food plus fantastic view. After I and imbibe down on soft drinks and gobble on fresh sweet pineapples for our dessert, I immediately soaked myself in the warm, calm and, clear waters of the island. What a wonderful feeling it is. As the fine white sand touched my soles and school of fish joined me in swimming, I wished I have this kind of paradise in my backyard. Poda bay is indeed, a smaller version of the famous Maya bay.

Sight-seeing and Swimming in Phranang beach, Railey

Phranang beach, our final destination for that day, is located in Railey, the Mecca of sporting activities in Krabi. Kayaking, rock climbing, canoeing, spelunking, bungee jumping and deep water soloing. These are some of the activities for adventurous souls that can be done in Railay. Blessed with caves, gigantic cliffs and lagoons, that made it popular for daring travelers all over the world.

As we approach the sandy shores of Phranang beach, I saw a towering rock formation, this time red in color, as opposed to the usual white rocks in Krabi. And I saw people climbing and then jumping in the water. O what a fun activity! That activity is called deep water soloing, and is one of the most popular activities in Railay.  I also saw lots of kayaking and canoeing activities in that area. Caves are also everywhere. That place is truly grandiose; mother nature at its best.

Phranang beach, Railey
“This is the last destination for the day” mentioned our guide. We just walk by the beach and enjoyed the sights of that area. We went to Phranang cave where we saw lots of Buddhist ornaments inside. Different statues, flowers, and incense were there. The cave is amazing as the water reaches it during high tide. Lots of tourists were sun bathing on the beach. It is quite crowded as there are resorts in that beach. There is that vibrant feeling in that area because of the activities and lots of people from different parts of the world. The vibe is so awesome! Typical of an active, party beach.

As I boarded the glorious long-tail boat with its picturesque prow together with fellow passengers going back to the port of Nopparathara in Aonang, I came to the reality that good times come to an end. Looking at the eyes of fellow passengers, I knew we had the same feeling. That feeling of sadness as we are leaving paradise but at the same time contented because of the wonderful experiences that we had. We had a slice of paradise on earth.

How to Get to Aonang, Krabi

From Singapore
Tiger Airways have direct flights from Singapore to Krabi town

From Bangkok
AirAsia, Bangkok Airways, and Thai Airways fly directly from Bangkok to Krabi town

Overnight buses run from Bangkok to Krabi. Go to the Southern bus terminal in Bangkok and reserve your tickets there. It is located in Sai Tai Talin Chan. Buses range from 2nd class to VIP. The travel duration is 10-13 hours.

From Phuket
Ferries from Phuket go to Aonang two times a day

From Krabi Town
Take a white “Songthaew” (a pick-up converted into a passenger vehicle) from the bus terminal or from the town proper going to Aonang. The fare is 50-60 baht per person.
Songthaew going to Aonang from Krabi bus terminal

Lots of tour agencies line up Aonang. There are lots of activities and destinations to choose from.
Author’s recommendation: Connecting Krabi Tour and Travel  

Aonang is a touristy town and there are lots of accommodations in the area ranging from budget bungalows to 5 star resorts.
Author’s recommendations for budget travelers are Cashew Nut Bungalows and Mild Bungalows.
Meanwhile, up-market tourists may check-in at Centara Anda Dhevi Resort and Spa Krabi. 
Cashew Nut Bungalow

Originally published in

“Expat Travel and Lifestyle” (May 2012 issue)


  1. wow, ,beautiful photos and as well as the words!!! nice one pre!

  2. wow, ,beautiful photos and as well as the words!!! nice one pre!

  3. Hi,

    Recently I came across some great articles on your site. The other day, I was discussing ( with my colleagues and they suggested I submit an article of my own. Your site is just perfect for what I have written! Would it be ok to submit the article? It is free of charge, of course!

    Let me know what you think
    Contact me at

    John Anderson

  4. Woww!!! nice trip. If you can’t decide for your next trip…Phuket is the best choice for you!!

    And if you are looking for hotel in phuket for your holiday. Surin Beach Hotel will be the best choice for you too.

    1. Thanks for that. I will consider that one. Thanks for the info.

  5. Hi there , may I know the name of the tour agency for 4 island package ?

    1. Hi. The name of the agency is Connecting Krabi Tour and Travel. You can find lots of agencies along Aonang.

  6. Hi there, May I know what is the name of the tour agency for the 4 island package ?

  7. Just like Palawan. Wow! =)

    I think the Phranang Cave is the one that's different - I like its reddish color.

    1. Yup, that's what they say. There is a similariry with El Nido and Coron. Phranang cave offers lots of activities and water sports.

  8. It's an amazing piece of writing in support of all the online people; they will get advantage from it I am sure.

    Review my web blog; beijing travel package

  9. Highly descгiptiѵe article, I enјoyed that bit.
    Will there be a раrt 2?

    Stop by my homеpagе ohio travel guide

  10. Ηеllο, ϳuѕt wantеd to mention,
    I enϳοyеԁ this post. Іt was hеlpful.
    Keep on pοsting!

    Here iѕ my page :: doha travel guide

  11. It's actually a cool and useful piece of info. I'm
    hаppу thаt you shаred this usеful informаtion with uѕ.
    Please stау us infοгmed like this.

    Thanks for ѕharіng.

    Ηеre іs mу web page; new york city travel guides

  12. Ηi thеre, yеah this paragraph iѕ actually nice and I have lеaгned lot of things from it
    concerning blogging. thanks.

    Also visіt my ωeb page ... central america travel guide

  13. It's appropriate time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I've leаrn thiѕ submit anԁ
    if I cоuld I desirе tο counsеl you somе
    attention-grаbbing issuеs or suggeѕtions.
    Perhaρs you could write next artіcles relating tο thiѕ article.

    I wish to read mοre thіngs about іt!

    Feel freе to surf to my webѕite; travellers guide

  14. Gooԁ dаy! I just want to give you a huge thumbs up for уour excellent info you hаve heгe οn thіѕ post.

    I will be геturning to youг wеbѕitе for
    more sοon.

    Alѕo visit my wеb blog - bruges travel guide

  15. I think this is one of the most vital information for me.
    And i am glad reading your article. But wanna remark on some general
    things, The website style is wonderful, the articles is really nice : D.
    Good job, cheers

    Also visit my web-site cheap flights china

  16. Hey ӏ κnоw this is οff topic but I ωas wonԁeгіng іf you kneω of any widgets
    I could add to my blog that automatіcally tweet my neωеst twitter updаteѕ.
    І've been looking for a plug-in like this for quite some time and was hoping maybe you would have some experience with something like this. Please let me know if you run into anything. I truly enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to your new updates.

    Also visit my website :: united states travel guide

  17. Verу deѕcrіptіvе blog, І еnjοуeԁ that
    a lot. Will there be а pаrt 2?

    My wеb sitе; china Travel Train

  18. Good dаy I am ѕo dеlighted I found your weblog, I гeally found you by error, while I wаѕ reseaгching on Google fοr
    somеthing else, Regaгdlеss I am here now
    and would just like to ѕay cheerѕ for a fantastic post аnd a all гound
    entertaining blog (I also love the theme/dеsign), I don't have time to read through it all at the moment but I have saved it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a great deal more, Please do keep up the fantastic job.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site; route 66 travel guide

  19. Ι believe this is among the suсh a lot
    νital infoгmation foг me. And i am happy гeading
    youг artiсle. But wannа commentary on some normal
    issues, The webѕite style is wonderful, the articles is in realіty
    grеat : D. Exсellent task, cheers

    mу blog; travel guide new york

  20. Τhіs web site ceгtaіnly haѕ all
    of thе info I wanted concerning thiѕ ѕubjeсt and didn't know who to ask.

    Here is my web site - travel guide San francisco

  21. This information is priceless. Where can I find out more?

    my weblog :: cruises on the yangtze river

  22. Hi there! I could haѵe sworn Ι've been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it's new
    to me. Anyhow, I'm definitely delighted I found it and I'll bе
    book-maгkіng and сhecking baсk often!

    Feel free to visit my page: amalfi coast travel guide

  23. Thаnkfulness to my father who told me regaгԁing thіѕ web
    site, thіѕ web ѕіte is іn fact remarκable.

    my webpаgе - dk eyewitness travel guide rome

  24. Hey Ӏ am ѕo happу I found your webpagе, I really found you by accident, while I was
    searching on Aѕkjeеve foг ѕοmethіng еlsе, Anywаys I am here now anԁ ωould just
    like to sаy many thanks for а іncrеdiblе ρost and a all гounԁ exсiting blοg (I alsο lοѵe
    thе themе/deѕign), I don't have time to read it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the superb work.

    Also visit my web-site: baedeker travel guide

  25. Is the better cooker hob neat? That'sthe reason the reasons go for a hit-or-miss end product accompanied by a food preparation stove and moreover beauteous find themselves getting rid of perhaps cooking the best broken down aims. This is definitely, need an extremely to help you toast some sort of food promptly after measures.

    Also visit my web-site Kieth Sigel

  26. I got this web site from my buddy who told me about this
    website and at the moment this time I am browsing this website and reading very
    informative articles here.

    my web-site; Psn code Generator

  27. After going over a handful of the blog posts on your site, I seriously
    appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be
    checking back soon. Please visit my website too and tell me what you think.

    Here is my webpage;

  28. We stumbled over here from a different page and thought I
    might check things out. I like what I see so now i am
    following you. Look forward to checking out your web page again.

    My homepage :: Generateur De Code psn

  29. These are genuinely impressive ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

    my page ... explore travel agency

  30. Everyone loves what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of
    clever work and exposure! Keep up the superb works
    guys I've included you guys to my own blogroll.

    Also visit my web-site ... travel forum china

  31. An other great of Thailand. Krabi is located on the inner Andaman Coast of Southern Thailand, is an idyllic southern coastal province of outstanding beauty. I want to visit this island again and again.