Four Islands in One Day

The tourism industry in Thailand is very well-organised for providing hosted tours for visitors, and on our third day in Krabi we took one of the most common: the “four islands” tour. We were collected from our hotel in Ao Nam Mao at 8 am and taken to Nopparat Thara Beach at Ao Nang where the tour was to begin.

After an introduction from the lead tour guide, about twenty of us plus half a dozen guides boarded a motorboat. We were an eclectic group, made up of Japanese, Indian, ourselves, and a surprising number of Thais on holiday from Bangkok. We chatted with one such couple and learned that their trip was part holiday and part annual return to the husband’s parents’ town for the Thai New Year, which was a few days away.

Our first stop was Phra Nang Beach, or Princess Beach. The beach includes a cave famous for being home to a mythical sea princess, and some locals make fertility offerings to a shrine in the cave.

After marvelling at the crystal clear water and stunning limestone cliffs and islands, we headed to our next stop: Koh Tup. Here we were able to walk, Moses-like, through the ocean between two islands, and Pei Pei has reminded me that this can only be done for a few days before and after the full moon each month, so we were fortunate in our timing.

As our boat left Poda Island we could see that the second island we had walked (waded) to was Koh Gai, or Chicken Island – see if you can guess why! We were then taken to a quiet, rocky spot for snorkelling, and the amazing experience of floating among the brilliantly-coloured tropical fish, coral, anemones and what looked like giant clams.

The final stop was Poda Island, for lunch and to enjoy the pristine white beach and water. Just by wading a few metres into the water you could be surrounded by fish, which seem particularly attracted to hands!

Even though this was one of the most basic tours offered, and we were shuttled from location to location on a schedule, I have never enjoyed a beach trip so much – and when an Australian says that, you know it must be special!

8 Responses to “Four Islands in One Day”

  1. tk wrote:

    you are missing some interesting photo/video opportunity during snorkeling. i got myself a temp soft shell water housing for my point-n-shoot, works ok, but bobbing on the surface with the cam rocking a bit in the housing makes shitty pictures/videos.

    you can now get pretty damn good dunk proof point n shoot at affordable prices, like these:
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/olympus/compacts/oly_tg810
    http://www.dpreview.com/products/panasonic/compacts/panasonic_dmcts3

    makes me want to revisit that place again for a sunny holiday. next time, i’m bringing a spear along because those parrot fish is damn tasty grilled.

  2. Kendall wrote:

    I know, being able to shoot underwater would be great, but I’m hesitant to invest in gear I’ll only use once or twice a year. Maybe I can put my 400D in a zip-loc bag :)

  3. tk wrote:

    i thought so too but somedays you just want to carry around a compact. these little buggers pack quite a punch even for semi-serious photography, casual outings or just daily snaps.

    the ones i got do look like a beefed up ziplock bag with molded plastics with screws and a tube with a clear glass. very dodgy looking. but after trying it in a tub of water with a piece of paper for like an hour, turns out ok.

    for compacts… http://www.nereus.com.hk/nereus/en_product.html

    and if u like to live life dangerously, they do have them in DSLR + flash sized ones.. http://www.nereus.com.hk/nereus/en_product_dslr_x1.html

  4. Kendall wrote:

    They really do seem like plastic bags. Interesting, I’ll look into it – we’re planning to go back in a few months.

  5. Kate wrote:

    Hey Kendall
    Looks great! We just got back from Cuba – also excellent beaches and diving – to add to the comments on underwater photos we have an olympus U (mu)-tough. Little point and shoot but it takes great photos in and out of the water to 10m.
    Cheers
    Kate

  6. Kendall wrote:

    Thanks for the info, Kate – I’ll have a look at that camera too. Will you post some of your photos?

  7. Kendall Lister» Blog Archive » Last Day at Phra Nang Beach wrote:

    […] Kendall Lister Travel thoughts and photographs « Four Islands in One Day […]

  8. Kendall Lister» Blog Archive » One fish, two fish, little yellow and black fish… wrote:

    […] arrived yesterday and immediately booked a repeat of the “four islands” tour we took on our last trip. Alas, it’s now the monsoon season and water conditions […]

Leave a Reply