The “four islands” is a popular day trip from Ao Nang, taking in the group of islands closest to the coast – the ones that can be seen on the horizon from the beach. The four islands are Koh Poda, Koh Gai (Chicken Island), Koh Tub and Koh Mor; and the tour also stops off at the beautiful Phra Nang Cave Beach on the Railay peninsula. This beach, inaccessible by road, is considered to be one of the most beautiful strips of sand in the world – at least when it is not crowded with boats and people.
Koh Poda is famous for its white beaches and turquoise water; the huge rock in front of it (pictured above) has been featured on countless postcards, screeensavers and tourist brochures, so don’t miss the opportunity to snap your own photo memory here. The cruise around the “head” of Chicken Island, with the odd rocky outcrop that earned it its name also makes a good photo op. Fun fact: Chicken Island is really called “Axe Island” or Koh Hua Gwan; it was dubbed “the chicken island” by Krabi’s first tourists and the nickname stuck, although we think it actually looks more like a camel!
At low tide, the boat will stop between Chicken Island with the two tiny islands of Koh Mor and Koh Tub, where you will have the opportunity to walk along the sweeping three-pronged sandbar that links the three together. This is known in Thai as “thaleh waek” or “separated sea”. Note: there are a couple of days each month where a low tide stop is not possible, due to the tide times; in this case the sandbank will not be exposed, but you can still walk part of the way out into the sea, as below.
There will also be a couple of stops at open water snorkelling sites, which could be near Koh Yawasam, a rocky outcrop with fairly intact coral reefs and decent marine life, or at the rear of Chicken Island, depending on the day. Snorkelling here is average due to years of heavy boat traffic.
The itinerary order varies throughout the month, so that – if possible – the sandbar can be reached at low tide. The day will also include a picnic lunch on one of the islands or beaches.
The 4 Islands tour is also sold as a sunset trip, often under the name “7 Islands Tour”, to differentiate it. They spend slightly more time cruising than on beaches, and include a few of the rock islands in the same area as part of the 7; essentially though, it covers the same area. This tour departs at lunchtime and arrives back around 8 or 9pm.
It is equally possible to visit the 4 Islands on your own with a chartered longtail boat from the beach. For more information on independent travel, please see our page on boat charter in Krabi. A 400 baht entry fee is levied by the National Park on all non-Thai visitors to Poda Island; this is due at the ranger station on the main beach. The ticket is valid for one day and covers your visit to all 4 of the islands.
EXAMPLE TOUR ITINERARIES
The available tours to the Krabi 4 Islands are listed below; click on the links to see full itinerary info. The tours can easily be booked on site at your hotel or in any agent on the street.
Please note: speedboat travel is not recommended for infants under 1 year old, pregnant women, or anyone with back problems or prone to seasickness, due to the bumpy ride.
4 Islands tour by longtail boat500 ฿ (adult) / 400 ฿ (child)
4 Islands tour by speed boat950 ฿ (adult) / 750 ฿ (child)
4 Islands tour by speed boat (premium / late departing)1,200 ฿ (adult) / 800 ฿ (child)
7 Islands Sunset Tour950 ฿ (adult) / 800 ฿ (child)
Krabi Sunset Dinner Cruise2,500 ฿ (adult) / 1,200 ฿ (child)
Sunset Cruise + BBQ Dinner and Night Snorkeling2,700 ฿ (adult) / 1,800 ฿ (child)