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Island hopping during the rainy season in Krabi

A deserted Nopparat Thara Beach in September
A deserted Nopparat Thara Beach in September
We often get asked about whether it is safe or advisable to do island-hopping in Krabi during the “rainy season”, which lasts (roughly) from May to November. So we compiled an essential guide for those considering their options.

First, the good news:

  • Islands, and even mainland beaches, will be less crowded in general. They will be even quieter on weekdays and during the Muslim month of Ramadan. The local islands (4 Islands and Koh Hong group) will be the quietest of all – Phi Phi stays busy year round with day trippers from Phuket.
  • It certainly doesn’t rain every day during rainy season, and on the days it does, rarely does it rain all day. So, if you are lucky, you can combine glorious sunshine with a fabulous semi-deserted beach.
  • It is always safe to travel. If conditions are considered unsafe, your trip will be cancelled (see below).

When seas get really rough, island tours will be cancelled
When seas get really rough, island tours will be cancelled
Now, the bad news:

  • Sea conditions will generally be less smooth than during the dry season, varying from moderate to rough. If you are prone to seasickness, take preventative medicine before boarding. Some people also find longtail boat travel less rough than speed boats at this time.
  • Island tours in Krabi will get cancelled on average 3 – 5 days per month during the rainy season, starting around June. This happens due to a rough sea state (high waves) that could endanger passengers on small tourist boats. It is usually caused by the wind, so can occur even during sunny weather – the shipping forecast is usually a more accurate indicator of potnetial cancellations than the regular weather forecast. In the event of your tour being cancelled by the operator, you will be able to reschedule or receive a refund.
  • Stinging jellyfish are present in some areas during rainy season. Exit the water immediately you feel a sting; the guides will know how to treat it (usually with lime juice to stop the venom, then tiger balm to relieve pain). Though painful, the stings are very rarely dangerous.