In Krabi, the tide affects almost all water-based activities – even those in the backwaters. From kayaking to island hopping, your day will be determined by the time of the high and low water. In most cases, you needn’t worry about this. It’s the tour operator’s job to organise the day around the tides and they will always make the best itinerary possible to take advantage of the conditions – for example ensuring that you arrive at “thaleh waek”, the “parted sea” between Chicken, Tub and Mor islands at the lowest possible tide so you can see at least some of the incredible sandbank (normally covered over at high tide) that stretches from one island to the others.
However, there are some instances where you would be better off knowing the tide times. If you are staying on a beach like Tubkaek or Nopparat Thara that is only swimmable at high tide, you can plan your days knowing when you will be able to go into the water. Or, if you plan to do only a half day of kayaking in Ao Thalane, it is good to know the tides in advance so you can choose the morning or afternoon session – kayaking is best around mid-tide time and somewhat restricted during very high and low tide.
Krabi Tide Tables 2016
These tide tables are provided by the Royal Thai Navy’s Hydrographical Department and are specific to Krabi (Paknam) – the tide here is not the same as in Phuket, or even in Koh Lanta further south. To read the tables, it helps to know a little about the tides. There are two high tides and two low tides during any 24 hour period. So high tide occurs once every 12 hours and low tide every 12 hours (roughly speaking). The pattern is high – low – high – low, with around 6 hours between high and low tide.
The tide swell varies from day to day throughout the month, with the strongest tides (the highest and lowest water levels) occuring around the time of the full and new moon, every 14 days or so. The time of high and low tides also shift daily throughout the month. Luckily they do this in a predictable fashion!
To find out the tides on your day(s) of travel, download the PDF file by clicking on the link above. Scroll to your month and date of travel and you will see a list of times and heights. The entries correspond to the high and low tides for that day. During the time between these maximum and minimum heights, the tide will be moving gradually from one phase to the other, so from high to low or vice versa. Some days also have a black or white circle next to them – this denotes the new or full moon (when tides are strongest); the crescent moons are mid-cycle with not much difference between high and low tide.
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Last updated: October 24, 2016