The little town of Krabi located in South of Thailand is a great base for those who want to explore the islands in the Andaman Sea. Most people stay there only for a day and a night before going island hopping but I definitely recommend you to stay a few days in Krabi if you have the time. There's a great number of really exciting day trips you could go to independently in the region. Island day trips are the most obvious and popular options like the impressive climbing rocks in Railay beach or the snorkelling experience with tropical fish in Koh Hong but there are many more exciting adventures you should go for in the region.
Walk up Dragon Crest Mountain
Ngorn Nak also known as Dragon Crest Mountain is an incredible 3.7 kilometres hike located 40 minutes away from Krabi.
The climb is challenging but it's a really interesting jungle walk with stunning views at the top of the mountain.
Really nice jungle walk to get to the top of the mountain
Make sure you take plenty of water with you and some good walking shoes. I was so happy complete this walk, 100% worth all the sweat with some of the most beautiful scenery I got to see in Thailand.
At the top of the mountain after a challenging climb
Even the road to get to the park where the mountain is located is quite nice with some impressive karst scenery along the way so I would recommend you to get there by motorbike. You should just make sure not to start too late in the day as they might not allow you in after 3' o'clock.
Some of the best views in Thailand from the top of the mountain
The walk takes about 4 hours to complete.
Swim in the Emerald Pool
Emerald Pool is a natural crystal clear pool located 55 kilometres from Krabi in the forest of Khao Phra Bang, a nature reserve. You can easily get there by motorbike in an hour or so but most part of the journey is on the motorway. Traffic can get a bit overwhelming but the last 15 kilometres are much nicer and take you to a more rural environment.
Turquoise water at Emerald Pool
There is a 200 baht (about 5.5 euros) entrance fee to access Emerald Pool but it is worth it. The water is really warm and clear, perfect for a relaxing day. The ticket also gives you access to Blue Lagoon which is another turquoise water pool 400 meters away from Emerald Pool.
Pausing time in front of the Blue Lagoon
Unfortunately you can't swim in the Blue Lagoon but it would be a shame not to see it!
Blue Lagoon and Emerald Pool are an ideal day trip that you can easily complete independently. Note that it is a very popular destination and it can get very crowded after 10.00 with tour coaches bringing large crowds of tourists from Phuket. So the earlier you get there, the better, definitely make it an early morning wake up call. The opening and closing times are 7.30 am-5.30 pm
You won't be able to swim in the Blue Lagoon but look at this water!
Kayak in the middle of a mangrove forest in Ao Thalane
This kayaking experience was definitely one of the highlights of our stay in Krabi. Unlike the two experiences above this one was part of a tour. I usually try to avoid them but I'm not sure if you could or how easy that would be to go for this adventure independently. I totally recommend this one anyway. We did it with Sea Kayak Krabi.
They were absolutely brilliant, they came to pick us up at our hostel early in the morning and took us to the kayaks in Thalene Bay – about 30 minutes North of Krabi - to start our half day mangrove forest exploration. Luckily it was only the two of us with our guide who was very knowledgable. The setting was just extraordinary with huge karsts, mangroves and an abundance of wildlife. Beware the sneaky monkey during the trip, they won't do anything to you but they will be after your food and water !
The tour includes a delicious lunch in Thalene Bay.
Then in the afternoon for those who decide to go on a full day tour, a long tail boat can take you to Koh Hong island which is a superb island, a perfect spot to snorkel in the middle of tropical fish even though it gets very busy there in the afternoon. The full day package is quite pricy for Thailand (2500 THB per person which is a bit less than £65) but remember that's a full day tour, we had an amazing experience and I would totally recommend it.