Having heard about its beautiful beach and lagoon, we were keen to take a trip to Hong Island to check it out for ourselves and weren’t disappointed. From Krabi, it’s possible to take a group tour (either in a long boat, or via speedboat) or alternatively you can charter your own transport to the island. We opted to rent a longboat for the afternoon, and this set us back 2000 baht. We were staying at the Sofitel, but chose not to book through the hotel (which charged a steep premium) and instead booked through a local vendor, 5 minutes walk away from the hotel. For this, we got use of the boat for 6 hours (we got the impression longer would have been fine), along with a couple of bottles of water each, and some fresh pineapple on our return.
We were worried about whether we should travel to Krabi in August – the plus side being it’s off-peak, so things are quieter and cheaper, the downside being the weather can be very unreliable (and it can rain quite a bit). Because of this, we’d recommend during this time of the year you book excursions on the day, if possible, as this way you can better plan your activities around the weather. As it was, we did this and were able to choose a great day to go, and experienced brilliant weather throughout, with just a few clouds.
It took half an hour in the longboat to get from Krabi to Hong Island, and it was a pleasant trip. First of all, we saw the lagoon – which was a stunning site. Accessed by a small entrance barely 10 metres wide, it’s surrounded by steep cliffs, and filled with crystal blue water – the pictures speak for themselves.
After this, we were taken to the main beach, which is divided into two sections – with white sands and clear blue sea. Arriving at about 1.30pm, the beach was fairly busy (we can only imagine what it must be like in peak season), however, by the time we left at 5pm, we were the last people left, and for an hour or so had the beach to ourselves – which was a superb experience.
This is certainly the key advantage of chartering a boat if you’re able – unlike the organised tours, you’re in control of the day and can try and plan ahead to avoid the crowds – it can also be quite economical if there are more than two of you. This said, remember National Park fees – Hong Island is located in Thanbok Khoranee National Park and upon disembarking, we were required to pay 300 baht – but it was well worth it.
We forgot to take a picnic – but saw many people do this. Whilst alcohol is forbidden, it’s fine to bring your own food and drink, although if you forget there is a cafe on the island (we didn’t get chance to try it out). During our trip to Thailand, we also travelled to the perhaps more well know Phi Phi Islands – whilst Jack preferred Hong Island (large beach, quieter…), Tiago was equally impressed with the two – so we’d definitely recommend trying to visit both if you’re in the Krabi/Phuket region.