4 Islands tour from Krabi will bring you to see Koh Mor, Koh Gai, Koh Tup and Koh Poda. Not in any particular order. While most people choose the speedboat tour, I prefer the slower longtail boat (picture above). There are several island tour options you can choose from such as the Phi Phi Island tour (can do this on from Phuket as well) and the 7 Islands sunset tour.
Important: Check weather forecast and know your tolerance towards boat rides! If you don't want to be at sea after dark (the water can get pretty rough during monsoon) don't take a sunset tour.
We booked the 4 Islands tour for 450 THB/adult from a tour agent near the junction at Aonang Beach one day earlier. The price included:
- Hotel transfer (pick-up & drop-off)
- Snorkelling gear rental (mask, snorkel, life jacket)
- National park fees, and return transport to hotel from jetty
- English-speaking guide
From the hotel, we were dropped near the merlin statue for registration. Your gathering point might be different because I know others were brought to a jetty instead. We were given a sticker and assigned into groups.
In my case, the boat was waiting near the marlin statue so following the tour guide, we crossed the road and went into the sea to get to the boat. Yes, some wading had to be done so take that into consideration as well. Bring a waterproof bag to carry your stuff, you'll need both hands to climb the boat. Put your phone in a waterproof casing. Wear your bathing suit. Don't wear fancy high heels and your nice jeans. Consider using tampon instead of sanitary pad if you're menstruating =)
|Can you see the cute tour guide? No? =P|
Before stopping at the Phra Nang Beach in Railay, the cute local tour guide (we suspected that he got some angmoh blood in him) pointed to a nearby sea rock but I wasn't paying attention. Then, we reached the Phra Nang Beach, home of the famous Princess Cave a.k.a Phallus Shrine.
Most people only mentioned the unique offering here - linggam/siwaleung/anything penis-related like a tin of Coke (cock, geddit?) but I was more fascinated by the pretty dolls on the altar. Adorably clad in Thai dresses, I felt like (re)starting a doll collection!
Oh by the way, the fertility people are asking for here isn't about baby per se. It is more for safety at sea and abundance in rezeki. Like, bila tanah, laut, sumber alam fertile, banyaklah rezeki. Gitu.
|Clock-wise from top left: Walking to Princess Cave, A Hotel's Chill-out Area, Rock-climbing, Offerings|
So, bring some extra cash if you want to do rock-climbing. Do check with your tour guide how long you're stopping on the beach. You don't want to miss the boat :)
Next stop was the Koh Gai or Chicken Island, originally named Koh Hua Gwan.
|I thought it looked like a camel instead of a chicken|
The boat stopped here for a snorkelling session. Snorkelling spot may be different depending on tour operator and time of the day.
We had lunch on this island. Rice, veggie and chicken pre-packed in plastic containers. We were given bottled drinking water and a container of rice. Then, we queued for the chicken and veggie. Fruits were served on the boat after the last island of the day.
During low-tide, you can walk to the Mor island across from Tup. Apparently the sandbar linked with the Chicken Island as well but I did not notice that.
Last stop was the Poda Island. There is toilet here but it was super dirty when we visited (our flip-flops were left on the boat) so I had to postpone changing my pad :p
|Barracudas Tour Longtail Boat|
|The familiar landmark near Koh Poda|
As you can see from the pictures, the weather wasn't too sunny but I had slathered on sunblock as usual and yet I ended up berbelang-belang (with sunburn stripes) anyway.
Taking pictures without other people photobombing at these famous landmarks can be a challenge. Keep your cool and remember to bring power bank, extra batteries for camera, snacks and your own drinking water.