The three islands that are part of this tour, Tup, Chicken and Poda are part of the Hat Nopharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park. The national park was established in 1983 and its coral reefs are strictly protected. The islands are located about 8 km away from Ao Nang.
At first, I was very sceptical about this tour due to the fact that the ride is a speed boat. Last time when I went to Thailand, in Phuket, I had an accident with a speed boat, so, during the 2 weeks I visited Krabi, I really tried my best to avoid them. I really wanted to visit these islands and I figured since they are so close to the shore, the trip with the speed boat is going to be quite short.
Our ride from the hotel to the speed boat peer was about 25 minutes, but we waited quite long to get our boat. Turns out that a lot of other speed boats were leaving from the same peer to different destinations and ours left last. Before we got into the boat, they took our shoes and we didn’t get them back before we arrived. This was quite bad because the sand on those islands is incredibly hot and my feet got a bit burned. If you are going on this tour make sure you have some water socks with you, otherwise you will suffer when you’re going to walk to the toilet on Poda Island. I also recommend you to wear your swimming suit already before you get on the boat. The only toilet on this tour is on Poda Island, so there is no place to change your clothes before that.
The schedule depends quite a lot on the tides, so in our case we went first to Tup, then to Chicken, then to Poda and last stop was Phra Nang Beach.
First Stop: Tup Island
After about 15 minutes on the speed boat, we arrived to our first island. The actual island where we landed was Ko Thap and Tup is reachable by foot when it’s low tide. I saw pictures where the walk from Thap to Tup is completely dry, however, in our case you had to get into waist deep water to get to Tup.
The first thing I noticed was the colour of the sand and the water! Beautiful white sand and turquoise water made these islands look like paradise! There is quite a difference between how the beach in Ao Nang looks like and how the beaches on these islands look like.
I even encountered my favourite animal in Thailand: the monitor lizard.
Second Stop: Chicken Island
After about 1h on Tup Island we went to visit Chicken Island (Koh Kai). You can definitely see why it is called “Chicken Island”: the “Chicken Rock” makes this island look like chicken! The actual name of Chicken Island is Ko Po Da Nok, but the touristic name is more interesting. We didn’t get to admire this too long, I barely had time to take a picture of it. We then went for a short snorkelling trip on the other side of Chicken Island.
Third Stop: Poda Island
Poda Island was the highlight of this tour. It’s a really beautiful island, with awesome looking beach, a great rock in front of it, called Ko Ma Tang Ming and lots of fish! Ko Ma Tang Ming is like the “James Bond” rock of Krabi. The island has toilets and some cool places to explore, which proved to be a bit difficult without shoes. The sand is blazing hot and I actually had to run to the toilet cause my legs were getting fried. I was really missing my shoes! After a while we had lunch and then we got one more hour to explore the island.
At one end of Poda there were quite many fish and they were just surrounding me. They also bit me a little, but they were really cute and colourful, so I let that one slide :) Here are some pictures taken with my GoPro camera underwater.
Fourth Stop: Phra Nang Beach, Railay Bay
The last stop of our tour was Phra Nang Beach, which is part of the famous Railay Bay. We had about 45 minutes to explore this, which is not nearly enough! Luckily, we explored Railay Bay by ourselves during other 2 days, when we actually had time to see almost everything there is to see. Read more about Railay Bay in this blog post.
After another 15 minutes we were back at the pier and back to our hotel in Ao Nang around 14:30.
In retrospect, I would have preferred to take the long-tail boat from Ao Nang to Poda Island and perhaps try my best to avoid the crowds, but I am still very happy I got to see these beautiful islands and had a delicious lunch on one of them.
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