This is the third island hopping tour I went on during this trip to Thailand and it was by far the best. The first island hopping tour I went on was in Aonang/Krabi and it was far too touristy. The next was in Koh Phi Phi, which was much better, but still not as great as it could have been. Thankfully, the best was saved for last, as the Koh Lanta 4 Island Tour was not only absolutely breathtaking and with far less tourists on the islands we stopped at, but it was a much higher quality tour than the previous ones we went on. This was largely due to the fact that we paid extra for us to go on a speedboat, but it was totally worth it.
The other island hopping tours we did in Thailand took us around on a sampan boat, which, though it looked rustic and cool, were cramped, slow, and noisy. I’m all about counting pennies when I travel, so I initially had no interest in spending even more money to take a speedboat. Thankfully my travel partner and the tour agent convinced me otherwise. For an extra ฿300 more we were able to hop from island to island in style. This tour was advertised as ฿1800, but we managed to get them down to ฿1300 each.
Paying more for a tour means getting better service in general: our tour guides seemed to be enjoying themselves and made sure we were doing the same, our transportation between the islands was much faster, and the food was plentiful and delicious (which is apparently quite rare for island tours here, seeing as how we only got a sandwich on our tour in Koh Phi Phi).
1. Koh Cheok
Our first stop was Koh Cheok to do some snorkeling. There were only a few other boats around the large limestone rock where we would be swimming around, so you weren’t bumping into anyone while you were in the water. There was a little area by the rocks that you could swim into that would take you out to the other side of the water, which was quite neat. Though the stop was picturesque, we unfortunately didn’t see many fish while we were snorkeling.
2. Koh Mook
Our next stop was Koh Mook to go and see the Emerald Cave. We pulled up in our speed boat and anchored down outside the entrance to the cave along with a few other boats. We swam our way through the cave with our tour guide in front shining the way with his flashlight. The flashlight actually didn’t help much – once you get in the middle of the cave, it’ll be pitch black for about 30 seconds or so before you can see the exit to the other side.
Once we made it through the cave, we entered a tiny beach area. There wasn’t much to do or see here, as it was quite small and there were lots of surrounding plants. It was also actually quite cold since the area is mainly covered in shade. Tour groups were constantly coming in and out of the cave, so it made getting a picture a bit of a chore.
3. Koh Kradan
By this point I was ready to sit down and get some food in my starving belly, so thankfully that’s exactly what we did on Koh Kradan. We had almost two hours on this island – that was absolutely stunning by the way – to eat our lunch, walk around, and do a bit of snorkeling if we wanted to (there was a shallow coral reef there).
The food was honestly so good, but unfortunately I was too hungry to think about taking a photo of it first. You’ll just have to take my word for how delicious it was. There was rice with two different types of hearty meat curries, chicken wings, fruit, and Coke to wash it all down with.
After I properly stuffed my face (I may or may not have gone up for seconds) I walked along the beach for a bit, waded into the water, and just took it easy. This beach truly is serene – the water is crystal clear, and the sand is white and fine with seashells as you come closer to the water. I also went snorkeling for a bit and saw one of the largest fishes (not a clue what kind) that I’ve ever seen while snorkeling.
After our time lounging around was up, we went to the other side of this island where there was a larger coral reef to snorkel some more. This time, there were actually quite a few different fishes to see. Our tour guide started throwing watermelon into the water right by you, which obviously caused tonnes of fish to swarm you. This could either be a lot of fun for you or it could be your worst nightmare.
4. Koh Ma
Our final stop wasn’t exactly a stop since we actually didn’t get out of the boat. On the tour pamphlet it said that at this stop you would see live animals that live on the island. Little did I know that meant driving by the limestone rocks and seeing tonnes of bats clustered together, hanging upside down.
What I did enjoy about this last stop was that there was actually a house on the smaller rock formation near the water. When I asked the tour guide about it, he said that this is the home of a fisherman when he is out on the job for a few days at a time.