Hong Island or koh hone; “the Emerald of Krabi Sea”
Hong Island or well-known in local Koh Hong, the paradise islands of Andaman in the south of Thailand. Koh Hong nestles within the territory of Thanbok Khoranee National Park in Krabi province. The reputation in its beauty is guaranteed by ranking 1 of 10 the most attractive and cleanest island in the world. And it also classified as the Dream Destination for Tourism Authority of Thailand, as well.
The Hong Island or so-called Lao Bileh situates in the Thanbok Khoranee National Park, Krabi (it is a different one from Hong Island in Pang Nga. It is the archipelago of which various size of 12 islands in total, for example, Koh Lao or Koh Saka, Koh Lao Riem, Koh Pak Ka, Koh Lao Lading, etc. And the largest one is “Hong Island” where styled as “the Emerald of Krabi Sea”.
Knowing the Hong Islands
The Hong Island, in general, is the limestone mountains with the crystal-clear water and white sandy beach. The unique character of the islands is similar to the bird’s wings. The island is relaxed and pleasant atmosphere since there are the verdant forest and towering mountain cliff as the background environed by the emerald sea water which has a group of sea fish swimming around. The visitors, in particular, visit the islands in March the place is a hub for gathering a vast number of tiny sea fish that stimulated to the tourists so much. Hong Island is an ideal location for anyone who seeks for the place for water playing, diving (both snorkelling and scuba), and fishing. Moreover, there is a 400-meter nature trail and canoeing for the people to enjoy.
Hong Bay (the Lagoon)
A highlight of the Hong Islands which attracts numerous of tourists both local and abroad to come to this place is Hong Bay or Inner Sea or renowned among the foreigners is “the Lagoon”. The Lagoon is like a giant natural pool which surrounded by the high steep. It looks similar to a room or pool, and there’s only one entrance with 10 meters in its width. The floor space fills with the powdery white sand that lines smoothly. The water in the pool is very clear and shallow, and there are a lot of colorful sea fish in the water. The place is perfect for water play, and it is a safe spot for the fishermen when it is a storm.
The tourists who would like to visit the Lagoon at Koh Hong can go by touring boat or long-tail boat services. The best period to sightsee this place is when the tide is high since it will be inaccessible by boat when the water level of the Lagoon is not high enough.
Or for one who enjoys some exercise so you can access to the Lagoon by kayaking which is one of the most favourite activities among the tourists. The distance of kayaking is just 2 km from Koh Hong’s beach to the Lagoon, and the tourist also can stop by at a little beach at the entrance to the Lagoon before entering to the magnificent lagoon inside. The Kayaking facilities at Hong Island provide to the visitor both half day and full day with various programs and packages. So, recommendation for the tourist should ask for the information from the provider before taking the package.
Visit the neighbouring Islands around Koh Hong
Apart from swimming, diving, and kayaking at Koh Hong, the tourists can enjoy visiting other islands around the area that is very convenient since those are on the way to the Hong Islands. And here are some attractive places to check in.
1. “Lao La Ding Island” or Paradise Island
The hidden island where cuddled by nature features the beautiful white sandy beach with a tranquil atmosphere. It is another popular location for sunbathing among the foreign tourists because it is quiet and peaceful. The island is a bird’s nest concession; however, it welcomes for the tourists to visit and leisure. The place is rich in its tourism resources – white sandy beach, clear water, sea fish, and corals. The crystal-like water here is perfect for water playing and snorkelling diving.
2. Pak Bia Island
Pak Bia Island is a small isle locates at the rear of Hong Island. The water here is clean and bright which is ideal for swimming. The island is quiet and tranquil and shady with the numbers of trees along the beach. Although the beach on this island is not plenty of space, it is not second to others with its soft and white sand, and it is accessible when the tide is lowest. At that time, the tourist can walk from one side of the island to another.
Taking the trip to Hong Island
The tourists who are interesting to visit this paradise island of the Andaman Sea can hire the touring boat service whether long-tail boat or speedboat that are available at Ao Tha Len Pier and Ao Nang Pier.
Anyhow, if the tourist would like the more convenient option, tour packages provided by tour agents are ready for you to get. Each tour package is different in detail and price, so the tourist should ask for the detail and negotiate the price properly before giving the agreement.
Facilities and Admission
The Hong Island provides the space for camping with the THB20 fee for each person. However, the tourists have to bring along the camping facilities by themselves. The boat trip to Hong Island from Ao Nang takes about an hour in estimate.
Thai: Adults THB80 / Children THB40
Foreigner: Adults THB400 / Children THB200
Tourism Season: End of December – March, in particular in March there is a vast number of sea fish.
How to Get There
To go to Koh Hong can travel on the road route Ao Leuk – Krabi and turns to the entrance to Noppharatthara Beach. Then, passes by to Laem Pong and gets the boat at Tab Kaek Resort. The boat trip takes time about 30 minutes.
Long-tail boat: average between THB2,500 – 2,800 or THB400 – 600 per person.
Speedboat: average between THB1,000 1,300 per person.
The convenient option for the tourist is buying the tour package which providing in variety both half day and full day. The tour package is available at many hotels and resorts or the Ao Nang beach. Most of the packages to Hong Island included Ko Pak Bia, Koh La Ding together with food and beverages all through the journey. Or if you are in a group, you can contact directly to have a private tour with the long-tail boat at the Ao Nang beach. However, please make sure to ask that they provide the service included food and beverage or not before you get the trip.
In case you don’t want to get the tour package, there are long-tail services provided by long-tail boat cooperative in Krabi at the Noppharatthara Beach National Marine Park office with the following price;
- Railay Bay, Ton Sai Bay, Phra Nang Cave is THB100 per person.
- Poda Island, Kai Island, Twin Sea is THB300 per person.
- Hong Island, Pak Bia Island, La Ding Island (charter) for 6 persons is THB2,800.
- Pai Island, Phi Phi Islands (charter) for 5 persons is THB3,800 – 5,000.
- 4 islands (Full day) – Kai island, Phra Nang Bay, Twin Sea, Railay Bay (charter) for 6 persons is THB2,200.
- 2 islands (Half day) – Poda Island, Twin Sea (charter) for 4 persons is THB1,700.
*note: The prices subject to change, please recheck at the location.