Thailand Island Hopping: from Krabi to Koh Lipe
Hauntingly beautiful islands, crystal clear turquoise waters and world class white powder sandy beaches: Thailand is an amazing travel destination and travelers and backpacker from all of the world flock to see the world’s best beaches. There are more than 300 islands waiting for you to be explored and so it makes sense to visit some of the most beautiful ones by island hopping. This article is all about an epic itinerary from Krabi to Koh Lipe and about visiting some of the best islands of South Thailand.
You want to do Thailand Island Hopping but you are not sure where to go? Looking for a Route in South Thailand? Here is our Thailand route for Island Hopping starting from Krabi to Koh Lipe:
Thailand Island Hopping Itinerary – Krabi to Koh Lipe
Traveling around in South Thailand is really uncomplicated, the accommodations and transport are still cheap and everything is easy to organize. You can manage to have a daily budget with no more than 20 Euros! Hence it’s much better to plan by yourself and not book one of the Thailand Island hopping tours in advanced. At the end of the Thailand Island hopping blog post you will find useful tips and information about the prices, transport and accommodations!
We had been to Bangkok for a couple of days and although this city is really cool, it was time to explore the best beaches of Thailand. For our first stop we chose Krabi, one of the most beautiful provinces in Thailand. Krabi, the town itself doesn’t have any beaches, but you should stay there a night to visit the beautiful Tiger Cave Temple with its “Wonderland” forest! We met a nice monk who walked us around – the forest was so calm and peaceful – an amazing experience!
Railay Beach – Krabi
The first stop on our Island Hopping Tour through South Thailand was Railay Beach. Although Krabi is not an island and Railay Beach is attached to the mainland of Krabi province, it’s not connected by road. Tourists have to take a long-tail boat from Krabi to reach Railay Beach (100 baht p.p). With its limestone cliffs and the turquoise clear water, Railay is a real tropical paradise, not just for sunlovers but also for climbers. And if you walk around the peninsula. you will definitely see some monkeys too!
There are 3 different beaches to explore with some nice resorts in all price classes.
After 2 nights we headed off to Koh Lanta (Minibus 400 baht p.p). We really loved Koh Lanta! It is actually a place I could imagine staying longer. It’s for sure not the most beautiful island in Thailand BUT Koh Lanta has a great vibe! Just hire a scooter and explore the island! You will find plenty of relaxing beaches to stay and enjoy some fresh coconut. If you fancy going for a snorkeling trip, you should book an excursion to Koh Rok – on this island you will have the chance to see some huge lizards.
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and there are plenty of cool things to see. Really impressive is the huge Buddha as it is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Phuket. Also you are going to find plenty sandy beaches like Nai Harn Beach or Karon Beach. A great way to explore the island is by motorbike.
Even there, there is a view of nice things to see, Phuket is quite busy with a vibrant nightlife but not too amazing, so we left the next day to Koh Phi Phi.
Koh Phi Phi & Koh Phi Phi Leh
From Phuket we took the ferry to Koh Phi Phi (800 baht p.p). We stayed at a beautiful Long Beach – there are a few nice and affordable resorts. Koh Phi Phi with its clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and fantastic party vibe is one of Thailand’s most popular backpacker islands for a reason. Hike up to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint (ap.30 min from Ton Sai Village) – the view from the top is breathtaking!
We highly recommend visiting surrounding beaches, like the Monkey Beach, and islands with a traditional long-tail boat. For sure you have to visit the Koh Phi Phi Leh Island – it’s a must see! There is the famous Maya Bay from the movie “the Beach”.
Koh Ngai is an island where you just want to get lost. The white sandy beach is just beautiful and the island is so relaxing – there are just a handful of resorts on it – no streets, no tuk tuks, no shops – nothing to do, just relax and enjoy! We stayed in a fantastic budget tent village – the locals were amazing there and went on a fishing trip with us! This dreamy island was definitely one of our top highlights while traveling from Krabi to Koh Lipe!
If you want to read more about the drop-dead gorgeous island Koh Ngai, check out “Koh Ngai – The Paradise Island Travel Guide”
Koh Mook & the Emerald Caves
When you walk around Koh Ngai or Koh Mook you can visit The Emerald Caves, which were believed to once be home to pirate treasures! Entering the caves was quite an adventure – the caves are completely dark and we swam 80 m until we came out to the secret beach. Koh Mook is a tiny island but also offers some nice beaches, a gorgeous getaway is the dreamy Sivalai Beach Resort.
Koh Bulon Lae
Wow – what an island! Koh Bulon is a postcard island – with its white sand, palm trees, and turquoise water – the most beautiful beaches ever, I think it’s still a secret escape! It’s such a paradise for beach lovers- the water is so clear, you can see fish swarms swimming around you. And on the land there are even lizard’s strolling around! Koh Bulon quickly became our favorite island in South Thailand and we highly recommend staying on this awesome island. If you want to read more about the heavenly beautiful island Koh Bulon, check out the article “Koh Bulon Lae travel guide: Thailand`s island paradise”
Last but not our least: Honestly – we had big expectations for Koh Lipe, and this island didn’t disappoint us. From there you can do some great snorkeling trips to visit some wonderful coral reefs. We saw a wide range of colorful fish, some clown fish and huge morays. Koh Lipe was our last stop of our Thailand Island hopping trip – from there we continued our journey to Malaysia – Langkawi. But it’s also possible to return from Koh Lipe to Krabi by boat.
Krabi/Thailand Island Hopping – Insider Tips
- Where to sleep: You will find a wide range of beach resorts and bungalows in each price class, in low season you will get much cheaper rates. If you want to be on the safe side you can book in advance.
- What to eat: There are a variety of restaurants on each island. Eating out in Thailand is cheap – 1,5-4,00 Euro for local food – we loved to eat Phat Thai, Green Curry and fresh seafood.
- Rent a scooter: Renting a scooter is always a good choice to explore the islands. Inspect the motorbike properly before taking it and don`t forget the wheels.
- Thai Boxing: If you are interested in Thai boxing, there is a cool place for watching at Koh Phi Phi: The Reggae Bar. They have live Muay Thai fighting with professional fighters as well as tourist who fight for some drinks.
- Bargain: Prices of hotel rooms, transport tickets, excursion tickets often can be negotiable.
- Beware: Take care of your luggage, always have your valuables with you.
- Luggage: We recommend to take a backpack instead of a trolley. It’s much easier to travel around.
- Party: If you like to party you should visit Phuket. But also Loh Dalum Bay at Koh Phi Phi is well known for its nightlife.
- Krabi: Avoid Ao Nang – you will find the most beautiful beach at Railay!
- Transport: There are lots of agencies selling bus tickets, ferry tickets, excursions and hotel rooms. Some of them can be a bit pushing, so before you book compare the prices and try to negotiate! Here you can book tickets in advanced.
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