Thailand Island Hopping: Krabi to Ko Lipe (Route & Tips)
Hauntingly beautiful islands, crystal clear turquoise waters and world class white powder sandy beaches: The West Coast of Thailand is an amazing travel destination and travellers and backpackers from all over 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. No matter if you are up for luxury travel or if you prefer to travel the islands on a budget – your trip will be an amazing und unforgettable experience. This article is all about an epic Thailand Island Hopping Tour from Krabi to Koh Lipe, an ultimate travel guide about visiting some of the best islands of South Thailand.
Further, at the end of the travel blog, there you will find useful tips about the best travel time, prices and how to get from one island to another.
You want to do explore the Andaman Sea but you are not sure where to go? Looking for a perfect Route in South Thailand? Here is our Thailand Island Hopping itinerary starting from Krabi to Koh Lipe:
Best Thailand Island Hopping Route
For our first stop of our itinerary we chose Krabi, one of the most beautiful provinces in Thailand. Krabi Town does not have beaches, but the night market, the nearby Tiger Cave Temple and the Emerald Pool are definitely worth a visit. Additionally, the town is a famous starting point for island hopping tours to the stunning Islands in South Thailand. If you also plan to spend a night or more in Krabi town, then you should check out the Hello House. This guest house is a small, very centrally located property just near the night market. Here you can expect simple and clean rooms for a great value.
More about Krabi: 20 Best things to do in Krabi
Although Railay Beach is not an island, but the peninsula is separated from the mainland by a deep jungle and can only be reached by long-tail boat from Krabi. So this might be the first place for you to get a real island feeling. With its limestone cliffs, the turquoise clear water and the famous Phra Nang Cave, Railay Beach is a real tropical paradise, not just for sun lovers but also for climbers. And if you walk around the peninsula. you will definitely see some monkeys too! In addition, there are many small offshore islands to explore, which you can reach by a short trip on the longtail boat (the 4 Island Tour). Resorts and bungalows are available in every price range, but due to its popularity they are quickly sold out!
Tip: The Bhu Nga Thani Resort and Spa is a really good hotel recommendation for Railay. It is located very romantic right by the sea and the modern pool area is an absolute highlight.
Koh Jum (Koh Pu)
This lovely island Koh Jum is still one of the absolute insider tips for backpacking and individual travellers. This island is located on the west coast of Thailand and it is still really tranquil, the locals are extremely hospitable, and the beaches are wonderful for swimming. If you like it very quiet and you enjoy being part of local life, then you should definitely put Koh Jum on your Thailand Island Hopping list. Here you will find still the typical beach huts and bungalows right on the sea! Quite lovely here are for example the Cocobar & Bungalow directly at the best beach location.
Here more about this beautiful island, the most beautiful beaches and the best places to stay: Koh Jum (Koh Pu): A Paradise Island Guide
The island of Koh Lanta has always been inspiring and is definitely a place we could imagine staying longer. Ko Lanta is best explored with a scooter that you can borrow at every corner of the island. Just hire a scooter and explore the island! You will find plenty of relaxing beaches to stay and enjoy some fresh coconut. Beautiful quiet beaches are everywhere along the island until reaching the end of the national park. If you are looking for a really nice resort, we recommend taking a look at the lovely and reasonably priced Lanta Casa Blanca!
Here is our ultimate Guide for Koh Lanta.
Koh Ngai (Ko Hai)
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! Backpackers can stay in a fantastic budget tent village located directly at the beach. Also you will find on this island some luxury hotels with pool. Really recommended here is the Thanya Beach Resort, which amazes with gorgeous bungalows, pool and excellent location at the most beautiful beach on the island. This dreamy island was definitely one of our top highlights while island-hopping from Krabi to Koh Lipe!
More about the island of Koh Ngai can be found here: Koh Ngai – The Paradise Island Travel Guide
Koh Mook is an island that shouldn`t be missed on any island route through South Thailand. First of all, the island offers the most famous attraction in the region, the Emerald Cave. On the other hand, the Island has two incredibly beautiful beaches, the Sivalai Beach and Charlie Beach. If you are up for traveling luxury, you can spoil yourself at the Sivalai Beach Resort, a dream hotel at the tip of the Sivalai Beach. For Backpackers we can recommend the Mook Montra, which have a really lovely bungalows on the beach. More about Koh Mook: Koh Mook (Koh Muk) – A Guide to Paradise
What an amazing islet! Turquoise blue waters and fine white beach – for sure one of the best islands to relax on. Also those who like to snorkel will be more than happy on Koh Kradan. At the offshore reef you have the opportunity to explore a colourful underwater world. Koh Kradan has only a handful accommodations, which are recommended to be reserved in advance. Especially recommended is the fantastic The Reef Resort, which has a house reef for snorkeling! If you do not that have much time, you can visit Koh Kradan with a trip by longtail boat from the neighbouring islands of Koh Mook or Koh Ngai.
More about this beautiful island can be found here: Koh Kradan – A Travel Guide to Paradise!
With a postcard idyll at its best, Koh Bulon is probably one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand and was also an absolute highlight on our island-hopping route. This island is an absolute insider tip! Many miss this paradise on their way to Koh Lipe. Too bad, they have missed something special. 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 favourite 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 stop on our island-hopping route is the famous island of Koh Lipe. The island has beautiful white sandy beaches and intact coral reefs, which attracts tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world each year. Despite the tourist crowds, you should definitely see this island gem once. Especially if you love diving and snorkelling you get your money’s worth! From there you can amazing snorkelling trips to visit colourful coral reefs, clown fish und huge morays. Koh Lipe was our last stop of our Thailand Island hopping trip – from there you can continue your journey to Malaysia – Langkawi. But it’s also possible to return by speedboat to Pak Bara Pier (Satun) on the mainland and then by minibus to Krabi. More about Koh Lipe you will find here: Koh Lipe – Ultimate Thailand Island Experience
Tip: A unique stay guarantees the Ten Moons Lipe Resort, which is a really popular place to stay and therefore often fully booked.
Best travel time for Island Hopping in Thailand
The best travel time for island hopping at the west coast of southern Thailand is from November to mid-April. During this time, the rainy season should be over, but it can rain occasionally from time to time. In the rainy season, like in Mai, July, August and September you have to expect limited ferry connections and lots of hotels and restaurants will be closed! On the other hand, you will find some amazingly cheap hotel deals.
Tip: More about the best travel times in SEA check out here – best time to travel to Southeast Asia.
How to get from one island to the other
On each of the island described above you will find hotels and agencies that will be more than happy to organize your onward transport. If you want to organize your transport ticket in advanced you should use 12go.asia. You usually travel between the islands by speed boat, ferry or longtail boat. Comparing the prices before booking is always a good idea, because there are a variety of providers and variants.
Thailand Island Hopping Tips:
Duration: For a complete tour we suggested to plan at least 3 weeks, better even 4 weeks’ time. If you only have 2 weeks for island hopping, then just think about which island in the south of Thailand you really want to see and skip some other islands. For one week of island hopping we would suggest visiting the islands Koh Mook, Koh Ngai and Koh Kradan.
Cost: Prices for Island Hopping can be very various depending if you are traveling on a budget or if you prefer luxury travel. Plan for your trip as a backpacker a budget with a minimum of 30 euros per day. Of course, for luxury also in Thailand there are no price limits. Generally, the food in Thailand is quite cheap. For local dishes such as Phat Thai, Green Curry or Fried Rice you can count on about 1.00-3.00 Euro per dish. Simple beach huts are available from around 500 baht.
Where to stay: Generally, you will find on each island mentioned above a selection of different accommodation in every price range. The prices vary depending on the season and you often get cheap bargains in the low season. Higher prices will be charged around Christmas time and holidays. Best to compare the hotel ratings and rates on booking.com.
Rent scooters : Exploring an island by scooter is an fantastic way to see all of the amazing beaches and small villages. We did that on Koh Lanta and Koh Jum and it was a great adventure.
Find the Best Accommodation in South Thailand:
Read more about Thailands Paradise Islands:
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