Do you want to know all about Thailand’s secret islands? Go beyond Phuket, krabi and Samui? You have come to the right place! Know all about these untouched islands that Lonely Planet predicts as the next best thing in the country.
This blog was born out of my love for travelling and writing. This post is not sponsored in any way. All opinions and recommendations are our own.
Now lets begin this journey!
Picturesque. Pristine. Perfect.
There are no dearth of adjectives to describe this little group of islands that lie to the south of Koh Lanta. Covered in jungles and lined with pure white sandy beaches, this is the tropical paradise you have dreamed of. These undiscovered islands are the real deal offering isolation and tranquility. Perfect for a tropical escape!
THE TRANG ISLANDS TRAVEL GUIDE
The Trang islands include
- Koh Ngai: the most beautiful and family friendly of these and prime honeymoon territory. Mountainous and covered by a tropical forest, with beautiful sand beaches and coconut plantations. Also offers the largest number of accommodation options.
- Koh Kradan: offers dreamy beaches but limited accommodation. Can also can get crowded with Thai tourists during holidays like Songkran/New Years.
- Koh Mook: Beautiful beaches along with it’s main attraction the Emerald Cave. Has fewer resorts but some interesting ones. Also home to a fishing village, the only permanent community on the three islands.
Apart from these, there are a few smaller islets, Koh Ma and Koh Cheuk.
ALL THE ESSENTIALS
- From Koh Lanta: Ferries are available to all the main islands. Inter island ferries are also available.Check out the Ferry Schedules here.
- From Krabi: Bus/minivan/taxi from Krabi province (2 hours) to Trang. From Trang take a taxi/minivan to Pak Meng. Then take a boat/longtail charter to Koh Ngai (1 hour) Check out this Reputed Taxi service if you want to travel by road.
- By Air: Airport at Trang (5 kms outside town). Daily flights from Bangkok via Air Asia and Nok Air.
These islands are part of Hat Chao Mai National Park and the park fees are 400 THB/adult and 200 THB/child. You may be asked to pay the fees at any of the islands. Sometimes nobody collects the fees. We didn’t have to pay the park fees as no one was there to collect.
FLASHPACKER TIP: Make one island your base and island hop using ferries/longtail boats.s
LONGTAIL BOAT VERSUS SPEED BOAT:
All our day tours in Thailand, including this one were done via private longtail boat tours. Speedboats are fast, but for me the ability to enjoy these spots at our leisure, with our own custom made itineraries and the flexibility to decide on the sightseeing trumps speed any day. Not to mention, having the boat to ourselves!
Its highly expensive chartering a private speed boat so your only option will be doing a group speed boat tour. The pros: a proper guide to help you snorkel and less language issues. The Cons: big tour groups and having no say in the itinerary.
In almost all our tours, we avoided crowds simply by starting early and being flexible in our itinerary which we could do as we had the boat to ourselves. Hiring a private longtail can be a bit more expensive but it’s totally worth the extra money. I believe in saving money on flights and accommodation so that I can spend it on actual experiences. This was totally worth it. All those dreamy peaceful boat rides!
For a group of friends a private longtail will cost almost the same as an individual speedboat spot when you share the costs. So choose wisely.
OUR DAY TRIP TO THE TRANG ISLANDS
We had time to make only one full day trip from Lanta and we were torn between Koh Rok and these islands. In the end, we chose to visit the Trang islands and could not have been happier with our decision!
We booked a private longtail tour through Easy Day Thailand a reputed local travel company and our experience with them was excellent. The tour was very reasonably priced. You can hire local longtail boats at Koh Lanta itself and negotiate cheaper prices. Since our trip was right during New years, we did not want to risk unavailability of boats.
Our first stop was at Koh Mook with its beautiful limestone caves. The biggest attraction here is Tham Morakot (Emerald Cave). The entrance of this cave is revealed only during low tide. You have to swim through a dark tunnel to reach a small white sand beach surrounded by limestone walls. Very much an adventure!
FUN FACT: Legend has it that this hidden beach was used by pirates to hide their treasure!
We next passed by Koh Cheuk and Koh Ma, the 2 small karst islets with snorkeling sites.
Our final stop was Koh Ngai. From the boat, it literally looked like some long lost forgotten island. I am not kidding! The beach is beautiful with calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming. To our delight, it was almost empty except for a few travelers. We spent a long time frolicking in those waters, lying on the sand and having a blast!
Our boatman had brought lunch for us and we gobbled up the delicious Thai red chicken curry, eggs and stir fried vegetables with generous amounts of rice. From there, we left for Lanta and the return journey took around an hour.
It was the perfect day trip for us though I wished we could have stayed there a couple days. I am going back for sure to spend a week in this island paradise. Sometime, Someday…
We had a lot of fun on our day trip to the Trang islands. We hope this Trang islands travel guide can inspire to visit these pretty little islands some day.
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WELCOME TO TWO FLASHPACKERS
Full time Doctors, part time travelers : We are Two Flashpackers out to explore all we can in the little time we have ! We travel independently, without resorting to tour packages as we feel this is the best way to truly explore a place. Our blog focuses on short term travel and how to make the most of your vacation days. All our articles, posts,itineraries and guides are written to inspire you to travel and explore places on your own while balancing your job and family commitments. Happy Travelling ♥