Island tours from Krabi on the Andaman Sea, of course, you want to do this when you get to Thailand! See all the famous beaches where the whole world flocks to take a selfie. The beaches of Phi Phi Islands with waters of an unreal color, or the beach of Maya Bay with its so fine sand.

But how do you get to them? There are so many options: organized tours, long tail boats, there is even a ferry. But where do you get each one? How much does it cost? What is the most effective option? What is the quietest option? I was tormented by these doubts before we left for Thailand, I found only partial information on the net, and we had to see on the spot what and how.

So I thought I'd summarize in this article all the ways to get around the Andaman Sea from Ao Nang to help you get better organized (I hope!). I'm going to tell you about long tail boat trips and how they work, organized speed boat trips (which I don't really recommend, I had a very bad experience...), and ferry transportation.

All options depart from Ao Nang, we had accommodation in the Ao Nang area and tested these. Of course, there are also excursions from Railay Beach, and probably from other beaches in Krabi, not to mention Phuket. But I will exclusively tell you about our experience and how to organize your island tours from Ao Nang.

Organized speedboat excursions

speedboat thailand

There are group trips (about 10 people) by motor boat, with stops on several islands, at points of interest.

You will find them at every stall in Ao Nang every two meters. You have to buy them at least the night before, tell them the hotel you are staying at, and they offer you door-to-door service, they come to pick you up from the hotel in the morning and drop you off at the hotel at the end of the day. You also have a meal included in the price and water and fruit on board. Plus snorkeling equipment if a stopover is provided on the trip.

The trip includes stops at all the main points, for example, for the trip to Phi Phi Islands that we were on, stops are provided at Maya Bay, Bamboo Island, Monkey Island, and Viking Cave. You are picked up from the hotel between 8:00 and 8:30, at 9:00 is the departure by boat, and at 4:00 p.m. it goes back (because most of the islands are part of national parks, which close at 4:00 p.m.). Sounds ideal, right?

Our experience

Well, in reality, you'll feel like you're on an assembly line in a factory. You will go in a boat with 40 people, you will be a bit cramped, you will wait at the hotel for even an hour in the lobby because you do not know exactly what time the minibus will arrive at you, the boat will leave at 10:00 because the organization takes time. At least that's what happened to us.

In addition, each stop will be fast forward, at some points they won't even stop because there won't be time (at Monkey Island and Viking Cave they just turned the boat around so we could take pictures, they didn't stop), and lunch will be a poor Swedish buffet with food poisoning doubts (I didn't suffer anything, but the food didn't look extraordinary..).

Plus, if you're seasick or motion sick, prepare to get sick on the speedboat. I think if you stay at the front it's the worst, we stayed there on the first part of the route and I got really sick. Fortunately, I told the guide who was with us and he gave me a divine pill, so I had no more problems the rest of the day. But others were constantly throwing up around me, no joke. Best to take pills to keep with you if you know you have problems.

How much does it cost?

You will see some pretty high prices in the leaflets, but you must know that they are negotiable. Negotiable, that is, you can get a price for less than half of the amount they initially offer you. For example in the leaflet below the trip to Phi Phi is 2000 thb per person (€57), or in another leaflet, it is 2800 thb. We took the trip for 800 thb per person (€23). Negotiate with them no matter what, and if the price doesn't suit you, go to the next stall. I understand that below 800thb I can't leave them, so that would be the minimum price.

  • Hong Islands – 2400 thb / 1800 thb
  • 4 Islands – 2100 thb / 1600 thb
  • Similan Day Trip – 3800 thb

Organized longtail boat excursions

longtail boat thailand

You can opt for the same trips by longtail boat instead of a speedboat. We haven't tried them, but they work on the same principle, only the boats are smaller, about 20 people, and slower, so the transfer between the islands will take a little longer. The prices are in the flyers above:

  • Hong Islands – 1800 thb / 1200 thb
  • 4 Islands – 1600 thb / 800 thb

At the two ends of the beach in Ao Nang (here on Google Maps) are two kiosks that say Ao Nang Longtail Boat Service Club. This is where you need to get tickets for all services offered by longtail boats (apart from the organized tours I mentioned earlier). They are all described on the following posters, but I will explain them to you one at a time.

Transportation by longtail boat to local beaches

thailand beach boat

Longtail boats run back and forth between Ao Nang and Railay Beach, Phra Nang or Tonsai Beach all day between 8 am and 6 pm. A one-way trip costs 100 thb per person (€2.5). There are also evening runs between 18:00 and 24:00 and cost 150 thb per person (€4).

How it works

You have to buy a ticket (necessarily a return ticket if you want to return) from the kiosks I told you about. The tickets have no time on them, and you can use them like bus tickets, whenever you need (but between the specified times).

We bought a return ticket, went to the beach to one of the boatmen, told him we wanted to go to Railay and he got us on the boat, where there were already a few people. Stopped first at Tonsai Beach and then at Railay West. From Railay, we walked to Phra Nang and took a boat back to Ao Nang from there.

I keep hearing that you can go directly to the boatmen and negotiate with them. In Ao Nang we couldn't do that, everyone told us to go get tickets from the kiosk. I don't know if things are more regulated in Ao Nang, and you can do that on other beaches, or if in December when it's the high season they prefer to do things by the book, but there was no room for negotiation.

Private longtail boat tour

private boat thailand

Private longtail boat tours are the most expensive option, but in my opinion also the best. Costs are per boat, so if you're vacationing with several friends it may still be more affordable than the other options. See the prices on the poster below.

Some examples:

  • 4 islands tour (Phra Nang Cave, Chicken Island, Poda, Tub) – 2400 thb (€57)
  • Hong Island – 2400 thb (€65)
  • Hong Islands – 3100 thb (€78)
  • Bamboo Island – 3700 thb (€98)

How it works

You buy a ticket from the kiosk and take it to the boatman. He will walk you around all the points on the tour and you can decide how long to stay at each place. But most tours end at 4:00 PM, when the national parks close. That means at 16:00 you have to start back.

We really wanted to go to the Hong Islands. The difference between Hong Island and Hong Islands tours on the list is that Hong Island includes Hong Island and Hong Lagoon, and Hong Islands has stops at two more islands, Phak Bia and La Ding. But a private tour to Hong Islands costs 3000 thb / 80€ (for both, the cost is per boat).


ferry boat thhailand

The ferry doesn't have many destinations and doesn't go to the small islands, but it's a pretty good option to get to Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, or from Krabi to Phuket. The ferry takes you from Nopparat Thara Pier (Google Maps link).

For example from Ao Nang you can take the ferry to Phi Phi, which will drop you on Phi Phi Don (the bigger island) at Ao Tonsai Pier. It leaves at 9:30, takes 2 hours, and costs 450 thb per person (€12.9). You can come back the same day if you want, as there is a ferry from Phi Phi to Ao Nang at 15:30, but you don't have time to do much on the island in 4 hours, so your best bet would be to spend at least one night on Phi Phi and return by ferry on another day.

From Ao Nang, you can also get to Phuket for 700 thb per person (€20). We used this option to go to Phuket, as we had a return flight from there. The ferry will drop you off at Rassada Pier.

Speedboats also depart from Nopparat Thara Pier on several routes between Ao Nang, Koh Yao, and Phuket. We still preferred to take the ferry to Phuket as it was cheaper (700 thb compared to 1200 thb for the speedboat). But it's good to know that you also have this option.

How it works

We bought our ferry tickets from the stalls in Ao Nang. I already knew the cost of 700thb which is not negotiable. The services are door-to-door, they picked us up from our hotel in Krabi and dropped us off at our hotel in Phuket, which was very convenient.

Excursions from Phi Phi Island

phi phi island thailand

If you stay a few days on Phi Phi you can buy your excursions directly there. We didn't stay, but we saw some posters with the prices of the excursions, I leave them below. I didn't ask, but the prices are definitely per boat.

  • Maya Bay – 1500 thb (€43)
  • Bamboo Island – 2500 thb (€72)

Or you could even opt for an overnight tour to Maya Bay, you will have the opportunity to see the almost empty beach.

National Park Fees in Thailand

Keep in mind that in addition to the excursion costs, you also have to pay the national park fees. I think the fee is per day, if you go to Maya Bay and Bamboo Island on the same day, which is part of the same national park, you only pay the fee once.

  • Hong Island – THB 300 per person (€8)
  • Phi Phi (Maya Bay) and Bamboo Island – 400 thb per person (€10)
  • Poda, Tub and Chicken Island – 400 thb per person (€10)

Other trips to the islands of Krabi

krabi islands thailand

I have presented you with the main island tours in Krabi in the article, but you can definitely get to other islands, and the tour stalls in Ao Nang can definitely help you. Even if there isn't necessarily a classic tour for what you want, they have a solution, it's just that it will probably cost you more. Don't forget to negotiate with them.

What tours to choose

I would definitely recommend going to Phi Phi, even if it's very crowded you must see the beaches there, especially Maya Bay, it's absolutely gorgeous! The ideal is to take the ferry to Phi Phi, stay at least one night, and take your excursions from there.

If you don't have time for that, then take a speedboat trip. As I told you, it's not a great experience, but you have to see the beaches and waters of Phi Phi, go snorkeling and see the exotic fish!

Then I would recommend Hong Islands, with stops at Hong lagoon, Phak Bia and La Ding, this tour is absolutely gorgeous! The next most popular tour is the 4 Islands Tour, but among the 4 islands, from what I saw in the pictures, I liked Poda the most. What do you think, if you have the time it is worth seeing as many as possible. And James Bond Island is a sought-after trip, but it's a bit far from Krabi, I think it's easier to see it from Phuket.

And Similan is another story, more and more friends have been there and recommend Similan, it's a gorgeous island, with some incredible waters. You have the option to do a day tour or stay there overnight.

Enjoy your holiday on the islands of Krabi!

I hope I have helped you with the information about the tours you can do to the islands of Krabi from Ao Nang. As I said, it would have helped me to know all these details before I left for Thailand. If I think about it, we would have organized the 4 days we spent in Krabi more or less the same, but we would have done it knowingly, we would have known exactly how much it would cost us, and we wouldn't have been confused resort after tickets for longtail boats.

I'm actually wrong. If I had known how bad the speedboat trip to Phi Phi Island could be, I would have chosen to go and stay a night there, so we could see everything in peace.

I hope you have wonderful experiences in Thailand and enjoy its fabulous beaches to the fullest!