also known as Koh Hong or Koh Lao Bileh, Belonging to the National Marine Park, the four superb islands of the Koh Hong group can be reached within twenty minutes from Ao Nang by speedboat, or 45 mins by longtail. Set against the spectacular backdrop of Phang Nga Bay, with its countless rocky outcrops, the islands are rightly considered to be among the most beautiful in Krabi province.
The main island, Koh Hong is uninhabited, except for the birds, white-faced gibbons and giant monitor lizards that can be often spotted on the main white sand beach (at quiet times, at least). Its interior is home to a large lagoon (the “chamber” to which its Thai name “Hong” refers). This is best accessed at low tide by kayak, as the diminishing water level makes its colour change drastically from a deep emerald green to a clear turquoise; motor boats (either longtail or speedboats) will go around mid-tide. The entrance to the lagoon is through a dramatic cliff passage that should be photographed on your way out.
Koh Lahding is another beautiful island with a sheltered cove where there is a birds’ nest collectors’ camp; further north, both Koh Pakbia and Koh Rai have impressive sandbars revealed at low tide. Tours will include at least two pretty decent snorkeling stops: the first (or last) at Koh Daeng, a rock island on the way to (or from) Koh Hong, and the second in Lahding Bay.
Itinerary order varies throughout the month, so that the lagoon can be entered before low tide (or at low tide if going by kayak) and will include a picnic lunch on the main island of Koh Hong, where basic toilet facilities are available.
Kayaks, if you choose this option, are carried with you on the boat from Ao Nang. This is our recommended way to see the islands if you are reasonably fit – approximately one hour’s paddle is involved around the coastline.