About Hong Island
Hong Island is one of the most beautiful islands in Thailand due to its beautiful beach with fine white sand, breathtaking views, lush greenery, and crystal-clear waters.
The island is part of Phang Nga Bay and is closest to Krabi. Therefore, the best way to visit Hong Island is on a day trip from Krabi.
Besides the natural beauty, Hong Island offers a variety of activities for visitors, including kayaking, snorkeling, and swimming, making it a must-visit place in Krabi.
And the most famous location of Hong Island is its beautiful lagoon.
How to get to Hong Island
Depending on where you’re visiting Hong Island from, there are different tour options you can choose.
The most popular and easiest way to visit is on a Hong Island day trip from Krabi, as it’s the closest to the island with the biggest number of organized tours.
Best Hong Island tours from Krabi:
- Private Luxury Longtail Boat from Krabi
- Speedboat or longtail tour from Krabi (shared or private)
- Longtail sunset tour (including BBQ, Bioluminescent Plankton & night swimming)
- Sea Kayaking in Ao Thalane & Optional Full-Day Hong Island
From: Koh Yao Noi
Along with Krabi, you can go on a tour to Hong Island from Koh Yao Noi. Although there aren’t that many to choose from.
Best Hong Island tours from Koh Yao:
You can visit Hong Island from Phuket, but day trips from Phuket to Hong Island are not really a thing.
On the private boat tour from Phuket, you can also include some other islands in your trip, like Koh Tup, Koh Poda, and Chicken Island.
Best Hong Island tours from Phuket:
What types of tours are available for visiting Hong Island?
Depending on the trip you’d like, you can choose between a longtail boat or speedboat to take you to Hong Island.
If you’re taking a longtail boat from Krabi, you can choose between a simple local or a luxury one.
Half-day or full-day tour to Hong Island
You can choose between a half-day tour and a full-day tour to Hong Island, or you can go on a combo tour to Hong and the other 4 islands nearby Krabi.
The tour we took is the one with the combo option, where you can also visit the 4 islands. Click here to check the options.
We recommend a full-day trip to Hong Island as you’ll experience and enjoy the location much more. But if you’re short on time, a half-day tour or the combo tour offers everything the same, just in a bit more sped-up version.
Private trips to Hong Island
We always highly recommend booking a private boat for travelers with a bigger budget or those traveling as a group in Thailand.
A private trip to Hong Island is absolutely worth the money because it’s much more comfortable, you can customize the itinerary according to what you like, and you have a more relaxed schedule.
We went on a private luxury longtail boat trip to Hong Island from Krabi. And it was a great choice!
You can read all about our trip in our Review of the Luxury Longtail Boat Tour to Hong Island.
Should you book your Hong Island tour in advance?
We always recommend booking tours in Thailand online in advance, especially if you’re traveling in the high season.
While you can book your Hong Island tour on the spot in Krabi, booking a boat tour online has many more advantages!
You can mostly cancel free of charge up to 24 hours prior and read reviews from fellow travelers, and many tours include hotel pickup, meals, and snorkeling gear.
We booked our trip in advance, and in case the weather wasn’t good, it would be possible to reschedule it easily without any hassle.
Things to do on Hong Island
Koh Hong, or Hong Island is not a big island, so there isn’t that much to do on and around it, but there are a few things on the island that stand out.
1. Admire the beauty of Hong Lagoon
The jewel of Koh Hong Island is the Hong Lagoon which can only be reached through a narrow passageway between huge limestone cliffs.
The lagoon at Hong Island is gorgeous, and we took the opportunity to do a short swimming stop there. And during lower tide, you can see the bottom of the lagoon and spot fish swimming around.
The color of the water at Hong Island Lagoon changes depending on the tide and the weather conditions (sunny, cloudy), and the angle from which you observe it.
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2. Visit Hong Island 360 Viewpoint
The 360 viewpoint on Hong Island, built in 2020, is easily one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Thailand, with stunning 360 views of Phang Nga Islands, surrounding Krabi Islands, and Koh Hong Beach.
To get to the viewpoint of Hong Island, you need to climb 419 metal stairs. And most of the walkway is luckily in the shade.
There are actually two different viewing platforms, but the highest one is the most popular one as it offers the best view of Phang Nga Bay.
It usually takes around 20 minutes to reach the top of the Hong Island viewpoint, but it took us only about 10 minutes to reach the highest viewpoint without stopping.
However, we recommend you take it slow, as the humidity and heat can be hard to handle. And don’t forget to bring water with you!
The Hong Island viewpoint reminded us of the Ang Thong National Park viewpoint we visited in Koh Samui. However, the hike up was easier than in Ang Thong.
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3. Relax on the beach
You can relax on Koh Hong Island’s white sand beach in the small bay with beautiful turquoise water.
We were surprised at how fine the sand on the Hong Island beach was.
And there are actually two parts of the beach, separated by a large limestone formation. But the first beach you enter serves more as a jetty/pier for boats that come and for paying the entrance fee for the park.
The beach part closest to the viewpoint is the most beautiful one.
4. Go kayaking or snorkeling around Hong Island
You can also go snorkeling and kayaking at the Hong Island beach. It’s not the best snorkeling spot, but you can see some fish and a few corals.
As the bottom here is sandy, the visibility is often limited. We weren’t lucky to have good visibility during our visit, so we skipped snorkeling.
Some tours include kayaks in the price, but you can also rent one while on the island.
5. Visit Koh Lao Lading – Paradise Island
Koh Lao Lading is a small island next to Hong Island with a stunning beach, famous for the swing where everyone takes photos. And you can visit it as part of many Hong Island day trips.
The beach at Lao Lading is quite small, so just a few boats can make it crowded. But we were all alone since we visited this beach first thing in the morning. 🙂
6. Visit Koh Phakbia and Koh Rai islands
Depending on your tour, you might also stop at Koh Phakbia and Koh Rai, connected by a sandbar during low tide.
You can see a similar phenomenon at Koh Tup Island on a Krabi 5 islands sunset tour.
What is the price of a Hong Island day tour?
Depending on the tour and boat type, the price for a Hong Island day tour ranges from 35 USD to 300 USD.
National Park fees
Also, Koh Hong is a part of Than Bok Khorani National Park, so you have to pay for an entrance ticket for your visit.
OPENING HOURS AND TICKETS
The entrance fee for Hong Island is 300 baht for foreign adults and 150 baht for children and can only be paid in cash.
Hong Island is open from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
Most tours to Hong Island don’t include the national park fees in the price, and you’ll have to pay it on the spot before entering the island. So bring an appropriate amount of cash.
What to expect from a Hong Island day trip
Getting to Hong Island from Krabi takes around 50 minutes by longtail boat and about 25 minutes by speedboat.
So if you’re going on only a 4-hour trip, you don’t have that much time to enjoy all the locations.
From Phuket, it takes longer to get to Koh Hong than from Krabi, so a longer tour is preferable. However, from Koh Yao Noi or Koh Yao Yai, it only takes about 15 minutes to get there.
Facilities on Hong and nearby islands
Koh Hong, Koh Lao Lading, and Koh Phakbia all have free restrooms, and Koh Hong also has a restaurant where you can buy some food and water.
There’s also a small store with smoothies and other drinks available at Lao Lading.
And both Lao Lading and Koh Hong have a big shaded area where you can relax.
What to pack for the Hong Island day tour?
The main things you need to pack for the Hong Island day tour:
- Reef safe sunscreen
- Quick-dry Towel
- Bathing suit
- Dry clothes (use code SHIPPEDAWAY for 10% at Unbound Merino)
- Waterproof bag
- Waterproof phone pouch
- Action camera (GoPro with a waterproof case or Osmo Action)
Boats, especially speedboats, get wet, if not from water splashing inside, then from constantly going in and out of the water, especially on snorkeling trips.
Best time to visit Hong Island
The best time to visit Hong Island is between December and March, when the weather is the most stable.
The hottest months on Hong Island are mid-March to May, just before the monsoon, which has heavy rainfall and lasts from June to October.
Keep in mind that in the transitional and rainy season, the best time for exploring is in the morning when it’s less likely to rain. And for that reason, we highly recommend booking a morning trip.
Krabi’s unpredictable weather
We first visited Krabi province in January, when we had a mix of beautiful clear blue skies, clouds, and rain for almost a week. And it should have been nice then.
The second time we visited was in the first week of June when the weather was again quite mixed.
We were likely just unlucky with the weather in Krabi, but the weather is definitely unpredictable.
However, we were fortunate during our tour as we had beautiful weather for exploring Hong Island. But on the way there and back, we had rain and cloudy weather.
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Can you stay overnight on Hong Island?
It is not possible to stay overnight on Hong Island. It’s uninhabited, and without any accommodation, so only the national park rangers and restaurant employees are there during the opening hours.
Nonetheless, there are some amazing stays in Krabi.
Can you use a drone on Hong Island?
As in most Thailand national parks, flying a drone is forbidden on Hong Island. However, you’re allowed to drone in the Hong Lagoon.
Is the Hong Island day trip worth it?
The day trip to Hong Island is one of the best things you can do in Krabi and Thailand and is worth it for the fantastic 360 views from the viewpoint, the interesting lagoon, and the beautiful white sand beach.
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