Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise: Best Day Trip

Looking for the best Krabi day tour? Hop aboard the Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise and explore the pristine waters around Krabi.
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Pirate ship among islands at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise


One of the must-do things while in Krabi is the 4 islands boat tour. However, we opted for something a little different and had an absolute blast! 

We went on a 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise (including night snorkel with bioluminescent plankton), which generally includes everything as a ‘regular’ 4 islands tour, but with a few extras and avoiding crowds.

Here’s our review of the 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise.

Pirate ship among islands at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

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The Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise itinerary is mostly the same throughout the season, but it can change a bit due to weather, the tide, and similar.

On this trip, you’ll visit and pass by Koh Poda, Koh Gai, Koh Si, Ko Yawasam, Koh Kai, Koh Thap, and Ta Ming islands.

Arijana Tkalcec at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Here’s what the itinerary looks like:

  • Meeting at Ao Nang or at Railay beach
  • Take the long tail boat to the junk boat
  • Meet the crew and begin the drive to the first spot
  • Snorkeling stop at Ko Ya Wa Sam
  • Pass by the famous Chicken island
  • Snorkeling stop at Chicken Island and Koh Thap 
  • Sunset and dinner at Poda Island
  • Drive back towards Railay
  • Swim with bioluminescent plankton

The tour begins in either Ao Nang around 1:15 pm or at Railay beach at 1:30 pm. After which, you hop aboard a long tail boat that takes you to the bigger junk boat anchored near Railay Beach, which will be your home for the afternoon.

Pirate ship, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise
Our junk boat!

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1. Ko Ya Wa Sam 

Our first snorkeling spot was Ko Ya Wa Sam.

Ko Ya Wa Sam is one of the best snorkeling spots in the Krabi area, and we loved it because there were lots of fish that swam around us!

Snorkeling at the Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

The waters around Koh Thap and Chicken Island, where you will be snorkeling, are also where you might see black-tip reef sharks with a bit of luck.

2. Chicken Island – Koh Kai

We only passed by the famous chicken rock at Koh Kai (Chicken island) and took photos as we stopped at the other side of the island, where the best snorkeling spot is.

Chicken Island at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Regular four islands tours in Krabi usually go a bit closer to the famous rock at Chicken island, but beyond taking a photo/video of it, there’s not much to do there.

3. Koh Thap – Koh Tub

A sandbar connects Chicken Island to Koh Thap island (Koh Tub), which you can walk to during low tide.

Koh Thap island sandbar, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

When you come on a longtail boat, you can disembark at the beach at Koh Thap and walk the sandbar.

Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

But on this tour, which is more focused on snorkeling and swimming, the ship is anchored a bit off the shore of Chicken Island, and you approach the island by swimming there toward the spot where there’s more marine life.

Nemo clownfish among corals, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Our guide spotted a black-tip reef shark here, but unfortunately, we missed it!

Insider tip: To spot black-tip reef sharks, look at the water’s surface. And try to be calm, as they get spooked easily and disappear.

The snorkeling spot between Koh Thap and Chicken Island had lots of coral but fewer fish than Ko Ya Wa Sam. It was also more shallow, so you had to be more careful.

Corals of Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise
We didn’t have the best visibility here, but it was still amazing!

4. Koh Lao Pe

Koh Lao Pe is another beautiful snorkeling spot where you can go after Koh Thap and Chicken Island, but it depends on the day and how much time you have left.

It’s located further south of Chicken Island, and we didn’t visit it on our trip.

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5. Poda Island

To finish off the afternoon, we stopped near Poda Island.

You can swim on a small private beach at Poda Island while waiting for sunset.

Secret Beach at Poda Island, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

We used our free time here to do whatever we wanted, and we mostly jumped in the water from the ship, swam, and hung out with other people. 

Our guide Michael also showed off his rock climbing skills, climbed one of the giant cliffs, and did an impressive backflip into the water.

It was quite amazing to see! Hopefully, on our next visit, we’ll also try rock climbing at Railay beach, and maybe we’ll climb that cliff one day as well. 😅

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best that day, so we didn’t have that magical Krabi sunset, but it was still amazing.

Sunset at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise
At first, the sunset looked promising.

But we loved the atmosphere as we were the only boat at that spot, which made it even better.

Right after sunset, we got served a delicious Thai buffet dinner.

And what’s great is that the dinner aboard also caters to vegetarians, so we went ahead and devoured the delicious Massaman curry and other veggie options.

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6. Swimming with bioluminescent plankton

Before finishing the fantastic day, we stopped near Phra nang Cave Beach to swim with bioluminescent plankton, which was one of the most magical experiences ever!

We had never experienced anything like this, and we absolutely loved it.

All the lights on the boat get turned off, and you jump into the deep dark sea with your snorkel mask and start waving and swinging your arms around to see the bioluminescent plankton.

While it sounds scary at first, as soon as you jump in, you’ll start seeing bright neon blue sparkles in the water and forget where you are. 😀

We spent about 10 minutes swimming and observing this nature miracle. The more you move your hands and legs, the more light you see.

Unfortunately, you need to experience this for yourself, as it’s almost impossible to catch this on camera. If you’re more experienced in photography, it’s a bit easier to catch it on the beach when the waves bring plankton onto the sand.

So here’s a photo we found of this phenomenon on the beach. It’s a bit different while you swim in the water, plus this is a long exposure photo, but you get the point.

Bioluminescent Plankton - Krabi bioluminescence

And although snorkeling during the day was the top thing to do on this trip, we loved seeing the bioluminescent plankton, which was definitely a highlight.

Note: Bioluminescent plankton can be found worldwide, but the most spectacular locations are supposedly in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and supposedly it’s also common in Ha Long Bay, but we didn’t know about this on our visit.

Conservation and sustainability

While the coral reefs around the Krabi islands aren’t the healthiest in Thailand, they are slowly improving.

Corals of Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

We love that there’s lots of effort and measures taken to protect and expand the corals, like replanting.

So, on this tour, it’s encouraged to only apply reef-safe sunscreen at least 20 minutes before getting into the water so it doesn’t wash off your body. If you don’t have one, you can borrow theirs. But we highly recommend buying it for water activities in Thailand and elsewhere.

The key ingredients you want to avoid in sunscreen are Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, which are known to be the most destructive to reefs.

Read more: Environmental effects of sunscreen (Wikipedia)

Snorkeling at the Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Important to know: If you put sunscreen right before entering the water, it can wash off completely, so you won’t be protected, and you can further damage ocean life.

You also shouldn’t throw any food into the sea. They encourage NOT to feed the fish, which is very important for corals.

And this is all very much relevant worldwide, not just in Krabi.

Nemo clownfish among corals, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

What to expect on the 5 Islands snorkeling cruise in Krabi

The relaxed schedule is the best thing about the 5 islands sunset snorkeling tour in Krabi.

Sunset aboard Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

While the tour includes two or more snorkeling spots, you can do plenty of other things if snorkeling is not your cup of tea.

The boat is equipped with paddle boards and kayaks that you can use at each spot. You can swim or simply relax on the boat.

Michael on stand up paddleboard, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

There are comfy seats for relaxing, and a big roof which you can climb up for a better view or to jump into the water. This was our favorite spot on the boat!

While there’s enough space for everyone, it can feel a bit crowded in the lower part if the group is big. For us, it was just fine.

The time spent at each spot is somewhere between 45 to 60 minutes. But, again, the schedule isn’t super strict, so the stops can be longer or shorter depending on the group and weather or sea conditions.

Arijana Tkalcec at Poda Island, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

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Who is the tour suitable for?

The 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise is suitable for everyone, from couples to families, from young and old, and everyone can have a great time.

Our group consisted of swimmers and non-swimmers as well. So if you don’t know how to swim, you get a life vest, and one of the guides can take you around snorkeling while you hold onto them.

Everyone enjoyed the tour in their own way.

We were always the last ones out of the water. Some enjoyed the view from the boat. Some had “battles” on the paddle boards, and some enjoyed kayaking.

Islands seen from the junk boat of 5 islands sunset snorkel cruise

What is the price of the tour, and what is included?

The 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise costs around 80 USD per person. But make sure to check the latest prices here.

The tour includes many snacks and fruit, a Thai buffet dinner, and soft drinks or water. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available (just let them know in advance). 

Alcohol or cocktails are available but are not included in the tour price. You pay the total extra at the end before disembarking the ship.

There’s also snorkel equipment (snorkel masks and fins), use of paddle boards, kayaks, and life vests included.

Arijana Tkalcec and Matej Span snorkeling, Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

And the best thing is, they have snorkel masks with prescription! But please send them a message in advance to ask for your specific prescription (power).

Our vision is terrible, so we usually wear daily contact lenses for these activities. But if we knew beforehand, we wouldn’t wear contact lenses!

What to pack for the tour?

The main things you need to pack for five islands sunset cruise in Krabi are: 

We have a waterproof backpack that was very useful for our island hopping trips in Thailand and kayaking or beach days. We can fit our camera and drone inside and feel safe.

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.

Most people were using waterproof phone pouches with their phones instead of action cameras, which works perfectly fine.

Corals of Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Where to stay in Krabi?

You can stay in Krabi in three main areas: Railay beach, Ao Nang, and Krabi town.

If you can, the best and most beautiful area to stay at is Railay beach. It’s also a bit more pricey, but worth it. All the tours offer pickups in Railay, and it’s easy to get to the mainland.

The second best area to stay in Krabi is the Ao Nang area, and it’s easy to get to the lovely beaches of Railay with a short boat ride.

And the most budget-friendly area to stay in is Krabi town, from where it can take up to 45 minutes to reach the beach.

What you choose depends on what you want from Krabi. The main things to do in Krabi are scattered all over, so whatever you choose, you can’t be close to everything. But if you want to be closer to the beach, don’t stay in Krabi town, it’s just too far.


Where to stay in Krabi, Thailand - Best Krabi Hotels - Best areas to stay in Krabi - Best Budget Krabi Accommodation - Best Krabi Resorts

Best Hotels & Areas to Stay in Krabi

Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

Best time to visit Krabi

The best time to visit Krabi is between December and March, when the weather is the most stable. 

The hottest months in Krabi are mid-March to May when the weather slowly worsens as the monsoon approaches.

The monsoon season with heavy rainfall in Krabi is from June to October. 

Pirate ship among islands at Krabi 5 Islands Sunset Snorkeling Cruise

However, the weather in Krabi can be really unpredictable. For example, we visited in January and had cloudy weather for almost the whole week we were there. But don’t let this stop you from visiting. 🙂


The 5 islands sunset snorkeling tour in Krabi was absolutely everything we imagined it to be. And we would happily return for another spin around the islands and hopefully find those shy sharks.

If there’s one trip that you should do while in Krabi, it’s definitely the 5 islands sunset snorkeling tour.

Let us know if you went and managed to snap a photo of the bioluminescent plankton or if you saw the sharks!

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Arijana Tkalcec and Matej Span underwater selfie, Similan Islands, Thailand
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