Belonging to the National Marine Park, the four islands of the Koh Hong Archipelago are set against the spectacular backdrop of Phang Nga Bay with its rocky outcrops. The small group of tropical islands is considered as one of the most beautiful of Krabi Province.
The Andaman Sea is dotted with hundreds of small limestone islands, called karsts, of various sizes. making them really quite unique. The karsts have been formed over millions of years as softer rock around the limestone is eroded creating gigantic pillars of stone.
When you arrive, you will be dropped at the Hong Island artificial pier before the boats tie up. After paying the National Park Fee, it is a just a small walk down the floating pier onto the beach. If you walk a bit further along, you get to a beautiful sheltered cove with a white sandy beach called Pelay. A perfect spot to snorkel and there is always a good variety of small colorful fish. The beach is lined by trees providing plenty of shady places to sit back and marvel at the view.
The beach is protected on three sides by rock cliffs, just a narrow entrance to the open sea which makes it a perfect place for beginners snorkeling just by standing in the water to get a glimpse of the underwater world. The archipelago is about 45 minutes by longtail boat from Ao Nang or 25 minutes by speedboat. Here no one is trying to sell you anything, just a lone lifeguard stationed at a desk which is a rare thing in Southeast Asia! It truly is a little piece of paradise that is genuinely relaxing.
Koh Hong is also just a day trip rather than an overnight destination. Its National Park status thankfully means there can be no development, no resorts and certainly no private beaches on the islands.
Hong is the Thai word for ‘room’, so literally translated, it means Room Island. There is a very good reason for this as right as its center is a lagoon completely surrounded by cliffs. The entrance to the lagoon is quite narrow making the whole experience quite spectacular. The longtail and speedboats pass right into the lagoon where the water is at about waist height at low tide and perfectly calm. It is surrounded by mangroves with their incredible root systems. So once you are there you have only one mission, to kayak around to the back of the island and find your way into the ‘‘room’’ – a secret lagoon. You just have to paddle past the island’s majestic cliffs and duck through a low-hanging arch before nosing your way into the lagoon via a passageway that would be easy to miss if you weren’t looking for it.
The Islands that make up the Hong Islands are:
Hong Island Lagoon, an amazing lake with tree covered cliffs climbing up all around that you can reach by boat right into the very heart of the island.
Hong Island Bay (Pelay beach), a beautiful beach with white sand, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The bay is sheltered from the sea meaning the water is very calm and clear with good visibility for snorkeling.
Lading Island, traditionally this was a place where the locals came to collect the valuable vital ingredient for bird’s nest soup. Now, it is one of Krabi’s most amazing sights. There is a small beach but the stop there is more about the amazing rock formations and caves which you can see.
Pakbia Island is a labyrinth of caves eroded into the cliffs by the sea. There is a small but very nice beach on Pakbia. On one side of the island there is a rocky section in the beach shallows which is another great place for snorkeling and getting to see some fish. On the side with the boats parking, there is a longish beach trees with along the edge. This is also a great place to lie back and relax and ideal for kids who want to play.
Daeng Island is famous for its coral reef which, at low tide, can be seen clearly from the surface. This island is about half way between Ao Nang and Hong Islands. The island does not have a beach but as long as the waves are not too big it is a great place for snorkeling off the boat.