You must add the 4 island Sunset BBQ tour in your itinerary when visiting Krabi! Barring a few exception, most of the full and half day tour in Ao Nang begin early morning. Even if you are taking the first flight to the closest airport at Krabi from Bangkok or taking a ferry from Phuket to Ao Nang, you will miss out on most of the tours for that day.
We were taking the first ferry out from Phuket to Ao Nang and were scheduled to check into our hotel by 12. Since we did not want to lose out on the limited time at hand in Ao Nang, we searched for possible options and found that Krabi 4 Island Sunset BBQ tour by Longtail boat was the best bet we had. Since the tour pick up from our hotel was around 12:45 p.m., minutes after scheduled arrival at Ao Nang, we wanted to ensure that we don’t end up booking and then missing the tour. Hence we mailed the team at KrabiTrek much in advance and they were extremely helpful in understanding the situation and advised to stay in touch with the tour operator Khun Da once we reach Ao Nang so that we dont miss the 4 island sunset bbq tour.
Our ferry was delayed by 30 minutes but Khun Da confirmed that they would still arrange a pick up for us by 1:15 p.m. We had just enough time to check into our room, change and immediately rush to the pickup point to enjoy our 4 island sunset bbq tour. At the departure point, we discovered that ours was a small group of 8 adults and 2 children which meant that we had enough space on the longtail boat. As luck would have it, we were soon upgraded to a speedboat as they planned to combine the passengers in two tail boats. Our first stop on the 4 island sunset bbq tour for approx. 30 mins was Poda Island. We got off with our snorkeling equipment but there were less fishes and more of broken corel and sharp stones near the coastal area. As an alternative, we took a walk along the beach and then just relaxed ourselves for the journey ahead.
Our next island on the checklist was Chicken Island. No points for guessing why it was called so. A rock naturally carved into a form giving an impression of a skinny chicken. Honestly it looked more like camel with a humpback resting on the ground. The speedboat was anchored a little far from the island for snorkeling. Only when we jumped into the water, did we realize that it was quite deep and almost felt like open water snorkeling. Experiencing strong currents, the sea bed level rose steeply as we swam closer to the island. It was definitely quite an exhaustive experience and a little scary too for someone who doesn’t do this regularly. Some members of the non-snorkeling gang on the deck were throwing pieces of bread into the water to attract fishes. But who would have imagined that this would also attract 3 large jelly fishes as well in the same area where everyone was snorkeling. Almost everyone panicked and rushed to the deck and that was the end of it. The guide also agreed that it wasn’t the best place to snorkel, but also sighting a jelly fish in that area was unusual.
By now it was almost late evening and we were headed for the final destination of our 2 island sunset bbq tour with a delicious barbeque preparation awaiting at Tup Island. It is a small island with white sand and blue crystal clear water around. Tup Island is connected to another small island (Thale Waek) on the opposite side though narrow sand bar which sometimes is submerged in calf deep water. If you reach amongst the first few ferries to reach, it will be less crowded and you can enjoy the silent beautiful view of sun setting over the horizon while your tour guide prepares the pre-cooked grills. Our meal comprised of boiled rice, grilled chicken with seasoning and shrimps. We saw some other tour operators prepare fresh meal for their group. Also since they are carrying specific quantity, you will have to be cognizant about the extra quantity you request for. Once done with the meal, the tour operators got together and entertained us with some interesting fire acrobatics in the dark.
The only light source available on the island by the time we were heading out was the light bulb aboard the ferry. Just when we sat on the deck to enjoy the cool breeze on the way back, our speed boat engine and lights were turned off near an island. We thought there was some malfunction, but our guide briefed us about our last and most spectacular experience of the tour – witnessing phospherscent plankton underwater. For once we all thought he was kidding when he asked us to jump into the water despite it being pitch black. Soon he filled a bucket of water and splashed it on the deck and we could see what he was talking about. Even though it might scare you, but don’t think twice before jumping into the water. As we jumped in with our snorkeling gear, all we could see under the water in the abyss were glowing fireflies. The guide very aptly described the experience as one that the camera inside our memory will never forget. We reached the dock around 8 p.m. and had a cab waiting to drop us back to the hotel.
|Bioluminescent Plankton Credit: Maldives.net|
In case you are wondering which was the 4thisland? – it was Railay beach which we crossed right in the beginning and since it was crowded, we all requested the guide to skip it and utilise that time at Tup island instead.
A few things to keep in mind in order to enjoy this memorable experience:
- Check in advance with the tour operator on the availability and if it’s not too crowded, you can actually pay them when you arrive at the docking station
- Since the tour starts during the peak afternoon, it is advisable to carry your shades put lots of sunscreen on
- Things to carry – towel, sunscreen (atleast SPF 50), sunglasses, waterproof bag, snacks, swimming trunks
- The tour operator will provide you – snorkeling kit, fruits (watermelon), water bottles, food at Tup Island, pick up and drop from hotel, Insurance
Also read about our experience at Railay Beach while at Krabi.
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