The traditional Thai long tail boat moored up on the beach and the captain beckoned us to climb aboard. Wading out through the warm sea, I did my best to hold my camera bag high above the water. We were embarking on an adventure to see the island jewel ‘Koh Hong’.
Welcome to Hong Island, a hidden gem nestled in the turquoise waters of Thailand. With its breathtaking beauty and untouched landscapes, this island offers a truly enchanting experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers. With its lush tropical forests, pristine white sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters teeming with vibrant marine life, Hong Island is a paradise that seems straight out of a postcard.
What sets Hong Island apart from other destinations in Thailand is its untouched and secluded ambiance. Unlike the crowded tourist hotspots, this island remains relatively unspoiled, providing a sense of tranquility and serenity. The dramatic limestone cliffs that surround the island create a mesmerizing backdrop, adding a touch of grandeur to the already stunning vistas.
One of the unique features of Hong Island is its hidden lagoon, known as the “Hong Lagoon.” Accessible only during low tide, this secret spot is a true marvel of nature. Imagine kayaking through a narrow passage, surrounded by towering cliffs, to discover a hidden emerald lagoon. It’s an experience that will leave you in awe of Mother Nature’s creations.
Snorkeling enthusiasts will be mesmerized by the vibrant underwater world of Hong Island. The crystal-clear waters offer excellent visibility, allowing you to discover an array of colorful coral reefs and exotic marine species. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or just starting your snorkeling journey, Hong Island’s underwater paradise will leave you captivated.
In addition to its natural beauty, Hong Island also offers plenty of activities for adventure seekers. From exploring hidden caves and hiking through lush trails to indulging in beach picnics and enjoying sunset boat rides, there’s something for everyone on this tropical island.
We could not wait to experience this paradise and explore.
Getting to Hong Island
There are several transportation options to reach Hong Island:
We took the long-tail boat option. Long-tail boats are the most common and convenient way to reach Hong Island. They can be hired from Ao Nang or other nearby beaches in Krabi. The boat ride takes around 20-30 minutes and offers beautiful views of the Andaman Sea.
Speedboats are faster and more expensive than long-tail boats, but they provide a quicker way to reach Hong Island. Speedboat tours are available from various tour operators in Krabi and usually include other nearby islands as well.
Another unique way to reach Hong Island is by kayaking. You can rent a kayak from Ao Nang or hire a guided tour, allowing you to explore the stunning coastline at your own pace.
If you prefer a more personalized experience, you can hire a private charter boat to take you directly to Hong Island. This option offers flexibility in terms of departure time and itinerary.
Remember to check the weather conditions and availability of services before planning your trip to Hong Island.
Exploring the Island
We were entering Tharn Bok Khorani National Marine Park; and as the Hong Islands have National Park status they are all protected from development. There are no hotels, all visitors must pay an entry fee to the Marine Park; and the islands are only accessibly by boat.
The water was so crystal clear that the white sand was clearly visible deep below the surface. Shoals of fish greeted us as we walked along the jetty towards the white powdery beach.
As we stepped on the beach and felt the soft, silky sand warming our feet; we realised that we were the first to arrive. There were no other footprints! We were the only people on this paradise island for a full ten minutes before other visitor boats began to arrive.
We snorkelled in the cove, walked along the beach and had the most memorable time. It was just beautiful, with the boughs of trees touching the lapping waves. The leafy tree canopy provided much-welcome shade from the sun.
I thought I saw lumps of sea sponge on the rocks, but on closer inspection they turned out to be pieces of polystyrene. I picked them up and took them back on the boat with us. But the island really was remarkably unspoilt, considering the number of visitors who arrive each year.
As we headed along the beach, the waves lapping at our feet, I noticed the paradise island cliché… there were coconuts washing up on the white sand. Perfect!
The Secret Lagoon Of Hong Island
The Secret Lagoon on Hong Island is a hidden gem nestled away on Hong island. This secluded spot offers crystal-clear waters, stunning limestone cliffs, and a peaceful atmosphere. It’s a must-visit destination when you are on the island or in the area.
A cavern that can only be entered when the sea is above a certain level. This is what inspired the island’s name as Hong in Thai means ‘room’ or ‘cavern’. Small boats only can enter this concealed lagoon through the narrow gap in the rocky cliffs.
Once inside, we were able to slowly explore this magical lagoon. It was almost totally sheltered from the sea outside and the water was incredibly calm. We quietly circled the lagoon, slowly cruising past the colourful limestone rock faces. Some of the chunky stalactites were enormous!
At the far end of the lagoon, we drifted past a well-established mangrove forest, thriving in this sheltered location. The distinctive root system was poking out of the water; holding the little trees above the water line on woody stilts.
We were travelling by traditional Thai long boat, but we had been joined in the lagoon by other tourist groups travelling on motor boats. I wasn’t sure if one of the boats would actually fit through the small gap in the rock on the way out as it looked like the tide was rising.
Then, reluctantly we left the island behind us and headed back for the Thailand mainland. The images of Hong Island’s beautiful beaches and lagoon will stay with us forever.
Best Time to Visit Hong Island
The best time to visit Hong Island is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it perfect for outdoor activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.
The peak season in Hong Island is from December to February when the weather is at its best, but it can also be the busiest time with higher tourist numbers. If you prefer fewer crowds, it’s advisable to visit during the shoulder seasons of November and April when the weather is still good, and the crowds are relatively smaller.
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