Sea kayaking is a fun, safe and an environmentally-friendly way to discover Krabi’s coastal treasures. Paddling silently through spectacular rock formations featuring hidden caves and passages, or along a network of canyons or mangrove-lined backwaters, will be one of the highlights of your Krabi holiday.
There are a number of kayaking operators offering different packages in Krabi. The most basic option is to rent a sea kayak by the hour from the beach, which allows you to explore the coast near where you are staying, or simply get to the next deserted beach along the shore. Or, you can go on an organised day trip into more remote areas along the coast, with canyons or mangrove channels, where there is a good chance of seeing some wildlife in the form of monkeys, eagles or giant monitor lizards. This is highly recommended.
Some operators also offer kayaking tours offshore in Krabi, visiting the local islands such as Koh Hong, with its hidden lagoon at its centre. Noisy longtail boats cannot enter the lagoon at low tide, leaving the silent kayaks at leisure to explore the knee-deep expanse of turquoise water filled with tiny crabs and starfish.
This type of tour also includes some island-hopping and stops for snorkelling. All Krabi kayaking day trips include guides, who can provide valuable information about the environment and wildlife, as well as lunch and transfers from your hotel to the kayaking site by road or longtail boat. Trips typically cost about 2,000 baht (~US$60) for a full day and about half that for half a day.
You don’t have to be particularly fit in order to kayak, but there is definitely some arm-work involved. If you are worried about this, check with your tour agent before you book as some ‘full-day’ kayaking trips only involve half an hour of paddling, while others require two or three hours of solid muscle power. For the truly lazy, a guide can be hired at extra cost to paddle for you, while you sit back and take in the scenery.
The sea kayaks themselves are surf-ski models, as opposed to the white-water craft which are watertight. This makes them more stable – although you are likely to get wet, so dress appropriately. Most companies have kayaks that seat two people; three-seaters are also occasionally available and should be requested at the time of booking. A quick paddling lesson is given at the start of every tour for those with no experience, although the technique is quite easy to pick up once you are in the water. Just remember to sit up straight and not to dig too deep.
The routes always run through sheltered waters along the coast, meaning there won’t be any big waves to tip you over. Sea kayaking is also one of the few activities you can do in the rain, as well as making for cooler paddling – the mist in the canyons is truly beautiful and the chances of seeing wildlife increase dramatically.