Photo: Have longtail, can explore.

Day trip to Ko Poda, Ko Gai and Talay Waek

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Silvery water rippled from the direction of the rising sun. To the west, a longtail boat hummed over calm cobalt blue. We stood at the centre of this Talay Waek, or “Separated Sea,” on the narrow sandbar that connects Ko Gai to a pair of islets. Nearby stood the towering cliffs of Ko Poda, its bright white sand gleaming in the morning light. “Good thing we got an early start.”





Overseen by the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Ko Poda and Ko Gai (aka Ko Dam Kwan) are the largest of several small islands that can be easily spotted off the shores of Ao Nang and Railay. Most travellers visit as part of the popular “Four Islands tour”, Gai’s neighbouring twin islets, Ko Tub and Ko Mo, being the other two. We recommend a private boat trip instead.

It pays to get up early. Photo taken in or around Day trip to Ko Poda, Ko Gai and Talay Waek, Ao Nang, Thailand by David Luekens.

It pays to get up early. Photo: David Luekens

Our boatman stood ready just before 07:00, and he didn’t waste any time. The sturdy wooden longtail skipped west, nudging its brightly decorated nose up to the sandbar before anyone else had arrived. It’s true that Krabi’s islands get crowded. But at this moment, the many tour boats were out of sight and mind. Nothing but pure, pristine beauty.

We strolled slowly over the sandbar, turning often to soak up the marvellous views from all directions. Every few feet we stopped to snap photos, futile attempts to capture the experience. Clean air filled the lungs. The sound of lapping water ever so gentle in our ears. Peace interrupted only by a nagging desire to make the moment last.

Cockadoodledoo. Photo taken in or around Day trip to Ko Poda, Ko Gai and Talay Waek, Ao Nang, Thailand by David Luekens.

Cockadoodledoo. Photo: David Luekens

By the time we made it to the modest house that overlooks Talay Waek from Ko Gai’s southern tip, another boat had arrived carrying a few Thai travellers. After our methodical stroll back across, the boatman awoke from his catnap, yanked up the anchor and shoved off with a dunk of the propeller. When we glanced back at Talay Waek an hour later, it was filled with half a dozen speedboats and many more ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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