Yes it can be done independently
Published/Last edited or updated: 16th October, 2018
The most popular spot for kayaking in Krabi province, Ao Tha Len (also spelt Thalane) is a small bay that puts you within easy paddling distance of a network of canals meandering amid mangroves, sea caves and vertical limestone cliffs. Most visit as part of a tour from Ao Nang or Krabi town, but those who are comfortable on a motorbike can do it all independently.
Kayaks can be rented for 500 baht per day from Krabi Sea Kayak and a few other places stretching along the southern coastline. If you’re nervous about going it alone, these outfits can also provide guides. From here you’ll need to cross a fairly wide estuary before paddling inland to reach the caves, cliffs and lagoons. It’s necessary to arrive on a rising tide; kayaking across the estuary becomes next to impossible when the tide goes out.
If you feel like sticking around, Ao Tha Len has a handful of decent accommodation options, including the backpacker-friendly Bananas Bungalows and more comfortable Krabi Discovery Resort, which has air-con rooms for around 1,000 baht and rents out its own kayaks.
Though Tha Len is only around 15 kilometres north of Ao Nang as the crow flies, the impenetrable cliffs and waterways that stretch for a long distance inland mean that you have to go fairly far to the north then cut back south on a remote road.
Expect to pay around 1,000 baht per person if going with a tour, which will include lunch and pick up at your hotel and can be booked at any travel office in Krabi town or Ao Nang. Check out Than Bok Khorani National Park if you’re interested in other kayaking options.
Tha Len is around 30 km north of Krabi town, a bit less from Ao Nang. If going on your own from Krabi town or Ao Nang, take Route 4034 north, briefly bearing right onto Route 1003 and then hanging a left onto Krabi highway 2007, which runs over to the coast before cutting south to Ao Tha Len. Look for signs to Krabi Sea Kayak and Krabi Discovery Resort. You can also take Phet Kasem Road (Highway 4) and cut west to Tha Len, but this is a major trucking route and 4034 is a more pleasant drive. If not going with a tour or your own vehicle, head to Krabi bus station to catch one of the songthaews that we were told depart roughly every two hours from 09:00 to 15:00. Expect to pay around 1,200 baht one way for a private taxi from Krabi town.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
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