In addition to Tham Morakot, a boat trip around Ko Muk presents some excellent snorkeling and beach-lounging opportunities.
Good visibility and an array of marine life can be enjoyed off Ko Kradan’s South Reef and around the islets of Ko Chueak, Ko Waen and Ko Maa off the coast of Ko Ngai. Colourful coral is also found around Tham Yai (“Big Cave”) on Muk’s northwest coast. Both Kradan and Ngai also boast better beaches than Muk. Those looking for more of an adventure might make the 90-minute one-way cruise to Ko Rok for its pristine coral-sand beach and exceptional seascapes.
Generally speaking, boat trips arranged on Ko Muk will be private and undertaken by longtail—you won’t find the big speedboat tours of Ko Lanta here. To save money, ask around at the travel shops and resorts to see if anyone wants to join you, especially if you’re interested in a longer trip. Staff will often let you know if another group is seeking extra passengers for a trip in the near future.
Prices are for the boat, not per person, and they go up slightly for more than four people. Lunch is usually not included, but most boats have a supply of drinking water, snorkels and masks for free. Longer tours will stop at a neighbouring island for lunch, or you could pack one ahead of time.
Most trips include Tham Morakot as the first stop. Expect to pay around 1,200 baht for a three- to four-hour jaunt that might also include Sabai Beach and Big Cave, or Ko Kradan. A five- to six-hour excursion might incorporate several of the snorkeling sites around Ko Ngai, as well as a stop on Ngai itself, for 2,500 baht. Expect to pay 3,500 to 4,000 baht for a full-day trip to Ko Rok.
All of these sites are covered by either the Hat Chao Mai or Koh Lanta national marine parks, meaning you might have to shell out 100 to 400 baht per person for tickets if the respective park officials stop you. We avoided the Hat Chao Mai fee by hitting Tham Morakot in the morning, but the rangers from Koh Lanta showed up in a boat to request 200 baht before we could snorkel off Ko Maa. The fee for Ko Rok is a steep 400 baht per person (even though it’s also part of Koh Lanta National Park), which can usually be avoided by not setting foot on the beach. Otherwise your boat guide may be able to negotiate it down to 200 baht.
Reputable outfits offering good-value boat trips include Dugong Family Travel based at Mayow Thai Kitchen and Mong Bar on Haad Farang; Coco Lodge and Mr Yong Tour near the pier on Ao Kham; and Garden Beach Resort on Ao Kuan.
By David Luekens.
Last updated on 16th March, 2017.
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