Something great to do
If your in Krabi, I would definitely recommend visiting the Hot Springs and Emerald Pool. However, I would suggest making your own way there rather than going with a tour.
Should you do a tour or go by yourself?
We were in two minds about what to do, as it was a last day in Krabi. Our flight wasn’t until late at night so we had the whole day to do something. Visiting the Hot Springs and Emerald Pool was are main plan and they were only about 30 mins from the airport, so we had the idea of going on the tour and then getting dropped off at the airport on the way back. This meant not having to return to Krabi for our bags and killing two birds with one stone as we wouldn’t have to pay for a airport transfer either. Looking back, we really wish we had done it on our own, but this way we can advise others not to do the same.
Mr Jungle Tour
The half day tour to the Hot Springs & Emerald Pool costs 600 baht and then we paid an extra 100 baht to drop us off at the airport. This included the mini bus there and then the entrance fee. In total, its costs us 700 baht each.
If we visited the Hot Springs & Emerald pool on our own, we worked it out to be about 500 baht each.
- 160 baht for Hot Springs.
- 200 baht for Emerald Pool.
- 200 baht to rent a scooter so 100 each. Then we added on at most, 40 baht each for Gas.
Our half day tour
Our experience on the tour wasn’t great and for whats included and the day out, I don’t think it was worth it. We booked the tour with Mr Jungle and to be honest, it wasn’t the best tour we had been on. The driver picked us up from our hotel about 830am and was quite rude from that point on. After picking everyone else up, it was a bumpy 1 hour journey to the springs but we finally arrived around 10am.
The Hot Springs
When we arrived, it definitely wasn’t what we were expecting. I think we’ll have google and instagram to blame for that. Im not sure if it was because of the time, it being a Saturday or simply just a popular tourist spot, but the whole place was rather busy. I’d say all, if not the majority of tours start in the morning and head to the Hot Springs first, so everyone was there.
We didn’t take any belongings with us, except a phone & go pro so we just left our shoes and clothes on the side and hopped in.
The hot springs are like multiple hot tubs that are carved smoothly into the rock. There are plenty of places to sit or even lie down in the water that reaches about 35-40 degrees. The water is channeled from deep rooted thermal springs located in volcanic chambers so its incredibly warm.
It’s a shame because if the spot was vacant or with just a handful of people, it would be beautiful. But the swarms of people, kind of ruin it. I suppose you can’t really help it and we are tourists ourselves I suppose visiting like everyone else. It’s just experiencing somewhere you know can be incredible that is ruined by stepping over people or cameras in your face.
We didn’t spend long as it did become far too hot, we only lasted about 30 minutes in there. However, as we were leaving, we saw the place start to empty. We realised this is all the tours like the one we were on, leaving and heading to the Emerald Pool. Therefore, if you go by yourself, try to get there late morning about 11am-11:30am and you should miss the tours and crowds of people.
The Emerald Pool
A short 15 mins drive away was the Emerald Pool. We arrived at the spot with multiple other tour vans and headed through the Entrance. There are two ways to get to the pool, one 800m and the other 1400m. We were recommended to walk the shorter route first and then the longer route on the way back. Not sure why but thats what we did.
10 minutes later, we arrived at the pool. Again, if I’m honest, a little disappointed. It was like we had arrived at the local lido back home. It was just full of people. Joe said he expected it to be busier so he wasn’t too fussed, but I really had an idea it was going to be more peaceful.
We popped out stuff on the side and with all the moss on the side, literally slid right in. In all fairness, the pool was beautiful and it really was emerald. The water was clear & warm, another one of natures finest. It was situated in the middle of a forest so the wildlife and greenery around us made it even better.
We swam around for about 30 mins, mainly taking photos and trying to capture the colour of the water. Not so easy, especially with lots of people in the background, but I suppose you can’t really help that. Then Joe started getting funny because he could feel fish around his feet which he isn’t a fan of, so we decided to get out. The moss around the pool is really slippy so even though there are some steps to get out, your better off jut grabbing onto the rope on the side and pulling yourself out.
We decided to take the longer route back which was actually really pretty. It was on a wooden bridge and took us all around the forest and over swamp like ponds. The colours were amazing and all very photographic. It took us about 20 minutes to walk back but theres so much to look at, you don’t really notice.
Was it worth it?
All in all, visiting the Hot Springs and Emerald Pool is definitely worth it, but going by yourself would make the experience so much better. It’s a bit of drive from Krabi but I don’t think you’ll regret it.
We were told by the tour company we would receive lunch and that we would get to the airport at 3pm. When infact, lunch wasn’t included and we reached the airport at 130pm. It doesn’t seem much of a difference, but it added on another 2 hours from the already 4 we had to wait for check in.
Sometimes, you have to be careful what tour companies tell you just to sell a ticket. Try to get what you can maybe in writing on the ticket so they don’t blag anything on the day. Day tours can be great. There easy, convenient and its sometimes better money wise. But sometimes weigh up your options and consider what will make the best out of your own experience. We began to get fed up with buses, boats and spending the day with 20-30 people on a trip. Its much more fun to get there on your own. You might get lost and it might take longer than expected but its your own adventure.