Chicken Island and Tup Island

Updated 2022

With the crowds returning to the Krabi Islands in large numbers, there is a renewed interest in some of the quieter places in the region. This, in large part as a result of the growing fondness that people have post-covid to remain away from the crush that comes with being in popular tourist locations. Having spent a large part of 2 years away from people, many are looking to travel again, but in a slightly more relaxed manner.

In addition to being a slightly less densely populated region within Krabi, there is another reason that both Chicken Island (Koh Kai) and Tup Island (also known as Tub Island or Tap Island) are of interest when traveling to Krabi in Phuket. Those who have been there say that they are a paradise to feast your eyes as well as enjoying activities such as snorkeling and swimming.

While there are plenty of things to do in Krabi, keep scrolling to read why these 2 islands are considered so special.

Why you need to visit Koh Kai

chicken island as seen from the Eastern side with swimmers bathing in the waters

If you are coming from Krabi’s mainland, the trip to this island alone is a wonderful experience. You can get there by traditional longtail-boat which will take you approximately half an hour. One thing that makes Chicken Island a place to adore is the mesmerizing rock formation which looks like a chicken head – hence the name.

This island is like paradise and the scenery just looks like it’s something cut out of a magazine.  It has a fine white sandy beach as well as turquoise blue sea which makes most visitors hail it for being one of the most stunning beaches in Krabi. As I mentioned earlier, this island is the perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling.

If you are not snorkeling or swimming, you could just take a walk along the beach. There are trees which can provide you with some shade if you are there to just relax. There is a restaurant where you can buy some snacks and cold drinks (and some beer of course) and just chill the day away.

The view point

There is a small shack and next to it is a sign that leads to a fantastic small viewpoint. Luckily, it’s not so high. Well there are some ‘not well made stairs’ which will lead you to the viewpoint. Anyone going up needs to be careful to avoid slipping.

At the top is there is a fantastic view of the Tup Island and the beautiful long sandbank. You will see Koh Poda and the Krabi mainland in the background. You can also feast your eyes on Krabi’s limestone cliffs and rocks.

Chicken Island – Tub Island sand bank

The white sandbank connects the two islands. This sandbank only emerges when the tide is low. It is infamously known as Talay Waek, meaning, divided sea.

As you walk across the sandbank, we advise you to at least have some shoes on to prevent your feet from being pricked by sharp corals and shells that might be protruding from the water as you cross over to the other Island.

Why you need to visit Tup Island

Tup Island as seen from the beach with swimmers in the crystal clear waters just off the shore

This island is perfect especially if you are island hoping with small kids since the waters are shallow enough. On both sides of the sandbar it is deep enough for swimming. Much as it is a much smaller island in Krabi, it is a great spot for snorkeling with seeing as it has an abundance of colorful tropical fish.

The island has 2 small islets and as you guessed it, there is a stretch of sand between them. When the tide is high, the beach gets crowded. As opposed to Koh Kai, this island doesn’t have many places to take a shade so it’s advisable to do a quick visit. Also remember to carry sunscreen since the Thai sun get pretty harsh.

Tup Island sometimes gets pretty busy, especially during peak seasons because it’s one of Krabi’s main tourist attractions and there are more day trips and boat tours.

How to get to these two Krabi Islands

A view of both tup island and chicken island as taken from a drone out in the sea

There are return long tail boats from Ao Nang which charge 300 baht per head. Unfortunately, you have to wait for other passengers to board. A boat carries approximately 8 people. If you are feeling loaded and want some privacy, you could charter a private longtail boat as you island hop.

The other way to approach these islands is from other beaches like Klong Muang, Nopparat Thara, Railay and also at Chao Fah pier in Krabi Town. The prices here are slightly different than those from Ao Nang.

The other more convenient way to enjoy island hopping in Krabi is to pre-book a private charter boat tour with Simba Sea Trips or come along on a Krabi Island boat tour with our experienced crew.

The other thing is that these islands are part of the Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park so you will be required to pay national park entrance fee which varies depending on the season. Remember to keep the ticket safe as you island hop as it is valid also for the neighboring islands.

The Chicken Island and Tup Island are worth the visit if you are ever in Phuket. So if you plan on island hopping then make sure you visit and witness the photographic features of these islands.