Koh Mook day trip from Koh Lanta
This day trip from Koh Lanta is actually called the 4 Island day trip but the highlight of the tour for most people is the visit to Koh Mook and the swim into the Emerald cave (Morakot cave). The other islands visited are Koh Ngai, Koh Kraden and Koh Chuek. Note that the Lanta 4 Island day trip visits completely different islands to the Krabi 4 Island day trip.
The itinerary of this day trip is very dependent on the tides because the cave cannot be accessed when the tide is up. If it’s high tide in the morning you will visit the cave in the afternoon and vise versa. Because entry is sea level dependent all the tour boats have to go to the cave at around the same time so it can get a bit crowded. Avoiding weekends helps because on weekends tour boats bring holidaying Thais from Trang to Koh Mook. Visiting the cave in the morning by speedboat can get you there before the slow boats but in the afternoon you’ll all be together.
If you are doing a big boat day trip you get picked up at your resort and transferred by bus to Lanta old town pier. If you are doing a speedboat day trip the boat will meet you at the beach in front of your resort. Start time is a very civilized 8.30-9.00 am and you’ll be back at around 3.30 pm, so still time to enjoy your resort pool or the beach.
On a typical day trip you’ll spend 40 minutes snorkeling at Koh Ngai and 40 minutes snorkeling at Koh Chuek. These sessions can be a bit shorter, if the guides see that everyone is back in the boat they move on to the next spot. As always the best way to see the nice coral and more fish is to swim away from boat. Sometimes more than one speedboat will tie up together which is a shame when the island coastlines are long enough for them to spread out but one reason for doing this is that mooring lines are limited and it’s better to have two boats on one line than drop an anchor on coral.
Two hours are spent at the beach on the beautiful island of Koh Kraden during the middle of the day. Lunch is served buffet style on the beach, it consists of rice, a chicken curry dish and a vegetable dish and some chicken drumsticks. There is plenty for everyone, you can go back for seconds. As Koh Lanta is a predominately Muslim island the food is Halal. Cold coke and drinking water are also provided. After lunch you can swim and snorkel from the beach or walk around the island to find some space alone.
Time at Koh Mook is about 90 minutes. The speedboat will tie up about 20 metres from the cave entrance. The tunnel from outside the island to the inner beach is about 80 metres long. So if you can swim 100 metres you can get through without any trouble.
99% of people wear a life jacket (provided) to go through the cave and even if you are a competent swimmer you may as well wear one yourself, it just makes the journey easier as you’ll probably get held up in a queue.
You won’t need mask and snorkel, there is no snorkeling inside Koh Mook. The tunnel is dark and the noise of waves and boat engines outside is amplified inside.
It’s exciting, even a little scary. If you do not have a water proof container for your camera the guides have a large water proof bag that they carry everyone’s bags in. The guides also carry torches and will help pull along weak swimmers.
We prefer the speedboat tours because they pick up from the beach in front of the resorts and because they look like this…
…not like this: