Krabi 4 Islands by Speedboat or by Long tail boat?
We are often asked which is best, a tour of Krabi 4 Islands by speedboat, or a similar tour by long tail boat. The speedboat tours are pretty cheap at just 1,200 baht each but the long tail tours are around 500 baht each which is ridiculously cheap for a day trip. Despite being more expensive we recommend the speedboat tours. If you are a back packer and you’ve spent all your baht on Chang beer then you’ll probably book the cheapest tour what ever 😉 but these are the reasons why we prefer the speedboat tours.
- Speed: The speedboat tours get you to the islands quicker so that you spend more time touring and less time traveling. Long tail boats with their converted diesel truck engines look nice in postcards but are noisy and slow.
- Safety: We don’t want to say that long tail boats are unsafe (although we have in the past had to duck under a still spinning propeller as it was maneuvered over our heads), they are perfectly sea worthy vessels in flat sea. However they only have one engine, tour speedboats usually have two or three. If the weather turns nasty a speedboat can run ahead of the weather, a long tail boat cannot. This is especially relevant in the low season months.
- Know what you are getting: If you book a long tail tour you don’t really know what type of boat you are going to get, it really depends on how many other people book. You could end up in a boat with no shade and you will probably regret that at the end of a hot day on the ocean. If a lot of people book you will end up not on a long tail boat but on a large wooden tour boat with over 100 passengers. The first passengers on board get the shaded seats, last on get to sit on the roof. These boats are slow and at each destination it takes time to herd all passengers on and off.
- All inclusive: Another option is to charter a long tail boat at the beach for your group. This way you can see what you are getting. Depending on your bargaining skills it could cost 2,500-3000 baht for a day so it’s pretty good value if there a few of you. But you won’t get a guide, you will have to arrange your own lunch, drinks and your own snorkeling gear. You’ll have to arrange your own transfers to the boat. You cannot plan this in advance.
We have no problem with cheap and cheerful but it’s at least worthwhile knowing what you are and aren’t getting so that you can make an informed choice. The speedboat tour is still excellent value and we think it’s one of the nicest tours you can do from Krabi.
You can book a Krabi 4 Islands by Speedboat Tour here