If you’ve found yourself in Krabi or Ao Nang you won’t run out of ideas on things to do. But let me tell you about the Emerald Pool, The Hot Springs and The Blue Lagoon. These natural attractions deserve a place on any travellers Krabi itinerary.
The Krabi Emerald Pool is hidden deep in the dense Krabi mangrove forest. Hike along a scenic nature trail through the jungle before emerging at the Emerald Pool. One of the most beautiful natural formed pools you’ll have even seen.
The Emerald pool itself is about three feet deep and large enough to swim around, and the natural water poses health benefits for your skin.
There is a natural stream flowing into the pool, which is where the Emerald pool gets its name. The witty locals cleverly came up with the name of the Emerald Pool based on the colour of the water. The water shimmers a beautiful emerald shade. And it is some of the clearest water you’ll find in Thailand.
Is Krabi Emerald Pool and Hot Springs The Same
They are not the same. The Krabi Emerald Pool and the Krabi Hot Springs are 20 minutes apart from each other. Because of how close these attractions are to one another, for most travellers it makes sense to visit both on the same day. Which is why I have rolled information about both the hot springs and the Emerald Pool in a single guide.
Krabi Emerald Pool
Over a kilometre into the Krabi forest you’ll be surrounded in nature. It’s peaceful with the sound of water flowing and mini waterfalls all around. You can get it touch with the nature here, a perfect spot to relax.
Krabi Hot Springs
The Krabi hot springs are mother natures Jacuzzi’s. Get yourself a natural spa treatment here where the water temperatures exceed 35° centigrade. The water is heated naturally in volcanic chambers under ground before flowing into the pools.
Give that Thailand is a hot country, it mind sound counter intuitive to get into a spring- but it is surprisingly pleasant and you feel like you could stay there forever. Until of course, 20 minutes have passed by and you start feeling a little light-headed, and you know it’s time to get yourself out. It’s a strange feeling after you leave the Krabi hot springs, even though the air temperature is so warm, for a few strange minutes as your body adjusts. You’ll feel a cold rush over you.
The Krabi Hot Springs are a popular attraction , so getting there later on in the day gives you the best chance of having the place to yourself- after most travellers have left.
If you like hot springs, you’ll be pleased to know you’ll find them scattered around the country. Another of my favourite hot springs is Sai Ngam in Pai, check out my guide here.
Krabi Blue Lagoon
The Krabi Blue Lagoon is the source of the Emerald Pool. It’s another 400 meters uphill into the forest- but there is a boardwalk to make the trek less tiresome. The Blue Lagoon is a must-see pool, its the poster image of Krabi, it’s on all the tour brochures, all the posters and all the tourism ads.
You can sit around the edges of the pool and you’ll see bubbles rising to the surface from time to time, and you can even force bubbles to rise by clapping your hands next to the pool. It’s a really tranquil spot. But you might be surprised to learn that you can’t swim in the Blue Lagoon.
You should also know that the Blue Lagoon is closed off entirely during the rainy season, so if you’re visiting from May to November you can’t see the Blue Lagoon. From November onward the Blue Lagoon is open to the public. The Emerald Pool is open all year round.
Why Can’t I Swim In The Krabi Blue Lagoon
You cant swim in the Blue Lagoon for a combonation or preservation efforts and saftey risks. There was a time when the Blue Lagoon was open to the public to swim, but as the natural attraction became increasinglt popular, new saftey precautions had to be taken.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again in Thailand, spots that you’d once have been able to freely visit and explore are forced to close off sections after popularity increase. Like the Sticky Waterfalls in Chiang Mai, there was a time not too long ago, when you’d be able to climb the face of the waterfall. But if you visit today you’ll find walkways laid out and most of the falls are accessible.
So the reason you can’t swim there is due to the sinking sand on the bed of the Blue Lagoon, for an unexpecting tourist or incompetent swimmer it can become too dangerous. But the positive effect is preservation as the lagoon remains untouched and you know the water flowing into the Emerald Pool is as fresh and clean as it can possibly be.
How Much Does The Krabi Emerald Pool Cost
The admission fees to both the Emerald Pool and the Krabi Hot Springs are inexpensive. And if you are visiting them on a tour of Krabi you’ll usually get free admission included in your tour cost. Let take a look at the prices for these two incrediblee attractions.
Krabi Emerald Pool Price
The entrance fee at the Krabi Emerald Pool is 200 Baht, (100 for kids and 20 for locals). There is also an extra charge for parking, if you ride your own scooter there you’ll need to pay 20 Baht for parking. And 10 Baht to use the bathrooms. I’m don’t usually have an issue with paid public toilets, after all, there is a maintenance and running cost to cover. but I do believe that at a swimming pool, (especially one with an admission fee). There shouldn’t ever be a cost to use the restrooms.
The 200 Baht admission cost includes entry to the Emerald Pool and also to see the Blue Lagoon, there are no extras to pay for the Blue Lagoon.
Krabi Hot Springs Price
The admission fee to the Krabi Hot Springs is a little cheaper than the Emerald Pool. It cost 90 Baht to visit the hot springs and there is a 30 Baht parking charge if you’re riding your own scooter here.
Krabi Emerald Pool And Hot Spring Opening Times
The opening hours at the both the Emerald pool and the Hot Sprigs are the same. These attractions open to visitors at 7:30 am and close at 5:30 pm. The Emerald Pool and Hot Springs are populare among the locals as well as tourists, so weekend can often be a little busier.
If you have a choice, visiting on a weekday, you’ll find less people there. And heading to the pool later on in the afternoon will be more peaceful than than a mid-morning visit.
How To Get To The Emerald Pool And Hot Springs
You can get to the Emerald Pool and the Hot Springs from Krabi town or from Ao Nang. From Krabi itself it takes 30 minutes to get to either of the attractions. Or from Ao Nang the drive is closer to an hour.
You can rent your own scooter and drive there yourself or you can join a tour of Krabi if you’re not comfortable riding a scooter. Let’s find out more about how to get to Krabi Emerald Pool.
Scooter Ride To The Emerald Pool
This is what I would recommend to do, you’ll have the most flexibility over your day and a little more freedom. But if you’re not comfortable riding a scooter taking a tour is another option.
Scooter rental in Krabi is cheap, in Krabi Town it will cost around $4 per day and in Ao Nang around $5 for a rental.
It took me 45 minutes to ride to the Emerald Pool, and the drive was scenic, which added to the experience. I would suggest to go to the Hot Springs first and then to the Emerald Pool second. Most tours will do it the other way around, so driving a scooter there gives you the benefit that you can avoid most tour groups. It takes 20 minutes to drive from the Hot Springs to the Pools or vice-versa.
Tour Of Krabi Natural Attractions
If you want someone else to take over the planning then joining a tour is more suitable for you. On an Emerald Pool Tour you will be collected from your hotel in the morning and taken to visit some of Krabi’s most popular attractions.
Using the word tour is over-selling it a little bit. Don’t expect too much other than a driver to take you to all the attractions and probably a box of fried rice for lunch.
A typical tour of Krabi will visit the Tiger Cave Temple as the first stop, before heading to the Emerald Pool late morning and moving onto the Hot Springs in the afternoon. You’ll be left to your own devises at each stop off and will have a few hours to explore on your own.
A tour would cost around 1,500 Baht and include food and drinks, along with admission fees to all the attractions that you visit. If you have a few people in your group you can often save money by recruiting a local taxi driver for the day to drive you around. You should agree a day rate upfront with the driver.
Want to book a Krabi Emerald Pool & Hot Spring Tour, I have found this package from Get Your Guide best balances the best experience with the lowest cost.
What To Wear To The Emerald Pool And Hot Springs
You’ll want to wear a bathing suit to swim in the Emerald Pool, and you’ll probably be fine without bringing a change of clothes, but a towel would be useful. It’s amazing how quickly you will dry off with Thailand’s hot sunshine and humidity. But there are changing rooms at both attractions if you wanted to make use of them.
Conclusion: Is The Emerald Pool Worth It
If you’re in Krabi it is sure worth paying a visit to the Emerald Pool and the Hot Springs, you won’t find anything else like it in Thailand so make sure to stop by while you can. It’s a relatively inexpensive activity and can provide a full day worth of fun-filled activities. Try to rent a scooter and ride there yourself if you can, but if you can’t you’ll still have a great time on an Emerald Pool Tour.
Want a locals insight to the Emerald Pool, check out this guide by YourKrabi. And if you’re up for an island hopping adventure, you have to check out Krabi’s Phi Phi Islands.