Connect with us

Thai Life

Emerald pools and more just across the bay from Phuket



PHUKET: Typically, upon hearing any reference of Krabi, the first thing that springs to mind is the stalactite-studded Railay, party-island Phi Phi or any one of the other 154 awe-inspiring islands that draw millions of visitors a year to this quiet province on the Andaman Sea. Without a doubt, visitors who come to this little corner of the world would be doing themselves a disservice by not witnessing its seaside splendors.

Alternatively, Krabi’s nearly 3 million rai of rugged karst interior offers plenty of attractions and opportunity for adventure to those willing to venture inland. Just because you turn your back to the sea doesn’t mean that you have to stray too far from the water.

A 60km drive southeast of Krabi Town on Highway 4 through verdant green jungle, giant sentinels of limestone and orderly rows of rubber and palm oil trees will lead you to the Khlong Thom District and the emerald pools. Keep an eye out for signs and head left on 4038. The route is clearly marked from here. You will also see signs for hot springs, but at the time, the thought of soaking in 40ºC water, with an ambient air temperature not much less than that, did not sound appealing.

The emerald pools are certainly not off the beaten track; this is a realization exemplified by the pay parking at the entrance to the pools. It’s a popular spot, especially among local Thais, and for a good reason.

Farangs will have to fork out 200 baht, slightly higher than the 20 baht Thai fare, to enter the National Forest that conceals the pools. Once paid up, take a leisurely 800-meter hike to the first watering hole: the Emerald Pool.

At first glimpse you realize that the pool was aptly named. The clear, green-tinged waters practically glow, changing color slightly throughout the day. Make no mistake, a late afternoon visit will result in the pool being filled with local kids, which is fun in its own way. To get the place all to yourself, sacrifice sleeping in and get there early – visitors start flooding in by 9am. Food and refreshments can be had at the entrance to the park, making it easy to lounge about all day.

There is plenty to explore in the area as the cascading limestone pools are all over, and raised boardwalks lead the way through incredible natural scenery. Be careful, the limestone is often very slippery, and the kids love to laugh hysterically when people learn this the hard way.

Even closer to Krabi Town lies the 31,250 rai Khao Phanom Bencha National Park, which features the province’s highest peak at 1,397 meters tall. To get there, head southeast from Krabi on Highway 4 for a quick 2km and make a left on 6017 – there is a sign, but go slow in the left lane so you don’t miss it. From there, follow the small, wooden signs to the park headquarters. The whole journey is only a 20-minute drive from downtown Krabi Town.

In addition to the highest peak, the park boasts some impressive waterfalls such as the three-tiered Huay Sa Khe falls and the five-tiered Huay To falls. Both are a quick stroll from park headquarters and are wonderful places to kick back and have a picnic. The cold water is nice respite from the hot weather.

Another compelling reason to visit Phanom Bencha is the abundant wildlife that you may not spot elsewhere. In fact, the brilliant plumage of wild peacocks can be spotted before you even get out of your car or climb off your motorbike. Other interesting species include tapirs, serows, wild boar, asiatic black bears, mouse deer, panthers, civets and gibbons.

Krabi’s naturally colorful pools and Phanom Bencha National Park are just a couple of locations across the bay worth a visit. They are perfectly suited for a day trip with the family. However, guest houses and hotels can be easily found, if you are not in a hurry to get back.

— Jeremie Schatz


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Travel6 hours ago

Where to find underrated international cuisines in Bangkok

Bangkok8 hours ago

Chinatown manhole covers to use art, tech to become cultural map

Transport9 hours ago

Man fights Indian Railways for 22 years for justice (and 9 baht)

Events10 hours ago

Tourism Minister visits Full Moon Party, supports later curfew

Crime10 hours ago

Thais cautioned against fake government websites

Thailand11 hours ago

Another Thai boxer dies from brain injury after fight in Malaysia

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

Expats in Thailand, Cartoon characters & Letting Loose | Thaiger Bites

Pattaya12 hours ago

VIDEO: Young Thais have a blast at Pattaya Music Festival weekend 2

Pollution13 hours ago

Anti-Corruption Network complains of smelly wastewater in coastal Thai province

Weather13 hours ago

Flooding from overflowing rivers soaks Chiang Rai and the border

Phuket14 hours ago

Phuket police nab 3,373 meth pills from 5 suspects

Pattaya16 hours ago

Pattaya night club owner gives free meals on Thai Mother’s Day

Thailand17 hours ago

Current Thailand Visa Options for Digital Nomads

Central Thailand17 hours ago

Police find fake Covid-19 tests worth millions in central Thailand

World18 hours ago

UPDATE: Rushdie is talking again, attacker pleads not guilty

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11