Contrary to the rainy skies the day before, we boarded the Pla Luang, a traditional Chinese junk ship ready to set sail around some of the most beautiful islands in Krabi, Thailand. When we first heard about Krabi Sunset Boat Cruises, we knew it was something we had to do. Having been to Krabi before, we were looking for a fun day out in sea and the thought of exploring the clear waters of the Andaman aboard a traditional trade vessel was too good to resist.
Krabi Sunset Cruises: The Boat
As the Pla Luang is too big to go close to shore, we started our day by going on traditional Thai longtail boats which we used to take us to where the Pla Luang was docked. We could see the red sails of the traditional Chinese junk floating in the water from afar. As soon as we got on board, we were warmly greeted and were offered refreshments by the staff. The boat was spacious and was amply equipped with soft cushions and mats so we could sit back, relax, and enjoy the day. As soon as the boat started moving, I could feel everyone’s energy buzzing. The sun was shining, the water was calm, and we were off for a day of adventure.
On board, the boat was a complete bar equipped to make us cocktails and serve ice cold beer throughout the journey. However, for me, the best part of the boat was the top deck which was essentially just a flat wide surface which had all the kayaks and paddle board stored. From up there, you had an unobstructed view of the ocean and the islands around us. Equipped with a bathroom and a place to store our bags, this fully restored trade vessel had all the modern day comforts to make sure we had a blast.
Editor’s Note: Traveling the area? Check out our list of where to stay in Krabi
Island Hopping around the Andaman
Our island hopping itinerary was going to take us to the five islands around Krabi, Poda, Chicken, Si and Ta Ming. With the promise of spending the entire day snorkeling, swimming, paddle boarding and kayaking, you could see how everyone was excited for the day ahead. As soon as we got to the first island, we were shown two large baskets where we could find snorkeling equipment and fins. Excited to get in the water, we excitedly jumped in with masks and snorkels in hand. While we swam around the nearby rocks, while other passengers were out playing with the paddle boards and kayaks.
This went on the whole day with everyone alternating between swimming, kayaking in the nearby beaches and islands. The Krabi Sunsets Cruises crew were all outstanding at rounding up everyone with Carlotta and Michael happily speaking to every guest, welcoming them onboard. Soon, we all found ourselves jumping from the top deck, doing backflips and silly poses. Those who didn’t want to jump stayed below deck, happily lazing around the comfortable mats as the ocean breeze blew on.
While I enjoyed all of the activities, I think the most amusing part was watching people jump off the roof deck area. Equipped with nothing but smiles, almost everyone leaped off the boat, while making a big splash. Of course, the promise of a free cocktail for anyone that did a backflip also contributed to everyone’s enthusiasm to jump off. Amidst all the jumping, relaxing, and merry making, we soon docked the boat close to a nearby island to watch the sun slowly change the night sky into a vibrant shade of orange and pinks.
Food & Service aboard Krabi Sunset Cruises
After spending most of the day out in the sun, everyone was starving by the time food was served. Luckily, we weren’t disappointed as the crew served a hefty portion of local Thai food. Layed out in from of us was a buffet style spread of rice, curry, pad thai, some vegetables, and the most delicious pumpkin curry dish I’ve ever had. It was so good, that everyone in our group gobbled it up, eager to get seconds. Throughout the whole day, the local crew were all eager to help, happily smiling as they launched us paddle boards and kayaks.
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Soon, nightfall came and we started heading back to the mainland. However, for our last stop, we were going to a local spot where we could swim and snorkel with bioluminescent planktons. Having never seen them before I was beyond excited. We boarded the long tail boats so we could get as close to the rocks as possible. As soon as you step down from the ladder of the boat and cause movement around the ever so still water, you could see glowing particles in various shades of bright blue and green. Used to evade predators and act as a defense mechanism, it produces light when disturbed, giving out a quick flash of light to surprise the predator. The element of surprise through the flashing light is also supposed to scare the predator away. So there we were in the swimming in the darkness, completely mesmerized by the stunning light show just for us. With every movement that we made, the tiny planktons moved around us glowing and bursting with flashes of light. It was nothing short of spectacular. After a few silly underwater kung-fu moves, we went back to the boat completely satisfied with our day trip out in the sea.
Overall, we had a blast! Everyone from our tour guide and hosts Michael and Carlotta, down to the boat crew made sure that we had a blast. It’s no wonder everyone is raving about this cruise to be one of the must do’s while in Krabi! While there are loads of local boat tours which will take you around the islands, this particular tour was definitely worth doing. Between the fun toys that we could use, the good vibes set by the crew, topped with stunning scenery, fantastic food and ice cold beer, this trip comes highly recommended.