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Koh Talabeng sea kayaking – The Perfect Koh Lanta day trip

Koh Talabeng Sea Kayaking - Shows a kayak overlooking limestone cliffs

If you’re visiting the South of Thailand and fancy embarking on an adventure for the day, then read on, as we embark on a Koh Talabeng sea kayaking adventure during our stay in Koh Lanta. Thailand’s Krabi province is no longer a secret and has vastly grown in popularity over the years due to its stunning beaches and relaxing atmosphere. But what if we were to tell you that there’s a place you can visit that’s off the beaten track, away from all the tourists?

In this article, we’ll introduce Koh Talabeng, a remote island just off the coast of Koh Lanta, south of Krabi. We’ll tell you exactly why it’s worth visiting, with some useful tips and handy FAQ’s to help plan your trip. If you’re visiting Koh Lanta, you simply can’t miss it off your list.

What is Koh Talabeng?

Koh Talabeng is a stunning island located around a 20-minute drive by boat from Koh Lanta Noi. The island is made up of two large limestone rock formations that stand over 70 metres high. Its mainland is rich in tropical forest terrain and its shores feature turquoise waters and friendly monkeys. Koh Talabeng is an idyllic spot for those who love water adventures, as the best way to explore the island is by sea kayaking!

image showing a turquoise beach amongst lime stone cliffs in thailand - koh talabeng sea kayaking, koh lanta
image of a someone in a bikini in the sea looking out towards the limestone cliffs

How to get to Koh Talabeng

  1. Hire a private tour guide and a boat. They’ll take you over to Koh Talabeng and you can spend as much time as you’d like exploring. We recommend a private tour guide or boat captain that has kayaks you can use.
  2. Embark on a guided tour, exploring the island by kayak and visiting the lesser known Ghost Island, otherwise known as, ‘Koh Phee.’

What does the Koh Talabeng sea kayaking tour involve?

You’ll start off your day by getting picked up from your accommodation by an open aired van. You’ll then drive around 35 minutes to 1 hour (depending on your Koh Lanta hotel location) to arrive to a harbour area on Koh Lanta Noi island.

image showing a long tail boat in the sea in koh lanta, thailand

What’s included in the tour?

The benefits of opting for a guided tour is that you don’t have to plan a single thing. You just turn up and the entire day is planned for you! A tour is really the only way to visit Koh Talabeng due to its remote location. The guides also know the area very well so you won’t any of the hidden gems.

We went with a company called Talabeng Sea Kayaking. They’re a family-run company who live and have grown up on Koh Lanta Noi, so are really familiar with the area. It was very well organised and we had an amazing day out with them! Here’s what’s included in the tour:

  • Pick up and return to and from your accommodation via open air ‘Songthaew style’ van
  • Boat transport (long tail boat) to both Koh Phee and Koh Talabeng
  • An English-speaking guide
  • Use of a kayak to visit Koh Talabeng island
  • An authentic Thai, home-cooked meal for lunch, fresh tropical fruits and bottles of water
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The top things to see and do on the Koh Talabeng Sea Kayaking tour

Ghost Island, aka Koh Phee

Koh Phee is a tiny island just off the Koh Lanta Noi mainland. It’s also known as Ghost Island due to the caves formation resembling a human skull from the outside. As the first stop on the Koh Talabeng sea kayaking tour, you’ll feel like a pirate searching for treasure! This part of the tour requires a decent amount of endurance and strength due to its challenging aspect of climbing through various levels of the cave.

Inside, there are around 3 – 4 mini caves that you can exploring, showcasing a variety of stalagmite and stalactite rock formations. There’s also a number of viewpoints. Peer out through the giant skull eye sockets as you reach the top of the climb and you’ll see the mainland of Koh Lanta.

Ghost Island is a very cool place to visit and you’ll likely be the only tourists there during your visit. Exploring the island involves a lot of climbing, which can feel dangerous at times. However, there are plenty of ropes and words of encouragement to keep you going.

Fun fact: The Japanese used this island as a camp during WWII.

image of people rock climbing and holding on to the rope inside a cave
image of a view of the sea from high up inside a cave - Koh Talabeng Sea Kayaking
image of a person standing on one leg on top of a rock inside a cave

Our top tips for exploring Koh Phee

If you’re not used to climbing or haven’t done any form of rock climbing before, this part will be tricky in parts. Some points to consider before embarking on this challenge:

  1. Wear appropriate footwear, i.e. trainers and no sandals or flip flops. There are various hurdles you’ll need to climb that will be dangerous if wearing inappropriate footwear.
  2. Go slowly – it’s important to ensure correct foot placement at all times.
  3. Listen to the guide – they are there to help.
  4. If you have any limitations i.e, injuries, or you’re not very active, we don’t recommend this for you. You can still take part in the tour, as there’s the option to remain on the boat.
Koh Talabeng sea kayaking

The main stopping point on the tour is the breathtaking Koh Talabeng. You’ll get to see different areas of the island as you explore by kayak. After departing Koh Phee (Skull Island) by long tail boat, you’ll arrive at Koh Talabeng in a matter of minutes. This is where the fun begins!

You’ll proceed to kayak around the shoreline for around 45 minutes, gazing at the turquoise water, looking out for local wildlife and paddling alongside giant limestone cliffs. We managed to spot a monitor lizard and soaring eagles at this point.

image of a person sitting in a kayak looking out towards the lime stone cliffs - koh talabeng sea kayaking koh lanta
A remote Koh Talabeng Beach

If you’re a lover of beaches without all of the tourists, then this is heaven! Halfway during the kayaking section of the tour, you’ll stop off at a sandy beach that’s nestled between two cliff faces. The beach was full of monkeys when we visited and there were no other tourists in sight.

Take time to relax, unwind and go for a swim in the transparent water. This beach is also where you’ll grab lunch. We personally enjoyed a homemade Massaman curry with fresh watermelon for dessert.

More sea kayaking!

After lunch, you’ll head back to see for more kayaking around Koh Talabeng, this time amongst open water and between giant limestone rocks. The second part of the kayaking adventure takes just under an hour and is where you’ll see the most beautiful scenery. It was a highlight of our trip! Being out in nature with only a few other people and no tourists in sight is a memory that will last with you forever…

image showing three kayaks on the sand on a beach, next to a monkey in koh lanta
image showing two monkeys on the sand in the shore on the beach
Koh Talabeng Cave

Last but not least, you’ll kayak over to a small cave with a huge echoing entrance. It has a number of interesting rock formations and is completely hidden from view. You have to know it’s there. It’s a short stop off on the tour but was cool to see.

Once you’ve explored the island by kayak, you can sunbathe and explore another beach and its wildlife. When we visited, we spotted some cute monkeys and monitor lizards, swimming leisurely along the shore. Be sure to bring swim wear and enjoy the warm Andaman sea!

image showing the inside of a cave
image showing a close up image of the rock formations inside a cave - koh talabeng sea kayaking

FAQ’s:

Now we’ve told you what you’ll see on the Koh Talabeng sea kayaking tour, here are some common questions and answers that’ll help you gain a further insight into the tour, ahead of planning your trip.

Our top tips for visiting Koh Talabeng

  • Swim wear – The beauty of Koh Talabeng is taking a dip in its crystal blue waters. Therefore, be sure to bring your swim wear in your bag or wear it underneath your clothes.
  • Suitable footwear – This is a key point, mainly for the first half of the tour when visiting the cave. You can pack a pair of flip flops/ water shoes to change into after if you’d like.
  • Change of clothes – After a spot of rock climbing and getting a bit sweaty, you might want to change into a fresh pair of clothes. Alternatively, just rock your swimwear all day.
  • First aid kit essentials – As a precaution, you could pack some plasters, bandages and hand sanitiser. It’s easy to scrape yourself when climbing through the cave.
  • Check the weather forecast – If you’re visiting during dry season, you’re likely to have good weather almost every day. During other months, we suggest checking online ahead of time as you’ll want to see the island in its true beauty amongst the clear blue skies – not rain and clouds!
  • Water – pack at least 2 litres of water per person. It gets very hot! Tours also usually provide water.

Thank you for reading our guide to visiting Koh Phee and Koh Talabeng as part of a sea kayaking adventure. We hope you found it useful and are able to use some of these tips to help plan your future visit. We’d love to hear about your adventure to this magnificent island!. Be sure to let us know your thoughts down below. 😊

By Susie

Author bio:

I’m a passionate traveller that loves a sunny beach holiday, but also appreciate the cultural side to a trip and checking out undiscovered destinations. I’m the go-to Toucan Traveller for great holiday stories, cool photos and foodie recommendations.

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