A boat trip to Koh Kradan, photos and text by Marc Rajes
The wooden long-tail-boat was moving slowly through the shallow azure waters. Our captain was aiming for a large orange-coloured buoy just ahead of us – all around us was a reef. The day’s clear skies allowed for excellent visibility below and the reef was clearly visible from several metres above. “Here can not cast anchor, marine park not allow it”, our boatman said as he turned off the engine.
Boats arrive each day to this spot and anchors have already visibly damaged parts of the reef. After nearly 8 years coming here, it is frustrating to see but happily, there is light at the end of the tunnel as nowadays the marine parks have implemented harsh fines and strict regulations on boats operating within the area.
We’d arrived on Koh Kradan an idyllic island in southern Thailand to spend the day snorkelling and swimming. The boat, finally moored up to the buoy after a thirty-minute journey from Koh Libong, a larger island further south, where we were staying on this tour was gently rocking in the soft swell.
Koh Kradan is one of the numerous picturesque jungle-clad islands in Trang Province’s Andaman Sea but we reckon one of the most stunning of the bunch. We take our groups here on most of our one-day boat trips on our ‘Reefs and Rainforest‘ tours during the fine weather of the October to April period.
We grabbed our masks and snorkels and after a short safety briefing we were all bobbing in the water around the boat admiring the reef and dazzling marine life.
Seeing a vibrant, healthy and clear reef up close is always an awesome experience. It’s like suddenly being transported to another world. Here in the water a multitude of lifeforms peacefully mingle amongst brightly coloured coral and sponges. You get the feeling of almost being part of the eco-system itself when down here -there’s life everywhere you look and curious fish will even come right up to your mask!
We finished the morning with lunch and a cold drink on the white sand beach and after three more different stops for snorkelling, a great boat ride around the island and a laze on the beach we headed back to our own island for dinner, a cold beer and to compare notes on the various fish and marine life we’d spotted on the reefs. A great day out!