Whether you’re visiting Thailand for a vacation or heading south for a weekend getaway, the Emerald Pool (or Sa Morakot) in Krabi province is a must-see. The clear water, lush forests, and rich biodiversity make it a unique and fascinating attraction for tourists and locals alike. Here’s everything you need to know about the Emerald Pool hot spring in Krabi province.
Where is the Emerald Pool Located?
Located in the Klong Thom district of Krabi, the Emerald Pool is open every day of the week. You must enter the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park to get to the pool which is about a 1-hour drive outside Krabi Town. The park itself is another attraction to experience. It has nature trails, a crystal blue pool, and plenty of animal and plant species. The best way to see everything in the park, and much more outside the park, is to sign up for a Jungle Tour that will allow you to make the most out of your day and visit three interesting sites: the Emerald Pool, the Hot Springs and the Tiger Cave Temple .
The entrance fee to visit the Emerald Pool is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. It’s highly suggested to bring sunscreen, mosquito repellent, and drinking water. If you will be exploring the trails, proper walking shoes are recommended as well as appropriate clothing.
Things To Do at the Emerald Pool
There’s no way you’ll get bored at the Krabi Emerald Pool; there are too many places to explore and too much nature to observe. To start, get acquainted with your surroundings at the entrance office. Then, start making your way through the 800-meter nature trail to the pool. Keep an eye out for birds, lizards, small mammals, and various insects as you make the trek. Although this path was constructed in the park, everything around you is natural.
When you finally reach the Emerald Pool, you’ll be greeted by crystal clear aquamarine water surrounded by lush tropical forests. Krabi is known for its natural beauty, and the Emerald Pool is certainly one of the top gems. The pool itself has a sturdy ladder to help visitors enter, and the water is only 1-2 meters deep in the center. If you’re not a strong swimmer, wearing a life jacket can ease your discomfort. However, in many areas of the pool, adults are able to touch the sandy bottom. The entire pool is only 100 square meters, and some seasons are busier with tourists than others.
How does the water get so blue? The color of the springs actually changes with the seasons according to the temperature. As the seasons change, it goes from green to turquoise to aquamarine. On some days, it almost seems like the pool is glowing! If you’re bringing children to Sa Morakot, make sure you tell them the water isn’t drinkable.
You’ll want to budget a full day to explore the Krabi Emerald Pool as well as the Thung Teao Nature Forest Park. However, keep in mind that there are no toilets in the pool area. There also aren’t any food vendors or changing rooms. The last opportunity you have to get drinking water is at the entrance office of the Thung Teao Nature Forest Park. You may want to accommodate for that by packing a lunch and beverage and wearing clothes you don’t mind getting wet. It can get quite busy during peak tourist times, but the atmosphere is always fun and relaxed.
What’s Nearby the Emerald Pool?
Will you be staying in Krabi for the duration of your vacation? If so, you won’t run out of things to do. Besides the Emerald Pool of Klong Thom, there is another blue pool to visit. The Blue Lagoon is a local spring that’s only a 400-meter walk from Sa Morakot. The difference is that you aren’t allowed to swim in the Blue Lagoon, only admire its natural beauty from the sidelines. Both springs are well worth the trek to see.
On a different vacation day, or in the same day if you join the guided Jungle Tour, plan a visit to the Tiger Cave Temple. Also known as Wat Tham Sua, the cave temple is one of the most magnificent natural sights in Thailand. Inside the massive cliff, a cave was formed into limestone warrens. This part of the site is easy to access because it’s at the base of the cliff. But, if you have the stamina and a desire for adventure, the real wonder lies at the top of the cliff. Here you’ll find the “footprint of the Buddha,” a terrace atop the cliff that gives you 360-degree views of Krabi province. To reach this height, you need to walk over 1000 steps up the limestone cliff at varying degrees of steepness. It isn’t for the faint of heart.
Why do they call it the Tiger Cave? Well, legend has it that the cave was once home to a wild tiger and you can still see footprints from the tiger in the lower level. Today, it might as well be called the Monkey Cave because of all the pesky primates hoping you’ll buy some bananas to feed them! While these monkeys are cute, they are wild animals and can bite or scratch if they feel threatened or they want something you have, like sunglasses or jewelry (it’s best not to bring these items).
Throughout the temple, you’ll see various god and goddess statues that have grave importance to the locals. This is not just a tourist attraction, but a sacred site. Visitors must dress respectfully and modestly and be respectful of the locals who come to the temple to pray or worship. To get here, you can sign up for a tour, take a tuk-tuk, or take the buses from Krabi Town and Ao Nang beach.
Speaking of Ao Nang beach, this is the next must-see destination near the Emerald Pool. No vacation to Thailand is complete without visiting this stunning area of Krabi. Known as the tourist center, everything you want to do, see, and experience can be done here or planned here. There are dozens of great tours that start from the beach including ones to the Phi Phi Islands.
The beach in Ao Nang is stunning, but it can also be quite busy. There are endless resorts and hotels in the area, making this beach a prime spot for all the visitors. If you want to secure a prime piece of sand during the busy season, you’ll want to get there early. Otherwise, enjoy the vibrant, exciting atmosphere that this area has. When you need a break from the sun and swim, head down the boardwalk for some food. You’ll find plenty of authentic Thai spots! Besides dining establishments, there are hair and nail salons, spas, stores, coffee shops, banks, and tour offices.
Like during the daytime, the nightlife in Ao Nang also has something for everyone. If you’re looking for a quiet, tranquil dining experience to watch the sunset, there are some fine dining options to choose from. If you and your pals are looking to party, there are tons of bars and clubs open for you to dance the night away. Lastly, if you’re interested in seeing how the locals here actually live, travel about one kilometer inland from the beach. Here, you’ll find a sleepy fishing hamlet with a strong sense of family and community. Many of the locals have lived here for generations but stay away from the hustle and bustle of the touristy areas.
The final suggestion for visitors to explore not far from the Blue pool and Emerald Pool is Railay Beach. This beach is only accessible by boat, but many of the day trips and tours start from Ao Nang beach. Railay is an exquisite masterpiece of nature. The limestone cliffs are magnificent and regal and are loved by all avid rock climbers. You can go on rock climbing expeditions here, or simply enjoy the secluded beach and nature. There are a few small bars where you can enjoy a cocktail and some snacks, but otherwise, it’s a remote piece of paradise.
Ready to Visit the Emerald Pool of Krabi?
There are so many amazing places to visit and experience when traveling to Krabi. At the top of your list should be the Emerald Pool. It combines a unique and beautiful swimming experience with the rugged and wild nature of the rain forest. You won’t regret visiting this stunning piece of Thailand’s natural beauty.