The Emerald Pool is an turquoise natural hot spring located in a lush forest area in the Khlong Thom District of Krabi, Thailand. Just steps away from this pool are two more exquisite pools, the Blue pool, and the Crystal Pool. If you are visiting Krabi, this natural wonder is a must-see.
Tour Recommendation – Small Group Tour To Emerald Pool and Tiger Cave Temple
From Aonang beach, the Emerald pool is just an hour’s drive away. There are many tours that take you on a full-day trip to the Emerald pool and Tiger cave temple. The tour that we recommend is the small group full-day tour to Emerald Pool offered by Viator. We recommend this tour over other similar tours because the tour group size is limited to a maximum of 12 people which gives a more personal feel. Apart from the Emerald pool, this tour covers two more attractions: Namtok Ron (Hot Spring Waterfall) and Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea). All admission tickets to the three attractions are included in the price.
What to expect on your trip to the Emerald Pool?
The Emerald Pool has many points of interest. Here’s a map that shows you an overview of the different spots. The explanation of these points on the map and other important details are explained below. Skip to the relevant section by clicking on the links.
Emerald Pool Opening Hours
The Emerald pool opens at 8.00 AM. and closes at 5.00 PM. The Blue Pool has different opening hours than the Emerald Pool. It opens later at 10 AM and closes earlier at 3 PM. Since the Blue Pool is a breeding ground to Gurney’s Pitta, it remains closed from May to October during the birds’ breeding season.
The entrance fees for locals and vistors are different. Visitors to Thailand pay 10 times more than the locals. So, if you are a visitor to Thailand, it’ll cost you 200 THB per adult and 100 THB per child. Whereas, if you are a local, it’ll cost you just 20 THB for an adult and 10 THB for a child.
You’ll find the ticketing office right at the entrance of the Emerald Pool. Following the entrance, a security guard checks your belongings for food and plastic items. If you have these, you’ll have to leave them behind on the rack at the entrance. Don’t worry, you can reclaim them on your way back. I’m sure many will be disappointed that you can’t have a picnic in this beautiful setting. However, when you take into consideration the need to maintain cleanliness, this decision makes sense.
If you’re hungry, there are many food stalls selling local Thai street food just before the entrance. It’s better to have your fill before you enter as you’ll not have access to food for a while.
Trail To The Hotsprings (#2 on the map)
There are two ways to get to the hot springs. One is a dirt trail and the other is a concrete trail. As shown in the picture above, the concrete trail is well-maintained with wooden railings on both sides and with clear signs boards showing you the way. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may opt for the dirt trail. You can find directions to the dirt trail on the map displayed at the entrance. No matter which one you pick, you’ll reach the pools at approximately the same time as both paths run in parallel.
Along the way, you’ll be enchanted with the sounds of the forest and flowing streams. Towards the end of the trail where it opens up to the Emerald Pool, you can also dip your feet in the small streams that flow from the Pool.
After a short walk on the trail, you arrive at the Emerald Pool. Unlike the Blue pool, you can swim in the Emerald pool, so remember to pack a swimsuit if you plan to take a dip. Since the Emerald Pool is a popular attraction, buses full of tourists stop over during the course of the day. So, the best time to visit is either early in the morning or close to the closing time if you want to enjoy the pool by yourself.
The Blue Pool (#10 on the map)
The Blue Pool is another natural hot spring in the vicinity of the Emerald Pool. In fact, the Blue pool is the source of the Emerald Pool. The deep blues of this pool, which is the result of mineral deposits at the bottom of the lake, is very different from the blue-green hues of the Emerald pool… hence the name.
Unfortunately, you can enjoy this beauty from afar only as swimming is forbidden here. This is due to the fact that this pool sits on a volcano which means that the temperature of the water can rise up to 50° C. To ensure that people don’t jump in the pool, a guard is always present. Please take care not to touch the pool and keep yourself and your family safe.
The Blue Pool is a short distance from the Emerald Pool. Just follow the paved path and signs posted at the Emerald Pool. However, the last part of the path is not paved and is a dirt path through a forest region. So, wear good walking shoes in case the ground is mucky. Also, don’t stray away from the marked trail. This forest is home to many wild animals and birds and it’s recommended that keep noise levels to a minimum so as to not disturb the wildlife.
The Crystal Pool (#6 on the map)
Before you approach the Emerald Pool, the concrete trail splits off. You can either choose to go directly to the Emerald Pool, or take a detour and visit the Crystal Pool first. If you miss it, don’t fret as you can visit it on your way back.
The Crystal Pool, also known as the Glass Pool or Sra Kaew in Thai is not as attractive as the other two pools. However, it’s still worth a look because the water is so clear that you can see the bottom of the lake easily giving it a glass-like appearance.
Hermit Court (#8 on the map)
On the way to the Blue Pool, you’ll come across a small temple. It has statues of animals flanking its entrance and three sages inside the temple. Locals believe that if you pray here, your wishes will be granted. Another point of interest is the small clear spring beside it.
Bird Observatory (#5 and #9 on the map)
The Emerald Pool, especially the part near the Blue Pool, is home to the Gurney’s Pitta and other rare bird species. If you are a bird watcher, then the two bird observatories will interest you.
How to go to Emerald Pool from Aonang by scooter?
Emerald pool is about 70 KM from Aonang beach. It takes about 1hr and 15min to get there by car or scooter. The best way to visit Emerald Pool, according to us, is to take a small group Emerald Pool tour offered by Viator. However, if you choose to visit by scooter, here’s some information.
Aonang beach and Krabi Town have plenty of scooter rentals which rent out scooters for a day. To be able to rent a scooter, you need a driver’s license (preferably an international driver’s license in case you are stopped by the police), rent and deposit money and a passport. The scooter rental place requires a deposit or passport as insurance for the scooter. When you return the scooter, you’ll get the deposit and the passport back.
The route to Emerald Pool from Ao Nang is simple. Take route 4201 followed by 4034 get out of Ao Nang to join Route 4. Once you are on Route 4 or Phet Kasem Road, there are no more turns or diversions for 39.3km. Then, you need to take a turn at 7-Eleven opposite the Klong Thom Police Station as shown in the map. There’s a series of left and right turns during the last leg of the journey as shown in the map above. Download an offline map of the area on your phone for convenience.
Once you arrive at the Emerald pool, park your scooter/car at the paid parking lot at the entrance. For larger vehicles, there’s a parking lot opposite the Emerald Pool entrance which is in use as well.
You may consider visiting the Tiger Cave Temple and Namtok Ron (Hot Spring Waterfall ) which are on the way to the Emerald Pool. Please note these two additional locations and all the admission tickets are part of the Viator tour if you choose to buy it.
For more information on the Tiger Cave Temple, read this linked article.