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The Emerald Pool is an exquisite natural hot spring in the Khlong Thom District of Krabi, Thailand. This colorful pool is a great jungle respite for weary travelers who want to take a dip in the warm water and wash away their worries. So, if you are visiting the South of Thailand, the Emerald Pool is definitely a worthy stopover on your journey.
The name “Emerald Pool Krabi” may suggest that there’s a single hot spring in the middle of this jungle when in fact there are 2 more springs, the Blue Pool and the Crystal Pool, in close proximity. Although, the Emerald Pool is the only hot spring you can swim in. The image below shows a map of the Emerald pool and highlights the key points on interest for a traveler.
Though the image above gives you a rough overview of what to expect at the Emerald Pool, it’s not clear enough to see the names on the labels. So, I’ll explain each point of interest in the following sections except for the numbers 3,4 and 7 which are the visitors center, toilet facilities and the Emerald Pool respectively. For your reference, the number in the section heading corresponds to the number on the map.
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 typical 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.
As you see in the Emerald Pool map, there are two ways to get to the hot springs. One is a dirt trail marked in orange 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. 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 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 away from the Pool.
The Blue Pool, as mentioned before, 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 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 act foolish and try to jump in the pool, a guard is always present. So, don’t even think about it.
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 you don’t make much noise so as to not disturb the wildlife.
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.
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. Another point of interest is the small clear spring beside it. Locals believe that if you pray here, your wishes will be granted.
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.
So now that you know what you’ll find at the Emerald Pool in Krabi. Here’s some basic information about opening hours, entrance fees and how to get there.
The Emerald pool opens at 8.00 AM. and closes at 5.00 PM. Since the Emerald Pool is a popular attraction, buses full of tourists stopover during the course of the day. So, the best time to visit, if you want to have the pool all to yourself, is early in the morning close to the opening time.
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 fee structure for locals and foreigners is different. Visitors to Thailand pay 10 times more than the locals. So, if you are a foreigner, 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.
Emerald pool is about 70 KM from the popular Ao Nang beach. It takes about 1hr and 15min to get there by car or scooter.
Ao Nang 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.
There are a lot of tour buses that take you to the Emerald Pool as part of their full-day itinerary. I particularly like the tours offered by GetYourGuide.com because their tours are reliable and they offer the best price. Here are some of the top Krabi Tours:
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