When you hear of Krabi, Thailand, what usually comes to mind are stretches of beaches on the mainland and the 154 islands scattered nearby. But there are so many things to do besides snorkeling, swimming, and soaking up the sun. Visiting the Emerald Pool is one of them.
We drove 60 kilometers southeast of Krabi toward the Khao Nor Chu Chi Nature Reserve.* We passed acres upon acres of rubber trees and palm trees, turned onto a gravel road and pulled into a very unimpressive-looking dirt parking lot. After duly paying our 30 baht parking fee, we made our way toward the entrance.
We passed the changing rooms and walked by small shops and local food stands that line the path to the entrance.
We passed by the assortment of grilled meats and fresh coconuts but discovered later that a stop at the flip flop stand is a must. The forest floor surrounding the pool is covered with small crystal clear “puddles” of spring water.
We took our purses and backpacks into the forest preserve. (If you go, you may want to pack some mosquito repellent.) Food and bottles of anything but water had to stay behind.
As a foreigner I paid a 200 baht (roughly $6) entrance fee. Thai people pay just 20 baht (roughly 60 cents), making it a popular destination for local families.
if you want to avoid crowds, it’s best to go early morning or later afternoon on a weekday. We didn’t take our own advice but still the forest path leading to and from the pool was relatively quiet. We opted to take the 1.4 kilometer raised boardwalk on the way to the pool and take the shorter forest path on the way back.
As we walked through the forest of mature tree and towering clusters of bamboo, we couldn’t help but stop to take pictures of the mini waterfalls and racing streams along the path. Beautiful–even though pictures (mine at least) can’t do them justice.
Three pools lay inside the preserve: the Glass Pool (Sra Kaew), the Blue Pool, and the Emerald Pool. The Glass Pool (Sra Kaew) is a small pond of clear water surrounded by different hues of yellow, orange, and brown moss. The Blue Pool was closed so we didn’t visit it. Though it’s supposed to be stunning, the water is hot and it’s surrounded by quicksand. Pictures only; no swimming allowed.
The sound of splashing told us the Emerald Pool was coming up. As we turned the corner, we saw a deliciously beautiful pool of emerald green. Fresh spring water fills a natural pool that’s surrounded by slippery limestone. The water color changes with the temperature, green-blue when the water is warm and a pale green when it’s cool.
The pool was surprisingly small but that didn’t seem to bother the families soaking and laughing and taking pictures. While the pool wasn’t grandiose or majestic, it was just plain cool. And getting to experience what local Thai families enjoy on their time off made it that more enjoyable. It’s well worth a visit.
*Also known as Khao Pra Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary