Emerald Pool in Krabi is one of the most interesting Eco-tourism places I have visited in a long time. This stunning place also known as Sa Morakot or Thung Tieo Emerald Pond is located about an hours drive from Ao Nang in Krabi. The pool showcases the amazing green aquamarine colored waters after a perfect nature trek through the beautiful Khao Pra Bang Khram Wildlife Reserve. For nature lovers or Bird Watchers, this is one place that you should not miss out when visiting Krabi in Southern Thailand.
Entrance to the Emerald Pool in Krabi
Visiting the Sa Morakot or Emerald Pool caught me totally off guard and by surprise as my expectancy was lower than what I expected. On arriving here, our tour guide had arranged for the entrance fees while we casually strolled in, armed with cameras and looking around for this pool. A wooden notice board with the full map of the area was seen while a fairly large wooden overhead arch structure followed next. There were two ways to get to the Emerald Pool - The scenic way which was was a 1800 meter trek through the stunning mangrove-rainforest while the other was a general sand road straight to the pool which was abut 1400 meters long. Our choice... obviously the harder way.
Amazing beautiful scenery at the Wildlife Reserve
Entrance to the 1800 meter trek to the pool
Once you start your 1.8km trek, it may sound pretty long but not to worry, the journey there will definitely impress you with beautiful scenery along the way. Wooden board walks are built over the mangrove at most places while other areas will be a little different. You will see why in the next picture below.
At certain parts of the walk, we encountered what looked like a tactical commando training area. Perfectly cut tree stumps were placed carefully in the ground in two rows and you would have to walk on them to avoid the muddy grounds. Again, this trek is not suitable for elderly or non-adventurous people.
Still waters of the mangrove area during the trek
Parts of the trek to the Emerald Pool were absolutely stunning with tall rainforest trees growing up to a hundred feet tall while the board walk snaked through the thick mangrove area. A good opportunity to see some natural wildlife here with sharp eyes.
Beautiful views of the mangrove
Some of the stunning scenes along the trek
After about 25 minutes of walking through the 1.8km trek, we finally had a glimpse of one of the pools with aquamarine colored waters. As it was just off the main board walk, I assumed that this was it - but my guide shook his head. This is only the beginning. Wow, there were more! Apparently the waters here come from layers of porous rocks which gives it the beautiful colours and the clarity is absolutely stunning. You can see schools of little fish swimming too.
Another section of the pond and stream
As we continued our trek further in, our guide told us that this place is also popular with the Birdwatchers or Birders. Some of them come here to find the once thought extinct Gurney's Pitta bird. Best time to do birdwatching at Emerald Pool is in the early mornings as there is a pretty wide variety of other birds to be seen here. Sadly during our after lunch trip, we saw the sun most of the time peeking through the canopy of the rainforest.
Signboard showing the various places
Finally after about 45 minutes of trekking through the mangrove and rainforest here, we made it to the main walkway of the Emerald Pool. A nice signage was put up for those wanting to visit other places around the Wildlife Reserve, namely the Blue Pool. From a distance, I could hear the tourist voices and knew that this must have been a popular area with the locals.
One section of the emerald pond
The Emerald Pool is pretty large and measuring about 25 meters in diameter. It looks man-made but trust me, this is an all natural pool. Looking around, I see man made structures around the pool - Open air huts for people to have a picnic while there are wooden platforms at one area of the pool. The pool is not deep as it is about one to two meters deep. At the far end, a stream flows water into this pool. Many are seen frolicking or swimming here so if you plan to experience this, please bring a change of clothes.
Swimming at the Emerald Pool in Krabi
The striking feature of the Emerald Pool is the changing color of the water. Depending upon the bacteria and algae content as well as temperature of the water, the color also changes. The water obtains a greenish-blue color when the temperature is high and it is pale green at lower temperatures. I saw quite a number of people here ranging from Caucasian travelers to local Thai people as this place is heavily promoted in Krabi and Ao Nang areas. Most tour operators would have trips here so check with them.
Aquamarine green stream
Nearby, a stream flows with greenish emerald colored water. Something you never see, so it was totally awkward for me. At certain angles, it looked like a set of a fantasy movie. Water was fast flowing here and I saw a few locals sit by the stream and dip their feet.
A traveler makes his way back to the entrance
As we did not go to the Blue Pool, we made our way back via the general earth road. It was relatively an easy walk back but I would have preferred it if it was in the morning. It got a little stuffy and humid along the way back. But not to worry as there was a vendor nearby the pool selling some soft drinks and ice cream.
Trek back to the entrance
A strange bamboo shoot growing
Waterfalls at the entrance of the Wildlife Reserve
Finally wen we got back to the entrance, there was a local coffee shop just outside selling iced coffee and juices. An iced cold Thai coffee made my trek worthwhile. Actually, I lied - It was the sheer fact that I visited this amazing place to witness nature at its best, this is one of the best Eco-Tourism treks I have been on in a long while.
Admission to the Emerald Pond is 200 Baht (US$6.30) for adults and 100 Baht (US$3.15) for children. If you book a day trip, the admission fee will usually be included in the price.
Best time to visit: Morning 6am till 9am and Afternoon 3pm till 5pm
Open: All year round
What to bring: Water, trekking or sports shoes, towel, change of clothes if you are planning to swim here.
How to get to Emerald Pool;
- From Krabi town, use Highway No.4 to Khlong Thom District
- Turn left to Highway No.4038
- Then turn right to Highway No.4021
- Head towards Sa Morakot
Trail map and the surrounding areas
This trip was made possible with the help of the Tourism Authority of Thailand and Krabi Tourism Association. I would have never known of this amazing place as it is somewhat a new attraction being promoted though it has been around for many years and a local favourite. The Emerald Pool of Krabi is definately a place to visit.