Chicken Island – Tambon Ao Nang, Thailand - Atlas Obscura

Chicken Island

Tambon Ao Nang, Thailand

This nugget of paradise earned its name for obvious reasons. 


As your boat skims across the crystal blue Andaman Sea and you head out past island after island, you’ll suddenly look up and witness a most unusual sight. There, a gargantuan chicken head rises from the turquoise depths.

The great stone chicken watches over flocks of island hopping tourists like a mother hen would guard her chicks. Rather than feathers, it sports a coat of lush greenery. And though the rock’s resemblance to the head of a chicken with a mountainous hump behind it is the obvious attraction, so much more beauty lies beyond the odd poultry spectacle.

Chicken Island is intriguing not only for many of the typical island reasons, but also for its slightly daring unpredictability. It’s an uninhabited and nearly pristine white sand beach that remains undeveloped, save for one little snack shack.

Chicken Island deserves its own day of meandering. The beach is serene and peaceful. A visit at low tide will allow you to walk across a land bridge that appears seemingly out of nowhere and leads you to Tup Island, a smaller, sunnier island whose beach floods during high tide. The snorkeling here is some of the best in the area, with a wide variety of underwater life floating right past your mask.

Sure, you’ll come across tour boats stopping for an hour so tourists can snap a picture of the quirky rock formation and snorkel the coral reef, but the area is largely untouched because of just how many other islands there are to explore.

Know Before You Go

It's about 30 minutes by boat from the west coast of Krabi. You can charter a boat from tourist services in Krabi. You can also take a boat from Ao Phra Nang Beach.

Beware a rising tide or a violent ocean during off season. The ever present element of just a touch of danger may be what keeps tourists coming back year after year, but it can quite literally sweep you out to sea or find your boat sunk.

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