Emerald Cave on Koh Muk island with kids

Emerald Cave - Koh Mook must see

Emerald Cave (Tam Morakot) is one of the most unique attractions on Koh Mook island. The cave hides one of the best-guarded beaches in Thailand and to get there, you must swim through the cave in complete darkness. We visited Emerald Cave with children and successfully enjoyed the place peacefully and quietly, without the crowds of tourists. 

Check out how we did it.

Trip to the Emerald Cave

Jaskinia Emerald Cave Koh Muk Tajlandia z dzieckiem

When we planned our two-day stay on Koh Mook, we immediately knew we wanted to see Emerald Cave. Children were also very excited by the vision of swimming through the cave in complete darkness.

 Although this place is referred to as 'unseen Thailand', don't let that mislead you. The Emerald Cave is actually a very popular tourist attraction, with visitors flocking to it in large numbers from the surrounding islands. 

 

During peak visitation, tour boats swarm in front of the cave and whole queues of tourists line up in the water waiting for their turn. Everyone wants to see this special spot, but not everyone is lucky enough to arrive at good conditions.

On the way to the Emerald Cave

We reserved a trip to Emerald Cave at the Nature Hill hotel we were staying at. We were advised to go on the trip in the morning at 8am because of the good conditions.

The owners of the hotel prepared an early breakfast for us at 7.30 and just before eight we were on our way to Charlie Beach, at which a boat was already waiting for us. We were accompanied by a guide who handed out life jackets and gave us a head torch. From Charlie Beach to the entrance of Emerald Cave (Tam Morakot), we sailed in about 10 minutes. 

 

We jumped out of the boat straight into the water and swam to the cave. After a few metres it became completely dark in the cave and we had to turn on our torches. The cave is about 80 metres long and even those who are not very good swimmers should be able to manage this distance, as you are wearing a life jacket. However, I should warn you that it takes quite a struggle, especially when the tide comes in and it feels like you are swimming in place. 

The effort is well worth it when a lovely beach with blue water surrounded by a green cliff face emerges from complete darkness. The place is beautiful and is certainly exceptional.

 

Emerald Cave with kids Koh Mook
View from the Emerald Cave

We were inside with just one tiny and quiet group of visitors. It was perfect.

While the children played in the water and on the beach, we admired the surroundings. We spent a while in the Emerald Cave enjoying the moment until more groups of tourists started to arrive. When it got noisy and crowded we decided that it was time to go back. We wanted to save the best possible memories from this trip.

Emerald Cave w Tajlandii
Emerald Cave Koh Muk Tajlandia

Return from the trip

Emerald Cave Koh Mook with kids  Thailand with kids

The return was more challenging because the tide was starting to come in and we had to put more effort into swimming. The guide was with us all the time and at the end helped the children to swim back to the boat. We were tired, happy and our children were very proud of themselves.

We climbed the steps to the boat and had to wait for a while until there was enough space for the boat to depart. By the time we were in Emerald Cave, it had already become crowded at the entrance and more boats and kayaks kept arriving from different directions.

We also wanted to swim to the neighbouring Sabai Beach, but the kids were really tired already, so we returned to the hotel for a rest.

Emerald Cave z dziećmi Tajlandia z dzieckiem

How to get to Emerald Cave

Wsypa Koh Muk i jaskinia Emerald Cave
Emerald Cave from the sea side

You can get to Emerald Cave in several ways. The easiest way is directly from Koh Mook. You can rent kayaks and sail yourself from Charlie Beach (see map). Those who don't feel up to it may rent a boat with a guide on site for reasonable price.

Alternatively, you can visit the cave on a 4 Islands tour organised from Koh Lanta for the expected cost of:

  • group tour, speed boat: 1600 THB adult, 800 THB child
  • group tour, long tail boat: 900 THB adult, 550 THB child

For hiring a private boat on Koh Mook to the Emerald Cave, we paid only 700 THB.

Emerald Cave tour on Koh Muk with children

Emerald Cave with kids Thailand with a child

If you are travelling with small children, I recommend a trip to Emerald Cave directly from Koh Mook or Koh Ngai island, because it is shorter and more pleasant. On top of that, the locals know very well when is the best time to visit the Emerald Cave

I rather advise against taking part in group tours organised from Koh Lanta. This kind of excursion lasts more than 7 hours and the programme is fixed. It is not possible to finish earlier in case the children have had enough.
Moreover, you arrive at the cave already at a time when it gets really crowded. You can also encounter difficult sea conditions in the cave. 

For full-day trips, I strongly recommend wearing sun-blocking swimsuits.

When is the best time to visit Emerald Cave

The best time to visit Emerald Cave is during the dry season, between December and April. That's when conditions are at their best. 

Check the weather in Thailand before travel: Best Time to Visit Thailand. Weather in Thailand 

Speaking of crowds of tourists, my advice is to go to Emerald Cave early in the morning. When we sailed out of the cave after 9am, there were already a dozen or so boats by the cave and more were still coming.

 

If you like exploring caves, don't miss these places in Thailand:

Chiang Dao Cave
Chiang Dao Cave in Chiang Mai

Mile-long corridors, lit only by a naphtha lantern, will provide an amazing experience.

Phraya Nakhon cave in Sam Roi Yot
Phraya Nakhon cave in Sam Roi Yot

The trek to the cave is well worth the view. The cave is huge and no photo reflects that.

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