Krabi is the ideal holiday destination for those wanting a relaxed stay on the west coast of southern Thailand. Located between Phang Nga and Trang, the mainland province features stunning scenery both inland and at sea. With over 150 islands off its 150km coastline, a lush jungle interior, dense mangrove forests, towering limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls and protected wildlife, Krabi is guaranteed to appease any type of traveller.
The capital, Krabi Town has managed to retain its old-world charm and simplicity and even though it has naturally evolved to modernity, it still offers a very authentic Thai experience. Several traditional fishing boats line the river, while bars, excellent restaurants and interesting museums depicting the history of the region, as well as markets and street food, are bound to hold your attention.
From its convenient position, excursions can be taken to Ao Nang, Phi Phi Islands and Koh Lanta, and the lesser-known areas Ao Luk, Ao Nam Mao and Ao Thalane. Railay Beach remains a must, not only for its upmarket accommodation and laid back restaurants – but for the sheer joy of time on the coastline itself. One of the main attractions of Krabi Province is that it still is relatively untouched, the province manages to retain its natural charm.
Krabi, Attractions and Activities
Set on the shores of the Andaman Sea, Krabi is home to popular beach destinations such as the Phi Phi Islands, which jut from the sea like giant rain-forested boulders, and the exceptional Railay Beach, accessible only by boat. Island-hopping, snorkelling, rock climbing, sea kayaking, jungle trekking and scuba diving are among the most popular activities that can be enjoyed while holidaying in Krabi.
A highlight attraction in the area is Wat Tham Sua, also known as Tiger Cave. The remarkable temple was built in a limestone cave in the forest and legend has it that a tiger once lived there. Inside one of the caves are what appear to be tiger paw prints embedded in the stone. Part of a greater temple complex where monks live and worship, the main tourist attraction is the 1,272-step climb up a limestone tower to see the ‘footprint of Buddha’.
Krabi is well-known for being an area of outstanding natural beauty and one place that should make your list is the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, a lowland forest rich in bio-diversity. Complete with a well-marked nature trail, the park is especially famous for the Emerald Pool and the Blue Pool – two ponds vividly coloured by the reflection of the sun.
The Than Bokkharani National Park is home to dense rainforest and a variety of endangered bird and animal species including the Gurney’s pitta, a minute bird with a yellow belly that lives there. Equally important is the Hat Nopparat Thara National that incorporates the majority of Krabi’s coastline along with about 80 islands including Koh Phi Phi.
Maya Bay, Phi Phi Le Island, Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Marine Park, Krabi
Koh Poda is one of the most popular islands in the Krabi archipelago. Located just six kilometres offshore of Ao Nang beach, it takes roughly 25 minutes to get there by longtail boat. Covered with palm and pine trees and almost entirely encircled by a soft white sandy beach, it is every inch the stunning tropical getaway. A coral reef lies about 20 metres from the beach with a variety of sea life, which is perfect for snorkelling.
The Fossil Shell Beach, Klong Thom hot springs and Khao Khanab Nam caves are other recognisable landmarks in Krabi. You can also join a Four Islands Tour to visit Tup Island, Phra Nang Cave, Chicken Island and Poda Island, with stops at each for swimming, eating, exploring and relaxing.
Krabi Town is charming, laid back, and very provincial. As the main commercial and logistics hub of the province, it’s a welcome contrast to the surrounding beach-focussed areas. For those interested in genuine Thai culture and hospitality, sticking around Krabi Town for a bit is a rewarding experience.
Poda Island is located near Nang Bay, Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Marine Park, Krabi
Krabi, Where to Stay
Ao Nang is the most popular area to stay in Krabi given its namesake beach. It has plenty of accommodation options, shopping and fine dining restaurants. Honeymooners and romance seekers may opt for a stay on Railay or one of the other beaches on this slice of paradisical peninsula. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, with grand limestone cliffs in the background, it is picture-perfect. Krabi Town has a laidback and authentic feel and slow pace of living, as well as night markets and easy access to day-trip destinations. Klong Muang is a complete resort town, each resort self-contained with its private beach, health spa, large swimming pools and restaurant serving both local and international cuisine. Especially ideal for families and friends travelling together.
Krabi, Best Time to Visit
Southern Thailand has two distinguishable seasons that bring slightly different weather conditions. For the dedicated sun seeker, Krabi’s dry season tends to run from December to May with temperatures gradually increasing. The driest month of the year is often February, with temperatures averaging around 30C. Between November and March, there is a chance of rain, with the weather slightly cooler. That said, as a tropical haven, the Province of Krabi experiences high temperatures year-round and is always an inviting and idyllic holiday destination.
Krabi, Getting To and Around
Krabi International Airport is just an hour and a half’s flight from Bangkok, with the airport servicing numerous international destinations for added convenience. Krabi Town is small enough for most attractions to be within easy walking distance. When you want to venture out there are public buses, taxis and tuk-tuks available. Grab and motorbike taxis work well too, while longtail and motorboats are the best way to get around the coastline and to some of the beaches and caves only accessible by water. Motorbike hire and car rentals remain popular options for the more adventurous.