Krabi, the scenic province on the West coast of Southern Thailand is the perfect amalgam of many picturesque islands, stunning rock formations and mesmerising beaches. There are lots of things to do and places to see in Krabi.
The place is blessed with abundant coral reef vistas in its beautiful waters. It has a happening nightlife (maybe not as happening as some of its neighbours but still good enough!). And let’s not forget the white beaches, glorious rock formations, wildlife, adventure, and the list goes on. It’s little wonder that it attracts visitors all year round.
But at the same time, given the number of beaches and islands in the vicinity, one is bound to find some that are not over-crowded. Over 100 beautiful islands add to the glory of Krabi with some of them still largely untouched by tourists compared to other islands in Thailand. This makes Krabi one of the best islands to visit in Thailand.
Why should you visit Krabi?
The all important question. Why see places in Krabi when there are so many places in the world? The answer to this question would be the same as the answer to the question about any destination – why not?
Every destination is unique and has its own flavour. Krabi is a tropical paradise exhibiting natural scenery, beautiful limestone laden mountain cliffs, where emerald green waters turn to frothy white as they meet the white sandy beaches. If you still need convincing, here are some of the reasons, followed by a list of places to see in Krabi.
Krabi’s Natural Heritage
Apart from the allure of islands and beaches, Krabi has in store lustrous green mangrove forests, limestone canyons and ancient caves. Besides the beauty of tropical rainforests, the thermal springs and waterfalls are the centre of global tourist attractions.
The waters here are every water baby’s dream. Almost every beach provides snorkelling options due to the clarity of the water and the beautiful underwater life. Krabi also has amazing dive sites where you can witness beautiful corals and rich marine life.
Hop around your favourite Islands
Krabi is a real scenic beauty with numerous islands lined all around it for the island-hoppers. Tup Island, Chicken Island, Poda Island and Hong Island are some the places to see in Krabi during a boat tour from Ao Nang or Railay beach (more below). Visitors can either ride long-tail boats, speed boats, ferry, or cruises to reach other island destinations.
White Sandy Beaches for a splendid click
Stroll along the white beaches of Krabi in your favourite swimsuit and click those Instagram pictures. The best beaches in Krabi are incomplete without the presence of long-tail boats all the way into the distance, with their colourful ribbons fluttering in the air. With sunsets, colourful waters, colourful boats, perfect photo op moments are around every corner.
Sunsets and their alluring beauty
Sometimes it’s not just the places to see in Krabi, but the little things to witness and enjoy. If you are here in Krabi and if you have still not witnessed any of these islands at sunset, you are missing on an important thing.
Watch the beautiful phenomenon while you relax on some of the best beaches in Krabi. On the best of days, the sky looks like a brilliant masterpiece of an artist who decided to go nuts and smear the sky with some of the best colours and shades on his palette.
Places to see in Krabi
Following are some of the best beaches and islands to visit in Krabi, with a few bonus places and tips thrown into the mix for fun 😉
Ao Nang is central to tourism in Krabi. The town is usually buzzing with tourists and most boats to other island destinations can be taken from here. Ao Nang does not have paved roads all the way through, so some parts can be explored on a scooter or by foot while others would require a boat. Beaches like Railay, Tonsai, Pai Plong, Phra Nang Cave Beach and more can be found in and around the Ao Nang region.
Ao Nang is also one of your best options in these regions for a nightlife. Although still a little laid back and not as happening as its wild neighbours in Phuket, Pattaya, or Bangkok, people can still find some good bars to spend the evening.
Tip: Check out the weekend night market – especially for the cheap, authentic and yummy street food!
Phi Phi Islands
Just 90 minutes away by ferry or 45 minutes away by speedboat from Krabi (and also from Phuket, just FYI) lies the beautiful Phi Phi islands. While Phi Phi is comprised of 6 islands in total, the two main ones are Ko Phi Phi Le and Ko Phi Phi Don (Ko is the Thai word for island and hence these can also simply be referred to as Phi Phi Le and Phi Phi Don).
Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two and is also inhabited by people. Phi Phi Le lies less than 2 km away from Phi Phi Don and is uninhabited. Areas around Phi Phi Le like Loh Sama or Sama Bay are amazing snorkelling spots. You can also visit the famous Maya Beach filmed in many movies, most popularly, ‘The Beach’ by Leonardo DiCaprio. Maya Bay is blessed with beautiful waters, white sandy beaches and surrounded 100-metre cliffs. However, currently, there are issues of over-tourism there.
Tip: The nearby Palong Bay is a popular dive site. Pi Leh Bay and Viking Cave are interesting sites on the opposite side of Maya Bay. Viking cave is popular for Swifts, these birds create nests using their saliva, the locals then harvest the nests as it is used to make bird’s nest soup which is a very popular Chinese delicacy.
Railay (Rai Leh) Beach
A 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang, Railay beach is only accessible by boat. The huge limestone rocks that jut out from the ocean separate its access from the mainland. Railay Beach is divided into different sections depending on budget and accommodation for different types of travellers – West Railay has high-end resorts while East Railay has more budget accommodations.
You can opt for island boat tours that take you to smaller nearby islands (Tup Island, Chicken Island, Poda Island and Hong Island) and beaches where you can swim and go snorkelling. Rock climbing over the towering limestone structures is an activity that adventurers can pursue. Kayaking and scuba diving are other activities. Kayaks and dive equipment are easily available on rent.
Tip: Some of the rocky areas might be difficult to manoeuvre, hence ensure that you are confident in your paddling skills while kayaking.
Ko Lanta Yai is the largest island in the Ko Lanta region which comprises of 52 islands. There are several beaches to choose from in the Ko Lanta area. The longer you walk the better your chances of being rewarded with uncrowded and secret beaches.
Your best chance of being the only one on the beach is if you make it all the way to Nui beach. Head to Klong Dao beach if you love sunsets, it is renowned in most of Thailand for having the best sunsets. Ko Lanta also has the Mu Ko Lanta National Park where you can find some solitude amidst nature. Most beaches in this region are good for swimming and snorkelling.
Tip: Since it is not as popular as the neighbouring islands of Phi Phi, Koh Samui and Phuket, even during peak season, the Ko Lanta islands make for a perfect getaway from the crowds.
Nong Thale can be your ultimate relaxation destination. It is much quieter and far less crowded. Catch a beautiful sunset on the beach while sipping on some drinks or get a relaxing Thai massage by the beach. Swimming and snorkelling in the waters of Pak Bia Island and Ko Lao La Ding are also good options.
Tip: Watch some splendid sunrises here by the lake in Nong Thale village on the east side.
Than Bok Khorani
Than Bok Khorani is a national park mainly known for the waterfalls that lead to emerald pools that one can soak in. The waterfalls aren’t high but the place is picturesque and it is very relaxing to be amidst nature. It is a popular spot with locals who also believe the waters are good for rejuvenation (one can only give it a try to see how far this is true).
Once inside, you can also kayak (or opt for a longtail boat to take you) and visit the various caves, each of a different nature, where you can see stalactites, crystal rock formations, cave paintings etc.
Tip: There is an entry fee to get here (currently 300 baht) and the park is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm daily.
Adventure junkies can climb up the trail to Dragon Crest or Khao Ngon Nak.
There are obviously several more places to see in Krabi, more stunning beaches and islands (remember Krabi has over 100 islands), more natural wonders. But it would not be possible to document them all here, but we promise to keep updating when we can. Meanwhile, exploring this province on your own is sure to let you stumble on a couple of these gems and maybe you can tell us about it!
How to reach Krabi?
Your dream journey from Bangkok to Krabi can be accomplished either by flight, train or even bus.
Taking a glimpse of the distance from Bangkok to Krabi island, flights seem to be the most convenient option to travel. Krabi airport greets passengers from four airlines namely Bangkok Airways, Thai Lion Air, Thai Airways, and Nok Air. Krabi weather is favourable for flights all 365 days of the calendar.
Flight runtime: The runtime of an average flight to cover the distance from Bangkok to Krabi island is around one hour and thirty minutes.
Average cost: It costs roughly 50 – 60 USD for a round trip (however, subject to circumstances as is usual with flights).
Krabi does not have a railway station. To start your Bangkok to Krabi journey via train, you need to board at Hua Lamphong Station. Then get down at Trang Station, which is the closest station to Krabi. You will then need to get road transport to reach Krabi. However, the train journey itself takes over 11 hours, so you might need to check if time permits the same.
In place of the railway, you can prefer to reach Krabi island by roadways. Buses are available from Bangkok to Krabi. The bus journey will take over 21 hours, so this might not be the best option. And the fare will only be marginally less than a flight that has been booked in advance.
Also read: Best Islands in Thailand
If you have explored any of the above or more, be sure to let us know in the comments below.