Located in the heart of southern Thailand, Krabi lies near the western coastline and the Andaman Sea. Whether you’re looking for a local cultural experience, relaxing beach vacation, street food, fine dining, or adventurous getaways, Krabi has it all.
Families, young couples, and solo travelers flock to Krabi every year to spend their vacations in paradise.
Krabi offers a mix of relaxation and excitement with opportunities to lie down at the beach, spoil yourself at a spa, snorkel and scuba, rock climbing, take yoga classes, and more. Lagoons, sea, beaches, and bays are breathtaking with crystal-clear water on one side and lush landscape on the other. Plus, Krabi is just a short flight from Bangkok. This beach holiday destination is the perfect place to reconnect with nature, your family, and yourself.
11 THINGS TO DO IN KRABI
1. A Tranquil Ko Klang Island
Krabi is known for Ao Nang Beach, Phi Phi Islands, and Hong Island. Apart from basking in the sun and dipping in the blue lagoon, this southern province has more to share. Just a short boat ride from the local pier in Krabi town, Ko Klang Island offers a great escape from madding crowds.
More than 150 years ago, Muslim settlers left Kelantan in Malaysia and discovered the peaceful delights of Ko Klang. They built houses, settled the mosque, made boats, grew crops, crafted clothes, and caught fish and other sea animals for food. Today, the island draws visitors with its simplicity and tranquillity. Imagine yellow rice paddies rippling in the sea breeze, and goats and water buffaloes grazing lazily in fields that stretch out to the sea. It’s a picture-perfect scene of the beautiful and simple countryside.
Ko Klang is a car-free island, so you’ll probably travel by “skylab,” a motorcycle with a sidecar. The skylab is excellent for small path winding through rice farms, coconut plantations, and small fishing villages. You can hop on and off the skylab to check local craft centers, make peace with herds of goats, and try your hand at batik painting.
What makes the island even more seductive is the local food. Fueled by turmeric, lots of chili and shrimp paste, local restaurant Baan Ma Yhing (+6681 271 6102) offers a culinary adventure. Their “Kaeng Som” (Yellow Fish Curry) and Steamed Crab serving with sensational seafood sauce won’t let you down.
How to Get There:
Local passenger boats head out from Chao Fah Pier (50 Baht – 100 Baht/person) to Ko Klang frequently. There’s no need to book in advance. Once you arrive, you can pay a motorcycle taxi to get you around.
2. Unmissable Krabi Island Hopping
There are over 200 islands and islets of various sizes around the Krabi coastline. Each island is different, ranging from the cave with prehistoric paintings to secluded lagoon with white crystalline water. While most islands are uninhabited, some larger ones have residents and resorts.
To gain the best experience from island hopping, you should begin with your favorite activities.
Ko Poda, Ko Kai, Ko Tub, and Pha Nang Cave are best to explore together on a day trip from Ao Nang Beach. You will find two small islets bridged together with a white powdery sandbar. There you could take off your shoes and enjoy the barefoot experience on the tropical white sandy beach. Ko Hong is well worth taking a boat ride from Ao Nang. There’s nothing that beats basking in the sun on the beach and swimming in translucent teal blue waters.
Further away, Phi Phi and Lanta islands are gateways to explore the underwater realms of the Andaman Sea. Dramatic rock overhangs, underwater cliffs, and shipwrecks define several dive sites. Whale sharks, lionfish, sea fans, and moray eels are among the varied sea creatures waiting to mesmerize divers. Phi Phi and Lanta, with their white sandy beaches and stylish spa resorts and hotels, are ones of Krabi’s best beach holiday destinations.
If you are planning to go island hopping around the Krabi coastline, the best time to go is from October to April. “Hua Thong” – Krabi’s signature long-tailed boat – does a fantastic job for a day trip from Ao Nang Beach.
3. Adrenaline-Driving Railay Rock Climbing
Striking cliffs, magnificent limestone rocks, and azure waters make Krabi the perfect playground for rock climbers and thrill-seekers who love feeling the adrenaline rush.
The Railay peninsula, which is a 15-minute boat ride from Ao Nang Beach, is home to some of the world’s best rock-climbing sites thanks to its limestone formations with climbing routes, coupled with rock climbing schools, cafés, hotels, and beautiful beaches.
Krabi offers rock climbers three options: top-rope climbing, lead climbing, and deep-sea soloing. The beginners will enjoy learning the basics of how to tie knots, rope safety, rope security, and climbing techniques before finding themselves hanging on the towering wall. The advanced climbers can go out with a private guide and find more challenging and adventurous multi-pitch climbing routes.
If you are looking for a climbing challenge, try deep-water soloing. Deep-water soloing lets you enjoy the freedom of climbing without a rope before letting yourself fall into the deep-blue Andaman Sea.
4. Kayak Adventure Along Krabi Coastline
Towering limestone karts, mangroves, and emerald waters of the Andaman Sea outline Thalane Bay in Krabi’s northern coast. Sea kayaking is the ultimate way to explore Krabi’s beautiful coastline. A full day kayaking allows visitors to get up close and personal with coral reefs, bright-colored crabs, tropical fish, crab-eating macaques, and aquatic birds. The rugged limestone coastline also offers excellent chances to paddle alongside the stunning shore. As your sea kayak slips through a sea cave, the hidden lagoon suddenly emerges in front of you. With a stunning view, you’ll want to plunge into the crystalline seawater and swim with schools of tropical fish.
How to Get There:
Many tour operators in Krabi (Ao Nang, Khlong Muang, and Railay) offer a full-day sea kayak expedition in Thalane with hotel transfers. Ask your hotel for the best offer.
5. Soaking Up in Krabi's Hot Springs
Known among the locals as “Sa Morakot,” Krabi’s Emerald Pool is a local swimming spot hidden in a national park. The lagoon is filled with geothermal water (30-50 degree Celsius) from underground. The water is crystalline and the calcium carbonate in the water makes it look emerald green. The lagoon is stunning and you can spend time enjoying the splashes of lukewarm geothermal water. The Emerald Pool, a one hour ride from either Krabi town or Ao Nang Beach, is part of Krabi’s well-known off-the-beach trail that includes the Khlong Thom hot springs. Also known as “hot waterfall,” a natural warm stream (40C) flows through the jungle. It sweeps down several small cascades with some comfortable rock formations that create “natural jacuzzis” before dropping into a colder waterway.
How to Get There:
Sa Morakot or the Emerald Pool is 50 to 70 kilometers to the east of Krabi town and Ao Nang Beach. You’ll need to rent a car or private taxi to get to the Emerald Pool and Khlong Thom hot springs.
6. Making Peace with Whale Sharks
After some land expeditions around Krabi, you’ll be filled with joy from exploring the local fishing village. You can go museum hopping and be overwhelmed with beautiful ancient beads, arts, and Andaman culture. Explore the marketplaces and fill your bag with loads of local goods. There’s only one thing left for you to do – go underwater.
With spectacular coral reefs, underwater caves, and marine life, Krabi is a world-class scuba diving destination. Two diving spots you should visit are Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, both are two-hour boat rides from Lanta Island. Drift diving, undersea walls and caves, and hordes of sharks and giant manta rays make Hin Daeng and Hin Muang high on a diver’s wish list. If you’re lucky, you can swim side by side with whale sharks. Phi Phi Island is also a top scuba diving destination with dive sites such as Hin Dot and Shark Point being famous for funny-looking bearded scorpionfish and whale sharks. There are many dive centers in Phi Phi and Lanta, and the best time to go diving is from January to May.
7. Promising Nightlife at Ao Nang Beach
A twenty-minute drive from Krabi town is Ao Nang Beach – Krabi’s vibrant tourist center. Ao Nang has it all; sun, sand, and sophistication from stylish spa resorts, chilled-out eateries, and fine dining restaurants. Book a table at The Tavern Wine House & Restaurant (+6688 680 8178) if you’re craving fine wine and Mediterranean cuisine. If you want seafood, Tong Talay Seafood Buffet has an all-you-can-eat fresh seafood buffet under Bt600. Ao Nang also provides a wide range of accommodations, and you can easily access the Andaman Sea via ferries, speed boats, and traditional long-tailed boats. Railay is only 15 minutes away by boat, and Klong Muang Beach is a 25-minute drive from Ao Nang. From beachside shacks to swanky bars, Ao Nang establishes itself as the place for a promising nightlife.
8. Romantic Hideout at Klong Muang
Strolling hand in hand along an isolated beach is probably cliché, yet you can’t deny that the blissful ocean breeze, slow paces of life, the appeal of a small town, and a dramatic sunset is romantic. Forty-five minutes from Krabi International Airport, Klong Muang has three beautiful beaches – Ao Siaw Beach, Klong Muang Beach, and Tab Khaek Beach. Unlike Ao Nang, Klong Muang lures couples with its long and tranquil golden beaches and luxury retreats. Check into beachfront resorts like Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort. Then hit the beach, hop around Krabi islands on a private boat, or spoil yourself in a spa treatment. Klong Muang will leave the two of you mesmerized by its unspoiled beauty.
9. Capturing Spirit of Young Travelers at the Ton Sai Beach
Billed as a “hippie hub,” Ton Sai Beach in the Railay peninsula draws young travelers from around the world for its laid-back ambiance and mouth-watering street food. The beach itself isn’t as stunning since there are rocks and reefs when the tide is low. If you are looking for stunning beaches, take a 10 minute walk south to West Railay Beach for its gorgeous white sand beach. But if you are looking to socialize, Ton Sai Beach’s casual beach bars and affordable accommodations make it the perfect place to make new friends.
10. Basking on Phi Phi Islands
If Phi-Phi Leh, home to Maya Bay, is the heart of Hollywood blockbuster “The Beach” starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Phi Phi Don Island must be its soul. Phi Phi Don, with curvy twin bays of Ton Sai and Loh Dalum, was once an icon of lush tropical beach paradises in the 1970s. The island has now reinvented itself as a hedonistic heaven with a fair share of up-scale resorts and mid-range hotels scattered around Loh Dalum.
Phi Phi islands should be loved by holidaymakers for their natural beauty – warm and crystalline turquoise seawater, white powdery sands, and the dazzling sunlight. The tropical islands are tempting with a wide range of experiences. Around the small archipelago, the marine national park becomes the perfect destination for snorkelers and divers. The twin bays of Phi Phi Don are famous for the beach party scene, with an abundance of hostels and bars. Holidaymakers are happy to find themselves basking in the sun and swimming in azure seas by day and partying on sandy beaches by night. Passenger ferries depart daily from Phuket, Krabi town, Ao Nang, Railay, and Lanta Island to Phi Phi Don.
11. Alluring Lanta Island
Tucked away in Krabi’s southern coastline, Lanta Island is a historic Andaman township. Ancient traders in Java, Malay Peninsula, and China stopped off for food and fresh water. The island is now home to sea nomads, local Thai Muslims, and Chinese descendants. Its marine park, a refuge for marine wildlife like whale sharks and giant stingrays, is a diver’s dream destination. If scuba diving isn’t your thing, the next best Andaman experience is snorkeling.
Rok Island, Thailand’s best snorkeling site, is a perfect spot to swim in crystalline water, and there is a chance that you will be surrounded by schools of colorful fish. Despite its high and growing tourist numbers, Lanta remains calmer than Phi Phi Island. With a long and tranquil beach on the west side of the island, Lanta is the perfect place to watch the sun sink into the ocean. There are tons of fantastic ways to enjoy Lanta sunset from strolling on the beach to sipping an Old-Fashioned cocktail at a beachfront bar.
How to Get There:
Passenger ferries leave local piers daily from Krabi Town and Ao Nang Beach to Lanta Island.
Lanta Island could be reached by car. Head South of Krabi for 75 kilometers to Hua Hin pier – which is where the last ferry departs to Lanta Noi Island at 10pm. You’ll need the second ferry to cross from Lanta Noi to Lanta Yai Island – where all beaches and hotels are.
Ruen Mai Restaurant
The further south you travel in Thailand, the more hot and spicy the food gets. Located in the heart of southern Thailand, Krabi has a natural abundance of herbs and spices, a good supply of coconut, and loads of seafood. The rich blend of chili, turmeric, galangal, garlic, lemongrass, and kaffir lime makes the food spicier than green curry and red curry. Ruen Mai restaurant, 20 minutes’ drive from Ao Nang Beach, is the best place to taste the southern fare. The restaurant, with a stylish bamboo dining hall, is in a garden with a tropical vibe and a rustic-chic ambience. Chefs whip up their dishes with fresh and locally sourced ingredients and cook over open flames, a typical Thai way of cooking. Try their signature dishes like “Moo Pad Kapi Sataw” (spicy fried minced pork and bitter beans in shrimp paste sauce). A stir-fried dish of pungent, bitter beans, and stinky shrimp paste wake up your senses with distinctive scents and tastes. Make sure you try these dishes if you visit: “Pak Miang Tom Kathi” (prawns and Miang leaves in creamy and savory coconut milk soup) and “Kua Kling” (pork with spicy and herby curry paste). Some of the dishes are incredibly spicy, so be prepared. The chefs can tone them down upon request, or you can sort it out with some cold beer.
Ruen Mai Restaurant, 117 Moo 3, Sai Thai, Krabi
Hours: Open for lunch (10.30am-3pm) and dinner (5pm-10pm)
Telephone: +66 89 288 3232
Prices: $4.62 – $9.24 per dish
How to Get To Krabi:
Krabi is connected to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Samui Island, and Singapore via daily domestic and international flights. Low-cost airlines depart daily from Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok to Krabi International Airport, while Bangkok Airways and Thai Smile operate daily flights from Suvarnabhumi to Krabi. Bangkok Airways also bridges Samui and Krabi with its daily flight.
Krabi is 780 kilometers away from Bangkok. Overnight buses leave Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) to Krabi (12 hours) every evening.
Getting Around Krabi:
Visitors could rent a car at the Krabi Airport, as Hertz, Budget, National Car Rental, Thai Rent A Car, and Sixt all have agents willing to help you at arrival gates. Make sure you have a valid driver’s license if you plan to rent a car.
Visitors can rely on local buses and motorcycle taxies if they’re traveling in Krabi. In Ao Nang and Klong Muang beaches, there are “songthaew,” or pick-up taxis, and motorcycles with a sidecar – which will take the passenger to most places for $0.62-$1.54 per person.
Riding a long-tailed boat is popular around the Krabi coastal line. You can either go for a short ride or a day out for island hopping. Prices are fixed by the local boat club and displayed at the booths. Boat rides could be shared with others or could be chartered for a private trip. Children under 12 travel free.
Phuket Ferry (www.phuketferry.com) operates five daily ferries from/to Railay Bay and Phi Phi Island.