10 Things to Do in Krabi – the Highlight of Southern Thailand
Krabi is an area of the Southern Thailand’s west coast, with beautiful beaches and spectacular landscape. This province is recognisable for its limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forests, and more than a hundred islands. It is one of the most idyllic areas to visit in Thailand. Krabi has become one of the most popular destinations in the world. People come here in search of relaxation, exotic views, great food and some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. If you haven’t visited yet, you are missing out! Our post will guide you through the wide area of Krabi and cover some of the best activities & things to do.
- Go Island Hopping
- Visit Phi Phi Island
- Climb 1237 steps to the Tiger Temple
- Visit Railay Beach and its Caves
- Hike the Dragon Crest
- Kayak to the Nearby Islands
- Swim in Emerald Pool
- Klong Thom Hot Springs
- Eat at the Night Market
- Ao Nang Beach
- Practical Infos
↬ Note: We stayed 4 days in Krabi and planned to do most of the things from the list. However, for 3 full days and nights it was pouring rain with strong wind. Boats wouldn’t depart, we couldn’t rent a kayak and were advised not to hike in these conditions. We are sorry that our pictures do not reflect the actual beauty of Krabi. Some of them are from Martyna’s previous trip to Thailand 6 years ago. She also travelled in August but had more luck with the weather ?
1. Go Island Hopping
There are over 200 islands on the coasts of Krabi. Many of those island are inhabited and make a perfect destination for adventurers. Island hopping between some of them is the most popular and best thing to do. There are many day trips organised from Ao Nang Beach or Noppharat Thara Pier.
By speed boat
You can join an organised 4 islands tour that will take you by speed boat to few different islands. Like the popular Four Island Tour which usually visits Tup Island, Phra Nang Cave, Chicken Island and Poda Island. The boat will stop at each location giving you time to snorkel and swim. It will also include a lunch. The downside is that the boat fits up to 40 people, so you will always find yourself surrounded by crowd. Because of that the places might never feel idyllic and relaxing. The tours start at 1400 THB (40 EUR).
Rent a private boat
The best way to spend an exciting day in Krabi is discovering some of the nearby islands. You can hire a private long tail boat and visit those closer to the shore. You will be independent and be able to stay as long as you want at each of the spots. Just remember to pack lunch with you. Alternatively ask the boatman to stop at a beach with a nice restaurant.
To find a long tail boat, simply go down to the nearest beach whenever you wish to leave. On Ao Nang Beach you will find a ticket booth where you can book and pay, then you will be assigned a boat and driver. If not, you can approach any of the waiting boatmen. The prices are sort of fixed, so no need to bargain. All the boatmen know the popular routes, so you can trust them to take you to the location.
Prices and private long tail boat tours
- Chicken Island, Tub, Mor, Poda Island and Phra Nang beach (4 Islands + Railay) 2200 THB (65 EUR)
- Koh Hong 2500 THB (75 EUR)
- Koh Hong group (Koh Hong + Koh Pakbia, Koh Rai, Koh Lahding) 2800 THB (83 EUR)
- Bamboo Island (part of Koh Phi Phi group) 3800 THB (112 EUR)
↬ TIP : Bring cash! National Marine Park entrance fees are collected on all the popular islands, at the rate of 300 – 400 THB per foreign tourist.
Did you know that famous James Bond island is located just an hour drive from Krabi? To find out more
2. Visit Phi Phi Island
Despite the crowds, exploring the Phi Phi Islands remains a Krabi top thing to do and a ‘must-see’. They richly deserve their reputation as ‘the jewels of the Andaman Sea’. There are two islands, Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh. Phi Phi Don is inhabited and is the one where all the tourists flock. Known for its turquoise water and stunning beaches the island really is a tropical paradise.
↬ Note : Maya Bay, where the movie “The Beach” starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed remains closed indefinitely.
The Phi Phi group of islands (as there are 4 islands within its group) is accessible for visit from Krabi as a part of day trip tour with a speedboat. There are 2 alternatives to traveling with a group of 40 people.
↬ Note : Phi Phi island is not reachable by long tail boat.
Hiring a private boat is probably the first thing that comes to people’s mind. However, Phi Phi is a fair distance from Krabi and it’s not reachable by long tail boat. You’ll need to hire a speed boat and the price is quite high for this: starting at 9000 THB (270 EUR) for one day.
Luckily there is one more solution. There are public ferries connecting both Krabi and Ao Nang Beach with Phi Phi Don. The trip takes 1,5-2 H.
The Andaman Wave Master departs to Phi Phi Island from Klong Jilad Pier daily at 9AM and 1.30PM. It comes back daily at 12.30PM and 3.30PM. The ticket costs 450 THB (13,5 EUR) one way. You can book the tickets and check timetable here.
If you are staying in Ao Nang Beach, then better option is to depart from Nopparat Thara Pier. The ferry leaves at 9.30AM and 12.30PM and the journey takes 2h. Tickets cost 400 THB (13,5 EUR). Check the time and book your tickets here.
If you take the morning ferry, you will have time to hike the viewpoint, have lunch and return. Otherwise we suggest to stay overnight.
3. Climb 1237 steps to the Tiger Temple
This fantastic temple is located on top of a high mountain. 1237 steps lead all the way up to a small shrine and a 360 degrees breathtaking panoramic view.
The temple is located 40 min drive from Ao Nang Beach and it’s best reached by scooter or taxi. It’s a great thing to do from Krabi Town- it will just take 20-30min drive from there.
↬ TIP : If you are visiting from November to April, go early in the morning. The climb is challenging and doing it in full sun is not a good idea. Bring lots of water!
4. Visit Railay Beach and its Caves
Railay Beach might be the most popular beach in Thailand. And for good reasons. The long wide spread of white sand surrounded by limestone cliffs and palm trees make this beach a paradise. The fact that it’s reachable only by boat increases its uniqueness.
↬ Note : Wear comfortable footwear to hike the viewpoint.
There are 4 beaches in Railay and you should see them all. Especially Phra Nang Beach, voted as one of the most beautiful in the world. Make sure to check out the bizarre Phra Nang (Princess) Cave. Why bizarre? See for yourself ?
↬ TIP : Railay Beach is a popular stop by long tail and speed boats tours. If you want to skip the crowds leave early by private boat or rent a kayak instead.
From Ao Nang Beach, hike the Monkey Trail to the beautiful hotel Centara Grand and rent a kayak there for 400 THB (12 EUR) for 2H. From here, it takes only 15 min to reach Railay Beach!
5. Hike the Dragon Crest
Hiking Dragon Crest is a real adventure located about 30 km from Krabi. It takes about 2.5h to reach the summit. On the way, you will pass by waterfalls and many view points. Hike in the morning as the afternoon heat is unbearable.
The entrance to the Dragon Crest is located here. Make sure to save the spot of your map. The trail opens at 6AM.
↬ Note : This hike is not advisable to do during heavy rain as parts of the trail might float.
6. Kayak to the Nearby Islands
Kayaking is a fun sporty thing to do in Krabi. One of the popular kayaking spots is Ao Thalane located around 35 km from Krabi. You will kayak through beautiful mangroves and canyons.
You can also rent a kayak at Ao Nang Beach and visit Railay Beach.
↬ TIP : Combine Dragon Crest hike in the morning with kayaking in Ao Thalane in the afternoon.
7. Swim in Emerald Pool
Emerald Pool in a beautiful lagoon at Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. The waters are incredibly clear and perfect for a pleasant swim. The park is located an hour drive from Ao Nang beach and is best reached by taxi.
↬ Note : The lagoon gets very busy in the afternoon and during weekends.
8. Dip in the Klong Thom Hot Springs
Located in the same park as the Emerald Pool, Krabi Hot Springs are beautiful springs set in lush, green surroundings. The water reaches 40 degrees celsius and is rich in minerals.
9. Eat at the Night Market
There is a night market in Krabi every weekend. It’s a prefect place to try out some of Thai traditional dishes at great prices. There are many food stalls, from noodles and meat sticks, to famous coconut ice cream.
10. Chill at Ao Nang Beach
Another simple yet great thing to do near Krabi, is to chill at Ao Nang. Ao Nang Beach might not be the prettiest beach in the area, but it has a special charm specially in the evenings. The beach bars and restaurants roll out beautiful lights outside, creating nice atmospheres.
↬ TIP : If you go to the very end of Ao Nang Beach you reach the Monkey Trail. It leads to the beautiful hotel Centara Grand Beach. The trail takes 15 min to complete and is free. Arriving to the hotel’s ground you will have to sign your name in a log book. Centara Grand rents kayaks for 400 THB (12 EUR) for 2H. From here, it takes only 15 min to reach Railey Beach!
Getting to Krabi
There is an International Airport located 13 km from Krabi and 15 km from Ao Nang Beach. Flights from Bangkok and other big cities (like Chiang Mai) arrive multiple times a day.
From/to the airport you can take a taxi (600 THB, 18 EUR), or a bus (150 THB 4,5 EUR). If you travel by bus, make sure to count 1-1.5H to arrive as the bus stops many times picking up and dropping off people on the way. Be large on time, the bus won’t take the fastest route to the airport and it will be very stressing if you are short on time.
Krabi Bus Terminal operates buses from many nearby and further cities. For example, arriving to Krabi from Phang Nga takes 1.5H and costs 80 THB.
We found that the southern part of Thailand was a bit less chill with tourists. The tourists from various countries with little or no respect to Thai people, changed a bit the mentality of southern Thai people. Many times during our Southern part of our trip, we encountered troubles with transportations.
When taking a bus, be sure you show them, or make them show you EXACTLY where you want to go, so there’s no bad surprise. We took a van from Phang Nga to Krabi at the bus terminal. But the driver of the van dropped us off 30 min away from Krabi Town with no explanation, in front of the office of a friend of his. There they tried to convince us that we had no other choice to get to Ao Nang Beach than taking a 600 THB taxi. In the end, we walked to the Bus terminal that wasn’t too far away and we took a MUCH cheaper local mini bus.
From Krabi to Ao Nang
Most people before arriving to Krabi are not aware of the fact that the touristic areas are not where most hotels are located. Ao Nang, is in fact 15km away from Krabi Town. To get to Ao Nang from Krabi Town or from Krabi Bus Terminal, it is easiest and cheapest by bus. Ticket costs 60 THB (1,8 EUR). However, it takes even up to an hour as the bus stops multiple times.
The taxies are available, however they charge up to 600 THB (20 EUR) for the trip.
The easiest way to travel around Krabi is by renting a scooter. It costs 200 THB (6 EUR) per day. You also need to leave your passport as a deposit.
Scooter scams are one of the most popular scams in Krabi. Many tourists are charged big sums for minor scratches or bumps, some already preexistent.
Make sure to check your motorbike BEFORE you drive off and note any existent scratches. Take pictures or a video to be sure. Always wear a helmet and have your International Driving Permit with you.
When to go
In general, it’s best to visit Thailand between November and May, when it’s considered dry season. During June-October in the rain season, you will get better hotel and flight deals, but there is also a big chance that it will be raining every day.
Like for us on our 4 days in Krabi. There was the monsoon approaching and it was pouring everyday. We were stuck in the hotel all day, boat trips were cancelled and hikes dangerous. However, just 2 weeks before that, our friends experienced a full week of only sun and blue sky. Sometimes, it’s just up to luck ?
Where to eat
The Last Fisherman Bar is a very nice beach bar/restaurant located on the Ao Nang Beach. They serve traditional Thai food for great prices.
Cafe 8.98 at Ao Nang a modern cafe in the centre of Ao Nang. Great selection of juices cocktails. The acai bowl was also very good!
Ton Ma Yom Thaifood probably the best and most authentic Thai food we had during our trip. Delicious food in cute ambience. The restaurant is located off the main roads.
Jungle Kitchen another great Thai restaurant in Ao Nang.
Where to stay
As most of the beautiful beaches and hikes are around Ao Nang, we recommend finding a hotel in the area more than Krabi city itself. You’ll save time and money on transportation. But you might on the other hand find cheaper options in Krabi Town.
↬ Find all the hotels in Krabi Area on booking.com