Krabi is our favorite destination in Thailand. This southern province packs a huge punch with so many things to do in Krabi, it has taken us several visits to see it all!
Dave and I have had a lot of time at home these days and when going through our website, we realized that we have never written about all the things to do in Krabi. Well, I am going to fix that today. Once you see everything that Krabi has to offer, you’ll be itching to go to Thailand when things open up in the near future.
Best Things to do in Krabi Thailand
Krabi Islands and Beach
Krabi is a southern province in Thailand filled with beautiful natural limestone cliffs, mangrove forests, and more than 150 islands. No trip to Thailand would be complete without adding Krabi to your itinerary. The first half of this best of Krabi attractions post will start in the islands and then we head to the mainland showcasing all the top sights around Krabi Town. So let’s get started.
Rock Climbing in Railay
Rock climbing tops our list of the best things to do in Krabi. When we first visited Thailand in 2000, we made a beeline to Railay to go rock climbing in Krabi. It is one of the best places in the world to learn how to rock climb. Climbers of all levels are drawn to the more than 300 climbing routes up its limestone cliffs. Whenever we go back we make a point to go rock climbing in Railay. We’ve climbed with King Climbers and Hot Rocks and both are professional and affordable. Take a top rope rock climbing excursion with them for a day or learn how to lead climb on a multiday rock climbing course.
A lot of companies offer climbing course to Railay, but book with the companies that have been there forever there are a few on the island.
Railay houses some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. After you have had an adventure rock climbing, chill out on Railay Beach for a few nights. Railay Beach East is the most beautiful to catch some rays or rent a kayak. Railay Beach West is where all the nightlife happens and then you can head over to Phra Nang Beach for some caving. There are plenty of things to keep you occupied at Railay Beach. Restaurants line the beach for the ultimate chill-out experience and the nightlife goes wild on Railay.
Phra Nang Beach
Phra Nang Beach is Thailand’s most famous and beautiful beach. With sea caves, warm waters and white sand bookended by two limestone cliffs and sea caves. It attracts day trippers by the hundreds. But when staying on Railay, you have it all to yourself as you go for a walk early in the morning. When you see it deserted, you’ll understand why it became one of the most popular beaches in Thailand. Looking out from the beach to see the towering rock formations is one of the most beautiful views in the islands.
Getting to Railay
Railay Beach and Phra Nang Beach can easily be reached by longtail boat from Ao Nang. They are just a 20 minute boat ride away. Boats also run regularly from Krabi Town. The trip is approximately 45 minutes.
Ao Nang Beach
When visiting Railay, chances are you will go through the beach town of Ao Nang. We actually stayed once in Ao Nang and commuted to Railay by long-tail boat and it was good fun. Ao Nang Beach is not as beautiful as Railay Beach but it is a fun place to stay with so many hotels, restaurants, and bars to keep you busy. Plus, there are plenty of excursions from Ao Nang Beach that will take you out on an island tour of Krabi every day.
Koh Hong Island
One of the best things to do in Krabi is to go kayaking. Take a day trip to Koh Hong Island in Than Bok Khorani National Park. Hong means, room in the center of the island and that is exactly what you’ll see at Koh Hong. It has a hidden lagoon in its center which is the coolest thing to see. Paddle through a cave at low tide and come out inside surrounded by limestone cliffs. Phang Nga bay.
If kayaking isn’t your speed, you can hire a long tail boat to go island hopping for the day to see the beautiful islands that have been featured in Jame Bond and The Beach. There are several day trips that leave from Ao Nang, Railay or Krabi town that will take you out to see the stunning islands of Krabi.
- Check out these top rated island hopping tours to see Rope Island and Emerald Cave. Details here.
- Visit James bond Island on this speed boat tours around Krabi. Details here.
Ao Thalane Bay Among the Mangroves
One of the more off the beaten path things to do in Krabi is to go kayaking at Ao Thalane Bay. This beautiful day trip leaves from Krabi Town, Ao Nang or Railay Beach and takes you to a mangrove forest where you’ll paddle into dark caves and hidden pools. Like the islands of Krabi Ao Thalane Bay has karst islands jutting into the air.
Phi Phi Islands
It is hard to believe that one province can have so many beautiful places. Phi Phi is an island paradise and is certainly one of the top attractions in Krabi. Phi Phi Don is the main tourist island with five star resorts, beach bungalows and nightlife. Phi Phi Leh is part of the Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park.
Island Tour to Maya Bay
Maya Bay is one of the best beaches in Thailand that was used as the setting for the Beach. No trip to the Phi Phi islands would be complete without seeing this pristine beach. It is closed to tourists but you can hire a bot to take you to see the limestone cliffs surrounding its white sand beaches.
How to Get There
Ferries and speed boats run regularly from Phuket, Krabi or Koh Lanta.
You can book day tours to the Phi Phi Islands from Krabi by speed boat. Details here.
Koh Lanta is a great places to unwind and chill out. Another paradise island in Krabi, it has beautiful beaches to relax and enjoy some pad that with a cold Chang Beer. Long Beach is exactly that. A long beach filled with beach bungalows and restaurants.
While the best scuba diving in Thailand is on Koh Tao or Koh Samui, Koh Lanta is one of the best places to go scuba diving on the west coast of Thailand. Marine Life to see in these waters are Blacktip reef sharks, sea turtles, seahorses, manta rays and if you time it correctly, whale sharks.
Skull Island – Koh Talabeng
One of the coolest things to do in Krabi is to take a kayaking trip to Skull Island. Located about 20 minutes by boat from Koh Lanta, Skull Island is a karst island that looks like a skull. It’s an adventurous day trip involving climbing ropes and tire ladders to explore inside the cave where you get to look out from the eyes of the skull.
You can book tours from your guesthouse or at the beach.
One of the most interesting things to do in Krabi is to take a long tail boat to the island of Koh Klang. It just a few minutes from the town of Krabi but it feels worlds away. The local villagers live a simple life fishing and harvesting rice.
I think every single article I’ve written about Thailand includes getting a traditional Thai Massage. It is one of the best things to do in Thailand because they are so cheap and amazing. Where else on earth can you get a daily massage if you like? In Krabi, get a massage on a beach and feel like a millionaire as you relax under palm trees getting those aching muscles worked out.
Krabi Town is the main hub and chances are if you are flying or taking the train from Bangkok to Krabi, you will be entering here. It’s worth sticking around for a couple of days to take in the vibe and it makes a great base to explore all the attractions around Krabi before moving on to the islands.
Krabi Town Night Market
Like every city in Thailand, Krabi has a fantastic night market. One of the best things to do in Krabi Town is to go out at night and do some shopping at the Weekend Night market. This is your chance to try some street food, munch on pad thai or pick up your Thailand souvenirs. The Chao Fah Night Market is the largest market. Other markets to visit include Klong Muang Market, and Ao Nang Market.
Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
The most striking landmarks of Krabi are the The Khao Khanab Nam Mountains. Known as the gateway to Krabi Town these two mountains stand on either side of the river. Hire a boat to take you on a trip to climb the mountains or explore its caves. Longtail boats can be hired from the Chaofa Pier in Krabi.
Thai Cooking Class
While in Krabi make sure to take a Thai Cooking class. One of our favorite things to spark memories of Thailand when we are back in Canada is whip up some Thai Food. Go to the local markets to find fresh ingredients and learn to make your favorite Thai food from Thai Curries to spring rolls. We took a cooking class years ago and it was one of the best investments we made during our travels in Thailand.
Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple)
Krabi isn’t all about natural beauty and outdoor adventures, you can also enjoy cultural experiences in Krabi. Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua) is just 3km from Krabi Town and is one of the not to miss things to do in Krabi. Sitting atop a high cliff, Tiger Cave Temple is a working temple with monks living within a maze of caves. Make sure to climb its 1,272 to see the massive golden Buddha statue and don’t miss the footprint of the Buddha.
Tours can be combined with Hot Springs and Emerald Pool on this Jungle Tour.
Wat Kaew Ko Wararam
Another temple to visit in Krabi is the White Temple, or Wat Keaw Ko Wararam. It is an easy visit located downtown Krabi, so when you are doing your shopping, be sure to stop by for a photo.
Emerald Pool – Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
One of the most popular activities in Krabi is a visit to the Emerald Pool in Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. Another great day trip in Krabi, Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is about an hour from Ao Nang. Take the 2.7 km nature trail to the Emerald Pool, (Aka Crystal Pool) to swim in its crystal clear waters, enjoy the water fall and explore the flora and fauna.
Klong Thom Hot Springs – Krabi Hot Springs
It’s not normally at the top of my list of things to do in hot destinations, but the Klong Thom Hot Springs are worth the drive from Krabi Town. Usually combined on a day trip with the Emerald Pool, the Krabi Hot Springs are therapeutic pools that reach 35-40 degrees Celcius. The smooth stone pools are located in the heart of the jungle. Soothe those aching travel muscles with a bit of thermal mineral therapy.
You can book tours to the hot springs with a spa package at GetYourGuide. Full refunds within 24 hours of cancellation.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
Another jungle escape from Krabi is a visit to Khao Phanom Bencha located 30 minutes from Krabi Town. What draws people here? Hiking trails, limestone caves and waterfalls. No trip to Thailand would be complete without visiting a waterfalls. This is less touristy than other locations since it’s a little farther away from it all, so it’s good for people looking for a quiet escape.
Shell Cemetery at Susan Hoi
Certainly one of the most unique things to do in Krabi is to visit the Shell Cemetery at Susan Hoi. Dating back 40 million years, this fish cemetery is one of only three of its kind in the world. Located just 17 km from Krabi, it contains fossilized shellfish and snails preserved in its rocks.
When to Visit Krabi
The best time to visit Krabi is between December and March. The weather is dry and warm, but it is also the high season.
You can visit Krabi in November and April and still have great weather but may encounter fewer crowds.
During the high season, hotels are often booked in advance, so make sure to book accommodation ahead of time.
Look for Accommodation in Krabi
Getting Around Krabi
Thailand has a great tourism infrastructure and getting around Krabi is easy. There are regular song-taews (local buses, between Ao Nang and Krabi Town.
From Ao Nang you can catch regular longtail boast to Ton Sai and Railay Beach.
Longtail boats will also take you from the Chao Fah pier in Krabi to Railay Beach on a regular basis. They take about 25 minutes.
Ferries leave regularly from Krabi Town to Koh Lanta and Phi Phi Islands. You can also take ferries from Phuket to Koh Lanta and Phi Phi.
How to Get to Krabi
There are several flights a day from Bangkok to Krabi. You can check Skyscanner for details.
There are regular ferries from Phuket to Krabi Town and to Koh Lanta and Phi Phi.
Air conditioned tourist buses leave Bangkok daily to Krabi and take approximately 10 hours.
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