Caressed by the gentle waves of Andaman Sea at the edge of Southern Thailand, Krabi is a popular beach destination made up of numerous archipelagos that offer something beyond the usual snorkeling, sun-tanning and wave-catching. It is a world-class location for a beach vacation and perfect if you want a weekend in sun-and-sand paradise without breaking the metaphorical piggy bank. Her islands command a sublime euphoria filled with natural wonders hidden between her reefs and mysteries within her cavernous cliffs that imprint a paradisiacal whimsy within her awestruck, sun burnt visitors.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must Do
Krabi is home to some of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos. ‘Must see’ tours include Phi Phi Islands, Hong Island and James Bond Island.
Diving and Snorkelling
This is the best way to appreciate Krabi’s thriving and awe-inspiring aquatic scene. Ao Nang is great for beginner divers and while snorkeling can be done in most of the islands, popular sites include Poda Island, Chicken Island and Taloo island.
For some strenuous water sports, head to Railay to experience Krabi’s seas and secret caverns with a kayak and a paddle.
Tree Top Adventure Park
The Tree Top Adventure Park offers a scenic view while attempting exhilarating feats like tarzan swings, flying skateboards, tight-rope walking and more.
The impressive limestone cliffs in Rai Leh makes rock-climbing an absolute must-do activity when in Krabi. The headland between Phra Nang Cave Beach and Railay East are home to a few popular spots where you will find operators offering instructions or guided climbs for the uninitiated.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must See
Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple)
A maze of caves amidst an overgrown jungle valley, this temple offers a majestic 360˚ view of the area and the Andaman sea to those who brave the heat and 1,272 steps to the top.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
Trekking at this national park can be very rewarding as it has wonderful scenery accentuated by waterfalls, streams, hidden caves and the occasional wild-life.
Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
The limestone mountains standing side by side has come to be a landmark of Krabi Town. It is a picturesque place with natural caves that contain some beautiful stalagmites and stalactites formations.
Klong Thom Hot Spring Waterfall
Take a relaxing dip into these hot springs that provide a natural remedy to the aches and pains of a day’s hard vacationing.
Hat Ton Sai (Ton Sai Beach)
Ton Sai Beach has some steep cliffs and a beautiful view to boot for experienced rock-climbers seeking a challenge.
Groupon’s Pick: Top 5 Must Eat
Krabi has plenty of eating spots that will leave you spoiled for choice. When in doubt, choose the place that is brimming with hungry folks.
Spotted Babylon Snails
Stir-fried in chili and basil, this mouthful of a dish belies its delicate flavour and is particularly famous in Koh Lanta.
Thai Sour Curry with Fish (Kaeng Som)
This Southern-Thai curry is thick, rich and packs a flavourful punch. It is an institution among Thai curries that must not be missed.
Rice Noodles in Fish Curry Sauce (Khanom Jeen Nam Ya)
Rich fish curry flavoured with shrimp paste, galangal, lemon grass, fish sauce lavished over rice noodles and topped with choice vegetables makes for a hearty meal.
Buried Spicy Chicken Rice (Khao Mok Gai)
Reminiscent of briyani, this dish holds a subtle yet complex flavor which marries Muslim, Indian and Thai influences in one delicious plate.
Southern Thai Rice Salad (Khao Yam)
This dish is a staple in southern Thailand and possesses strong flavours as it is seasoned with fish innards and dried shrimp flakes with a lot of fresh herbs and vegetables.
Where to Go
Krabi’s most developed beach houses 83 offshore islands and is the place to go for an ideal beach vacation involving lots of island hopping, snorkeling and general bouts of lazing. Accommodation here can range from luxury villas to backpackers hostels and there’s something to suit anyone’s budget.
This beach is surrounded by impressive lime-stone cliffs that commands rock-climbing enthusiast to scale its natural formation. West Rai Leh offers a world-class white sand beach but also attracts more tourists and houses pricier accommodations than East Rai Leh.
The administrative capital plays host to some of Krabi’s cultural wonders like Wat Kaew and Tiger Temple while the weekend night market is a foodie’s paradise. Devoid of sand and sea water, it holds its own charm and is generally a more affordable location to stay in.
Koh Phi Phi
This archipelago is famed for its impressive reefs and vibrant marine life which makes it a popular snorkeling spot. Spend at least a day here to fully uncover the secrets of its islands.
If visiting Koh Por, it is a good idea to dress modestly and refrain from drinking as a sign of respect for the Muslim locals.
This mostly Muslim populated island does not have a tourist vibe and has retained much of its heritage. A good place for hiking, fishing and discovering a different side of Krabi.
Prior to arrival, check with your hotel if airport transfer is already included in your holiday package.
The airport bus service links Krabi International Airport to Krabi Town, Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara Beach.
Limousine taxis are also available from the airport for a much steeper fare so consider this option if you don’t mind paying for convenience and comfort.
- If you walk out of the terminal to the main road, you may be able to catch a songthaew to Krabi Town which offers a bumpier but much cheaper ride.
Blue Songthaews – Out of town places, Tesco Lotus / Bown Songthaews – Bus station / Blue with white, yellow or red stripes – Airport / White Songthaews – Ao Nang.
Songthaew is the most inexpensive way to travel around the city. Songthaews are coloured according to their function and may take a while to get used to so do ask the locals for clarification if you are unsure.
To traverse to one of Krabi’s many islands, you can opt to take a ferry to popular places like Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Jum.
- Long-tail boats are also readily available during the peak season and is best if you’re looking for flexibility or going to less popular locations.
- Krabi’s tropical climate sees temperatures ranging from 17˚C - 37˚C.
- The hot and dry season starts in January and slowly escalates until May. The weather is generally cooler from January to March.
- June – August is the perfect time to go if you want to avoid the mad rush of tourist. There is plenty of sun in between a few heavy showers for the beach goers and the occasional rain makes the weather more forgiving.
- The raining season starts in September all the way until early December, with November seeing the most rainfall. However, it still sees a respectable amount of rays so for a cooler and more relaxed vacation you could consider coming during this period.
Practical Tips & Information
- Krabi is generally one of the safer and more affordable destinations in Thailand, with fewer reports of scam and thefts. However, it is always wise to be alert and exercise common sense.
- An especially good vacation spot if you’re looking for a beach vacation without breaking the piggy bank. You will find that the accommodation and food here are very affordable and flexible depending on how much you want to spend.
In case you run into any trouble, do call local authorities for help:
- Provincial Tourist Police: 637 308
- Tourism Authority: 212 213
- Immigration Office: 612 740
- Provincial Travelers Assistance Centre: 612 740