One of the oldest communities in Thailand – dating to the prehistoric period, in fact – Krabi has a mountainous physical geography broken by plains and highlands on the mainland and covers more than 130 large and small islands in the Andaman Sea. Located 814 kms south of Bangkok, it has become a preferred destination for those in search of a peaceful getaway, a romantic faraway retreat, a vacation full of adventure, a holiday with lots of sun and fun. With an extensive coastline that contains several well-known beaches and bays, and numerous offshore tropical islands that are some of the world’s most beautiful, not to mention the range of fun opportunities, great local food and a genuinely gracious people this destination promises a holiday like no other.
A wealth of unique natural attractions both in the mainland and offshore to the neighbouring islands and islets; bountiful options for exciting activities to meet the requirements of visitors of all ages, a range of accommodation – from the most luxurious to the comfortably basic; great food, wonderful people, and overall inexpensive prices – what more could you ask for?
Krabi offers innumerable activities to keep visitors entertained during their Krabi holiday. Here are some of the most popular: Rock climbing in Railay Peninsula, Phi Phi Islands – One of the world’s top 10 rock climbing sites, Railay boasts stunning sea view and many wonderful cliffs and caves with quality limestone. People of all ages can try this most challenging sport both in Railay and Phi Phi.
Scuba diving – There are 15 dive sites off Ao Nang, reachable within 20-60 minutes by boat. They boast gorgeous tropical fish, beautiful live coral and warm and clear turquoise blue water.
Sea canoeing or kayaking – With its crystal clear waters, sea-cliffs and mangrove-rimmed canals, Krabi is perfect for kayaking. You can rental kayaks for half-day or full- day trips into the spectacular and remote mangrove channels, Ao Tha Lane and Ao Luk, where you can see monkeys, otters and many beautiful birds. Or, try the Krabi River. Kayaking around Hong Island, a bit farther away, is always unforgettable.
Sightseeing tours aboard an elephant’s back are popular with plenty of opportunities to enjoy the wonderful scenery on the mainland or to visit the local islands and beaches. Visit the hot springs, the temples and the caves.
Most hotels rated three- stars and above offer traditional massage as part of their health and fitness services. All the spa resorts include it in their therapy programs. Many resorts have their own spa, with some new high-end hotels offering luxurious spa pampering.
Yes, there’s shopping in Krabi. You should wake up early one morning and visit the colorful local market between Phruksauthit Road and Maharaj Road, where every day the stalls are piled high with all the fresh produce from the sea and countryside around Krabi. There are two popular night markets, one on Maharaj Soi 8 just around the corner from Thaimit Tours, and the other on the riverfront at Khongkha Road. Shopping in Ao Nang is a little more familiar to tourists. It has a wide range of shops, many of which are right behind the beach and perfect for those beach essentials that you always seem to have forgotten or just run out of. For moreserious shopping, try TheBeach Plaza, about a kilometre out of town on the way to Haad Nopparattara. OTHERS: Diving and snorkelling, bird watching, sailing and cruising, jungle trekking, Thai massage and golf, and more.
Phi Phi Don – Covering an area of 28 sqkms, Phi Phi Don’s most popular attraction is perhaps the twin bays with curving beaches of Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Da Lam. Phi Phi Ley is only 6.6 sqkms in area, Phi Phi Le is surrounded by limestone mountains and sheer cliffs plunging hundreds of metres to the sea. The sea is 20-m deep, with the deepest point around 34-m in the south of the island. Phi Phi Le has bays such as Ao Pi Le, Ao Maya, and Ao Lo Sa Ma. The popular Viking Cave is in the northeast of the island. Noppharat Thara, this three-km long sandy beach is lined with dense casuarinas, and paved with tiny seashells. The long beach stretches all the way to the island of Khao Pak Khlong. Su-san Hoi (Shell Cemetery) was once a large freshwater swamp and the habitat of diverse mollusks. Today Su-san Hoi features a slab formed from a huge number of embedded various types of mollusks that date to approximately 40 million years ago.
Ao Nang is the destination’s touristic hub. It is also the best springboard for the visits to more than 83 offshore islands, some of them shaped like a boot, junk, or parrot’s head. Koh Poda, Koh Mo, and Koh Thap are popular destinations for their beaches, coral reefs, diving, and snorkelling. Surrounded from both sides by breathtaking towering limestone cliffs, thus isolating it from the mainland, Railay is only accessible by boat. Rai Le or Railay West has a world-class white sand beach and is the longest of the beaches in this area. Railey East is known as a popular hippy hangout with cheap accommodation. Pra Nang (Princess Cave Beach) has a comparable if not better beach than Railay West. Ton Sai is vastly different in beach and tourist scene than Railay West, and is a favourite with backpackers because it is one of the best areas for climbing. Also, accommodation is said to be just around a tenth of the price at Railay. This beach also has one of the best nightlife scenes in the entire Krabi. Than Bokkhorani National Park is a 121 sqkms park area dominated by a series of limestone mountains, evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and numerous islands. Namtok Ron Khlong Thom is an area full of hot springs in a shady forest.
The temperature is not too hot (40-50 degrees Celsius). The hot springs and cool streams converge on a slope to form lovely cascades with warm water. Khao Pra-Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary features the Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot), which has three hot springs with a temperature of 30-50 degrees Celsius. There is also a 2.7-km nature trail known as the Tina Jollife (Thung Tiao) Trail, named after an English activist wanting to conserve this batch of rainforest. Mu Koh Lanta National Park with a total area of 152 sq kms, consists of many islands such as Koh Lanta Yai, Koh Lanta Noi, and Koh Taleng Beng. Koh Lanta is currently the in island to be.
Southern Thai food is very spicy, thanks to its Malay, Indonesian and Indian origins. Favorite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom jeen) and chicken biryani. But most visitors long for seafood when they go to Krabi, and the wing shell is Krabi’s famous cuisine. Many foreign tourists say one of the best food night markets in Thailand can be found in Krabi town. Visitors should not miss the inexpensive street food especially in Ao Nang. Of course, numerous restaurants offering cuisines and drinks from many parts of the world are also available, especially inside major hotels and resorts.
From Bangkok, take Route 4 passing the provinces of Petchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumpon, Ranong, and Phang Nga, before reaching Krabi, a total distance of 946 kms. For information about bus transport from Bangkok to Phuket, contact 02 435-1195/6 (non-air conditioned buses). From there, take another bus to Krabi. For more info, contact 076 211-480.
From Bangkok, take the train to one of the following stations: Trang; Phuhn Pin in Suratthani; or Tung Song in Nakhon Sri Thammarat. From any of these stations, a bus may be taken to Krabi. Call 02 223-7010 for train schedules and costs.
The easiest way to go to Krabi, just an hour and 20 minutes flight from Bangkok is by plane. Thai Airways, Thai Air Asia, Nok Air, Bangkok Air operate regular flights to Krabi from the capital. Krabi International Airport is about 10 kms from the city limits.