In a nutshell
Krabi is one of the most breath-taking examples of Thailand’s natural beauty, boasting sandy beaches, turquoise seas, and incredible rock formations.
Why go to Krabi
Located on Thailand’s west coast, towards the south of the country, Krabi province has 160km of coastline as well as over 130 tropical islands in the Andaman Sea, including protected national parks such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, so it’s no surprise that it is one of the most popular destinations (dare we say it) in the world. If you’re looking for some R&R, stunning scenery, and year-round warm weather then Krabi is the place to be.
Picture palm tree lined white sandy beaches with inviting crystal clear water… That’s why people go to Krabi. You could easily spend your 30-day visa allowance in Krabi Province alone exploring all there is to see, taking in the stunning landscape that makes this area so unique.
Koh Phi Phi offers everything from rock climbing, to diving, snorkelling, and island hopping – including the famous Maya Bay, from ‘The Beach’. (Disclaimer: does not include Leonardo di Caprio) while Koh Lanta is the more chilled alternative with empty beaches, endless sea views, and hard-to-beat sunsets.
That said, Krabi Town itself should not be disregarded either. While it does not boast large-scale attractions, it does serve as a convenient base for touring the environs. Hire a motorbike and head to Wat Tham Suea, the famous cave temple on top of a mountain boasting a 360 degree panorama of Krabi; or explore amazing mangrove forests of Khlong Song Nam, a river with unbelievably transparent water.
When to go to Krabi
Thailand, like the rest of Asia, has its dry and wet seasons but it delights in warm temperatures throughout the year, welcoming visitors in any month.
The monsoon season falls between November and March, but you can still expect long periods of sunshine between the tropical showers. This is also a good time to visit as it’s slightly cooler and less humid, and the beaches and resorts will be less crowded in the low season. The hottest months are April-May where it can get pretty hazy and the seas are almost as warm as bathwater!
Where to stay in Krabi
Krabi province is a great destination for everyone: beach bum, nature lover, backpacker, or flash-the-casher. Whether you’re on the mainland in Krabi Town itself, down the road in Ao Nang or Railay, or out on the islands, you’ll find plenty of accommodation options to cater for both a limited and unlimited budget.
Krabi Town offers a great selection of relatively budget guesthouses. Priced between THB600 and THB1000 they are a great value compared to much pricier options of Ao Nang, not to mention the islands. Base in the centre of town or closer to Chao Fah pier area – the former has probably more food and shopping options but the latter is a couple of steps away from the riverfront – what is convenient both for an easy evening walk or taking a local boat for a day trip to Koh Klang.
Where to eat in Krabi Town
The food in Krabi Town itself is a mix of delicious local food from bustling markets – with an emphasis on Muslim menus – as well as Western cuisines. We always advocate trying local dishes, street food, and traditional delicacies as it’s a great way to experience a new culture.
Krabi Town has many markets you can visit if you want to experiment, including two different night markets where you can dine on curry and rice for just THB20. If you prefer to stick to what you know of the Western world, don’t worry you’ll find everything from burgers to pizza – and all within budget.
How to get around Krabi Town
The areas where the majority of accommodation is found, are easily walkable, but if you need to explore outside the city, you can either rely on public songthaews or rent your own transport: both bicycles and motorbikes can be rented from your accommodation. Expect to pay from THB50 for a bicycle and between THB250 and THB350 for a motorbike (depending on the model).
Songthaews ply several routes within the city (THB30 per ride) and go to the beaches (from THB50). New and modern buses now link the touristy areas of Krabi Town to the airport – check for the schedule at your accommodation.
Krabi Town has two ports and an international airport and you can easily arrange day trips or ferries out to the islands. You’ll want to make a beeline straight for the more secluded bays of Railay, or spend a week hopping around the numerous Koh’s (islands) that the area is so famous for.
How to get to and from Krabi Town
Krabi International Airport serves over 10 flights a day to/from Bangkok so one of the most convenient ways of arriving to Krabi Town to start your travels is to fly. It also connects other flights from all around Asia, should you be coming from a neighbouring country.
Once you’ve arrived, getting to Krabi Town is easy enough with private taxi options or a shared bus, dropping you off into the small bus station in the centre for just THB150.
Should you be heading directly to Koh Phi Phi, the port is a mere 20-minute drive where ferries run 4 times a day, and a longboat leaves from Ao Nang pier to Railay Beach on the hour until 6.30pm. To get to Koh Lanta the ferry runs between November–April, only, but there are minivan options throughout the year – be sure you will be offered the full array of destinations on your arrival at the airport. Prices are reasonable and minivans depart often – so it is a good idea to take one right from the airport instead of going to Krabi bus station first as you hardly save any baht.
There is no train station in Krabi and the nearest point which you can reach from Bangkok by train is Suratthani. From Suratthani train station (which is actually in the town of Phun Phin, some 20 km from Suratthani proper) there are songthaews to Suratthani bus station, from where frequent minivans and buses to Krabi depart.
Buses from Bangkok take up to 12 hours to bring you to Krabi and can cost anywhere between THB600 and THB1100.
Is Krabi Town safe?
Safety in and around Krabi Town and province is much like anywhere else in Thailand. The locals are known for their friendliness – it’s true that the country is known as ‘the land of smiles’ – but it’s always prudent to be mindful of the Thai culture and traditions by dressing modestly (not in your bikini) when you are walking around town or in residential areas. Also beware of scammers and keep your wits about you when carrying around any valuable items, as you would normally.