No holiday or trip to Thailand is complete without visiting the beautiful and diverse province of Krabi. Krabi is situated in southern Thailand along the Andaman Coast in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Krabi’s breathtaking limestone hills, stunning coastline, charming fishing villages, over 150 picture perfect islands and an array of National Parks offer something for everyone. And it is deservedly famous for its unspoilt white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, that are home to an abundance of sea life and flourishing coral reefs.
When to go
Krabi enjoys a tropical climate making it feasible to visit all year round.
The best time to visit is between November and March when it is less hot and humid and a cool breeze blows in gently from the sea. Peak season runs from late December to early January so if you are thinking of visiting then, book early as accommodation is in high demand !
If you are on a budget consider visiting in low season, between May and October. Hotels and resorts in Krabi are significantly cheaper as this is the rainy season. Although the delightful Krabi weather will still treat you to plenty of sunshine, be prepared for some heavy rain, particularly in the afternoon.
Where to Stay
Tourism is an essential part of Krabi’s economy so there is plenty of accommodation to suit all wallets.
There is a wide selection of budget hostels ideal for backpackers and a great choice of mid-range to top-end luxury hotels in Krabi. If you wish to be truly pampered stay in one of the fabulous Krabi resorts such as ‘Centara Grand Beach Resort Krabi’ nestled in its own private bay, or ‘Krabi Thai Village Resort’, popular with honeymooners and conveniently situated within walking distance of Phra Nang Bay, one of Krabi's most popular beaches. Then there is ‘Krabi La Playa Resort’ located only 150 meters from the fantastic white beaches and tourist amenities of Ao Nang and ‘Rayavadee Krabi Resort’ in the heart of the stunning Phranang Peninsular on the edge of the Krabi Marine National Park.
Many hotels and resorts in Krabi have their own spa facilities that offer traditional Thai massage which is an ideal way to unwind after a busy day’s sightseeing.
Renting a traditional Thai Villa is an alternative and unique way to make your Krabi holiday particularly memorable. A Krabi Villa affords privacy and seclusion and a ‘Serviced Villa’ provides the additional indulgence of a full range of hotel services including daily cleaning, massage and beauty treatments, catering, and excursion booking. Traditional villas usually come equipped with modern conveniences such as private swimming pool, air conditioning, satellite TV and wifi so that you can enjoy Krabi in comfort.
Travel to and from Krabi is extremely easy - flights to Krabi Airport from Bangkok are frequent and take little over an hour and the recently opened international terminal offers direct international flights during high season. The airport is located just 10 km from Krabi Town and many Krabi resorts and hotels offer a transfer service. Taxis and a reliable bus service run from the airport to Krabi Town and tourist destinations such as Ao Nang.
Phuket International Airport is just 2 hours away by car and as flights are often cheaper, is a great option for those on smaller budgets.
You can also reach Krabi by air conditioned bus – these connect Bangkok, Phuket, Phang Nga, Trang, Hat Yai, and Surat Thani (Samui) to Krabi Bus Terminal. The journey from Bangkok typically takes about 12 hours so is an excellent alternative to flying.
There are no direct trains to Krabi, however there is a service from Bangkok to Surat Thani, where you can transfer by bus or taxi.
Krabi has a superb range of transport options, however, if you decide to explore on foot ask your hotel or resort staff for a Krabi Map detailing the local area.
Public open air buses known as ‘Songthaew’ are economical and popular with both locals and tourists, then there are the ubiquitous ‘Tuk Tuks’ and even motorbike taxis that may look fun but are not for the faint hearted !
If you want complete flexibility to explore Krabi you can rent your own car, motorbike or bicycle, although motorcycle accidents are common making insurance difficult to obtain.
There are also numerous ferry and water taxi services that depart from various points along the coast to whisk you away to spectacular Krabi islands such as Phi Phi, Ko Jum and Ko Lanta.
Krabi also boasts Thailand’s only Seaplane service that makes regular flights to and from the islands offering a breathtaking birds-eye view.
Activities and Attractions
Krabi is proud of its rich coral reefs and vibrant marine life – divers flock from around the world to glimpse sharks, turtles, dolphins and a myriad of tropical fish. Snorkeling, fishing and sailing are popular activities whilst the Krabi landscape is perfect for rock climbing, trekking and hiking. Thai boxing is great entertainment and watching a live fight with the locals is highly recommended. If you fancy something more sedate then why not throw on your apron and try some Thai Cookery classes or enjoy a blissful massage while relaxing on the beach !?
And you mustn’t visit Krabi without exploring the picturesque islands that seem almost as numberless as grains of sand ! Some lie in such shallow and transparent waters that you can wade between them during low tide. Ko Phi Phi Leh Island, featured in the movie ‘The Beach’, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Lanta are the most well known.
Take time also to discover the many National Parks such as Khao Phanom Bencha and Khao Nor Chu and the hot springs, wildlife sanctuaries, limestone cliffs and sea caves.
Another often overlooked highlight is the charming town of Krabi itself, where you can mingle with the friendly locals and experience authentic Thai life. With excellent restaurants and a Night Food Market that is one of the best in Thailand, it is well worth a visit.
If you enjoy lively nightlife then Krabi won’t disappoint, although it is more laid back than Bangkok, Pattaya and Phuket. There are a plethora of bars in the tourist areas such as Ao Nang and Railey Beach regularly holds full moon beach parties. Krabi is also blessed with spectacular sunsets best enjoyed from a beachside bar or restaurant with some exquisite local seafood.
In fact, there is so much to see and do on a Krabi holiday that you may feel tempted to stay longer than planned !