Planning a few days to Krabi makes you feel like you’re way too short on time to do everything on your Thailand itinerary.
Sitting on the southwest coast of mainland Thailand, Krabi province is quickly becoming a tourist hotspot, thanks to its breath taking beaches and stunning views on the limestone cliff in the Andaman sea.
The area offers so much diversity when it comes to ambience, whether you’re looking for a bustling city or a hippie beach lodges. On top of this, you’ll be spoilt for choice with the activities on offer, from rock climbing, temples, exploring the geology of the area or simply becoming a beach bum!
If you have any energy left after your adventures during the day, the excitement continues long into the night in many of the vibrant bars and nightclubs Krabi has to offer.
If you don’t have time to read the whole articles, here’s some great tours you can join to guarantee a fun time in Krabi:
- Tiger Cave & Emerald Pool Jungle Tour for $21
- Krabi Mangrove Kayak Trip for $22
- Krabi 4 Island Tour for $24
That’s not all though! Continue reading to find out what else you can do in Krabi.
New to Krabi? Our compact Krabi guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Krabi!
#1 Swim, climb or relax at Railay beach
If you don’t end up staying in Railay, you at least have to make a day trip (or two if you can’t get enough) to visit the beaches raved about across the world and to immerse yourself in the hippie vibe!
Offering 4 beaches, here’s a quick rundown of what to expect from each of them:
Encompassed by the limestone cliffs, Railay East has a feeling of a small self-contained village has been created. There are a few local and hotel restaurants to satisfy your hunger or quench your thirst after a long day of relaxing before the nightlife begins!
You know what a west-facing beach means…stunning sunsets!
Railway West, the main beach in Railay, definitely doesn’t disappoint. Watch, drink in hand, as the sun disappears for the day, all whilst being framed on both sides by the looming limestone cliffs and glistening carpet of water below.
During the day you can take breaks from relaxing on the soft sand to peruse the shops nearby run by locals and expats selling necessities, beachwear and handicrafts.
- Krabi Sunset Cruise for $30
Phra Nang Beach
A 10-minute walk from Railay East, you’ll find Phra Nang Beach. This beach ticks most people’s boxes when it comes to finding the perfect spot for the day!
The crystal clear shallow water provides great swimming conditions and a perfect backdrop for the coral reefs just offshore.
You can spend your time lazing on the beach in the much welcomed shadows of the limestone cliffs or explore the two near-shore islands before wandering over to Princess Cave.
Tonsai Beach is the lesser frequented of the four beaches in Krabi due to the reef and rocks that line the shoreline making access difficult for boats. There’s also not the best swimming conditions during low tide.
The soaring limestone cliffs that offer great climbing opportunities also means the beach is only accessible by foot from Railway West during low tide. You’ll have to plan your visit accordingly!
The upside, once you do get there is that you may only have to share the 600m long beach with a few other tourists.
#2 Take a day-trip to Thung Teao Forest National Park and visit the Emerald Pool
Visiting Thung Teao Forest National Park from Krabi is almost like a two for one deal. First, you get to wander through a virgin tropical rainforest, which is one of the last in Southern Thailand. At the end of the trail, you will be rewarded with an 800m Emerald Pool along the path.
The water perfectly replicates the colour of an emerald gemstone, giving the pool its name, and hovers around a delightfully warm temperature just right for swimming in.
You can soak up the sun whilst keeping an eye on the surrounding lush vegetation that provides a home for exotic wildlife, particularly birds.
To get to this paradise it’s a one-hour drive from Ao Nang in Krabi. Once you arrive, entrance to the national park is 200 baht. We recommend visiting in the morning before it gets too busy.
#3 Climb 1,237 steps to reach Tiger Cave Temple
Legend has it that the cave of Wat Tham Sua used to be the home of a tiger before it just disappeared into the forest one day, giving the site the name – Tiger Cave Temple.
Whether you believe the legend to be true, there’s one thing there’s no debating, and that’s the number of stairs to get to the top. 1,237 to be exact!
The hike up is a worthy challenge and all part of the fun, with the reward greatly outweighing the effort. Once you reach the temple 238 meters in the sky, you’ll be met with incomparable, panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, the islands that lie within it and limestone formations. It’s definitely a view that will make you question how you came to be so lucky to be in such an incredible place!
How to visit Tiger Cave Temple
If you’re looking to tick two things off your Krabi itinerary in one day, we suggest joining a day tour which will organise absolutely everything for the day, meaning you don’t have to do a thing.
We recommend the Tiger Cave & Emerald Pool Jungle Tour for 715 baht ($21). The tour includes transportation, complimentary drinks and lunch.
#4 Natural hot spring jacuzzi… yes please!
Ok it isn’t an actual jacuzzi, but it pretty much feels like it!
Located about 70 km from Krabi town, in the heart of a small jungle preserve you will find the Krabi Hot Springs, also known as Klong Thom.
The hot springs flow from deep-rooted thermal springs inside volcanic chambers, heating the water to a bath-like temperature of 35-40 degrees Celsius. This formation leads to the pools being filled with natural mineral salts that are believed to cure numerous health ailments including rheumatism and sciatica.
You’ll need to pay 90 baht to enjoy Krabi hot springs, but that’s a small price to pay for some natural healing!
#5 Rock Climbing the limestone cliffs of Krabi
With over 600 climbing routes, Krabi is the mecca of rock climbing, just like Koh Tao is the place for diving.
Why not push yourself out of your comfort zone and try something new? There is an abundance of highly reputable climbing companies around Krabi, catering to the visitors that flock from all over the world to take on the hundreds of routes that cover the limestone cliffs.
#6 Take a boat along the Krabi River to Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
Seen as the iconic symbols and entryway into Krabi, the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains should be up there on your to-do list.
Standing over 100m tall, these striking limestone cliffs peppered with vegetation are a stunning sight from the water, but even better from atop one of them.
If you’re not the biggest fan of heights, you can remain firmly on the ground and explore the collection of caves at the mountain’s base that proudly sprout stalagmites and stalactites. Cast your eyes to the cave walls and you’ll find prehistoric paintings depicting stories from thousands of years ago.
How to visit Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
To visit these natural wonders you can easily hire a longtail boat, for 300-500 baht/hour, from Krabi’s Chaofa Pier. From there, you’ll reach Khao Khanab Nam Mountains within 15 minutes.
We recommend extending your expedition and visiting the local mangrove forest or taking a look at Koh Klang island, a floating fishing village.
- Krabi Mangrove Kayak Tour for $19
#7 A glimpse at the past at the Shell Cemetery
Maybe not one for everyone, but if you’re interested in geology or just looking for something slightly different, then give the shell cemetery a go (not to be confused with a real cemetery!).
Believed to have been formed over 40 million years ago, Susan Hoi, is one of only 3 shell cemeteries in the world. The 200m long site was created after limestone deposits in the water covered and fossilised shellfish, snails and other sea creatures.
The way that the natural historical relics have been frozen in time is rather fascinating!
Also check out How to get to Krabi from different destinations around Thailand.
Krabi province is much bigger than most people first think, 4,709 km² to be exact, but visitors still tend to cluster in the same places. Here’s a quick rundown of the areas most people tend to stay in:
- Ao Nang — here you’ll have access to everything you need; the beach, restaurants, shops, international brands, bars and clubs. It’s a great jumping-off point to the nearby islands such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. The downside is that it almost feels overrun by tourists.
- Railay — a small peninsula south of Ao Nang and separated from the mainland by those towering limestone cliffs most of us associate with Thailand. The only way to get to the magical beaches of Railay is by boat.
- Krabi Town — despite the tourists, it’s managed to maintain a quaint Thai-Chinese market feel. Accommodation is cheaper here whilst not being too far from the beach.
Check out our favourite places to stay in Krabi:
The Morning Mini House - Budget Friendly
The Morning Mini House is a great budget option in Ao Nang Beach. It’s a 10-minute drive to the beach. The rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable, offering a great night’s sleep. Some of them even come with balconies.
The owners of the guesthouse are incredibly friendly and helpful, taking your stay in Krabi to another level. You’ll instantly feel at home here.
- Amazing owner
- Large and clean rooms
- Great value for money
- 10-minute drive from Ao Nang Beach
Private rooms start from $20 per night.
The Box House - Budget Friendly
Located centrally in Krabi Town, The Box House puts you within minutes of many sights in the town. The spacious and colourful rooms boast large, comfortable beds that offer you a great night’s sleep.
Each room is equipped with air conditioning and a flat-screen tv for your enjoyment. The owners are friendly, welcoming and offer motorbike rentals onsite.
- Beautiful gardens
- Comfortable and clean rooms
- Motorbike rentals available onsite
- Friendly staff
Private rooms start at $16 per night.
Vipa Tropical Resort - Mid Range
Need to escape to nature? Vipa Tropical Resort is the perfect place to do just that. The resort is backed by towering limestone mountains and surrounded by lush greenery.
The cottages are cute and cosy, with private balconies where you can relax after a day at the beach. Or chill by the pool and go for a swim. The resort is a 5-minute drive to Ao Nang Beach, which the resort provides a free shuttle for.
- Cosy cottages with balconies
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Surrounded by nature and mountains
- Free shuttle to Ao Nang Beach
Cottages start at $48 per night.
@Aonang Guesthouse - Mid Range
@Aonang Guesthouse offers both comfortable dorm rooms and modern private rooms. Whatever you choose to stay in, you can enjoy their refreshing and clean swimming pool.
Tin is one of the best hosts in Thailand, offering the best recommendations and help when you need it. The guesthouse is located in a more local neighbourhood in Krabi and next to one of the best Thai restaurants in the area. This place has a near-perfect rating and it’s easy to see why!
- An amazing host
- Beautiful swimming pool
- Modern and clean rooms
- Located in a local neighbourhood
Private rooms start from $48 per night.
Pinthong Aonang Villa - Treating Yourself
Pinthong Aonang Villa might be classed as high-end accommodation, but it doesn’t have to be expensive if you find some friends! The hotel offers two-bedroom villas for $80 that can fit 4 people. That’s $20 a night for a luxury villa.
The outdoor swimming pool is beautiful, and every inch of the hotel is spotlessly clean. Located in Ao Nang, they even arrange a free shuttle to the beach. This place is the perfect place to relax and take life slowly.
- Great value for money
- Beautiful villas
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Free shuttle to the beach
Two-bedroom villas start from $80 per night.
Aonang Eco Villa - Treating Yourself
Aonang Eco Villa is the kind of place you dream of. Beautifully designed and spacious rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open up to lush gardens. Wander through the gardens to the refreshing outdoor swimming pool or the onsite bar. The cocktails and fruit juice are delicious!
The staff are incredibly friendly and helpful, making sure that you can fully relax and enjoy your stay. There are only 10 villas, creating an exclusive and private feel.
- Beautiful swimming pool
- Bright and spacious villas
- Great onsite bar
- 10 minutes from the town
Villas start from $122 per night.
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Kate is a writer, (ex)Management Consultant and avid traveller. She recently returned from a 2-year career break exploring the world and decided corporate life wasn’t for her. She’ll soon be testing life as a digital nomad. She’s visited over 40 countries and fell in love with Latin America in particular. Her travelling has inspired a passion for yoga, salsa, hiking and Spanish.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.