Krabi beach Thailand

Top 7 Things to Do in Krabi

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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:

That’s not all though! Continue reading to find out what else you can do in Krabi.

New to Krabi? We’ve written this compact Krabi guide to show 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:

Railay East

Railay aerial view in Krabi Province
Aerial view of Railay Beach, Krabi

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!

Head to Bang Bang Bar for amazing cocktails served by brilliant bartenders or The Last Bar to join one of the awesome parties they’re best known for.

Railay West

Ao Nang, Railay Beach in Krabi
Railay Beach overlooked by the limestone cliffs

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.

Phra Nang Beach

Phra Nang beach at Krabi
Boats by Phra Nang beach in Krabi

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

Tonsai Beach in Krabi province
Towering limestone cliffs along the shore of Tonsai Beach

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

Emerald pool at Khao Pra, Krabi
Visitors bathing at Emerald Pool at Thung Teao Forest National Park

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

Tiger cave temple or Wat Tham Suea at Krabi province
1, 237 steps leading to the Tiger Cave Temple with spectacular views

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!

Hot spring in Krabi province
Visitors bathing in natural hot spring jacuzzi

Ok it isn’t an actual jacuzzi, but it pretty much feels like it!

Located about 70 kilometres 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

Rock climbing at Railay Beach, Krabi
Rock climbing with a view over Railay beach

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.

Real Rocks Climbing School and Krabi Rock Climbing are both very highly rated companies offering half day tours for beginners to multi-day courses for those already with experience.

#6 Take a boat along the Krabi River to Khao Khanab Nam Mountains

Khao Kha Nab Nam at Krabi province
Magical views from the water with Khao Kha Nab Nam mountains in the background

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.

#7 A glimpse at the past at the Shell Cemetery

Shell cemetery in Krabi province
Ancient fossil shells at Fossil Shell Beach, also known as fossil 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.