Is Krabi worth visiting?
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.
Of course, Krabi’s international airport and connections to the islands scattered within the Andaman sea – of which Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta are only two of the 150+ islands off the shore of Krabi – has also made it a popular choice.
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.
Also read: Top 7 Things To Do in Krabi
Where to stay in Krabi
Krabi province is a lot bigger than most people first think, 4,709 km² to be exact, but still visitors tend to cluster in the same places.
Below, we’ve provided you with all information you need to know to help you decide on which of the three main areas to stay in.
Location #1: Ao Nang – a bustling beach resort town
Like with most places rapidly developing to cater for tourism, Ao Nang is a trade-off between convenience and authenticity.
The upside of the compromise is that you’ll have access to everything you need; restaurants, shops, international brands, bars and clubs. Take a stroll down the beach road and you’ll find pretty much everything you need, apart from the traditional Thai experience some of us are looking for!
To meet all travellers needs, there’s a large choice of accommodation to cater for all tastes, ranging from budget backpacker hostels to expensive resorts.
PRO TIP: Like most places in Thailand, if you look hard enough you’ll still be able to find the hidden world that has managed to preserve Thai tradition. This world is Ao Nang village, 1 km behind the beach, where you’ll be treated to whaffs of delicious street food whilst being surrounded by the buzz of locals.
Location #2: Railay – Hidden beaches and rock climbing
Head South from Ao Nang and you’ll find Railay beach, a small peninsula separated from the mainland by those towering limestone cliffs most of us associate with Thailand.
The roads being cut off by the cliffs signifies not just the inability for motorised vehicles to enter the paradise but it seems, the rest of the world.
This detachment means it’s only accessible by boat, preserving the 4 breathtaking, dreamy strips of pristine white sands – Tonsai, Railay West, Railay East, and Phra Nang – that are quoted as not only some of the best in Thailand but the world!
Although Railay feels like a secluded island, it’s only a short longtail boat ride away from Ao Nang and Krabi Town, costing you 200 and 400 baht respectively for a round-trip.
Railay boasts a laid-back hippie vibe that continues into the night through its dining and nightlife, creating a Rasta-feel with a Thai twist. You can enjoy this ambience in a range of accommodation options, from guesthouses to 5-star resorts.
Location #3: Krabi Town – the capital of the Krabi province without the capital feel
Being the provisional capital of Krabi, most of us assume cities like this will be stuffy, touristy and too busy! Despite an influx of tourists, Krabi Town hasn’t rushed to cater for them too much, helping them to maintain a quaint Thai-Chinese market-feel.
Although Krabi Town doesn’t offer its own beaches, it’s only a short hop over to the gorgeous beaches of Ao Nang and Railay. Whilst being a cheaper option for those keeping an eye on the pennies.
Generally speaking, accommodation and food prices are slightly lower than the neighbouring resort towns.
Speaking of food, Krabi Night Market hosted Friday-Sunday will give you your much needed dose of street food we all start to crave.
However, if this doesn’t meet your tastes, there’s a selection of hipster cafes arriving on the scene. Those who can’t tackle the day without a coffee or smoothie bowl then 89 Cafe and SprucyCafe are definitely worth a visit.
How to get around in Krabi
You’ll be glad to hear that Krabi is a relatively easy place to move around due to the abundant modes of transport.
Tuk-tuk and Samlors
Everywhere you look you’ll probably find a tuk-tuk or samlor whizzing about the streets. These nippy little vehicles are great for short distances, delivering you right to your destination and at the low price of between 20-50 baht for most short rides.
Local buses or songthaews may be a better option for slightly longer journeys around. Running differently from what most of us are used to, it’s good to get the low-down on how to use these before venturing on one.
Like a normal bus there are some fixed stops but you can pretty much hop on and off almost anywhere by flagging one down or ringing the buzzer onboard.
To give you an idea of price, Ao Nang to Krabi town is 50 baht per person. Unlike privately hiring a vehicle, journey time can vary between 20-45 minutes, depending on pick-ups and stops.
If you prefer to travel in comfort then taxis are your best bet. However be prepared to pay 10 times the amount as the bus for the same journey from Ao Nang to Krabi Town.
Possibly the cheapest and most independent method is to hire a motorcycle for around 250 baht/day. The roads in Krabi aren’t as tricky or busy as Bangkok or Phuket, but it’s still best to have some experience and an international driver’s license.
Visiting Krabi’s main beach areas
The boat trip can be booked when you arrive in Ao Nang Beach for 100 THB ($2.80). The public ferries are located near Wangsai Seafood Restaurant and near Phanang Inn Hotel. Your hotel should also be able to organise this for you, and point you in the right direction.
How to get to Krabi
|Leaving from||Duration||Prices from||See details|
|Bangkok||1.5 hours-16-17 hours||from 600 THB ($16.50)||Bangkok to Krabi|
|Penang||8.5-9 hours||from 60 MYR ($12.50) + 310 THB ($8.50)||Penang to Krabi|
|Phuket||1-2.5 hours-3-4 hours||from 235 THB ($6.50)||Phuket to Krabi|
|Surat Thani||2.5 hours-3 hours||from 360 THB ($10.00)||Surat Thani to Krabi|
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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