Krabi is a province in South Thailand known for its natural beauty with its sandy beaches, tropical islands, crystal clear waters, limestone mountains and waterfalls. Most of its inhabitants are employed in tourism and agriculture, the main products grown being rubber and coconuts. Krabi is situated on the Andaman sea on the West coast of Thailand. Tourists are attracted by activities as snorkeling, diving, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling and sailing. The provincial capital is Krabi town, a base to get to the many islands and the province’s forested interior.
To do & see in Krabi
Krabi offers a great number of natural attractions and outdoor activities.
Two trails of about one kilometer lead through the jungle to the Emerald Pool “Sa Morakot” with its warm, turquoise crystal clear waters where local people and foreign tourists alike enjoy to take a swim. A short hike away is another pool, the blue pool or “hot springs” which is not suitable for swimming. The Emerald Pool is found in Khlong Thom district, about 60 kilometers South East of Krabi town. Entrance fee is 200 Baht; bring swim wear and towels. The place can get crowded, especially on weekends and National Holidays.
For those looking for a challenging outdoor activity in nature, Krabi is one of Thailand’s most attractive rock climbing destinations with its great scenery of limestone cliffs, bays, beaches and numerous small islands. The main sites are at Tonsai and Railay, where climbers find routes for all levels, from beginner to experienced. Climbers can rent equipment and climb on their own or take lessons at one of the climbing schools.
Railay beach, a picturesque tropical beach surrounded by limestone cliffs is accessible only by boat from Ao Nang. Railay comprises of two sections, a long sandy beach that can get busy at West Railay, while a mangrove forest swamp makes East Railay unsuitable for swimming. A view point quite a climb up the rocks offers scenic views of both Railay East and West.
The sandy beach at Ao Nang bay offers great views of limestone mountains and dozens of nearby islands. They bay is filled with longtail boats and speedboats arriving and departing to nearby islands and diving and snorkeling locations. Accommodation options on the beach from very basic to 5 star are plentiful.
Tonsai is one of the less developed beaches that can only be reached by boat. During low tide the rocky beach is not suitable for swimming. A climb up the hill leads to a beautiful secluded lagoon. Tonsai is popular with rock climbers.
Phi Phi islands
Phi Phi is a group of tropical islands in the Andaman Sea located between Krabi and Phuket. The islands with their sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and limestone mountains rising up from the sea became famous through the movie “The beach”. The largest island Koh Phi Phi Don offers plenty of accommodation, the others are uninhabited. The islands are often visited as a day trip from neighboring Phuket.
Kayaking & canoeing
Krabi is an excellent place for kayaking and canoeing with its wonderful scenery of limestone cliffs, beaches, caves, mangroves and dozens of islands. Kayaks and canoes can venture out onto the sea or the rivers through mangrove forests where animals as crabs, mudskippers and monkeys are a common sight. Tourists can rent a canoe or kayak or book a trip with a tour company. A half or full day trip including lunch will cost between 500 and 1,800 Thai Baht.
Diving, snorkeling & scuba diving
Clear waters and corals reefs make Krabi a very attractive place to admire the underwater world of the Andaman Sea. Coral reefs and large schools of tropical fish can be seen at the sheltered bays of numerous small islands. Snorkeling rips can be booked at travel agents or hotel. Diving schools offer introductory courses as well as several day PADI open water courses. The best time to dive and snorkel is in the dry season, from December to April.
Tiger cave temple
Tham Sua or “tiger cave” is a Buddhist temple on top of a hill near Krabi town. The temple derives its name from the tiger paw prints in the cave. On the temple grounds are several caves enshrining images of the Buddha, a stupa and a large Buddha image on top of the hill, as well as a beautiful statue of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. It takes considerable effort climbing the 1,237 steps to the top. Along the way up are large numbers of monkeys always on the lookout for food. Once arrived at the top, visitors will be rewarded with great scenic views of the mountainous area, the sea and islands. Tham Sua is located off Highway 6017, about 8 kilometers North East of Krabi town. Please dress respectfully, which means no revealing clothes.
Getting to Krabi
Krabi is located about 780 kilometers South of Bangkok and can be reached by air, bus and ferry.
Krabi airport is located on Thanon Phetkasem (Highway 4), about 10 kilometers East of town. Both Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways offer several flights daily from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. Flights take 1 hour and 20 minutes. One way fares start at 1,750 Thai Baht (Thai Airways), 1,690 Thai Baht (Bangkok Airways).
Nok Air offers several flights daily from Bangkok Don Mueang airport. Flights take 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fares start at around 1,100 Baht one way. A Fly and Ride service to Ao Nang starts at 1,700 Baht one way and takes around 3 hours. The last part of the journey from Krabi airport to Ao Nang is made by bus.
Air Asia offers several flights daily from Bangkok Don Mueang airport. Flights take 1 hour and 20 minutes. Fares start at around 1,200 Thai Baht one way.
There is no railway in Krabi. The nearest train stations are Trang to the South and Surat Thani to the North East. From either, take a bus or private taxi to Krabi.
Busses to Krabi depart from Bangkok Southern bus terminal (Sai Tai Taling Chan) on Borommarat Chachonnani road. Ordinary, air conditioned and VIP busses are operated by several private and government companies. The trip takes around 11 hours, fares vary from 500 to 900 Thai Baht depending on the type of service. Buses arrive at the Krabi Provincial Transport Station at Talat Kao, a few kilometers North of the center of town.
Several companies offer ferry transfer from Phuket to Krabi via the Phi Phi islands. Prices start at around 550 Thai Baht one way. Andaman Wave Master offers twice daily ferries at 1,100 Thai Baht per person. Tickets can be booked on their website. During the rainy season ferries are less frequent and will sometimes be cancelled depending on weather conditions.