If you’re planning a trip to Thailand, it wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the 150 islands located in the South. Krabi is the perfect destination to kick back and relax after Bangkok’s city hustle. If you missed it, read my Bangkok guide here. If you’ve seen postcards of a white-sand beach with turquoise waters and a majestic cliff backdrop, chances are it’s a photo of the Krabi islands.
I was actually really surprised how overrun with tourists Krabi town was. However, the wide of activities that it offers on and off the islands makes it worth it. It’s also really family-friendly if that’s something you’re considering!
Krabi also serves as a great base for exploring other Andaman Islands.
How to Get to Krabi
You can fly to Krabi Airport, which is only located 80 minutes from Bangkok. Once you arrive at the airport, take a minivan to your hotel for 150 THB/per person. They’ll drop you off directly in front of your hotel or hostel. If you’re coming from another South Thailand island, you can easily book a ferry or bus depending on which one you’re coming from. You don’t have to book them in advance, because all the tour office shops sell them. If you’re a planner, book them on 12GoAsia.
How Long Should I Stay For?
You should stay for at least 2-3 full days to really experience some of the highlights that Krabi has to offer. I’ll outline how we spent our 3 days.
Where to Stay
I recommend staying a close walk to Ao Nang Beach or Noppharat Thara Beach, because both are used as main boat piers for day trips to the islands and Railay Beach. We stayed at Chic N Chill Bed and Breakfast, which was affordable, clean and in a great location! The facilities are clean and it’s a 10-minute walk to both beaches and the main walking street. Staying close to the beaches will save you money on transportation costs.
Use my discount code for $25 Canadian off your first booking on Booking.com!
How to Get Around
Walking is the best way of getting around the main area of Krabi if you’re staying close to Ao Nang Beach. There are plenty of tuk-tuks around, but they can be expensive. The drive from our hotel to the beach is only 3 minutes and all the drivers were charging 100 THB/per person. They don’t budge either if you try to get a cheaper price, since they all charge the same price. Motorbike is another easy way of getting around if you want to explore the island a little more.
Day 1: Visit Railay Beach
Railay Beach is one of Thailand’s most popular beaches, because of its white sand beaches tucked against majestic limestone cliffs, caves and clear turquoise water. It gets SUPER crowded due to its popularity, so try to visit earlier in the day if you can. We visited around 11am and it was packed.
Bring: Swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, beach mat, and a beach towel! The sun in February was hot and I mean HOT. We actually brought umbrellas to shield us from the sun!
How to Get There
Take a taxi boat from Nopparat Thara Beach. It costs 100 THB for a round-trip ticket or a 150 THB for a one-way, and you can buy tickets at the beachfront. The boat leaves once it’s full, so don’t worry about missing it. The trip only takes about 10 minutes, but get your camera ready! The trip there is quite picturesque!
What to Do on Railay Beach
Explore the Four Beaches
Railay Peninsula has four beaches, all of which are walking distance from one another. These are Railay Beach East, Railay Beach West (only accessible during low tide in the morning), Tonsai Beach and Phra Nang Beach.
Eat Lunch From One of the Longtail Boats
Since Railay is so touristy that I assumed the food sold at one of the many longtail boats wouldn’t be great. However, I was proven wrong! Their drinks, fried rice and chicken dishes were all so delicious and affordable. So just give it a chance if you’re skeptical!
Go Rock Climbing
Railay is known as a rock climber’s paradise. People flock from all over the world to climb one of the many limestone cliffs. Krabi Rock Climbing offers courses for beginners, intermediate and advanced climbers. Check out their website if it’s an activity that you’re interested in!
Explore Phrang Nang Cave
See the Phallic Phra Nang Princess Cave
If you’ve been to Thailand, you would know that seeing this cave with a large phallic collection inside isn’t really out of the ordinary. Legend has it that the fishermen believe the cave serves as home to a mystical princess. Therefore, they believed offering wooden phallic symbols would help with fertility. It’s a strange but comical sight to behold.
Visit the Krabi Night Market
Transportation Price: 1,000 THB for 6 people. This price includes round-trip transportation from your hotel to the Night Market. The original price is 200 THB/per person, but we bargained it down to 1,000 THB total. The driver will pick you up from your hotel at 6pm and will leave the market at 8pm. The drive to/from takes about 30 minutes.
There’s such a huge selection of local foods to try. I recommend trying the curry soups, grilled pork and tom yum soup.
Day 2: Do the Four Islands Boat Tour
Price: 2,500 THB for a private boat for 6 people (does not include national park fees). This price doesn’t include lunch, so be prepared to pack some snacks or a meal. However, they do provide snorkelling gear for that part of the tour! Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price, since there’s literally a tour shop every other storefront.
PRO TIP*: Every single tour company advertises an “Early Bird Four Islands Boat Tour” which leaves at 7:30am. This completely defeats the purpose of beating the crowds if every tour is leaving at the exact same time. Ask the agent when booking to leave at 7am to avoid the heavy crowds, because this is Krabi’s most popular tour. It made such a huge difference to spots we visited. During the tour, you’ll have one hour at each stop.
BRING: Don’t forget to bring swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, drinking water, lunch, snacks, beach mat, and beach towel!
Stop 1: Phrang Nang Cave at Railay Beach
Even though you’ve visited this cave the day before, being able to explore it completely empty is a treat!
Stop 2: Chicken Island Sandbar During Low Tide
The tide comes in pretty quick, so make sure to get photos on the sandbar! There’s not much to do here other than take photos, tan and relax.
Stop 3: Stop on the Other Side of Chicken Island for a Snorkel and Swim
We didn’t have great visibility while snorkelling, but this was an amazing place to swim (and drone)!
Stop 4: Poda Island
Poda Island is where you see the stunning postcard-perfect photo of South Thailand. It’s a gorgeous spot to relax and swim.
Watch the Sunset at Ao Nang Beach
We watched the sunset every night at Ao Nang Beach and they are beautiful! Just bring a mat to sit on and some drinks to enjoy the view.
Day 3: Visit the Emerald Pools and Krabi Hot Springs
This is a must-do activity when you’re in Krabi. The Emerald Pools are absolutely stunning and the Krabi Hot Springs are such a natural wonder!
You’ll need a driver to take you to these places, because it’s located an hour and a half away. Our driver drove fast, so we arrived in an hour and 10 minutes!
Hours: 8am – 5pm
Price for Private Driver: 2,500 THB per minivan
*PRO TIP: Ask to leave at 7am. We had the Emerald Pools to ourselves for a solid half hour! It was a good amount of time to take in the serene atmosphere and take some photos. In contrast, you can also visit after 4pm for a quieter crowd, but keep in mind it’ll shorten the time you can spend there.
BRING: Swimwear, a beach towel, camera, GoPro and sandals
Entrance Fee: 200 THB
The actual emerald pools is a 1.4 km walk from the entrance. However, the walk took us 15 minutes and is super scenic! You’ll pass by many mini-pools, waterfalls, streams and tropical vegetation.
Don’t forget to visit stunning Blue Pool and Crystal Pool before leaving!
Krabi Hot Springs
Entrance Fee: 90 THB
Visit the Ao Nang Night Market
Hours: 5pm – 11pm
This is really small night market, but it’s a great place to relax for dinner! It’s a bit of a tourist trap, but the food is actually pretty good and for affordable prices. On certain nights, there is a mini Thai Boxing Show and Swing Fire Show. Make sure to get a coconut shake and some fresh mangos!
Other Day Trips You Can Do
- Take a day boat trip to Phi Phi Island.
- Take a day boat trip to James Bond Island (Phang Nga Cave).
- Hike to Tiger Cave Temple.
- Hike the Khao Ngon Nak (Dragon Crest) Trail Viewpoint for scenic views.
- Explore Krabi Town.