Have you visited Krabi yet?
Considered by many to be the jewel of Thailand, the beautiful province of Krabi on southern Thailand’s west coast is famous for the angular limestone formations which jut majestically out into the azure crystalline waters of the Andaman sea, lush tropical mangrove forests, and incredible white sand beaches that seem to stretch out for miles.
It’s one of the most popular places to visit in the south, and it’s also the perfect base from which to explore the magical islands that dot Phang Nga Bay and the Andaman Sea.
Time to find out more…
- 1 How to Get to Krabi
- 2 Things to Do in Krabi
- 3 Krabi Hotels
How to Get to Krabi
Bangkok to Krabi
At a distance of nearly 500 miles, it’s quite a long journey from Bangkok to Krabi, but it’s well worth it. Here are the best ways to travel…
By far the quickest option to get to Krabi from Bangkok is to fly.
There are more than 90 flights each week from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang International Airport, and the average flying time for a direct flight from Bangkok, Thailand to Krabi Town is 1 hour 23 minutes.
Low cost carriers such as Thai Smile, Nok Air and Thai Lion Air offer direct flights for as little as 1,700 THB, while flights with the more expensive Thai Airways can cost around 2,500 THB.
Tuesday is typically the cheapest day to fly from Bangkok to Krabi, and the cheaper flights depart from Don Mueang International Airport. Krabi airport is well situated on the main highway, so it’s easy to get to other parts of the province once you’ve flown in.
There’s no railway station in Krabi town, but it’s possible to catch a train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station to Surat Thani and then get a public bus the rest of the way.
The journey from Surat Thani to Krabi Town takes around 3 or 4 hours by bus, and it takes around 8 hours 45 minutes by daytime express train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, or around 11 hours 45 minutes if you choose to travel by overnight sleeper train.
The sleeper train departs Bangkok at 7:30 pm, arriving at Surat Thani train station at 7:10 am. Tickets cost 1,539 THB for 1st class and 968 THB for 2nd class. From there it’s easy to catch the connecting bus to Krabi for 180 THB.
Although travelling to Krabi by bus is slow, it is very straightforward.
Express buses are more expensive, but they make the journey in only 11 hours and tickets cost upwards of 648 THB (but expect to pay 920 THB for a decent seat).
Many travellers prefer the air conditioned overnight sleeper bus which has 5 departures each evening from 5:30 pm onwards with a journey time of 12 hours.
Buses depart from Bangkok’s Southern bus terminal, Sai Tai Mai, and arrive directly at Krabi’s bus terminal about 2 miles away from Krabi town, or Nuea Khlong bus station by the airport.
Phuket to Krabi
At only 100 miles distant, the popular tourist destination of the island of Phuket is a common departure point for people travelling to Krabi. Here are the best ways to make the trip…
Probably the most fun and scenic way to cover the distance from Phuket to Krabi is by taking the ferry, and the journey includes a 5 hour stopover on the popular islands of Koh Phi Phi.
This does however bump up the total journey time to 8 and a half hours.
Ferries depart from Phuket at 8:30 am and tickets cost 700 THB. Alternatively, you can make the trip by speedboat. With only a 1 hour 20 minute journey time it’s very quick, but also comparatively expensive, costing 1,250 THB.
All boats arrive at Krabi’s Ao Nang pier.
Pubic buses between Phuket and Krabi are cheap, with tickets costing just 200 THB.
There are frequent departures throughout the day, with the majority of buses departing from Phuket’s bus station terminal 2, and travel time between Phuket and Krabi’s Talaat Kao bus station is around 2 and a half to 3 hours depending on which bus you take.
Both bus stations are a little out of town, so you’ll probably need to take a taxi to get there.
Alternatively, a shared minibus can pick you up directly from your hotel to take you to the bus station in Krabi. This is very convenient but can be frustrating if you’re the first pick up as it can take some time for the driver to go round all the different hotels collecting up all the people who have booked the service.
The actual journey time is similar to that of the public bus — around 3 hours. A minibus ticket costs about 450 THB.
By far the most expensive way to get from Phuket to Krabi is by taxi.
It’s also by far the most convenient as it’s obviously a door to door service and you won’t have to struggle with your luggage. Expect to pay anywhere from 2,500 – 3,800 THB.
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to travel from Phuket to Krabi, check out this video:
Things to Do in Krabi
Railay Beach and Tonsai Bay
Located on a small peninsula cut off from the mainland by towering limestone cliffs, and only accessible by a 15 minute boat ride, Railay Beach and Tonsai Bay are two of Thailand’s most idyllic and sought after beach locations.
Railay Beach is a fairytale come true with clear sparkling waters, soft white sand, caves to explore, a blue lagoon and chattering monkeys swinging through branches of trees atop the limestone rocks.
Tonsai Bay is an ideal spot for rock climbing.
This scenic, tranquil beach surrounded by trees and dramatic cliffs is also dotted with beach bars, and concerts, beach parties and fire shows are regular events here.
Phra Nang Beach
Also located on the Railay peninsula is the glorious Phra Nang Beach, shaded by palm trees and with clear shallow water and coral reef for safe swimming and snorkeling it’s a popular beach destination.
Fertility shrines are carved into the rock face here, with local Thais placing phallic symbols in them to bring them good luck.
Behind the fertility shrines lies a magical hidden lagoon to explore, or you can take a short hike to the impressive viewpoint on top of the cliffs.
Hungry? Numerous boat vendors anchor up here selling freshly cooked food from their boats.
There are so many beautiful, tiny islands around Krabi, that tourist operators offer special island hopping tours.
The popular ‘four island’ tour is a day trip by longtail boat that takes you to the four islands closest to the coast; Koh Poda, Koh Gai, Koh Tub and Koh Mor.
Koh Poda is famous for sparkling white sand, turquoise water, and a distinctive limestone rock structure in the middle of the sea in front of the beach.
Koh Gai boasts another strange rock formation — this time with a form that resembles a chicken.
Koh Gai is also linked to Koh Tub and Koh Mor islands by a sandbar, which at low tide can be walked across to get from one island to another.
Koh Tub (or Tup) and Koh Mor are excellent locations for snorkelling as the waters are totally clear allowing great views of the coral reefs.
The exact itinerary of tours vary according to operator. Some may take you to additional islands, including Koh Phi Phi with its curved beaches and lush jungle, and Koh Hong with its breathtaking natural lagoon surrounding by majestic limestone formations.
Koh Lanta is a large island in Krabi Province which makes up part of the Mu Koh Lanta National Marine Park known for its tropical rainforests, coral-fringed beaches, mysterious mangroves, and limestone outcrops and rainforests.
There are a dozen different beaches on the island, which although popular, remain uncrowded.
The west coast of Koh Lanta offers spectacular sunsets, beach bungalows, and small, friendly beach bars.
Most people come here just to laze the day away on the beautiful beaches, but there are plenty of other things to do here too.
A network of caves can be explored in the centre of the island, and at the southernmost tip of the island a pleasant hike through the jungle will take you to the seven metre high Klong Jak waterfall.
Koh Lanta’s northernmost point is where you’ll find the bustling tourist town Baan Saladan where you can taste some incredible seafood.
Stepping onto the sands at Koh Klang is like stepping back in time.
There are no cars here, and this fishing village is reached by taking a longtail boat through the mangrove forests where wooden houses on stilts perch over the water.
Unlike other Krabi islands, this is not a place for sun worshippers to lounge on the beach.
Koh Klang is a living, working, traditional island where most of the 5,000 inhabitants are fishermen or farmers. They are also Muslim, and visitors to the island must dress and act accordingly to their more conservative custom.
A tour of the village offers a fantastic insight into the way of life here, and the opportunity to explore authentic southern Thai culture, arts and crafts work, and even to work alongside local artisans to create a truly unique souvenir.
Wildlife enthusiasts can experience some prime bird watching as the island is home to several rare feathered species.
For dinner, head to the northern canal to the floating restaurants where fish are plucked straight out of the surrounding waters before being cooked to perfection and placed on your plate.
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is Krabi’s very own beach resort.
About 20 minutes drive from Krabi Town, fine, golden sands surrounded by limestone headlands are the main attraction here, as are the reasonably clean, clear waters which offer some excellent diving opportunities.
The beach stretches out for about a kilometre, and at the eastern end there are a variety of bars, restaurants, clothing shops, plus massage and beauty salons.
The beach is pretty and offers a great view of the sunset, and there’s a very welcoming atmosphere.
The pristine waters of this pool in Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve come straight from a natural spring, and have an ethereal green tint.
Also known as Sra Morakot, the Emerald Pool is reached by a network of trails through the attractive Khao Nor Chu Chi forest, and is surrounded by dense jungle foliage.
This is a popular destination for both locals and tourists who come to bathe in the balmy waters, and as such it can get quite crowded, but it is nevertheless a pleasant experience, and should be combined with the adjacent Klong Thom Hot Springs.
Khlong Thom Hot Springs
The Khlong Thom Hot Springs are truly a miracle of nature.
Over millions of years the water from deep rooted thermal springs located in volcanic chambers has cascaded down through the rainforest jungle and created natural hot tub like hollows in the rock.
People flock from all over to take a turn in one of these hot tubs, which are filled with revitalising waters rich in health beneficial mineral salts and heated to a balmy temperature of 40-50 degrees Celsius.
This is a relaxing spa treat like no other, and if you begin to doze off you can take a dip in the cool river below.
Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
When it comes to photo opportunities the breathtaking twin mountains of Khao Khanab Nam are one of Krabi’s best.
Soaring 100 metres up into the sky ,these two limestone mountains rise majestically out of the water with the river running between them.
But it’s not just the view of the mountains from the outside that is special. Venture inside the mountains and you’ll discover a hidden world of mysterious and mystical caves filled with stalactite and stalagmite formations and some prehistoric cave paintings.
Back outside, climb to the top of one of the mountains and admire the view of the surrounding mangroves, rich in wildlife.
Khao Ngon Nak
For some world class, awe inspiring views, climbing to the top of Dragon Crest mountain (aka Khao Ngon Nak) is the place to find them.
The 3.7 km trail to get there will take you hiking through some steep jungle terrain, and will take at least 2 hours, but it is more than worth the effort and you’ll pass two viewpoints and a waterfall along the way.
Once at the summit, you’ll find yourself at 565 meters above sea level, and it will feel like the whole world is at your feet.
The stunning vista stretches out across the Tubkaek National Park and the winding rivers and green hills in the distance and the islands beyond.
Here’s a great video showing what’s on offer:
Krabi Town Walking Street Night Market
No visit to Krabi would be complete without checking out the Krabi Town Walking Street Night Market.
The Thais love a good market, and there is a good variety of items for sale here from cool clothing and local handicrafts to pearl jewellery and works of art.
There are often live performers here to entertain you whilst you browse the market stalls, and it’s the perfect place to chow down on some tasty local street food from one of the 70 odd food stalls.
The market is held behind the Vogue department store in the centre of Krabi town every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 5 pm to 10 pm.
There is a wide choice of accommodation available in Krabi. Here are the best of the bunch…
The Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort
This beautiful beachfront boutique hotel offers 4 star accommodation set amongst flourishing green gardens with a view of the nearby islands.
The heavenly location is the ideal setting for the hotel’s cosy and inviting private villas featuring coconut and teak wood detailing, finished with delicate local design touches for a warm relaxing ambiance and tropical outdoor bathrooms.
Some villas have private pools or balconies and marble baths.
The hotel’s two restaurants are set right next to the beach and surrounded by trees, and serve delicious Thai and Italian fare.
The luxury spa offers unique cocooned treatment rooms and blends Oriental and traditional Thai therapeutic healing with modern day pampering, with treatments that use only the highest quality natural herbs, oils, fruits and spa products.
The large outdoor pool is the perfect place to enjoy a soothing swim, and there is a large and well equipped library.
- Beachfront location
- Swimming pool
- 2 restaurants
- Fitness centre
- Luxury spa
- Private villas
Ban Sainai Resort
This peaceful paradise lies amidst tranquil and tropical greenery surrounded by coconut groves, natural streams and a magnificent backdrop of sheer limestone cliffs.
The luxurious private villa accommodations have a rustic style, each with a private terrace and equipped finely with air conditioning, flat screen satellite televisions an en suite bathrooms.
The outdoor saltwater swimming pool at this 4 star resort has a magnificent view of the cliffs, and poolside is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Thai massage.
The hotel’s romantic Sai Nai Restaurant is set in the open air beside a lovely pond and offers a variety of authentic and delicious Thai and international dishes.
There is a no alcohol policy at the resort, but guests are invited to try various tropical drinks, non-alcoholic cocktails and healthy superfood smoothies.
Ban Sainai Resort is located a short drive away from the beach, and a free daily shuttle service is provided.
- Jungle setting
- Private villas with terrace
- Swimming pool
- Massage service
- Free beach shuttle service
Layana Resort & Spa
Strictly for adults only, the 5 star Layana Resort & Spa offers relaxation in peace and tranquility with a delicate combination of unique Thai culture and modern luxury on one of unspoilt Koh Lanta Yai’s finest beaches.
The resort features 57 luxurious guest rooms and suites boasting large balconies, natural and luxurious decor, and en suite bathrooms set within landscaped gardens and benefiting from garden, beach or mountain views, and some have private pools.
A saltwater infinity pool with views out across the ocean is idyllic, and features a poolside jacuzzi.
The spa and wellness centre offers an extensive range of Eastern and Western health and beauty treatments designed to promote physical, mental and emotional well-being, and daily poolside yoga lessons are available.
Guests can enjoy a selection of fresh, tasty juices at the juice bar, and the beach side bar is perfect for cocktails.
The Tides restaurant serves a mouth-watering a la carte selection of international dishes, as well as traditional Thai fare and seafood specialties all made from the freshest of ingredients.
- Beachfront setting
- Spa and wellness centre
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Fitness centre
- Juice bar
- Adults only
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi
Hidden away in a secluded cove surrounded by emerald waters and a natural park and accessible by boat only, this 5 star resort offers guests an abundance of opportunities to relax and explore some of Thailand’s most striking scenery.
Set in its own private sandy bay, the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Krabi is the epitome of understated luxury.
Ocean view rooms and villas are designed in modern Thai style, with high ceilings and spacious living areas dominated by wood and stone features.
Some rooms and villas have private plunge pools or outdoor jacuzzis.
The hotel boasts four restaurants, including the Lotus Court fine dining restaurant serving local specialities and international cuisines, Suan Bua with a menu of southern-Thai favourites and locally sourced seafood, and Hagi which features classic and contemporary Japanese cuisine.
Guests can indulge themselves at Spa Cenvaree with over 50 therapies, including Ayurvedic programmes, spa journeys for couples, facial and body massages that use locally-grown herbs.
- Beachfront accommodation in a private bay
- Swimming pool
- Award winning spa
- Fitness centre
- 4 restaurants
- 2 bars
- Free beach speedboat shuttle
- Complimentary water sports
Have you visited Krabi yet?