Krabi is probably one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand. From its huge limestone cliffs, beautiful hidden beaches, and stunning islands. It is hard not to recommend this place. The province of Krabi with its beautiful limestone cliffs and tiny isles scattered on the turquoise ocean is a famous tourist destination in southern Thailand. Idyllic white beaches and towering rock formations make it one of the most beautiful places in the country. At the same time, Krabi is a vibrant cultural hub, with stunning temples and delectable cuisine. If you ever get a chance, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Most boat tours you can do from Krabi, Ao Nang, and Railay beach, other tours you have to book accommodation in Ao Nag or Krabi. We recommend a few days in Ao Nang and a few days in Railay if you can find accommodation there.
No matter if you are an adrenaline junkie, a hiker, or a beach lover, Krabi has it all. Looking for an adventure, you can go rock climbing. Love hiking in nature, there are plenty of viewpoints to hike. Simply want a relaxing holiday in paradise, you are surrounded by beautiful beaches and islands here. With so many things you can do here, after spending a few months in Krabi, I have decided to compile a list of the very best things to do here. From rock climbing to island hopping, here are the best things to do in Krabi:
As most tourists go directly to Ao Nang and Railay beach we decided to spend some time in the mangrove forest and jungle of Krabi. Ao Thalane or Thalane Bay is one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in the whole of Thailand. About 20km from Krabi Town this section of the coast is covered in dense foliage that wraps all the caves cliffs and amazingly shaped Karsts.
This area of Krabi is perfect for cruising around in a Kayak. The small inlets, caves, and hidden lagoons can be discovered on this kayaking tour, the shade from the jungle all around you keeping it cool. Krabi's coastline is an amazing sight, to actually get to paddle a kayak around it is a very memorable experience. There are a few places you can go for a Kayak trip. At Ao Thalane Pier you can book a guided tour around the mangrove.
We stayed at Pooltara and there you can just grab a kayak at the property and do a small trip at the mangrove with crystal clear water. It will take about 1 or 2 hours round trip at the resort if you kayak slowly.
Pooltara is a basic resort with small bungalows and the greenest pool I have ever seen in my life, and also some bigger rooms, in the morning they served rice soup with some sweets. You can also choose to have breakfast in the bakery as they have their own bakery cafe. We didn't do this but we had lunch there and it was very good they serve Thai and Western food. Just a few minutes from the resort you can find a small village with some supermarkets and some days there was a market. There is not much to do around the area so you will need a scooter or car to get around. We stayed here 4 days and visit Koh Hong Island from here, watching the sunset at Khaothong Hill and exploring some beaches around
Things to do in this area:
Khaothong Hill for lunch or sunset
A great place to watch the sunset with some great food for a reasonable price is Khaothong Hill
Some great Thai and Western food is served here with amazing views over the Andaman sea. It was definitely one of the best restaurants with a view even if the weather was not that great.
There are some nice beaches here too in this area of Krabi if you want to hang out on the beach, but a lot of restaurants and cafes disappear here during covid and get broke so we just go there for a walk sometimes and go back.
One of the most popular things to do in Krabi is to spend a day island-hopping around the many small islands along the coast of the province. The most famous of all is the 4 islands day trip which will take you to all the best islands of Krabi, all in one epic day. The 4 islands tour will take you to Poda Island, Tup Island, Chicken Island, and Railay with the classic long-tail boat, or a speed boat, with the longtail boat, is a little bit cheaper and takes a bit longer than the speedboat, we love the classic Longtail Boat more. With the tours, you will be spending at least 6 - 8 hours hopping between these 4 islands, and depending on the tide level that day, the order of the islands you visit may shuffle around a bit to let you get the best out of your visit. Tup Island is especially beautiful at low tide as you will be able to see the Sandbank and you can walk across the island on a shallow strip of sand. If the tide is low in the morning, you will likely be heading to this island first. You will have around an hour at each stop except for Chicken island as there is no beach for you to stop and you will only be cruising around a chicken-shaped cliff, where the island got its name, for photos before heading to the next island. Poda Island is the highlight of this trip for me as you will finally have time to snorkel and witness all the beautiful coral reefs and marine life of Krabi.
After snorkeling, the boat will be anchored at Poda Island beach where you will have either a packed lunchbox or a buffet and you will have time to chill on the beach for another 1 hour. Be sure to take a photo of the iconic cliff rock that Poda is known for before leaving. Last but not least, you will be visiting Railay Beach, which technically, isn't an island as it is part of Krabi mainland but due to the inaccessible vertical limestone mountain that cuts the area off, the only way you can get there is by boat which makes it feel more like an island than just a beach on Krabi's mainland. You will have around an hour at Railay which should be enough to visit Phra Nang Cave and relax at Phra Nang Beach. There are many cool things you can do at Railay but you will need to visit the place separately later as you will need at least a day or 2 to see them all. After Railay, you will be sailing back to Ao Nang and transferred to your hotel by 3 - 4 PM, concluding your 4 islands day trip. It is a great way to spend a day in Krabi and allows you to see quite a lot without spending as much on transportation. If you have a day to spare in Krabi, the 4 islands day trip is the way to go. You can easily book online with Viator, we love it as you can cancel up to 24h before your trip if something happens or a storm is coming if you traveling during the rainy season. Which is not possible if you book at a local agency.
Koh Hong Islands trip
At Pooltara hotel you can also book a trip to Koh Hong it will be the cheapest option in Krabi as from this part it's not far to Koh Hong, expect a double price if you leave from other places in Krabi like Ao Nang or Railay beach but it can be booked there also as a day trip.
Koh Hong, better known as Hong Island, is an island off the coast of Krabi. Hong Island is part of the Than Bok Khorani national park and you can do one of the offered tours from Phuket, Phang Nga, or Ao Nang and Railay to visit this gorgeous island, or like we did just book a private longtail boat at Pooltara resort. The advantage of a trip like this is that you don’t have to wait for more people to fill the rented longtail boat. You can just start your trip right away as it is a private trip
Furthermore, if you book with a reputable agency (we recommend Viator which we also used for our tours in Thailand), you have the option to cancel any tour up to 24 hours in advance. It’s also easier to get a refund in case of any problems. Try to reschedule a tour or get a refund from a local kiosk…Many tours just go even with bad weather and they don't give a refund. It gives you so much more relaxed on holiday if you don't have to worry about the weather might be bad or you getting sick and you don't get a refund.
On arrival at Koh Hong, you will be required to pay an additional fee for the national park. This fee is 400 Baht per person and 40 Baht per Thai. Eventually, after that, you can straight head to the beach. The beach is separated into two parts by a huge rock. The more beautiful part of it is located between that rock and the big limestone cliffs. Here you can find a small bay where you can have a great swim and some snorkeling. The water is pretty clear and the sand is wonderfully white. Does it get any better?
The Hong Lagoon is another attraction of the Hong Island Tour and so it’s always a part of every excursion. With the longtail boat or speedboat you drive through a narrow rock opening and inside the lagoon, the visitors get surprised by a unique landscape of turquoise water and mighty limestone cliffs. If you like, you can do some snorkeling and swimming here too.
The excursions offered by the local agencies take you to Koh Hong and at least to Koh Lao Lading and Koh Pak Bia for a day or half-day tour. It is a nice tour but also very popular and therefore if you have a chance leave at around 08:00 in the morning to avoid the crowd
Hiking Dragon Crest mountain in Khao Ngon Nak Krabi
The Dragon Crest viewpoint or as it is known locally as Khao Ngon Nak is probably one of the best viewpoints in Krabi. The trail is located inside the Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park and the trail will take you up to the top of Khao Ngon Nak mountain where you will be able to have an unobstructed view of Krabi and see why Krabi is one of the most beautiful places in Thailand.
Dragon Crest mountain offers one of the most epic viewpoints in all of Thailand. The National Park Khao Ngon Nak, aka Dragon Crest Mountain is a stunning 3.7 km hike located in northern Krabi. This hike will indisputably offer some of the most breathtaking views you’ve seen and amazing photo opportunities. The trail itself is about 3.7 km long one way and it can take you from 2 - 4 hours to get to the top depending on your fitness. The trail started out pretty flat but then it gets quite steep around the second the fourth kilometers before you arrive at the top so make sure you are in a good shape before tackling the trail. The best way is to go in the early morning or afternoon around 15:00, after 17:00 you're not allowed to go up anymore as you will not be in time back before dark. Google Maps Location
Our next stop is Railay Beach in Krabi which is located on the Railay Peninsula of the same name and is certainly one of the most spectacular places in all of Thailand. This paradise is especially famous for its imposing limestone cliffs, which together with the turquoise sea, the tall palm trees, and the powder-sugar fine white sandy beaches conjure up a true picture-postcard setting. In addition, unforgettable activities and incredibly beautiful attractions await you during a visit to Railay Beach. Climbing, kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and of course swimming at Thailand’s most beautiful beaches are just some of the best things to do. Although the peninsula is no longer an insider tip, Railay Beach is absolutely legendary and a visit is a real must on any trip to Krabi.
Things to do at Railay Beach
There are really great things to do on a visit to Railay Beach. On the small peninsula, there are no less than 4 beautiful beaches and numerous interesting attractions, and you can also take terrific excursions and enjoy plenty of activities.
Railay Beach is an absolute dream beach in Krabi and certainly one of the most important attractions of the peninsula. The emerald sea and the mighty rock formations conjure up a picture-perfect backdrop here. Due to the fine sand and the hardly existing stones or corals in the water, the sea invites quite wonderfully for bathing. In the evening you can watch spectacular sunsets and in the high season, there are stunning fire shows evenings. Some restaurants and bars are also located directly on the beach and invite guests to enjoy and chill out with a view of the sea.
Phra Nang Beach on Railay is the absolute must-see and actually the dream beach of the region par excellence. Due to its striking stone formations and scenic beauty, it has become one of the most famous beaches in Thailand. Look on the app for the times of tide as during high tide you cant walk to the other side of the beach. The entire beach scenery is like a picture book, and the famous rocky island in the sea adorns all postcards of Krabi. Beautiful is the powder sugar fine light sand beach, where the turquoise blue sea colors invite us to splash, swim and snorkel. Thanks to the tropical trees, you’ll find plenty of pleasant shady spots, and if you like, you can even get a massage right there on the beach overlooking the sea.
A few years ago this side of the Island all the tours landed with their longtail boats from 4 island tours but nowadays it looks like they were banned from this side of the Island which makes it even more beautiful. The only disadvantage is that there are no longtail boats anymore selling foods and ice creams on this side so bring your drinks
Tip: The stunning Hotel Rayavadee is one of the best hotels on Railay and is many years on the top list of best hotels in the world. The pool is beautiful and of course the exclusive location directly on the dream beach. But it comes with a price
Best day trips from Railay Beach
Railay Beach is a great starting point to explore the most beautiful islands in Krabi via a boat trip. We can recommend the following excursions and day trips in Krabi:
A unique experience is a Krabi 4 Islands Tour, where you can explore several dream islands like Chicken Island and Koh Poda, and do some wonderful snorkeling. If you do a private tour you can ask the captain to go first to Koh Poda as that way you avoid the crowd there and at least you have one good pic with not many people on it.
You can also take a trip to Hong Island a real pearl and one of the most beautiful islands in Krabi. A trip there, if you have time, should not be missed.
Visit The Emerald Pool and the blue pool
Emerald Pool is probably one of the most picturesque places in Krabi. With its remote locations, the extremely clear water, and the emerald color that glows when the sun hit, it is one of the sights that you really have to see to believe it exists. The Emerald Pool is located 55 km east of Krabi Town in the of nowhere and there are 2 ways you can get there. If you have rented a motorbike in Krabi town, then the ride should take about an hour to get there. For a more convenient way, you can also go on an organized tour which should take you to the Emerald Pool as well as other places from Krabi or Ao Nang.
Once you arrive at the pool, you can either walk directly to the Emerald Pool itself along the 800 m trail or you can take the 1.4 km nature trail which I highly recommend, and it will take you to the Emerald Pool through the forest, passing many beautiful pools along the way. You can do the nature trail on your way there and take the faster route back or vice versa.
Once you arrive, you will enter an opening where you will be able to finally swim in the glistering Emerald Pool. There are wooden decks you can walk on as well as other small trails you can do. If you want to swim, there are bathrooms where you can wash yourself and plenty of space for you to enjoy the refreshing water. Just be careful around wet rocks as they can be extremely slippery at times. Depending on the time you are there, there might be quite a few people there.
If you want the whole place to yourself, I highly recommend you visit the place first thing in the morning. The Emerald Pool opens from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM every day and it is 200 THB for a ticket to enter the premise. The place is really beautiful and you are going to love the place.
Visit Phi Phi Island During a day trip
Another popular day trip to make from Krabi is to visit the Phi Phi Islands which even though is often visited from Phuket, is in fact located within Krabi and is a bit nearer to go from Ao Nang and so if you have not been to Phi Phi Islands, now is the time to do so. Since the island is a little further away from Ao Nang than the 4 islands, your only option when it comes to transportation is a speed boat. There are several organized tours you can go with but I highly recommend this "Phi Phi Island Speed Boat Tour" which should take you on a full-day trip around Phi Phi islands as well as other smaller islands like Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach, and more.
The trip should take an entire day from 8:30 AM all the way to 4:30 PM and the tour should include a transfer from and to your hotel as well as lunch, snorkeling gear, and more.
However, most tours don't include the entrance fee to Phi Phi National Park which is an extra 400 THB per person.
Learn Rock Climbing At Railay
Rock Climbing is a popular activity to do in Railay as there are a ton of vertical limestone cliffs you can climb around with a stunning view over the Railay beach and the western coast of Krabi.
Even if you are not an experienced climber, you can enjoy the activity here as there are many tours for beginners that will help you learn the basics of rock climbing and scale some of the world's most scenic rocks. If you are looking for an adventure in Krabi, rock climbing is a great way to do it. For a beginner, I highly recommend you go on a half-day rock climbing tour
Take a Thai cooking class
Food is a very important part of the travel experience, and if you enjoy eating Thai food and want to know how to recreate it at home, this cooking class is an ideal activity for you. Learn how to make important components of a meal--like curry paste--from scratch. You’ll learn new skills from your professional chef instructor, and then get the chance to eat your creations. This is a fun activity for friends and families traveling together.
Kayaking Adventure in Ao Thalane Bay
Escape the hustle and bustle of Krabi and explore tropical mangroves, scenic bays, and lush forests on this small-group sea kayaking adventure. You'll learn about the diverse ecosystems that surround Ao Thalane, navigate narrow waterways with an expert guide, and uncover hidden beauty in remote Thailand. Opt for a half-day adventure with morning or afternoon departures, or a full-day tour that includes lunch on the beach and time to swim. Prepare for a stunning outdoor experience that puts travelers in touch with nature.
Kayaking is one of the best water sports to experience while in Krabi. As the town is surrounded by streams and seawater, this place can be best explored by peddling a kayak and sailing amidst the dense jungles and isolated islands. Through kayaking, travelers can also take a glimpse of the natural rock formations which can only be seen in Krabi. There are various kayak tours offered in Krabi and for first-time travelers, this will be an incredible experience.
Sea Kayaking in Krabi is another thing that makes this town a must-visit place in Thailand. It is a specific kind of kayaking that gives a chance to explore the vastness of the sea sitting on a kayak and witnessing the exotic views on the way.
Where to Stay
Most people will stay in the Ao Nang area in Krabi as it is easy to go on tours from there and more affordable as Railay, but I also suggest staying at least 3 days in Railay if you can find a room as most of the time they are sold out. One last thing not book a stay in Krabi town itself as it has no beach it's just a town.
Railay Garden view resort is a beautiful place if you love back to basics, it only has a fan but you always have the breeze from the ocean and beautiful views. We sit here for hours watching the monkeys playing in the trees. Great rooms for a budget price. They also arrange trips to other islands and rock climbing. Railay Garden view resort is a small and quiet resort located on the eastern hillside of Railay. The resort offers fan bungalows that are spread in the garden with a relaxed atmosphere. The only thing is the long-tail boats drop tourists on this side of the Island, so you get a lot of noise from them. If you are a light sleeper this place is not for you as they run too late evening and start again at 05:00 in the morning. Rooms are around 30 a night with a basic breakfast.
Just a few meters from the Railay garden view you can find the best restaurant in Railay as in the main street most serve tourist food and they charge foreigners double prices as Thai people so we didn't like it to eat something there as for me all people are the same no matter their color or where they come from.
Tip: Directly on the beach is the Railay Village Resort. The hotel delights its guests with two beautiful pools, a brilliant location, and a quiet, well-kept garden. Rooms are around 130 Euro without breakfast, and yes Railay beach is more expensive than Ao Nang in Ao Nang a hotel like this will cost mabey 30 Euro
Railay Bay resort One of only a handful of resorts with beachfront access to Krabi’s famed Railay Beach, the 4-star Railay Bay Resort & Spa is ideally situated on a white sandy beach with crystal clear water, exotic marine life, and colorful coral reefs. Nature can be truly enjoyed with the limestone cliffs of Railay, the beaches of Phra Nang and Ao Nang, as well as the Phra Nang Cave.
Whether you are dining in the Railay Restaurant, relaxing on the beach, or enjoying the view from each room’s spacious private balconies, you will never have to miss the amazing sunrises and sunsets. coconut trees and tropical fauna decorate the beautifully landscaped grounds, accenting such facilities as the outdoor pool and spa with a hot tub and massage treatment. Rooms are around 100 Euro a night including breakfast. Book Now
Another great place to stay right on the beach is the Sand Sea resort and it's also not that expensive. You can find rooms for around 60 Euro a night It's a great alternative if you travel with kids or you just want aircon or didn't like the sound on the other side of the Island at Railay Garden view and looking for a decent hotel. Book Now
Getting to Railay Beach is best possible by boat from Ao Nang or Krabi Town. The peninsula is cut off from the mainland by deep jungle and high limestone cliffs and can thus only be reached from the sea. Longtail boats run several times an hour, and the trip takes about 15 minutes.
It costs around 100-150 baht to get there, and tickets can be bought directly at Ao Nang Pier, Ao Nam Mao Pier, or Krabi Town Pier. You can book your tickets at the pier or with 12Go as they are everywhere accepted in Thailand
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Krabi is from November to March. During these months, the weather tends to be mild and sunny ideal for exploring Thailand’s beaches and islands.
Ao Nang Krabi
We spent a month in the resort town of Aonang which is an excellent base to explore the Phi Phi islands, and Koh Hong Islands and is also next door to the stunning Railay beach book the 4 Island tour if you didn't do this at Railay beach. This bustling place is pretty touristy nowadays.
There is a McDonald's, Coffee Club, and Boots all on the waterfront along with fantastic seafood restaurants all vying for space along the top of the beach.
Ao Nang is Krabi’s most popular destination a beach town that’s home to a wide range of resorts and hotels, restaurants, and bars. While Ao Nang’s beaches aren’t the best in Krabi, its big selection of tours and attractions makes it a convenient and exciting place to stay.
Longtail boats ferry visitors between Ao Nang and nearby Railay Beach frequently, making this somewhat crowded beach town a great base for exploring the area. Ao Nang’s selection of hotels is the most diverse in Krabi Province, with five-star resorts and budget hostels.
Since it’s a short distance from Krabi Airport compared to the region’s other destinations, you will probably pass through Ao Nang even if you’re staying elsewhere in Krabi.
Main Areas of Interest in Ao Nang
Ao Nang Beach Ao Nang is a small town, with most attractions clustered around the beach. Ao Nang Beach is the area’s most popular beach, home to soft sand and relatively clear water. You’ll find the majority of Ao Nang’s restaurants and nightlife along the beachfront area. Longtail boat operators can be found at both ends of Ao Nang Beach, offering trips to Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach, and other destinations in the area. Most longtail boats won’t leave the beach until they’re at least 80% full, meaning you could wait quite a while in low season.
Nopparat Thara Beach Located north of Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach is a quiet and peaceful beach that’s home to several of Ao Nang’s hotels and resorts. Nopparat Thara Beach is a good choice for day trips and dinners, although the beach’s strong tide makes it far from ideal for swimming.
Tubkaek Beach Located about 30 minutes from Ao Nang by car, Tubkaek Beach offers a quieter and more peaceful experience than the two beaches in Ao Nang itself. Used as a filming location for The Hangover 2, Tubkaek Beach is a great day trip destination close to Ao Nang.
Where To Stay In Ao Nang
We stayed at Whalecome Aonang as it is just perfectly located and not expensive near the main street and 2 minutes to the beach. They have small bungalows in a tropical garden and a small pool. It's just a basic place but a very good location to explore the area if you want to stay in Ao Nang and don't want to pay a high price. Rooms are around 26 Euro a night Book Now
Another great place in Ao Nang is Ban Sanai resort is nestled well away from the crowds yet still in close proximity to Ao Nang city center by a five-minute drive away. It is approximately 1 km away from Ao Nang city center or 1.6 km away from Ao Nang beachfront. The resort offers a complimentary scheduled shuttle service to Ao Nang beach daily ranging from 09.00 hrs. in the morning until 09.45 hrs. at night. The location of Ban Sanai resort is amidst the tranquil and tropical greenery with its unique setting over a terrain, a small hill, surrounded by coconut groves, and natural streams, and with a highlight of the sheer limestone cliff as the magnificent backdrop. Rooms are around 38 Euro a night Book Now