Overshadowed by the nearby islands of Phuket and Phi Phi, the Thai town of Krabi is often skipped completely by Thailand’s island seekers. Krabi’s limestone karst landscape is a fantastic place to hang out for a few days, especially for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts and there are far more fun things to do in Krabi than first meets the eye.
Krabi has an international airport, making it an easy destination to visit no matter what part of Thailand or Southeast Asia you’re visiting from. Stay in the center of Krabi Town or head to the nearby Ao Nang Beach. No matter where you choose to rest your head, your time in Krabi will be full of adventure and gorgeous sceneries.
Best Things To Do In Krabi, Thailand
Visit the Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua)
Don’t let the 1,200 steps discourage you from making the trek up to the Tiger Cave Temple. Is it daunting? Yes. Is the hike worth it? You bet. Settled atop the limestone formations, the view from the top is one to be seen.
Monks from all over Thailand mediate at this sacred temple and the golden Buddha at the top can’t be missed. Don’t be fooled — there are no real tigers at the temple but according to the locals there was a family of tigers that lived at the top at one time.
About 30 minutes outside of Ao Nang Beach, it’s best to head up in the morning before the sun decides to radiate its heat across the land. Skip the gym that morning, bring plenty of water and don’t forget to bring something to cover your knees and shoulders once you’ve reached the top.
Spend the day relaxing at Railay Beach
Railay Beach is a trip highlight for most travelers visiting Krabi. Perfect for a day trip or a quick couple of hours, Railay has the crystal blue water and limestone formations that all the Thailand travel guides highlight.
Head down to the pier at Ao Nang beach and hire a water taxi to get you there. Only about a 20-minute ride to paradise, hop off and spend the day sunbathing on the sand, go rock-climbing, get a message on the beach or go explore some caves! Stay for sunset and thank me later.
In my opinion, the best place to be a beach bum is Phra Nang Cave Beach. Follow the walking path through the shops on Railay Beach West (where you’re dropped off), continue onto Railay Beach East then follow the signs for Phra Nang Cave Beach. Don’t walk with food on the path, as the trail is full of hungry monkeys!
Take a dive into Emerald Pool within the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
The Emerald Pool is not an “off the beaten path” experience and you will definitely encounter crowds when you visit but don’t let that be the reason you skip this Krabi hot spot.
This park is about one hour outside of Ao Nang and provides a lively Thailand jungle experience. With different pools and trails to explore, the most popular reason people visit is for the Emerald Pool — a natural water pool full of clear Emerald water (who saw that coming?). A popular place for nature photographers and the perfect to cool down from the scorching Thailand sun.
Relax at the Klong Thom Hot Springs
Located near the Emerald Pool, pop over to the hot springs to bring your body temperature back up after cooling down in the natural springs. Or vice-versa!
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With many natural “hot tubs” all throughout the thermal spring, pick your favorite and relax in the toasty yet satisfying 35C-40C temperatures. The mineral salts absorbed in the hot spring water are said to ease a number of discomforts, including rheumatism, sciatica and other skin issues.
Chase waterfalls at Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
Hire a tuk tuk or a motorbike for the day and head 20km outside of Krabi’s city center and prepare for a day of chasing waterfalls.
This National Park in Krabi is full of flowing streams, wildlife, woodland and waterfalls. Spend the day trekking inside Krabi’s green paradise for a fabulous getaway from the crowds and beach at Ao Nang.
Huey Toh waterfall is the nicest waterfall in the park and the hike all the way to the peak takes longer than you think! If you want to be home by nightfall be sure to head out on the trail earlier in the day.
Go rock climbing
For bouldering and rock climbing enthusiasts, Krabi is an absolute paradise! No matter your upper body strength and skill level, there’s a rock waiting for you to climb it. Popular rock climbing destinations around Krabi are Railay and Tonsai. Try one of the many tours and experienced climbers that are ready to show you the ropes (literally).
Ask your hotel or hostel for guide recommendations! Or simply take a water taxi to Railay on your own and walk up to one of the many rock climbing stands located on the island.
Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak trail for an epic viewpoint
A fantastic viewpoint and arguably one of the best you can find in the south of Thailand is at the top of Tab Kak Hang Nak. Still a little under the radar, this trek is best early in the morning to avoid being completely soaked from the heat. If you’re an early riser, the peak makes for a stunning spot to catch a sunrise.
After an hour and a half hike through the luscious green trail, you’ll reach a rock that sticks out like a tongue. A beautiful oversee look at the gorgeous view of Krabi’s limestone landscape and the Andaman Sea.
Perch on top of the rock for a great Instagram photo and throw in a yoga pose for good measure. The views at the top will give you all the “I love Thailand!” feels.
Catch a cabaret show at Blue Dragon
If you’ve done any research before heading to Thailand, you know that a popular evening activity is attending a Ladyboy show. Krabi hosts one of the best ones in Thailand at Blue Dragon. Walk up to the 3rd floor of Center Point in Ao Nang to see the show.
For fabulous costumes, tons of belly laughs and a night of endless entertainment hit the red carpet and head to Blue Dragon. Don’t knock it before you try it!
Go on a wild pub-crawl with Slumber Party Hostels
Slumber Party is a hostel chain in Thailand, known for some pretty wild nights out. Even if you decide to stay away from the hostels this time around, Slumber Party hosts public pub crawls. They also host awesome adventure day-trips to outside guests.
Start off with a round of beer-pong at the hostel! Then head to the main bar district in Ao Nang for a night full of the notorious Thailand buckets and dancing. A great way to meet fellow travelers and experience the Krabi nightlife!
If you wake up the next day and you’re ready to explore more of what Krabi has to offer, check out their own version of the 4 Island Tour, Jungle Tour (Tiger Cave Temple, Hot Springs and Emerald Pool) or maybe take on their “secret destination” kayaking trip! An excellent option for anyone short on time while in Krabi.
Spend the day exploring the surrounding islands on a four-island tour
When looking for things to do in Krabi, hopping on a long tail or speed boat for a four-island tour is an absolute must-do. Bring your swimsuit, sunscreen and an underwater camera if you have it.
Organize the tour with your hotel or hostel or just head down to the pier at Ao Nang Beach yourself! If you’re short on time while in Krabi, a four-island tour is a great way to see the surrounding islands. Set sail and experience the crystal blue waters of the Andaman Sea in a single day!
The usual island stops are Chicken Island, Koh Tub, Koh Poda and Koh Mor. Most tours also include lunch on one of the islands and snorkeling spots throughout the day.
Go on a shopping spree at one of the night markets
Need a place to grab some tasty Thai food and purchase some souvenirs for friends back home in one fell swoop? Head to one of the bustling night markets in Krabi!
On weekend evenings (Friday-Sunday) from 6PM-9:30 PM you can take a stroll through the most popular shopping event, located behind the Vogue Department Store in Krabi Town. Stalls include cheap Thai food, handmade crafts, clothing, souvenirs and a random assortment of gadgets. Local musicians provide background music while you shop til you drop!
If you’re in Ao Nang on a Wednesday evening, head to the Ao Nang Night Market near the Boxing Stadium. This night market is open from 4PM-7: 30 PM on Wednesdays. The Ao Nang Night Market includes your typical night market items such as street food, crafts and souvenirs. The night market is PACKED with the best Thai food and drinks in town – definitely come hungry!
Best food markets in Krabi
When you think about things to do in Krabi, shopping isn’t usually the first thing that comes to mind but there are many bargains to be found in and around Krabi Town.
Looking for some fresh fruit or vegetables? Stop by Maharaj Market to be greeted by the colourful stalls filled with piles of produce, fish, and flowers. It is easy to find it is located just off the large Maharaj road on Soi 7. This market is open for the majority of the day but the best time to go is in the morning when all the fresh goods are being brought in.
Krabi Town Walking Street
The most popular market event in Krabi is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and located behind the well-known Vogue Department Store. This is Krabi Town Walking Street and the perfect place to stop for dinner and try a variety of Thai dishes. After you have filled your stomachs with all the food your heart desires, enjoy some live music or a Thai Dance show at the stage in the centre. Krabi Town Walking street is also a great place to find unique souvenirs for great prices such as shoes, clothing, accessories and other locally handmade goods.
Chao Fah Night Market
Located across from Chao Fah Park Pier, this is the market for any foodie as it is exclusively a food market. Here you can find extremely affordable meals while enjoying the ocean breeze. This market is quite the hidden gem as it is not frequented by many tourists, which gives you a more authentic experience when you are crouched down and eating next to the locals. What makes this market even better is that is open everyday, so you don’t have to wait until the weekend to gorge on the local cuisine.
Ao Nang Night Market
If you are looking to get out of Krabi Town for a bit, head to Ao Nang on a wednesday evening to check on the Ao Nang Night Market. It is located right next to the boxing stadium and only open from 4PM-7: 30 PM for the one night a week. Pick up some local food and spend the rest of your even on the beach before heading back to Krabi Town.
Catalunya Walking Street (Ao Nang Walking Street)
Though technically not classified as a market, Catalunya Walking Street should not be skipped while enjoying your time in Ao Nang. This shopping complex has a vintage feel and lively atmosphere. The eccentric storefronts will pull you in selling different things such as insects encased in resin and masks with a liking to Buddha. You can also enjoy the nightlife here as there are a few restaurants along the street that provide live music and a cool retro atmosphere.
The best Krabi beaches
There are no shortage of beaches when you travel to Krabi. Besides the ever popular Railay beach, there are a few others if you are looking for a place to relax somewhere more low-key.
If you are staying in a resort, you are most likely right next to Klong Muang beach. Despite this beach being located in the resort area of Krabi, is it quite secluded and a great place to relax and get some reading in. Lined with many palm trees, it is easy to find a quiet location in the shade to chill with your friends or reflect alone.
Probably one of the most underrated beaches in Krabi, Tub Kaek beach is a 30 minute drive from Ao Nang. This beach is taken care of by the few resorts that lay on its banks which means you will always be able to enjoy a clean, white sandy shore. There is also a small swing here where you can get that perfect Instagram photo without the worries of having your photo populated by other people.
Located right next to Ao Nang beach, this treasure is popular amongst the locals. Nopparat Thara beach is the perfect place to spend an afternoon with a small picnic and good company. If picnics aren’t your thing, spend the day unwinding under the sun and then try one of the many restaurants situated on the shore.
Where to stay in Krabi?
I always check into the Aonang Cliff Beach Resort – one of my favourite hotels ion this side of Thailand! They have huge rooms, all with sea facing views, outdoor bath tubs and some even have their own private plunge pools! Their infinity pool is also to die for and the hotel is home to one of the best seafood buffets in Krabi / Ao Nang!
How to get to Krabi
There are a few ways to get to Krabi that range from budget to more pricey options. It is more dependant on how much time you have and your prefered method of travel. Regardless, getting to this popular beach town is super easy for any traveller.
SInce there is an airport in Krabi, the easier and more efficient way to get there from Bangkok is to fly. It takes no longer than an hour in the air and will only run you around 2500 baht. This is a perfect option if you only have a few weeks in Thailand and won’t break your bank.
If you prefer to travel by land, you can either get a direct bus from the Southern bus terminal or you can take a train to Surat Thani and board a bus there. From the Southern bus terminal (also called Sai Tai Mai) you can ride a night bus for the 12 hour trip to Krabi for just over 900 baht.
For those who would rather not be on a bus for the whole 12 hours, you can go to Hua Lamphong train station and buy a ticket directed to Surat Thani. WIth the train, you can book a 1st or 2nd class sleeper train for approximately 900-1500 baht and get some rest before boarding bus to Krabi.
From Phuket to Krabi
If you have already been enjoying you time in Phuket or on one of the many islands around Krabi, travelling is much easier. For the most part, the best option is to take the bus but you can also pay a bit more to take in a relaxing ferry ride.
The buses from Phuket to Krabi leave from the main Phuket bus terminal and take you to Krabi bus station which is a little outside the city. It is the more affordable option, costing only 150 baht and you will be driving for 2 and a half hours.
Taking the ferry is a more enjoyable experience and takes you closer to the city. The journey time is the same at 2.5 hours and the ticket will cost you around 400 baht.