Krabi is one of the top tourist destinations in Thailand. The stunning scenic landscapes consisting of limestone cliffs, white sand and crystal clear waters of gorgeous beaches, dense mangroves and the beautiful islands are the major draws for tourists and travelers to this charming province of Krabi in Southern Thailand. There are plenty of things to do in Krabi, here are few you should not miss on a trip to Krabi.
How to Get to Krabi
Krabi International Airport located about 15 minutes ride from the main town of Krabi is well connected with most of the domestic as well as major international cities including Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
There are regular buses connecting Krabi with Bangkok and Phuket. While Bangkok to Krabi is around 12 hours journey, Phuket to Krabi takes around 3 to 4 hours depending on the traffic. There are also ferries running from Phuket to Krabi but the frequency is very low. And the waters can get really choppy during the rainy season and bad weather.
One can also hire a taxi from Phuket to Krabi which is the priciest option. If you can drive well we recommend you rent a car which is a cheaper option to hiring a taxi. The drive took us around 3 hours and offers some of the scenic views along the way.
Top Things to do in Krabi
Wat Kaew Temple
Wat Kaew Korawaram or Wat Kaew is one of the most popular temples in the Krabi City. It is a Buddhist temple and is located on a hill overlooking the town center.
The temple of Wat Kaew Korawaram dates back to 1887. The temple features a stunning architecture with white walls and dark blue tiled-roof with remarkable artwork in white color. Inside the temple is a huge golden statue of Buddha and some important religious items. The walls of the temple are decorated with splendid Buddhist paintings and murals.
When we visited there was no one around the temple, inside of the temple was calm and quiet and a great relief from the heat outside. The main temple is flanked by 4 kiosks on the terrace which has similar architectural designs.
There are two gates to access the temple, one is the off the main street and the other accessed through a grand staircase decorated with the huge golden sculptures of Naga on both sides. There is a large parking inside the temple premises and toilets on the backside of the temple. There were souvenir shops which were closed when we visited.
Krabi Contemporary Art Museum
If contemporary and traditional art interests you then you should visit the Krabi Contemporary Art Museum. The museum is located opposite the Wat Kaew Temple. The Krabi Contemporary Art Museum is housed in a wooden building from 1924.
The exhibits consist of artwork from some local and renowned artists offers a rich Thai cultural experience. The museum also holds temporary exhibitions regularly. The entrance to the museum is free.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Visiting the Elephant Sanctuary in Krabi was an amazing experience for us. There are several other sanctuaries in Phuket and Krabi which also offer Elephant riding which we wanted to avoid. This sanctuary has different programs where you can feed elephants, mud bath them and even visit the elephant hospital and care for them. The elephants roamed freely and never once did we feel that they were forced to act in a certain way.
Chhavi was the one who had maximum fun, she enjoyed feeding bananas to elephants and hugging the elephant trunk all the time during the tour. It was very safe and the elephants were very friendly and mahouts are always there to guide. You will get to spend time with these wonderful animals and even learn about their needs and schedules.
Koh Klang Fishing Village
Koh Klang is a traditional Thai fishing village and the nearest islands to the town of Krabi. To reach Koh Klang village one can take a long tail boat from the Chaofa Pier which takes around 10 minutes. There are plenty of activities visitors can do and see in the charming village to experience the local Thai culture.
You can visit the fishing farms and learn about the different type of fishes. The restaurants offer delicious seafood with fresh catch from their farm. Batik Cloth production is another important activity of the locals of the village which visitors can watch and try hands on. Take a tour of the village and explore the rice fields, caves, mangrove forests, limestone mountains and even go bird watching.
The fishing village is home to around 4,000 residents with the majority population being the Muslims. It is requested that the tourists dress modestly and refrain from consuming alcohol and pork as a respect to the culture of the village.
Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
Khao Khanab Nam consists of majestic twin limestone cliffs considered as Krabi’s famous landmarks. Khao Khanab Nam Cave, the top Krabi attraction is located in one of the mountains. The cave accessed by spiral wooden staircase consists of spectacular stalagmites, stalactites and cave paintings. The caves are also well known for a large number of human skeletons that were discovered in here. It is said that these humans must have been trapped here during floods.
Inside of the cave, sculptures and statues recreate the scene when the caves were occupied during the prehistoric period and during the WWII when the ships were docked at the river.
The cave is surrounded by dense mangrove forest and rowing along these forests provides a great opportunity for bird watching. We spotted a couple of blue Kingfishers.
The Krabi River winding through between the majestic twin Khao Khanab Nam mountains is a postcard-perfect picture of Krabi.
Khao Khanab Nam can be reached by a long-tail boat trip from Krabi’s Chao Fa Pier and takes around 15 minutes. The route offers amazing views of the mangrove forest. There is a small admission fee of 30 Baht (2018) for Khao Kanab Nam national park.
Indulge in Street Food at Chao Fa Night Market
Chao Fa Night Market or Weekend Night Market or the Krabi Night Market is a bustling outdoor food market set along the Krabi River promenade near the Chao Fa Pier. Colorful and clean chairs and tables are laid behind each of the food stands and stalls.
Foodies cannot miss a visit to this Krabi Night market where you can enjoy a variety of delicious local dishes like barbecued seafood, curries, pancakes, salads, sushi, fresh fruits, Thai desserts, cakes, and ice creams. The market is open only on weekends and Fridays from 5 PM to 10 PM.
Explore the Krabi Town Walking Street Market
Another night market which also offers a wide range of local special culinary delights is located on Maharaj Soi 10. The market extends up to the main street where you can find stalls selling local arts and handicrafts. You will find a variety of souvenirs, T-Shirts, hats, wood artwork, batiks, toys, clothing, painted shoes, jewelry, caricature artists and much more.
The market also hosted live performances like dance, singing, and cultural activities by local artists. The walking street market is also open on weekends and Fridays from 5 PM to 10 PM.
Hike to the Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint
Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint or Dragon Crest Mountain is a vantage point offering some of the best views of the province of Krabi. The 3.7 km long nature trail through the forest winds through muddy paths sometimes steep and takes around 2 – 2½ hours. The trail consists of a stream, a waterfall, and 2 viewpoints before to reach the summit of Khao Ngon Nak. The waterfall is best in full flow only during the rainy season. The viewpoints offer breathtaking views of the Railay Beach, Hong Islands, Koh Yao Yai, and Koh Yao Noi.
The hike starts at the entrance of Hat Noppharat Thara National Park around 30 minutes from Ao Nang Beach. The entrance to the park is free but one requires to register their names at the entrance of the park. Do remember to wear good hiking shoes and bring plenty of water and snacks.
Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Suea
The Buddhist temple of Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Suea is a top tourist attraction and popular pilgrimage destination in Krabi City. The temple is known for the tiger paw prints in the cave and hence the name Tiger Cave Temple. The legend also says that Jumnean Seelasettho, a Vipassana monk meditated in the cave and saw tigers roaming around the cave which led to the name of the temple.
From the base, visitors have to climb 1,237 steps leading to the summit. There is a large golden Buddha statue on the summit terrace and several other statues around the terrace and in the cave. The terrace offers wonderful views of the Krabi town, Andaman Sea, limestone cliffs and lush green forests. If you are not keen on climbing to the top there are shops, caves, statues in the foothill to explore.
There are plenty of options to get to the Tiger cave temple from the town center like a local minibus, taxi, tuk-tuk or rent a bike.
Tips: Dress respectfully – cover your shoulders and knees when visiting the temples. Do remember to carry enough water, sun lotion, glasses and hat with you for your climb. If possible plan your climb early morning or in the evening to avoid scorching sun. If you choose to take a tuk-tuk to the temple from the town center remember to haggle the rates for the ride.
You will a lot of wild monkeys in the temple ground and even during the climb do not stare or get close to the monkeys. There have been instances of monkey biting the visitors.
Day Trip to Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi Islands are a group of beautiful islands located south-west of the Krabi province. The islands are part of the marine national park and offer some of the stunning scenic landscapes, white sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters and are famous locations for scuba diving and snorkeling, kayaking, and other activities.
Visitors can join group tours or hire longtail boats and speedboats to explore the scenic landscapes, beaches, snorkel or dive to explore the coral reefs and tropical marine life. Phi Phi Don is the largest of islands which has a hotel, supermarket, post office and a small population living on the island.
The popular stops are Monkey Beach, Maya Bay at Phi Phi Leh Island popular for shooting of movie ‘The Beach’ (Bay has been closed indefinitely), Pi Leh Bay, Viking Cave with Swallow nests and ancient paintings, Koh Phai or Bamboo island for snorkeling, Pileh Lagoon an amazing natural pool and Coral Bay.
Best Beaches in Krabi – Railay Beach
Railay Beach is considered as one of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi as well as in Thailand. The beach is only accessible by boat as it is surrounded by imposing limestone cliffs. Krabi to Railay Beach is 30 minutes boat ride. The boats can be chartered from the Chao Fa Pier near Krabi town center.
There are plenty of things to do in Railay Beach. There are several other beaches, food stalls, souvenir shops, restaurants and bars, resorts, caves with spectacular stalactites, stalagmites formations and several hiking routes that start from the beach. The large towering limestone karsts make Railay a great spot for rock climbers.
Railay West has white sand and shallow water with numerous restaurants and resorts and Ton Sai Bay are popular beaches. Phra Nang Beach has beautiful caves and is a popular swimming spot. Railay East Beach has a rocky terrain surrounded by dense mangroves which makes it unsuitable for swimming. Railay East is the location for numerous bars and restaurants.
Krabi Shell Cemetery
Krabi Shell Cemetery or Susan Hoi is one of the oldest and unique Krabi attractions. The beach is covered with fossilized shells which are said to be over 40 million years old. The shells are said to be trapped in the limestone deposits forming fascinating blocks of fossils. The Krabi Shell Cemetery is one of the three such cemeteries in the world the other can be found in the US and in Japan.
The beach is surrounded by mangrove forests. There is a small open-air museum providing information on the shell fossils and its formation.
Go On A Four Island Tour
Four Island Tour is a popular Island Hopping tour from Krabi which includes a visit to the Tup Island, Koh Mor, Chicken Island, and Poda Island including a stop at the Phra Nang Cave Beach in Railay. The tour on long tail boats or speedboats starts from the pier at Ao Nang stop at each of the islands providing enough time to swim, soak up the sun and explore the island. The tours also include a couple of stops for snorkeling where you can explore amazing coral reefs and marine life.
One of the fascinating parts of the tour is when at low tide the sandbank between Chicken Island and the other two islands of Koh Mor and Koh Tub is exposed and visitors can walk to the other islands.
The Emerald Pool
The Emerald Pool or Sra-Morakot is located in Thung Teao Forest National Park about an hours drive from the town of Krabi. A visit to the Emerald Pool is a popular half-day trip from Krabi. The Emerald Pool is a natural pool with crystal clear and warm emerald water which makes it ideal for swimming. The pool is made of hard water and hence no vegetation or aquatic animals can be found here.
A short walk from the Emerald Pool is Blue Pool which is a beautiful clear blue pool but unsuitable for swimming.
The Thung Teao Forest National Park is home to exquisite species of flora and fauna. There are numerous nature hiking trails in the forest offering scenic vistas and bird watching opportunities.
Day Trip to Ko Lanta
Ko Lanta is a popular island in Krabi Province on Thailand’s Andaman coast. The island is known for its laid-back atmosphere, coral-fringed beaches, limestone mountains, and mangroves forests. There are plenty of activities to do in Ko Lanta. Go on the island hopping tour, explore the pristine untouched beaches, go snorkeling and scuba diving, wander the streets of the Ko Lanta old town or join one of the yoga classes. Also must visit is the Mu Ko Lanta National Park home to Khao Mai Kaew caves and Khlong Chak Waterfall.
The nearest airport to Ko Lanta is Krabi airport. From Krabi or Ao Nang, one can reach Koh Lanta either by ferry or minibus both of which take about 3 hours.
Best Time to Visit Krabi
The best time to visit Krabi is from November to March which is also the tourist months so you can expect a lot of tourist crowd. The climate is pleasant and warm. April-May and September-October are the hottest months with chances of rain in later months. The rainy season lasts from June through October. During rains, the water can get choppy and can affect the ferry operations.
We visited end of September it was hot but not unbearable. The tourist crowd was ok and we were lucky enough for it did not rain the week we stayed.
Suggested Krabi Tours
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