What to Do in Krabi

by Guest

What to do in Krabi

It might be tempting to while away the days sunbathing on the beaches in Krabi, occasionally dragging yourself down to the sea to refresh, but there is plenty of activities and things to do in Krabi for those who are beach dwellers. Adventurers who like climbing, sea kayaking, scuba diving and hiking won’t be disappointed, and neither will foodies who can gorge on delicious Muslim food and freshly caught seafood. Here’s a comprehensive list of things to do during your time in Krabi.

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Anantara Si Kao Hotel in Krabi.

Get local in Krabi Town

While most people get off the plane at Krabi Airport and head straight to Ao Nang or one of the other beaches, those who take some time to explore Krabi Town are treated to a slice of authentic Thai life not found elsewhere. There are local produce markets, great street food, restaurants, local bars, museums, and temples - all away from the tourist crowds. The seafood on offer in Krabi is particularly good here. You can check out recommended accommodation options or different areas where you can stay in Krabi .

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People enyjoing the beaches at Krabi.

Wander through Krabi's night markets

Krabi Town’s weekend night market is notably on its own. Unlike other night markets, there are fewer tourists here and it feels local. There is plenty on offer including colourful handicrafts, and of course, myriad street food options. The market is open between Friday and Sunday.

Rock Climbing in Krabi

One of the biggest draws to Krabi is climbing. The beautiful limestone karsts are both challenging and offer spectacular views down over the ocean below. There are almost 1,000 climbs for the experienced. It’s possible to visit some of these on a day tour and hire well-maintained equipment locally. For those wanting to get into the extreme sport, there are several climbing schools offering a variety of courses from taster days to week-long advanced classes.

Explore Krabi beaches

Why just stay on the beach in Ao Nang when there are so many better options nearby. Toi San and Railay beaches are just down the down and offer some spectacular scenery of the limestone karsts. Further north of Ao Nang is Noppharat Thara, an enormous quiet beach away from the crowds. Though most are possible to reach by taxi (some just minutes away from Ao Nang) or by walking, the funniest way to get around is onboard the long-tail water taxis which are inexpensive.

Visit the Krabi Elephant Camp

Unfortunately, Thailand has had a history of capturing elephants and transporting them to the capital. Krabi Elephant Camp is working tirelessly to protect and look after elephants in the region. One way they are funding this operation is giving guests the opportunity to feed the gentle giants as well as taking elephant treks through the forested trails. It’s a magical and rewarding experience.

Snorkel on the Four Islands tour

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Snorkeler taking a deep dive.

The four nearby islands of Koh Gai, Tup, Mawr and Poda sit just off Krabi and are often visited on a snorkelling tour. These leave daily in the morning and cost around US $30. The tour is almost always done on board a long-tailed boat. The colourful underwater world of coral and marine life is spectacular. It’s worth noting that the boats can hold up to 30 people, so there will be a lot of other people in the water with you.

Get a Thai massage

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Thai massage at the beach.

Where ever you go in Thailand, you won’t be far from someone offering a massage. You’ll find massage parlours lining the main strips and beaches all over Krabi. Thai massages are not comfortable and in fact, they can be quite painful. However, afterwards, you will feel a million dollars. Ask the Thai masseuse to not dumb it down and give you a real Thai massage, you won’t regret it. The cost of a decent hour-long massage is around US $15. It might be worth checking reviews on Trip Advisor to find the best.

Rent a long-tail boat

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Phra Nang beach in Krabi.

These colourful wooden boats are synonymous with Thai beaches and what better way to spend an afternoon that hiring one with a guide and cruising around the little bays, coves and towering limestone karsts, stopping en route to snorkel and take refreshing dips. There are also some larger boats offering daily cruises, however, these don’t have the character and there is a set itinerary. The waves can get quite chopping in low season between March and October. Costs for an afternoon rental will be around US $50 or so.

Krabi white-water rafting

It might not offer Thailand’s finest white-water rafting, but the rapids of the Songprak River do offer some excellent adrenaline-inducing opportunities. It’s perfect for beginners as the rapids are grading around 2 and 3. Tours cost around US $60 for a day’s rafting. Included on a trip includes transport to and from your hotel, equipment including helmets and guides. No prior experience is necessary.

Party the night away

Ao Nang and the other beach spots have lots of backpackers, and with backpackers comes parties. Ao Nang is awash with bars and clubs offering cheap drinks, bad music and a good time. People spill out of the bars onto the main strip and many end of the beach, partying the night away into the wee hours. The following day, all you have to do is head down to the beach and swim to zap the hangover. If you’re looking for a quiet retreat, the luxury beaches further north may be for you.

Go to Koh Klang

Travellers don’t go to Koh Klang for the beaches, but instead to explore the little fishing villages. The people who live here survive almost solely from the ocean, and it offers a slice of authentic Thai island life. It’s very close from Krabi Town, just ten minutes or so by boat, so it’s a trip that can be done in a half day. It’s worth remembering that it is a Muslim community, so it respectful to cover yourself.

Hike to Khao Ngon Nak

Hikers should head out to Nong Thale where they will find a trail that winds its way up to a viewpoint. It’s a fairly long trek, taking over two hours to reach. The effort is well worth it though, just for the views looking down over the forest and ocean. Along the way, there are plenty of natural wonders like waterfalls. Set off early in the morning to get up before lunch and have plenty of time to get back down form the summit.

Swim in the Emerald Pool

It’s not all going on near the beach. The Thung Teao Forest is a beautiful national park that’s popular with tourists. Home to a staggering array of flora and fauna, it’s a great place for wildlife spotting, but the thing that draws most people in is the beautiful Emerald Pool, a crystal-clear green pool surrounded by forest. This hideaway isn’t so hidden when you see the number of people who visit.

Explore the cave temple

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Temple at Tiger Cave in Ao Nang.

Further inland, the Tiger’s Cave Temple is located within a network of caves. To reach the large Buddha that sits at the top, one must first climb over 1,200 steps. This might seem a lot of effort, particularly in the Thai humidity, but it’s well worth it. At the top, not only can you see a huge gold Buddha, you can also enjoy spectacular views down over the forest, coast, and ocean.

See the fossilized fish

Nearby to Krabi Town is a geological wonder of limestone teeming with the fossilized shells of fish. Its large at around 180 metres, and the fish date back to over 30 million years. There is also a temple nearby that is worth visiting.

Take a trip to Phi Phi islands

It might not be part of Krabi province, a visit to the Phi Phi islands is a must. It became famous after being the filming location of the adaptation of Alex Garland’s award-winning book ‘The Beach’. Though some of the shots had some CGI, it’s just as spectacular in real life. It is possible to visit Phi Phi on a day trip, but it’s well worth spending a couple of days to explore the two islands fully. Day tours cost around US $70.

Snorkel at Koh Lanta Yai

Koh Lanta is located a couple of hours boat ride from Krabi. The large island offers some excellent beaches and accommodation options as well as some incredible snorkeling with rich marine life and colourful coral. Though it’s possible to visit the island on a day trip, it’s well worth overnighting. Less tourists come here than Phi Phi, but it is just as stunning.

Learn the art of Thai cuisine

Thailand is not short of cooking schools, and Krabi is no different. Spend a morning, afternoon, or a whole day learning to cook complex Thai dishes. Most start with a wander through the local produce market to learn about the ingredients before returning back to the cooking school to don your apron and get cooking. Before you book, check out the review of the school online and ask whether they offer classes in Southern Thai cuisine. Of course, at the end of the class, you’ll get to sit down and gorge on what you’ve made. Most schools also give you the recipe cards to take away and make back at home. Half day classes start around US $30.

Soak in the Klong Thom Hot Springs

Krabi is full of natural wonders and these including the hot springs of Klong Thom. Nestled in the forested area is a series of naturally created pools and cascades. Some of these are filled with bubbling warm water that comes up from thermal springs. The minerals in the water are supposedly very good for your skin. It’s best combined with a tour to the Emerald Pool which is close.

Go sea kayaking

Sea kayaking is a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. You won’t need to look hard to find a kayak rental company along the beaches of Krabi. Hiring a kayak costs around US $10 for the afternoon. Slowly meander around the coves, bays and the spectacular limestone towers that jut straight out the sea. Jump off for a little snorkeling or head up into the mangroves to look for wildlife. You don’t need any experience to go sea kayaking. It’s not recommended to go in the low season between March and October when the sea can be rough. You can also read about kayaking at Koh Phi Phi .

Visit the temples of Krabi

For culture vultures, there are several beautiful temples that are worth visiting. Wat Kaew Temple is located in the centre of Krabi Town and has an astonishing decoration on the inside. Another temple is Wat Kaew Korawaram located on a hilltop overlooking the town. It’s a huge site that is worth the effort to go and see. Always remember to be respectful in temples and take off your shoes before you enter.

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