Breath-taking scenery and picturesque beaches that seem to go on for an eternity say สวัสดี (pronounced Sawasdee – which means hello) to the idyllic province of Krabi. There’s an abundance of things to do in Krabi and no shortage of things to see.
Located on southern Thailand’s west coast, the province is dominated by lush mangrove forests and dramatic limestone cliffs. You can swim, sunbathe, explore, snorkel, dance, eat and drink to your heart’s content. The province also has numerous islands which lie just offshore in the Andaman Sea. With so many things to do in Krabi, it’s hard to know where to start, let’s go and see what’s on offer.
1. Relax on Railay Beach
When you’re in a place that resembles paradise, what tops your list of things to do? Find the best beach, of course, and enjoy the sun, sea, and sand. If you find yourself on Railay Beach, you will not be disappointed. Railay is actually a small peninsula made up of four beaches – why have only one when you could have four?
If you’re seeking peace and quiet, this is the perfect place; you won’t hear the drone of a bus or a car engine revving. In fact, there are no roads at all, only footpaths, and you can only get to Railay by boat. This place is the epitome of tranquility. Relax on the pure white sands, marvel at the towering limestone cliffs, explore the caves and discover the secret lagoon.
2. Kayak around Krabi
If you want to see nature in all its glory, you can rent a kayak and paddle your way around Krabi. Check out the hidden coves and the sea caves and look on in awe as you come across stunning lagoons. If you’re nervous about going it alone, join a guided tour and follow the experts! Click here to check kayak tour rates, some as low as $33.
3. Find Peace at a Wat Kaew Temple
Wat Kaew Temple sits in the heart of Krabi. It may be on the small side, but it’s definitely worth a visit. The inner walls are decorated with intricate blue and green Buddhist drawings; you will also find a rather large golden Buddha taking center stage and commanding plenty of attention. Venture outside and grab a bite to eat at one of the traditional food stalls or pick up a souvenir amulet from a local vendor.
4. Rock Climb in Krabi at Railay
It’s not all about lazing on the beach or paddling in the surf; there are plenty of other things to do in Krabi. As hard as it is to drag yourself from your sun lounger, it’s time to see this beautiful province from another angle – to be precise, from up high.
The best time to go rock climbing in Krabi is between November to March when the weather is warm and dry. But do keep in mind that this is prime tourist season, so it can get busy. April and May can be unbearably hot and the rainy season kicks in during April – and continues until the end of October – not the best conditions when tackling a challenging climb!
Railay Beach offers a number of breathtaking climbing routes close to the shore; you can enjoy an enchanting bird’s eye view of the majestic ocean as you ascend the limestone rock face. There are plenty of professional rock-climbing schools around the province, with expert guides on hand to show beginners how to get into the specialist gear and use the equipment. They will keep you safe and “show you the ropes” – quite literally, as you get to grips with making your first climb.
Those who have climbed before are in for a treat too, there are numerous climbs available ranging in difficulty. You can book in for a private climbing tour, where a guide will show you the best places to hone your skills and act as your belay partner.
5. Check Out Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
Sitting proudly on either side of the river, the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains are well-known in Krabi. They are both perched atop vast caves that contain stalactites, stalagmites, and apparently a few human skeletons too! Adventurous types are able to climb one of the mountains; once at the summit, there’s an opportunity to take some amazing photographs.
6. Go Island Hopping in Krabi
There are so many great things to do in Krabi but you really do need to try to factor in some time for a little island hopping. There are organized tours, but take care if you’re planning to book; some are overpriced and overly crammed with fevered tourists busy trying to hustle the best spot for a picture to go on their latest social media platform.
If you want to travel in a more leisurely fashion, hire a private longtail boat for the day. Prices vary, so it’s wise to shop about, but you get to choose when and where you go – and best of all, you don’t have to duck to avoid those irksome selfie sticks. If you’d rather be with a group or on a budget there are island hopping trips from Krabi on a longtail boat for as low as $25 book online here.
There are plenty of islands to visit; you could start by taking a trip to Poda. It’s quite close to the mainland and is absolutely stunning. From the aqua-marine sea to the rock formations gracefully afloat, this place has a rugged beauty that draws you in. The main beach can get busy during the high season, but don’t let that put you off. There’s a secret spot if you don’t mind a bit of a stroll; if you walk to the end of the main beach and head through the scrublands, you will find yourself on a wonderfully secluded sandy shore.
You can also pay a visit to Chicken Island – though, with a name like that, you have to wonder what this place has to offer! We’re pleased to say you won’t be sharing the coastline with a bunch of flapping birds. The island takes its name from its uncanny resemblance to a chicken (the shape of the rocks that form it).
The beach isn’t the star here, it’s the sea-loving residents that hog the limelight. Grab your snorkel and paddle out to the adjacent rock formations to go and meet the masses of brightly colored fish for yourself. Don’t forget to check out our complete Thailand island hopping guide.
7. Treat Yourself to A Massage
Lie back and relax, it’s time for a Thai massage. Getting massages are one of our favorite things to do in Thailand, especially on a rainy day. The mild pressure and gentle stretching can leave you feeling peaceful and stress-free, and there’s nowhere better to get an authentic hands-on experience than in Thailand. Wind down after a long day on the beach or a thigh-burning hike in one of the many parlors that punctuate the streets of Krabi.
8. Go Snorkeling
Chicken Island isn’t the only great place to check out the local marine life (although we can’t see any other place bettering its name)! There are plenty of other islands near Krabi ripe for a snorkel too. Closer to the shoreline, you can visit Ao Nang and Railay Beach; both offer coral outcrops and sea creatures and you can usually rent equipment from a local store or hotel.
This is fine if you want to get a snapshot of what’s on offer, but if you want to snorkel on a grand scale then the general consensus is you should head out to sea. Book an organized boat tour – complete with a guide and all the equipment you need, or you can go off-piste and hire your own longtail boat. We highly suggest bringing a GoPro for snorkeling, if you’ve never used one before check out our GoPro photography tips to make sure you get some great photos on your trip to Thailand.
9. Shop Til’ You Drop at Krabi Night Market
Hustle and bustle, a vibrant ambiance, a host of wonderful sights, sounds, and smells? Ah, you must be at the Krabi Night Market, held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Located in downtown Krabi, on the plaza behind the Vogue Department Store, you will find all sorts of produce and products for sale.
Artisans and retailers come together to showcase their wares and there’s a lot on offer. From T-shirts to handbags, tools to pearls – you can pick up all sorts of goodies and the prices are very reasonable. Of course, when in a market, you need to do what all good customers do – haggle. Paint on your brightest smile and prepare to barter, it’s expected and welcomed by the vendors.Make sure to have exact cash handy, we always find this helps.
If tackling the night market by yourself sounds daunting join a Krabi night market tour for only $20. We really enjoy hiring local guides to show us around markets. We think your money is well spent. They will show you some of the best stalls in the market, explain the food items and what’s in it, they speak the local language, and they can help make sure you get a fair price when purchasing.
10. Sample Authentic Thai Food at Krabi Night Market
All of that negotiating will leave you feeling hungry. Luckily, there are loads of tasty morsels on offer. This is the best place to sample Thai street food. Try the delicious chicken and pork satay dipped in peanut sauce or the fresh fish – grilled to perfection. Follow that with a delectable dessert such as kanompang sangkaya (warm bread with coconut egg custard) and wash it all down with a fruit juice or a cheeky cocktail (the Cuba Libre is yum). Pull up a chair by the central plaza and enjoy, while you listen to traditional Thai music performed by local musicians.
11. Explore Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
There are some amazing natural sites in and around Krabi; the great outdoors can lift your spirits and clear your head. Nature lovers will adore Thung Teao Forest Natural Park. It has an almost otherworldly feel to it, with its towering trees and striking waterfall sitting majestically at its heart. This is a prime spot for those who like to paint, draw, or take photographs, and many come to gain inspiration. Visitors also come to simply relax or enjoy a tasty picnic in a beautiful setting. There’s an enchanting emerald pool – take a dip in the water, it’s the perfect way to cool off following a long hike.
12. Investigate Caves and Discover Fossils
There are caves to explore at Khao Khanab Nam and fossils to marvel at Susan Hoi. Susan Hoi is particularly appealing to those interested in geology or history; it’s 17 kilometers from Krabi and worth a visit if you like the idea of perusing fossilized shellfish, snails, and a whole host of other creatures from the depths of the ocean.
13. Watch the Sunset from Koh Poda Island
There are many things to do in Krabi, but as we started on the beach, it seems only fitting we end up on the beach, too. You’ve spent the day worshipping the sunshine and now it’s time to watch it bow out in style. There are many spots from which to take in the dramatic sunset, including Koh Poda Island. Sail by long-tail boat from Ao Nang (Koh Poda is six kilometers offshore), and pass by towering cliffs until you reach the picture-perfect shoreline. Once there, you can enjoy a drink at the only bar on the island or even sleep over at the local hotel.
Related Article: Koh Lipe, The Maldives of Asia
14. Climb the Steps to Tiger Cave Temple
If you don’t mind a bracing climb, you can witness the spectacular view from the Tiger Cave Temple (and catch a spectacular sunset if you’re lucky). Also known as Wat Tham Sua, the temple is located near Krabi Town. Getting to it is no mean feat; you will have to ascend over 1000 steps, but it’s certainly worth the effort. The view over the countryside and across the sea is truly magnificent.
15. Party Like You Mean It in Ao Nang
Ao Nang started small. Back in 1999, it was made up of just a few bars, but fast forward to 2019 and you have a three-story complex where guests can eat, drink and be merry! This one-stop entertainment center is situated on Ao Nang Beach Road and is very easy to find. There are shops selling souvenirs and some great cabaret shows to watch. Food-wise, there’s plenty to choose from, including Middle-Eastern and Tex-Mex fare or even English fish and chips if you fancy that!
You can grab a drink or four at one of the many watering holes, and if you’re so inclined. you can even get a new tattoo! One of our favorite souvenirs from Thailand is our Sak Yant Tattoos.
Where to stay in Krabi
We’ve spent over a year living in Thailand and over 3 years traveling around Southeast Asia and can say Agoda has the best hotel selections and great prices too. We’re Americans and hadn’t ever heard of our used Agoda before but now it’s our go-to hotel booking site whenever looking for hotels in Asia.
Best Krabi Hotels
- Railay Village Resort | 4 Star Resort right on Railay Beach, Only accessible by boat, prices often under $100 a night
- Aonang Villa Resort | 4 Star Resort right on Aonang Beach, prices often under $100 a night
- Balcony Party Hostel | Great location and reviews, perfect for budget backpackers/solo travelers dorms under $8 a night
Pay A Visit to Krabi And See for Yourself
Krabi might not be the most well-known place in Thailand but it’s certainly one of the most beautiful. The stunning beaches are a huge attraction, as are the many things to do in Krabi, but don’t take our word for it – come and see this amazing province for yourself.This post may contain affiliate links, see our disclosure