Things to do in Krabi Thailand

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Krabi Islands, in particular, the Phi Phi islands and Maya Bay, have become very popular with tourists after the release of the movie, The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio. I must confess, I was also heavily influenced by this movie. When I saw, onscreen, the white sand beaches and the strange cliffs jutting out of the water making for the most surreal landscape I’d ever seen, I knew I had to visit the islands someday.

Fast forward 19 years, when I actually got there, I found Krabi to be more interesting than I expected. It was not just the beaches and islands…the Thai culture, the semi-rural setting of Ao Nang beach, and the food were all amazing. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some cool things you can do in Krabi.

Things to do in Krabi Thailand

Hire a scooter at Ao Nang Beach or Krabi Town

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Rent a scooter
Rent a scooter

The number one thing on my list of things to do in Krabi is renting a scooter. Trust me, this is THE best way to see Krabi mainland. It’s easy to hire a scooter. There are plenty of rental shops near Ao Nang Beach and Krabi Town. You can hire a 110 CC scooter for 250 Baht (approx. 8 USD) or a more powerful 180 CC scooter for 450 Baht (approx. 15 USD). Rent the 180 CC bike for longer trips like trips to the Emerald Pool or Tiger Cave Temple.

Be prepared, the scooter rental place will ask for your passport or money as a deposit which they’ll return when you hand back the scooter in good condition. When we hired the smaller scooter, they accepted money as a deposit but in the case of the 180 CC scooter, we had to hand in our passport too as insurance. Even though it’s not checked at the rental shops, you should always carry your international driver’s license with you in case you are stopped by the traffic police.

Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach
Watch the sunset at Aonang Beach

Aonang is the tourist favorite when it comes to beaches in Krabi. The sandy part of the beach is not extensive enough for leisurely sun bathing. It’s also too close to the road and noisy. However, the beach strip has some great shops and restaurants. There’s a “The Coffee Club” cafe right across the street which, though expensive, has some good coffee options and provides an excellent atmosphere to relax and watch the sunset.

Relax on Nopparat Thara beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Relax on Nopparat Thara beach
Relax on Nopparat Thara beach

In my opinion, Nopparat Thara beach is the most scenic beach in Krabi mainland. Here, you can see up close the jagged limestone cliffs that are a feature of Krabi and Phi Phi beaches. Most of the tours that take you to the Phi Phi islands also take off from here. Due to this, the beach can get a bit crowded. However, there’s plenty of sand and sea for everyone.

Visit the Tiger Cave Temple

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit the Tiger Cave Temple
Visit the Tiger Cave Temple

Tiger Cave temple is 21.8 km from Aonang beach and can be reached within 40 min if you rent a scooter. The main attraction here is not the cave temple itself but the Buddha statue located at the top of the hill. Be warned though, this is a very tiring climb. Steep steps, 1237 of them, lead you up to a gorgeous view and a huge Buddha statue. Remember to carry a water bottle with you, you will need it. Also, since this is a temple, remember to cover your legs and shoulders and wear suitable clothing.

Go snorkelling in Phi Leh Lagoon

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Go snorkeling in Phi Leh Lagoon
Go snorkelling in Phi Leh Lagoon

Krabi has excellent opportunities for snorkelling. Especially, near the Phi Phi islands, the water is brimming with colorful fishes. There are plenty of tours that take you snorkelling. The best one is the full day tour from Get Your Guide that takes you to Phi Leh Lagoon and other places for snorkelling. The Phi Leh Lagoon is a gorgeous setting to do some snorkelling. The lagoon is surrounded by mighty limestone cliffs on all sides, save for the opening through which the boats enter. Take your joy of snorkelling to the next level by jumping off the boat and diving into the clear water of the Lagoon.

Enjoy the night market

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Enjoy the night market
Enjoy the night market in Krabi

The night market is located close to the Nopharrat Thara beach. You will find a variety of Thai delicacies both of the sweet and savory kind. My favorite was the cream-filled crispy crêpe. If you are an adventurous foodie and have a cast-iron stomach, there’s another kind of Thai specialty you may want to try – fried insects! You will find barbequed scorpions, fried maggots, spiders, beetle, and grasshoppers.

Soak in the warm water of the Emerald pool

Things to do in Krabi: Soak in the warm water of Emerald Pool
Soak in the warm water of Emerald Pool

The Emerald pool is a natural hot spring in Khlong Thom Nuea. It’s located 72.3 km from Aonang beach and it takes around an hour and a half to reach. The Emerald pool is not the only hot spring in the area. There’s also the Blue pool which is actually the feeds the Emerald pool. However, unlike the Emerald pool, the Blue Pool is not suitable for swimming as the temperature of the geothermally heated water in this pool can range from 30 to 50 degree Celsius. If you are visiting the Emerald pool, plan to visit it early in the day as the hot spring is very popular among tourists and locals and can get very crowded later in the day.

Visit the quiet Tub Kaek beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit the secluded Tub Kaek beach
Visit the secluded Tub Kaek beach

If you are looking to get away from the tourists then head to Tub Kaek beach. While it’s not one of the prettiest beaches in Krabi it’s certainly secluded. Some of you may recognize this beach from ‘The Hangover 2’ movie. Honestly, I did not. I came to know about its stint in the movie only later. I didn’t go looking for this beach. I found it on the way to the Tab Kak Hang Nak nature trail and wondered why many more don’t know about it. On the other hand, if lots of people knew about it would probably lose its charm and become crowded like the others. So I am probably doing it a disservice by writing about it.

Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail

Things to do in Krabi:  Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail
Hike the Tab Kak Hang Nak Nature trail

Tab Kak Hang Nak nature trail is located not far from the Tub Kaek beach. The nature trail is in a forested region of Krabi and is ideal for a leisurely hike. I couldn’t complete this hike because I didn’t have proper footwear on and the trail is not a very smooth trail. However, I have been told that the hiking trail is relatively easy and can be completed within a couple of hours. The trail starts off with a small creek, where I spent most of my time and ends with a waterfall and an amazing view at the top of a cliff. I hope you are better prepared than I was and enjoy the trail.

Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach
Hire a long-tail boat to Railay Beach

Railay Beach is another picturesque beach located to the south of Aonang. The peculiar thing about this beach is that its not accessible by land. The beach is surrounded by high limestone cliffs that make construction of roadways and railways impossible. The only way to get to this beach is by boat. You can hire a boat at Aonang beach that charge 100 Baht/per person for one way before 5 pm. After 5 pm, the fare increases to 150 Baht/person.

Meet the Macaque monkeys at the Monkey Beach

Things to do in Krabi : Meet the Macaques on Monkey Beach
Meet the Macaques on Monkey Beach

Monkey Beach is a beach on Koh Phi Phi Don. You have to take a speed boat/ boat from Krabi that takes you there in two hrs. As the name suggests the beach is visited by Macaque monkeys who live in the adjoining forest area. Can you see the monkey in the picture? It’s almost camouflaged into the background. Beware of these monkeys though; they are aggressive and can attack and bite. So, even though they appear cute and you may be tempted to pet them, you shouldn’t. There’s a clear notice on the beach asking the visitors not to feed the monkeys. The reason being that if they get used to having food readily available, they’ll lose the ability to hunt for food in the wild. Also, beware of your belongings, especially if they contain food, I have seen a monkey open a bag and steal a bag of chips from it and later eat it.

See the Viking Cave

Things to do in Krabi: See the Viking Cave entrance
See the Viking Cave from afar

The Viking Cave, named so because it has some of Viking boats on the wall, is a cave in the uninhabited Koh Phi Phi Leh. The cave is also home to swallows that build their nests using their saliva. These nests are edible and are said to have medicinal properties according to Chinese medicine. Unfortunately, you will not be able to see the Viking paintings or the swallow nests as the cave is closed to tourists. So, all you can see is the cave opening from outside as shown in the picture.

Enjoy the pristine beach of Maya Bay

Things to do in Krabi, Thailand : See Maya Bay from afar
See Maya Bay from afar

Maya Bay, of “The Beach” fame, was the reason many people flocked to Koh Phi Phi islands in the first place. Unfortunately, this resulted in irresponsible tourists leaving a lot of plastic bottles on the pristine beaches of Maya bay that has led to the destruction of coral life. So, to recover from the damage, the government of Thailand has indefinitely closed the Maya bay to tourists. So, just like the Viking cave, you will be able to see this beach from afar only.

Visit Bamboo Island

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Visit Bamboo beach on Bamboo Island
Visit Bamboo beach on Bamboo Island

Bamboo Island is a tear-shaped island also known as Koi Mai Phai. The island boasts some of the best snorkeling locations and white sand beaches. To get to this beach, you can catch a speed boat from Ao Nang which will take you there in 45 min. However, this is a crowded beach. A lot of tour operators stop at this island for snorkeling tours. The result is the same as Maya Bay. Irresponsible tourist leave behind their plastic bottles which harms the coral life. So, if you visit these islands remember to pick up after yourself.

Have lunch on the Koh Phi Phi Don

Things to do in Krabi Thailand: Koh Phi Phi Don
Have lunch on Koh Phi Phi Don

Phi Phi Islands has two main islands – Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh. Koh Phi Phi Don is inhabitated whereas Koh Phi Phi Leh isn’t. Take a ferry/ speed baot to Koh Phi Phi Don and explore the island. There are some great restaurants and cafes near the Tonsai Pier. Sit back, relax and enjoy island life to its best.


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