Krabi is a great beach getaway in Thailand and has comparatively less crowded beaches than Phuket. Not only does this town have stunning beaches of its own, it also has easy access to the famed Koh Phi Phi islands. Check out all the things to do in Krabi for a perfect relaxing vacation.
Things to do in Krabi Thailand
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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, 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.
4. Rent a scooter
The best way to see Krabi is by scooter. The rentals are cheap just 250 Baht/24 hr. for a 110 CC scooter, 450 Baht/24 hr for a 180 CC scooter. You can find the rentals near Aonang beach on Muslim road. Rent the 180 CC bike for longer trips for eg: Emerald Pool. Usually the scooter rental place will ask to keep your passport/ money as deposit which they’ll return when you hand back the scooter without any damages.
5. 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.
6. Enjoy the night market
The night market is located close to the Nopharrat Thara beach. Food and clothes stalls encroach the road reducing the number of lanes on the road. Also, there’s no clear demarcation, so be careful of oncoming traffic. 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 speciality you may want to try – fried insects! You will find barbequed scorpions, fried maggots, spiders, beetle and grasshoppers.
7. Soak in the warm water of the 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 half to reach. The Emerald pool is not the only hot spring in the area. There’s also a 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.
8. Visit the quiet 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 recognise this beach from ‘The Hangover 2’ movie. Honestly, I did not. I came to know about it’s 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 it’s charm and become crowded like the others. So I am probably doing it a disservice by writing about it.
9. 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 forrested 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.
10. 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.
11. Meet the Macaque monkeys at the 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 above. 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.
12. 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 uninhabitaed 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.
13. Enjoy the pristine beach of Maya Bay
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. Hopefully, one day people will be able to feel the powder soft sand of the Maya bay again.
14. Visit Bamboo Island
Bamboo Island is a tear shaped island also known as Koi Mai Phai. The island boasts some of the best snorkelling 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 opertors stop at this island for snorkelling 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.
15. Have lunch on the 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.