The other day, sitting on the West Beach of Railay Bay, my friend Albert and I were talking and agreed on this: Krabi is probably one of the areas with the most typically Thai landscape. Huge limestone cliffs and hills surrounded by greenery. If you add some beautiful beaches to the mix, you get a cocktail of paradisiacal landscapes that will hardly disappoint anyone.
I have already written about Krabi in several articles, but in this one I will focus on the best beaches in Krabi. And, specifically, how they look from the air. On my last visit I took the drone with me, and took aerial pictures and videos of the beaches and islands of Krabi. Most of the images in this article were shot during one of the boat tours from Krabi that we offer at our InThailand Travel agency.
Map of Krabi Beaches
BEST BEACHES IN KRABI
🏝️ Phra Nang Beach: the best beach in Railay
And probably not only the best beach in Railay, but the best in the entire Krabi area. Phra Nang Beach is located in beautiful Railay Bay, and it is a fairly large beach with white sand and paradisiacal aquamarine waters. On one side of the beach you will find a small cave where local fishermen make offerings to the spirits, something common in Thailand. But what is not so common is that the offerings nothing other than wooden phalluses!
There is only one hotel on this beach, the most expensive in all of Railay: the Rayavadee.
🏝️ West Railay Beach: the most popular beach
West Railay Beach is the largest of the 3 beaches in Railay Bay, and the one where boats from Ao Nang and Krabi usually arrive. The beach is surrounded by impressive limestone cliffs that form a movie landscape, making up for the color of the water, which is usually not as beautiful as that of neighboring Phra Nang Beach. There are several hotels.
On this beach you will find several 4 and 5 * hotels. In addition to the famous Rayavadee, some of the resorts that have direct access to the sand are: the Sand Sea Resort, the Railay Village and the Railay Resort & Spa. All of them are 4*. However, if you stay on Railay’s East Beach, you can still get to West Beach in a short 5-minute walk. On the east beach, although not good for swimming, you will find more hotel options such as the beautiful Railay Princess Resort and Bhu Nga Thani Resort.
🏝️ Tonsai Beach: for backpackers and climbers
This beach is usually a favorite among backpackers, since, behind the forest that starts where the sand ends, there is a street with low-cost hostels and resorts, the cheapest in Railay. In addition, it is a popular destination for climbers, who spend days here practicing their favorite sport up and down the limestone cliffs. A good part of this beach remains unspoilt, as there is only one resort on the seafront: the Tonsai Bay Resort.
🏝️ Poda Island: An incredible virgin island
Off the coastal town of Ao Nang and Railay Bay, there are several small islands that can be visited on day trips from Krabi. On this occasion I joined one of the best excursions you can do in the area, which we offer at InThailand Travel: the boat day trip to the 4 islands.
During this tour, in which the tour guide always chooses the best time to visit each beach according to the tide and the number of other visitors, we visit one of my favorite beaches: Poda Island (Koh Poda), a virgin island with a sublime powdery white sand beach.
🏝️ The Hidden Beach: one of our secrets
During the same tour that I mentioned in the previous point, we also visited one of the most impressive and hidden beaches in the 4 islands area. It’s a beach surrounded by huge limestone cliffs, so massive that my drone could barely receive any GPS signal, so it drove me crazy! I couldn’t raise it too high, but I managed to fly it high enough to take the photos you can see below. We had our lunch sitting on the sand, and had a really amazing time! We can’t reveal the name, sorry. This is one of the few secrets we keep to ourselves. You will see it if you join our tour *;)
🏝️ Tub, Gai (or chicken) and Mor Islands near Ao Nang
Tub, Gai (or chicken) and Mor islands, together with Poda Island, are part of the famous group of Four Islands in front of Ao Nang. Those islands are very easy to visit with a long tail boat so they have become a very common tour for those staying in Ao Nang Village. It’s also quite typical to visit those islands along with the beautiful Phra Nang Beach in Railay Bay.
🏝️ The World Famous Koh Phi Phi Archipelago
Koh Phi Phi Archipelago is probably the most famous group of islands in Thailand. Especially the 2 largest ones: Koh Phi Phi Don and Koh Phi Phi Leh. The other ones are Koh Mai Phai (bamboo island) and Koh Yung (mosquito island), and the islets of Koh Bida Noi and Koh Bida Nok. Koh Mai Phai (or bamboo island) is also quite famous since it has an amazing beach with crystalline waters and it is a quite common stop for tours going to Koh Phi Phi Leh and Koh Phi Phi Don.
🏝️ Hong Island Beach: nothing to envy to Phi Phi
Hong Island is one of my favorites in Thailand. It is a small unspoiled island with a stunning beach. The island can be visited as a day tour from Ao Nang, Koh Yao Noi Island or Railay Bay.
In addition to these beaches, in Krabi you will also find:
🏝️ Ao Nang Village Beach: not bad although there are better ones
Ao Nang is the coastal tourist town that most of the travelers choose as a base camp to explore Krabi province. It is a 45-minute drive from Krabi Airport. Ao Nang has a huge offer of accommodation in all price ranges, from cheap hostels to luxury 5 * hotels, and everything in between. Ao Nang also has many restaurants, bars, massage parlors and a seaside promenade full of small shops. That makes it a good option if you want to be in a well-connected area with easy access to all kinds of services.
Ao Nang beach is not one of the best beaches in Krabi. It is very long, but definitely not as impressive as others in the province. However, the southeastern end of the beach is pretty cool. The area where Phra Nang Inn hotel and Golden Beach Resort are located, which can only be accessed on foot, is quite beautiful, and usually has several monkeys jumping in the trees.
From Ao Nang you can visit all the surrounding beaches and islands (Railay Bay, The 4 islands, Koh Hong, Koh Phi Phi, etc.) on day trips.
🏝️ Tubkaek Beach: a good alternative for those looking to relax
Tubkaek is a beach 30 minutes northwest of Ao Nang, and it is smaller, much quieter and not bad at all. The few resorts it has are all high-end. Tubkaek is ideal for those who want a quiet area that is easily accessible by road, and where they can basically relax in a good pool facing the Andaman sea. Two of the best resorts on this beach are the Anyavee Tubkaek and the Anyavee Boutique.
However, from Tubkaek you can still join the same excursions and boat tours that you can do from Ao Nang, although you usually have to pay a little more for hotel pick-up, since it is 30 minutes further. In Tubkaek there are few eateries other than the resort restaurants, so most people often end up eating and dining in the same resort they stay at.
* Photos taken during low tide