Krabi is one of the most popular and touristy coastal provinces in all of Thailand, due to its excellent location next to the Andaman Sea, and because it contains or gives access to some of the most beautiful islands, beaches and bays in the country. Few travelers choose to stay in the small capital, Krabi. Instead, most choose the nearby coastal town of Ao Nang, an ideal base camp to explore the region.
Ao Nang is a small coast town in Krabi province, oriented towards tourism and full of restaurants, bars and shops, and although it has good beaches, its main attractive is being the ideal starting point for excursions around the Andaman Gulf, such as the famous Phi Phi islands, Koh Hong, Railay bay, among others.
ℹ️ Top Things to Do in Krabi
The Phi Phi Islands Tour is the most popular of the boat tours that can be done from Krabi. The paradisiac archipelago offers everything from beautiful tropical island landscapes to a lively nightlife in high season, beautiful beaches, snorkel and various excursions. From Krabi or Ao Nang you can visit Phi Phi on an organized day trip or by ferry on your own if you want to stay there longer.
Get to Railay Bay
It is a lovely bay enclosed between huge cliffs that can only be accessed by sea. It has 3 beaches, the most famous is Phra Nang, one of the most beautiful in all of Thailand. In addition, it attracts travelers who like rock climbing, with many different routes and the option of going with a climbing school or renting equipment in local stores. You can go half day trip or stay longer.
Day Tour to Four Islands
Off the coast of Ao Nang there are 4 small islands that are usually visited in a half or full day tour: Koh Kai, Koh Tub, Koh Mawr and Poda. During low tide you can see the islands connected through a corridor of white sand that separates the sea for a few hours, creating a wonderfull scenary. These islands are part of a Maritime National Park and is one of the less heavy and cheaper excursions, because they are quite close to Krabi.
Sail to Hong Island
Hong Island has become one of the most popular beaches in Thailand, and it is not surprising as it is beautiful. Besides its pretty beach, the curious geography of the island creates a small inland lake that you can access by boat. Hong Island is part of a National Maritime Park and the tour visit usually includes stops at other smaller islets that are in its vicinity.
Visit Phang Nga Bay
Phang Nga is a huge bay famous for its limestone rock formations in the middle of the sea: the most famous is the one on the island of Khao Ping Gan, also known as James Bond Island from its appearance in the movie The Man With the Golden Gun. On this excursion, a lunch stop is usually made in the floating village of Koh Panyi, inhabited by descendants of Muslim Indonesian fishermen. But if you are going to visit Phuket it is better to do it from there, since it is closer.
Also known as Dragon Crest, this small National Park that is located about 20 km northwest of Ao Nang. The path, surrounded by lush and spectacular jungle vegetation, is very well signposted, and reaching the top offers the reward of spectacular views. The excursion, between going up, enjoying the views and going down, takes between 3 and 4 hours. Access is free, but you have to register.
Kayaking in Ao Thalane
Ao Thalane (or Ao Tha Len) is a small bay located about 30 km north of Ao Nang, ideal to explore by kayak. It will charm you with a network of canals that meander between mangroves, caves and the walls of soaring limestone cliffs, which occasionally open up to form small lagoons and caves. A very important tip: go early in the morning when the tide is high and rising, since later it starts to go down and you would have to make the way back by walking!
Reach the top of Wat Ham Seua
It is a monastery at the foot of a mountain near Krabi, built in 1975, with several temples, chapels and statues, some of them dedicated to the tiger that is said to have lived here. To get there, you can follow a circular path that goes through the small forest behind the main temple, where there are several natural caves used as Buddhist chapels. The main attraction of the place is its fantastic viewpoint dominated by a huge golden Buddha that is at the top of the mountain.
Walk at Tha Pom Khlong
It is a mangrove area, 30 km from Ao Nang, where the fresh water from a nearby mountain mixes with the salty water from the sea, and you can perceive how its color changes as the two intermingle. An elevated wooden walkway allows you to take a tour inside the park, whose appearance changes depending on the time of the tide: when it goes down reveals the impressive roots of the banyan trees that abound in the place. The stroll takes about half an hour and is usually part of other excursions.
Dive from Ao Nang
In Ao Nang you will find several diving centers that offer both one-day diving trips and complete PADI courses of several days. By diving you can see caves, corals and a great variety of marine fauna. Many diving centers go around Koh Phi Phi and even Koh Haa (which is in Koh Lanta). But also in the vicinity of Ao Nang there are several nearby islands, such as Koh Dor, Koh Si, Koh Talu, Koh Yawabon and Yawasam where diving is possible.
Relax at the Hot Springs
On a half or full day excursion to the Wareerak Hot Spring & Wellness spa, 80km from Krabi, you can enjoy a relaxing hot spring bath. When you arrive you have to change and take a shower, then you will be ready to enjoy the warm waters in the middle of the jungle. You will also find ideal activity options for this day of relaxation, such as yoga, massages, among other activities compatible with relaxation and self-care.
Khao Sok National Park is a huge 739 km2 nature reserve, about 160 km north of Krabi, and features one of the oldest forests in the world, a rich variety of flora and fauna, and an artificial lake in which you can spend the night in a floating cabin. The main entrance of the Park is surrounded by resorts and hostels where they will offer you all kinds of adventure activities: rafting, tubing, elephant camps, night safari, trekkings and outings to Lake Cheow Lan, among other options.
🏨 Where to stay in Krabi
Best Areas & Beaches in Krabi Province:
The province of Krabi is huge and has a wide range of tourist accommodation, mostly centralized in the coastal tourist town of Ao Nang, perhaps the best place for excursions to the islands; although there are those who choose to stay in one of the cheap hostels in the small town of Krabi. Those who want a much quieter seaside location can opt for the beautiful Tubkaek Beach, northwest of Ao Nang, although it should be noted that it is not very well connected.
Ao Nang Town
Best for: Visitors looking to explore islands on day tours staying in a comfortable place
Accommodation available: Hostels and 3 to 4 star hotels.
✔️ Lots of nightlife and shops.
✔️ Has a beach, common one though.
✔️ Very well conected with the island such as Koh Phi Phi.
✔️ Visit Railay from here is easy.
✔️ Good quality-price relationship.
Best for: Not sure, there is no beach!
Accommodation available: Hostels and 3 star hotels
✔️ Experience a local environment.
✔️ Still have options for excursion to the island.
✔️ Accommodation and food are usually cheap.
Best for: Looking for a nice front beach resort.
Accommodation available: Hostels and 3 to 5 star hotels.
✔️ It is a small and quiet place.
✔️ Option for the ones who enjoy climbing.
✔️ Best beaches to stay at.
✔️ Options to do excursion to the island.
Best for: Visitors looking for a good quiet hotel.
Accommodation available: 4 to 5 star hotels
✔️ Front beach resort (not a bad beach!).
✔️ Quiet area.
✔️ No mass tourism.
Khlong Muang Beach
Best for: Visitors looking for a front beach hotel.
Accommodation available: 4 and 5 star hotels.
✔️ Quiet place.
✔️ Dusit Thani Resort.
✔️ No mass tourism.
🏖️ Best beaches in Krabi
We’ve been to all of them, these are the best:
1️⃣ Phra Nang Beach in Railay
In our opinion, Phra Nang is the best beach in Krabi province. It’s located in Railay Bay and it’s almost virgin and unspoiled, since there is only one hotel that has direct access to the beach (the luxurious Rayavadee).
2️⃣ Hong Island Main Beach
Hong Island is one of the most beautiful Thai islands. It belongs to a National Park so there are no hotels in the beach, it’s mostly untouched. You can easily and cheaply get there by long tail boat from Ao Nang.
3️⃣ Maya Bay in Koh Phi Phi Leh
Maya Bay is probably the most famous beach in Thailand and in the whole region. It’s located in Koh Phi Phi Leh, one of the protected islands of the Phi Phi Archipelago. In order to preserve it, it was closed on 2018 and it will remain so at least until mid-2021.
4️⃣ Poda Island Beaches
Poda island is one of the several islands only 8 km from Ao Nang beach. Poda is quite big and it belongs to the National Park so its beaches are unspoiled. The one in the photo is one of our little secrets. If you want to know more, ask us!
5️⃣ Laem Had Beach in Koh Yao Yai
Although Koh Yao Yai it’s only 20 minutes from Krabi and 15 minutes from Phuket on a speed boat, still it’s a very little known islands with few tourist visiting it. Laem Had beach is a spectacular place not many know about!
6️⃣ West Beach in Railay Bay
The West beach in Railay Bay, surrounded by huge cliffs, creates a perfect Andaman Sea landscape. The beach has some good 3*, 4* and 5* resorts so it’s a good choice to stay at. Expect lots of tourists in high season.
Check out our complete list of the Best Beaches in Krabi
✈️ Arriving to Krabi and Ao Nang
You can get there by plane and bus:
Krabi Airport (code: KBV)
➡️ Most of International flights are operated by low cost airlines.
➡️ Most flights from South East Asia and China, Hong kong and Taiwan.
➡️ Many flight from Bangkok, Koh Samui and Chiang Mai.
➡️ Can get the city or Ao Nang by taxi for 480-600 THB or for 200 THB sharing a van.
Krabi Bus Station
➡️ From Bangkok, Sai Tai Mai, it takes 12-14 hours to get Chiang Mai.
➡️ Bus ticket price between 600 and 1.000 THB.
➡️ Book your ticket in advance, overall during high season.