Updated September 4th, 2018.
Incredible karst mountains jetting out of azure waters, epic sunsets on an island, fire shows, adventure activities, awesome food, and swimming with fish. What else would you want out of a beach holiday? Krabi has it all!
In Krabi, there are numerous mainland beaches and island oases to bliss out on. The province has its fair share of things to do like beach bumming, waterfall adventuring, hikes and climbs with phenomenal viewpoint rewards, and of course, beautiful islands beckoning you to visit.
If you’d rather be on land, why not get up high by rock climbing on some of the most sought-after rock climbing locations in the world!
With all of the gorgeous beaches and adventurous activities, it’s not much of a surprise that Krabi is flocked to by many. Despite its popularity, it still remains a beautiful place and a must visit. This is not the spot to skip!
Click here for out complete guide to backpacking in Thailand.
Places to stay in Krabi:
Most move right along passed Krabi Town and its surroundings and beeline it to Ao Nang for the beaches, but staying in Krabi Town will make some of the excursions a bit easier to get to as it is closer, so it’s your choice where to post up.
If you’re very short on time, I’d recommend Ao Nang as your base, if you’re a bit more flexible, I’d recommended sprinkling your stay throughout the area to get to know the different spots depending on that day’s activity.
Krabi Town offers a wealth of affordable accommodation.
Pak-Up Hostel is our top pick (read our full review here). It’s a very stylish place with a great atmosphere, in a fantastic location and with very friendly staff. Dorm rooms range between $6 USD and $10 USD, depending on the size of the room. Privates start at $25 USD.
Holiday Station Hostel has dorm beds (both mixed and female only rooms) for $6 USD and $7 USD, depending on the number of beds in the room. Privates start at $12 USD. It’s nice and clean and has a cheap laundry service.
Snoozz Hotel is close to the night market and has a great atmosphere. Dorm beds cost $7 USD.
JP Mansion is great value for money, with spacious comfy doubles for around $8 USD.
Baifern Mansion is another great option with nice big rooms with very comfy mattresses for $9 USD. An excellent breakfast comes included. Four people can share a room with two bunk beds for $24 USD.
The White House is a little bit more expensive at $15 USD for a double. It is located close to the airport and Tiger Temple
For a bit more luxury, The 9th House has impeccable doubles from $25 USD.
Where to stay in Ao Nang.
Pop-In Hostel has a wonderful atmosphere. Its own bar is great. They also organise pub crawls around Ao Nang. If you’re looking to socialise, this is the place for you! Dorm beds cost $6 USD.
Stay Over Hostel is another great backpacker option, with clean rooms and a fantastic rooftop lounge area. Dorms cost around $7 USD.
Slightly outside the most touristy areas, Arcadian Resort has very nice doubles for $15 USD.
Cocco House has wonderful AC bungalows for $18 USD. The owner is incredibly friendly, the bungalows are immaculate and spacious.
Top 10 Things to Do and See in Krabi Province:
Phanom Bencha National Park – Hiking and waterfalls.
Tup Kaek – Climb this mountain for unprecedented views of Krabi.
Tiger Cave Temple – A temple on top of a mountain. You can catch some amazing views from up here but you’ll work for it, there are over 1,000 steps up. No tigers.
Ao Thalane – This is a great spot for kayaking. Get a guide to go through the mangroves, or just kayak out to sea and around the rocky mountains to find a secret beach.
Ao Luk – Check out some waterfalls and caves.
Diving – Book a dive almost anywhere and say hello to the fish.
Hot springs – They are hot, so don’t go at the hottest point of the day.
Emerald pool – Can be better enjoyed when not on a tour.
Lanta Noi – Explore this little-visited island that has barely any tourism compared to its sister island Koh Lanta.
Rock Climbing in Krabi…
- Ao Nang – Main beach area and the spot to party.
- Nopparattara – Next to Ao Nang, and has a quieter vibe.
- Tup Kaek, Klong Muang – Other mainland beaches, even more quiet.
Railay and Tonsai
These gems are my favourite! These are also mainland beaches, but considering you need a boat to get here, it feels like you’re on an island.
These idyllic beaches are by no means off the path but are certainly a must while you’re in the area. Whether you’re here to man the rock climbing scene or just need to sun those buns, your location couldn’t get any more beautiful. Check out more information about them here.
Islands and Tours
There are many different options for island tours. You can book them essentially anywhere around Krabi. The Hong Island Tour, 4 Island Tour, and really any excursion out on a longtail boat will bring you to beautiful islands to either chill or snorkel at. The karst islands make for a dramatic scene as you plunge into the refreshing water.
Pro tip: For a snorkel trip, get a group of friends together and ask one of the longtail boat dudes to take you all out for an island tour. It won’t be much more or less than booking a tour depending on the number of people in your group, and you’ll have way more freedom and flexibility.
- Bus: From Bangkok’s southern bus terminal, take the bus to Krabi Town.
After arriving at the bus station just outside of Krabi town, take the songthaew (white truck taxi), to town.
- Plane: Krabi has an airport, with some international flights available. After landing, you can take the bus to town.
If you’re moving right along to Ao Nang, the buses and songthaews will take you there after riding through Krabi Town.
Where to go next?
Go north to the Phang Nga province, or check out the last of the karst mountains as you move south towards Trang. Getting to Malaysia in the south is easy from Krabi Town, and you can also take a bus and ferry combo to the islands on the east.
The Krabi Province and all of its attractions is a happening spot for any backpacker meandering around the south of Thailand.
Although it is well developed, wandering around the gorgeous coastlines by motorbike or hiring your own longtail boat will bring you to more secluded spots in the area. It’s definitely a must stop on the backpacker trail for Thailand.
About the author: Nina Ragusa is the intrepid soul behind Where in the World is Nina? This American wildflower shares her world explorations and methods of living the travel lifestyle – without fluffing the details.
You can expect wit and sarcasm dashed between REAL travel information and adventurous stories. Nina is a professional beach bum, a hula hooper, and revels in getting lost on purpose.