Krabi is located in the southern stretch of Thailand on the coast of the Andaman Sea. Although Krabi doesn’t put much effort into attracting tourists, visitors flood to the area all year round. It has some of the best beaches in Thailand along with plenty of natural beauty and local charm. Krabi should be on every Thai bucket list. To help you plan your visit, here are some of the best things to do in Krabi, Thailand.
Krabi Town Downtown
The city center of Krabi Town offers many cultural experiences and ample opportunities to learn about Thai people. There are plenty of things to do that excite every type of traveler. Art lovers must check out the Krabi Contemporary Art Museum to observe local and international art. The museum also offers painting lessons if you’re looking for things to do on the weekends.
Seven kilometers from downtown Krabi is the Krabi Kart Speedway where visitors can get their adrenaline racing on the track. This is a fun excursion for locals and visitors alike. The track is a traditional asphalt road, but the landscape is anything but typical. As you speed down the lane, you can see the massive limestone cliffs and lush forests. It’s a sight you’ll never forget.
Krabi Town also has plenty of cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, and outdoor seating areas. It’s well worth spending an afternoon meandering through the downtown streets. Then, join a boat tour and visit each nearby island one by one!
Ao Nang Beach
20 minutes from downtown Krabi Town lies Ao Nang, the tourist center of the area. Here you’ll find one of the most popular Krabi beach, Ao Nang Beach.
This destination feels exactly like a beach resort should: relaxed, casual, and care-free. You can lay your towel out, grab your book, and soak in the sun. Although this paradise is popular with tourists, there’s still ample space to spread out and feel comfortable. When you’re ready for some adventure, there are tons of activities available. Try your hand at snorkeling or diving. Go fishing or kayaking. Since Ao Nang is so popular with tourists, there are plenty of opportunities to find the right day tour for your liking.
Besides sunbathing on the beach and wading in the clear sandbar, there are lots of other things to do. Hop on a water taxi and visit one of the many nearby islands. Bar hop from restaurant to restaurant. Or, wait until dusk, see the sunset, and experience the Ao Nang nightlife. This is the epicenter of clubs and bars. Some of the most notable are Boogie Bar and Roots Rock Reggae Bar.
Go Rock Climbing
How many people can say they’ve gone rock climbing in Krabi, Thailand? It’s sure to impress your friends if you check it out during your trip!
There are many areas you can climb in Krabi. If you’ve never done it before, you should take some lessons with one of the several professional local schools so you can enjoy your time safely. They have a variety of courses that range from half days to multi-pitch climbing. They even have options for intermediate and advanced climbers who can handle a bit more danger. If you’re coming to Krabi with children, the beginner lessons will teach them the basics of rope tying and simple climbing techniques to get started. One of their most popular options is Deep Water Solo. In this course, you practice your cliff climbing and enjoy jumping into the clear water from different pitches. Beginners are welcome, but they should take a beginner course first to learn the ropes.
The limestone cliffs in Krabi are beautiful to see from a distance, imagine how stunning they are up close!
Visit the Krabi Emerald Pool
When you picture a Thai vacation, you likely think about crystal clear waters and stunning landscapes. What some people don’t realize is that Krabi, Thailand, is known for its hot springs and natural pools. Specifically the Klong Thom Hot Springs and the Emerald Pool.
Here, you can soak in the aquamarine water that comes directly from thermal underground springs. The hot pools are warm and comforting around 35-42 degrees Celsius. When you’re ready to cool off, you can jump in the river below the hot springs. The water contains many natural minerals from the earth. Some believe that these minerals can heal ailments when absorbed through the skin, like sciatica. There isn’t much proof of that, but there is proof that these springs provide ample relaxation and fun.
The springs have become quite a tourist attraction in Krabi, so they can get quite busy. It’s best not to visit at weekends, when local families gather in great numbers, for a more serene experience. And, if you get hungry, there are Thai food stalls serving street food by the entrance.
Have you ever wanted to experience a beach paradise completely removed from civilization? At Railay Beach, you can. Although it’s connected to mainland Thailand, the cliffs prevent any roads from accessing the area. You can only get to this stunning oasis by boat from the Krabi province.
Once you get to the beach, you won’t be disappointed. There are walking paths to take you to different activities and things to see, like hiking trails and jungle tours. You can swim, snorkel, kayak, rock climb, and eat and drink of course. To snag some sand before any other tourists come, visit in the morning. It will feel like your own personal island. Make sure you save time to explore the caves in Railay and enjoy a break from the sun.
Phra Nang Beach
Another beach worth checking out in Krabi is Phra Nang Beach, located on the southern Railay peninsula. This beach is the opposite of what you’d find at the busy Ao Nang Beach. The water is clear and shallow, perfect for kids to go swimming. The sand is softer than a duvet and the cliffs provide ample shade for when the sun gets too hot. Phra Nang is known for its Princess Cave where locals worship the goddess of fertility. You’ll see many phallic-looking objects as well as offerings from local fishermen.
Check Out the Tiger Cave
There are temples all over Thailand, many of them worth visiting. When in Krabi Town, Wat Tham Sua (the Tiger Cave Temple) is a must-see. The temple is built into the cave of a limestone cliff. The jungle atop the cliff is popular with hikers and those looking for an impressive view of the landscape. At the very top of the mountain is one of the grandest sights of all: a giant golden Buddha statue. To see it up close, you must walk all 1,237 steps up the mountainside.
Since this is a massive tourist attraction, it gets quite busy at Wat Tham Sua. It’s best to come first thing in the morning or at the end of the day when all the tours have ended. And remember, a temple is a sacred place. Wear modest clothing and respect the locals who choose to worship there.
Hike in the National Park
There are numerous national parks in the Krabi province, each with its own attractions. Many allow you to camp in the park and experience the wildlife firsthand. You can also go kayaking, hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and more. Some of the parks that you must see when you’re in Krabi are:
- Khao Phanom Bencha Park
- Klong Thom Hot Springs
- Mu Koh Lanta Marine Park
- Than Bokkharani National Park
- Hat Nopparat Thara Park
Each park has its own operating hours and fees to get in. They all have elements of adventure and relaxation, and areas perfect for children and adults. When you come to Krabi Town, you don’t want to miss out on all the natural scenery it has to offer.
Visit Wat Kaew
Talking about temples, Wat Kaew is the most popular temple in Krabi, Thailand. Visitors and locals both flock to this temple to see its beauty and to worship. Locals refer to it as the “White Temple” because of its pristine, white exterior. When you walk inside, you’ll be shocked to see all the colorful wall drawings depicting different parts of Buddha’s life.
Since it’s an operating temple, Wat Kaew is home to a monastery. There are often priests and monks walking around, and some paths are restricted for only their use. Despite its popularity, there aren’t often massive crowds of tourists. Wear modest clothing and bring shoes they can easily take off before entering. It’s one of the many sacred places to see in Krabi Town.
Shop at the Krabi Night Market
One of the best things to do in Krabi Town is to visit the Night Market. Markets in Thailand are always exciting, but that excitement doubles when the sun has gone down and the nightlife has started. If you’re looking for authentic Thai street food, souvenirs, clothes, or art, the Krabi Night Market is a must-see.
Also known as Walking Street, the market is only open on weekend nights from 6 PM until 10 PM. The street is directly behind the Vogue Shopping Center where you can shop from designer and high street clothing brands. In the market, you’ll find goods from local artisans selling their artwork. The variety of items you can buy here is large. You can get everything from gardening tools to t-shirts to leather handbags to grilled satay. Visitors also love coming to the market to enjoy live music and performances. It’s a cultural event in Krabi Town that everyone enjoys.
It’s definitely recommended to come to the market for dinner or evening snacks. Some of the best Thai food is found in small authentic markets like this one in Krabi Town.
Go Island Hopping in the Andaman Sea
There are 52 islands off the coast of southern Thailand. There are dozens of amazing tours that will take you island hopping throughout, with many starting from the port in Krabi Town or Ao Nang. Some are only half a day long, others are full days or multi days. And, some of the islands are more popular to see than others.
Koh Lanta Yai is certainly an island worth checking. It’s known as a haven for water sports; the gorgeous coral reefs make it an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving. It’s also relatively quiet compared to Ao Nang and the coast. It’s the perfect spot for relaxation and immersing yourself in the island’s way of life. The sunsets are phenomenal from the beach and the island is easy to get around. You can affordably rent a scooter and the roads are (mostly) well paved. Anytime you see a pretty beach, hop off the bike and explore.
Another island you must see when in Krabi is Koh Hong. This island features a beach only accessible by a narrowboat and a natural lagoon straight out of a fairytale. It’s the perfect island for tranquil relaxation and feeling immersed in nature. The lush jungle atop the steep cliffs is alive with wildlife. The sand is soft and white, and the coral reefs stunning with thousands of fish. Although you can’t stay overnight here, you can pack a picnic and stay for the day. There is also a small restaurant selling snacks and beverages.
Kayak at Ao Thalane
Anyone who’s a fan of seafood must visit the fishing village, Ao Thalane. Although it isn’t as developed as more touristy areas of Krabi Town, it offers an authentic and exciting experience. To start, rent a kayak and explore the mangroves and limestone canyons. You’ll see dozens of different types of fish and sea creatures, many of which can end up on your plate for dinner!
The locals are very serious about protecting the environment here and preserving the mangroves. Kayaking is an eco-friendly activity they encourage tourists to participate in. Plus, it allows you to observe the lush and winding jungle from the water. You won’t see a jungle this untouched anywhere else in Krabi.
There isn’t much nightlife here, but there are a handful of beautiful resorts and villas to stay at. Or, you can take a day trip here from Ao Nang or Krabi Town and return at night.
Dine at the Best Krabi Restaurants
You won’t go hungry when you vacation in Krabi. There are dozens of amazing restaurants that will fulfill your cravings for amazing Thai food, and many that serve international cuisines. Of all the things to do in Krabi, experiencing the local cuisine is one of the best.
The first restaurants that you should consider when holidaying in Krabi are the beach restaurants in Klong Muang, a tranquil village not far from Ao Nang. They are simple wooden structures with tables right on the beach and the typical tropical vibes you dream of when thinking of Thailand. They offer Thai cuisine, vegetarian options as well as BBQ fish and fresh seafood and a few International options. Some of their most popular dishes are the pineapple fried rice, pad thai, chicken satay, and the Massaman curry. Of course, they also serve western-style steak and burgers in case you’re missing home.
Another restaurant you should visit is Carnivore Steak and Grill in Ao Nang. Just as the name suggests, it’s basically a paradise for meat lovers. It’s located across the street from the Krabi Thai Village Resort which makes it within walking distance of many tourist accommodations. If you’re looking for an amazing steak, this is the best one you’ll find in Ao Nang. Owned by Dutch management, it offers traditional Asian dishes as well as classic western meals.
For some authentic Thai cuisine in a less touristy establishment, you must see Ton Ma Yom Thai Food Restaurant. It’s not in the most glamorous location and it’s rather small, yet locals have made its popularity known. Now, tourists and locals alike make the commute to this unpretentious and shockingly delicious restaurant. Some of their best dishes include Chicken Green Curry, Mango Sticky Rice, and Papaya Somtam. Get ready for some massive portions and cheap prices. And of course, the kindness and courtesy of the local family of owners.
Relax at the Krabi Spa
When you want to relax at a spa, Krabi is the place to be. There are dozens of excellent, luxurious spas to treat yourself in while on vacation. Many allow you to relax poolside and still see the massive cliffs and open water in the background. You can experience every type of massage from a Thai massage to a Shiatsu massage to a hot stone massage. There are a variety of skin and body treatments to enjoy as well as five-star accommodations.
The two most popular spas in the area are The Radarom in central Ao Nang and The TubTaak Boutique. The latter not only is an award-winning hotel, but it offers 5-star accommodations in a secluded and idyllic beach, Tub Kaak. It’s facing a peaceful beach with large rooms that all include air conditioning and WIFI. Besides the full-service spa, you can go kayaking, bicycling, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Of all the things to do in Krabi, relaxing in a beautiful hotel spa doesn’t sound so bad.
Shop ‘Til You Drop in Krabi Town
You’re sure to return home with some amazing souvenirs from your time in Krabi. There are so many places to find souvenirs, clothing, electronics, home furnishings, and more.
We mentioned above the Night Market and the Vogue Department Store for shopping. In addition to these, at Big C Mall near Krabi Town, you’ll find many popular brands in Asia as well as some globally famous brands. Looking for a deal? You’ve got to see the Krabi Shopping Outlet. Here, you’ll find dozens of designer clothing and accessories for half the price.
Interested in supporting the local community of artisans? The Ban Na Teen Cultural Center sells traditional Thai clothing as well as handmade crafts. The center also gives you the opportunity to stay with some of the local families for a night in their home. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the culture and for the family to earn some extra income.
Ready to Plan Your Getaway to Krabi, Thailand?
Krabi is one of the places you must see when visiting Thailand. With all the things to do here, you’ll never get bored. It has some of the country’s best beaches, most impressive cliffs, and plenty of cultural excursions that give you a taste of the local lifestyle. Speaking of taste, the cuisine in Krabi should not be missed.