Although there are regular options for getting around Krabi – with songthaews (pick-ups with covered seating in the back) running to Krabi Town from Ao Nang frequently and longtail boats always waiting to take you to Railay – the best way to explore the mainland in Krabi is by hiring a car or motorcycle and touring the area yourself. This gives you the freedom to decide your own itinerary, as well as allowing you to visit areas not covered by public transport, which tends to limit to travel between Krabi Town and outlying villages.
Krabi transport by car
There are car hire firms represented in Krabi, which you can find at the airport on arrival, or through tour agents in Ao Nang. However, the quality isn’t always assured and we advise you to use internationally major car hire companies such as Avis, National and Budget. Your hotel can also often arrange transport, although if it is from a local operator, make sure the car is in good condition as some of the 4-wheel drives on offer are really the worse for wear.
Motorcycles can be hired anywhere along the beach road in Ao Nang for around 150-250 baht a day. These are of the basic, 100-125cc ‘step-through’ type, with some automatic scooters also available. Please be sure to use the helmets provided as Krabi’s roads can be dangerous and locals drive recklessly. You should also note that no matter what the shop tells you, motorcycles are seldom insured (unless you pay extra, specifically), so you will be solely liable for any accidents or theft. Larger motorbikes – 400cc and up – are also available for hire in larger tourist areas such as Ao Nang.
Another option available in Ao Nang is to hire a car with a driver for the day. The advantage of this is being able to decide your own itinerary, which should be discussed with your driver so that you can agree on a price. It also means that you won’t get lost and that you can spend your time looking out of the window rather than at road signs.
Krabi transport with taxis
Taxis and tuk-tuks can also be hired for fares around the beach areas and also further afield. Prices are usually marked on a board near the car, but individual drivers may respond to bargaining, especially off-season. A motorbike with side car for four passengers is a handy option to avoid a long walk in the Ao Nang Area (50-100 baht a ride).
Krabi local bus services
For trips into Krabi Town and from town to the beach areas, you can also use one of the songthaews – a converted pick-up truck with a roof and two rows of seats in the back. The destinations are written on the bus in English and one-way tickets are rarely more than 50 baht per person.
You can flag the bus down from anywhere it passes – there are no bus stops as such – and you pay the driver when you get off the bus. Services start early morning and stop around 21:00. See Krabi bus timetable.
Krabi transport on ferries and boats
For independent travel out to the islands, you can charter your own longtail boat or speedboat with driver. Prices vary depending on the destination, but start from around 1,200 baht for a half-day outing to the local islands of Chicken, Poda and Tub, and climb to around 12,000 baht per day for a 15-seater speedboat to Phi Phi.
Speedboats can be hired from most tour agents, or ask at your hotel reception. The longtail boats are parked all along the beaches in Ao Nang and Railay West, at Chao Fah pier in Krabi Town, and on Ton Sai beach in Phi Phi. You can talk directly with the drivers, although they’ll more than likely approach you first anyway. Remember that although the old traditional longtail boats are much cheaper, they are generally far less reliable and you could spend several hours of your precious day sitting out at sea waiting for the boat driver to fix his engine. They are also quite noisy.
To get from Ao Nang to Railay, you will have to take a longtail taxi-boat. The price is 60 baht per person (100 baht after 19:00) and the boats leave whenever they have a minimum number of customers – in theory four or five, but, in reality, some drivers like to wait until they have at least eight or 10 before they leave. Again, these boats are parked on the beach at Ao Nang and Railay West (Sunset Beach) and the drivers will be able to direct you to the next boat due to leave. See Krabi boat timetable.
You can also get to Railay by longtail boat from Krabi Town’s Chao Fah Pier. Bear in mind, though, that the boats are less frequent from here and will drop you on the east-side beach, so you may have to walk to your resort.
If you are staying at Railay and plan an evening out in Ao Nang, you will need to pre-arrange an evening longtail boat, which usually costs about 1,000 baht (including the wait and return), so get a group together. Only pay half upfront to be sure he doesn’t leave you stranded. It happens!
For travel between the inhabited islands of Ko Phi Phi, Ko Lanta and the mainland, see the Krabi boat timetable page.