Krabi is a paradise for travellers who want to enjoy the beauty and diversity of a seaside holiday in a laid-back, casual setting. There are fantastic beaches backed by towering limestone peaks, lovely tropical islands scattered off the coast, and colourful coral reefs for diving adventures.
Most of the attractions in the Krabi area are natural ones and, in fact, you’ll find some of the most dramatic seascapes in the world here. We’ve listed some of Krabi’s most popular attractions, and suggest that you consult one of the free tourist maps for exact locations.
Ao Nang beach
Krabi’s main tourist resort area features a long stretch of beach, half of which has a backdrop of striking karst cliffs, and the other half lined with resorts and tourist amenities. Ao Nang is a peaceful spot, although you will have to wander along the beach to avoid the noisy longtail boat traffic. Sunsets are often spectacular as the irregular karsts that just from the sea add to the drama of the scene.
This bustling provincial capital provides a glimpse into the real way of life in southern provincial Thailand. The town has largely escaped commercial tourism due to its lack of a beach, but it’s an interesting place to visit some tourist attractions. They include vibrant markets, a pathway that follows the estuary mouth, and lots of restaurants offering up local favourites with seafood as the main specialty.
Koh Lanta National Marine Park
Koh Lanta (Yai) is a large, peaceful island, offering the same beautiful beaches and scenery as other tourist resorts, yet without the crowds. The northern and southern extremes of Koh Lanta are mountainous, while the west coast features numerous stunning beaches. The western side and northern tip are good snorkelling locations thanks to a healthy reef culture. The old town is high on the attractions list as it has some good shops and historical buildings. Open: 08:00-17:00 (daily); entry: 400 baht; Moo 5, Kho Lanta Yai, tel: (075) 660 711-2, fax: (075) 660 711, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.dnp.go.th.
Koh Phi Phi National Marine Park
Blessed with idyllic beaches, stunning seascapes and a vibrant underwater world, Phi Phi tops the Krabi attractions list. There is little accommodation available along the island’s two main beaches; however, there is no shortage of rooms set back from the beach. The ferry to Phi Phi from Krabi Town takes 90 minutes and runs twice daily. Open: 08:00-17:00 (daily); entry: foreigner: adults/children 400/200 baht, Thai: adults/children 40/20 baht for national park, 79 Moo 5, Ao Nang, tel: (075) 661 145, 637 436, 637 200.
Nopparhat Thara Beach
Easily reached on foot from Ao Nang’s beach, this lovely stretch of tidal beach is not as developed as its noisy neighbour and is a great spot for an early morning run. There are some nice resorts here along with a ferry pier at the far end. When the tide is out, you can actually walk out to some of the nearby islands.
Considered one of the most spectacular on the list of all the Andaman coastal tourist locations, this idyllic spot is a peninsula that can only be reached by boat. Numerous resorts are situated between the two crescent-shaped beaches. Out of the two beautiful beaches to choose from, Phra Nang attracts more day-trippers and is home to monkeys, a fascinating collection of dripstones, and an ancient shrine. Those who are fit can hike up a steep path to the top of the karst and gaze down into a hidden sinkhole lake in the middle.
Than Bokkharani National Park
Just a 30-minute drive from Ao Nang and you will find yourself amid a landscape of steep limestone cliffs, waterfalls and pools, and thick tropical forest. The hot springs here originate in the Khao Nor Juji lowland forest and the pools change colour as the day progresses. One of Krabi’s most stunning tourist attractions. Open: 08:00-17:00 (daily); entry: 400 baht; Ao luk district, Krabi, tel: (075) 681 071, email: email@example.com, website: www.dnp.go.th.
Situated further around the coast from Ao Nang, this prehistoric site features fossilised shells that are over 75 million years old. The composites of fossils are found in many unusual shapes. One of Krabi’s less exciting attractions, but interesting for geology buffs. Open: 08:30-17:00 (daily); entry: Foreigners 200 baht, Thais 50 baht, approach by boat to avoid the overpriced fee.
Wat Khlong Thom Museum
The museum houses a collection of ancient artefacts that have been excavated in the Krabi area, including beadwork, bronze items, stone and clay animals and stone tools. Open: 08:30-11:00 and 13:00-17:00 (daily); entry: free.
Wat Tham Seua
This temple is a popular attraction for Thai tourists as well as foreigners. There’s a meditation centre here and fabulous views from the top of the karst peak. A climb of 1,200 steps is required to reach the lookout point, where you’ll also find a chedi and Buddha images. Be careful of wild monkeys on the climb, they are brazen and enjoy rifling through backpacks. Open: daily; entry: free.