Must-Visit Attractions in Krabi, Thailand

Maya Bay is perhaps the most famous beach in all of Thailand
Maya Bay is perhaps the most famous beach in all of Thailand | © Mayday / Alamy Stock Photo
Sarah Williams

Krabi, located in southern Thailand, is a paradise that truly offers something for everyone. Its diverse landscape encompasses stunning beaches, dramatic limestone cliffs, lush jungles, and captivating cultural sites. Whether you’re a sunseeker, an adventure enthusiast, or a culture buff, Krabi has attractions that will leave you enchanted. Here are some of the best places to include in your Krabi travel itinerary:

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Khao Khanab Nam

The twin limestone mountains of Khao Khanab Nam are major local landmarks and one of the main symbols of the province. The mountains are split by a river and have several caves beneath them. Venture into the caves and admire interesting rock formations, then gaze up at the mighty mountains from ground level. The caves also hold a mystery: many skeletons were found here, with only speculation as to what caused the deaths of these unfortunate souls, whose remains are thought to date to prehistoric times. It’s possible to climb one of the mountains, with incredible views from the summit and a rocky overhang that attracts daredevils for dramatic Instagram photos.

Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple)

Local lore tells of a fearsome tiger that once called this cave home – and paw-like imprints in the rocks seem to support the legends. The network of caves is now filled with religious statues and shrines and it’s common to see saffron-clad monks praying here. A revered Buddha footprint sits on top of the hill; be prepared to climb more than 1,200 steps to reach the peak. The sense of spirituality and glorious views across the island-studded Andaman Sea make the effort more than worth it.

Phra Nang Shrine

Phra Nang Shrine, also known as the Princess Cave, is a small cave at the end of Phra Nang Beach. Accessible from the sands, the cave is filled with phallic offerings wrapped with colourful ribbons, flower garlands, traditional statues and other gifts. The penis-shaped items come in all sizes and colours. The lingas (phalluses) represent the Hindu deity of Shiva and making merit here is said to increase fertility. Local fishermen also come to pray and seek safety for their sea voyages. Several legends surround the woman who the cave honours; some tell tales of an Indian princess that drowned, while others say she was the wife of a fisherman who perished at sea.

Thung Teao Forest Natural Park

One of the most beautiful natural attractions in Krabi, Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is an almost otherworldly landscape filled with fascinating flora and fauna. The stunning Emerald Pool is a highlight for many, with shimmering blue-green waters that are perfect for a refreshing dip. Gnarled tree roots snaking across the ground and tendrils swaying in the breeze add to the surreal air. The tropical rainforest is also home to striking waterfalls, thermal springs and walking trails.

Wat Kaew Korawaram

On top of a hill in the heart of Krabi Town, Wat Kaew Korawaram provides awesome views of the surroundings. Two ferocious-looking naga statues flank the staircase, their golden tails snaking all the way up the steps. Climb to the large terrace and you’ll find a temple that looks slightly different to many of the other Buddhist temples in Thailand – the roof is blue and the walls are white. There are many interesting religious statues here and the temple walls feature eye-catching paintings that tell the story of the Lord Buddha’s life. As with many religious attractions in Thailand, food stalls and vendors selling offerings and amulets can be found outside.

Lanta Animal Welfare

A charitable organisation that assists local animals and educates people about animal wellbeing, Lanta Animal Welfare is a major tourist attraction on the island of Koh Lanta. Learn more about the aims of the sanctuary and meet the rescue animals. There are opportunities to walk the dogs and play with the cats too. Donations go towards sterilisation programmes, feeding, upkeep of the facility, medical care, marketing and other essential work. It’s a fantastic attraction for combining fun with giving back to the local community and assisting with sustainability efforts.

Susan Hoi

Susan Hoi, also known as the Shell Cemetery and Fossil Shell Beach, is an unusual geological site in Krabi. Fossils of shellfish sit immortalised and clearly visible in the shale rock. The site is thought to be between 25m and 40m years old. An information centre contains exhibitions related to the ghostly coastal area and there’s a nearby Chinese temple and mangroves that are worth visiting at the same time.

Maya Bay

Made famous in the cult Leonardo DiCaprio movie The Beach (2000), Maya Bay is one of the major tourist draws in Krabi. The picturesque curved bay is almost enclosed by greenery-covered rocks and karsts, with clear waters meeting soft white sands. The jungle background adds to the enchantment and longtail boats often bob along the gentle waves. While you certainly won’t be alone on the beach, it’s still easy to appreciate the natural splendour. Remember to do your part for the environment and take away your litter. Part of the uninhabited Koh Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay is typically visited on day trips from Koh Phi Phi Don, mainland Krabi, Koh Lanta, or Phuket.

Railay Beach

A rock climber’s paradise, Railay Beach is sandwiched between the sparkling waters of the sea and dramatic, craggy mountains. Verdant growth covers the gleaming limestone cliffs and monkeys frolic among the branches. Many people visit the peninsula, which is only accessible by boat, for adventurous rock climbing, though you’ll also feel right at home basking on the beautiful beach and swimming in the clear waters. The area also offers short jungle hikes, kayaking and boat trips.

Ao Nang Beach

One of the liveliest beaches in mainland Krabi, Ao Nang Beach is a popular tourist area. Attracting backpackers, couples, families and travellers of all ages, it’s a great area for enjoying the beach, market and nightlife. Indeed, Ao Nang has some of the best clubs and bars in Krabi. The diverse restaurants cater to most tastes, with Thai cuisine and international dishes available and there are plentiful tour companies to make exploring Krabi a breeze. Charter a longtail boat and set sail for nearby islands such as Koh Hong, Koh Poda and Koh Gai. Accommodation is varied, with something to suit most budgets.

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