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Situated beside the Andaman Sea and nestled perfectly between the tourist hot spots of Pukhet and Surat Thani, Krabi province is in a prime location for out-of-towners who wish to make their way from one of Thailand’s seaboards to the other. Krabi has a bit of everything – world-class beaches, beautiful trekking options and bustling markets selling anything you could want. But with these attractions also comes something else – tourists by the boat full. Thankfully, there are ways to avoid them, so read ahead to find out how.
If you’re heading to Krabi in the middle of peak season, then there’s little you can do in terms of avoiding the crowds. However, arriving at a different time is a great way to ensure that you’re not fighting for a table or a spot on the beach. Whilst rainy season might not sound too appealing, it’s often not quite as bad as it sounds. It’s a gamble for sure – some days will be as dry as a bone, yet on others, a torrent of water will come down for hours – but one that might be worth taking as the beaches will be emptier, the markets and restaurants less crowded, and the prices much cheaper.
Krabi has plenty of things to do, so if you’re planning to visit a popular destination such as the Emerald Pool, then going during the day when locals are working or at school will give you a better chance of not having your personal space violated too much. Conversely, heading there later in the day or on a public holiday will see the place more crowded than you could possibly imagine. When it comes to the famous attractions such as Maya Bay, waking up any other time than in the early morning will see you sharing the beach with a ton of people and boats. Some companies specialise in early morning tours of Maya Bay, where you’ll be sharing the beach with considerably fewer people, so ask around if this is something you’re keen to do.
Whilst places such as Maya Bay and Ao Nang Beach are obviously beautiful and popular, there are plenty of other visually stunning, less-crowded destinations that you can visit. Krabi has an abundance of lovely beaches, some of which are popular with tourists and others that are less so. Beaches such as Tub Kaek might not offer quite the same wow factor as Maya Bay, but they are still undeniably gorgeous and present the same sea and sunbathing opportunities. Similarly, you might have more joy when it comes to food if you do a little research. A restaurant may have a five-star rating on TripAdvisor, but you’ve got to factor in the fact that not only can other travellers see this and head there themselves but a tourist is also more likely to rate it than a local – and who do you think knows best when it comes to Thai food?
Booking a hotel in the heart of Ao Nang will only ever result in being surrounded by tourists and all they bring – loud music, street hawkers and a less-than-peaceful atmosphere. Staying in a more secluded area, then, is much better if avoiding fellow tourists is something you’re passionate about. Instead of Ao Nang Beach, consider a homestay or hotel in the Ao Thalane, Klong Muang or Tub Kaek areas if you’re after a little more peace and quiet, or even Krabi Town if you want something that’s both lively and authentic. Each one is much less popular than Ao Nang but still have plenty to do, from trekking to kayaking through mangrove forests. All of these places are still only a short journey to bustling Ao Nang, but staying in them will make it feel like a completely different experience.