The Best Destinations in Krabi, Thailand

Enjoy the serene surroundings of Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand
Enjoy the serene surroundings of Railay Beach in Krabi, Thailand | © Dmitry Molchanov / Alamy
Photo of Kyle Hulme
10 September 2021

A sun-kissed corner of one of the most stunning countries in the world, Krabi’s mixture of bustling mainland towns and idyllic island paradises offers something for everyone. Can’t decide where to visit? Here are the best destinations.

Want to hit the best beaches and islands around Krabi? Let our Local Insider show you round on Culture Trip’s 10-day Thai island-hopping adventure.

Krabi Town

Architectural Landmark, Natural Feature
Map View
Maharaj Road, Krabi town, Thailand
© Peter Forsberg / Alamy

The main town of the province, Krabi Town used to be simply a place to stay for a night before moving on to an island, but, in recent years, it has grown into a must-visit destination. A small town that’s almost like a window into the past, its collection of authentic local eateries, great Western restaurants and happening bars beside the river offers more than enough entertainment to keep you busy for a few days. But its best feature? The weekend night market. Running Friday to Sunday, it features delicious local cuisine, hand-made crafts and local fashions all available at bargain prices.

Koh Lanta

Natural Feature
Map View
beach and fishing boat, koh Lanta, Thailand. Image shot 10/2017. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy

A large island reachable by both van and ferry, Koh Lanta has long been on the lips of travellers, touted as Thailand’s next big thing, but has resisted over-development so far. A large island with a beautiful natural park and several stunning beaches, it’s well-famed for its laid-back vibe that’s almost infectious. That said, it isn’t all yoga sessions and hippy activities here; there are a number of beach bars providing entertainment well into the night, too, if that’s your thing. The rustic, wooden shophouses that make up Saladan and Lanta Old Town and house a variety of different shops and restaurants are well worth checking out, too.

Ao Nang

Natural Feature
Map View
Thailand, Krabi, Ao Nang, Nopparat Thara Beach,
© Tibor Bognar / Alamy
The busiest and most popular area on the mainland in the province, Ao Nang has much more to offer than its well-famed beaches. Just behind its popular strip of soft, sandy beach are a number of busy restaurants and bars that have kept punters happy for decades now. Its variety of accommodation options, ranging from low-price to luxury, has ensured Ao Nang’s enduring popularity, while Ao Nang Beach and Nopparat Thara Beach helped put it on the map in the first place. Throw in the excellent shopping experiences, and it’s easy to see why people keep coming back.

Railay

Natural Feature
Map View
Landscape of scenic big cliffs on seashore coastline on empty West Railay Beach
© Drablenkov / Getty Images
Located to the east of Ao Nang and accessible only by boat, Railay is perhaps the most gorgeous spot in all of Krabi. Featuring a number of sublime beaches with turquoise seas and steep limestone cliffs, it’s truly a place of jaw-dropping beauty — but it has much more to offer than just aesthetics. There’s a fun, laid-back nightlife scene on the island, particularly towards Tonsai Beach, whilst the daytime offers some of the best rock climbing experiences in the country. Only a few minutes from Ao Nang on the boat, it’s a must-visit destination in Krabi, even if you’re not staying the night.

Koh Klang

Park, Natural Feature
Map View
Local village on Koh Klang island in Krabi in southern Thailand. Cityscape taken in south east Asia.
© Anna Bieniek / Alamy

A small island just a 5-minute ferry ride away from Krabi Town, Koh Klang is a place you’ll love to visit. Despite being so close to Krabi Town, the atmosphere is completely different. An island comprised nearly wholly of members of southern Thailand’s Muslim community, it provides a glimpse into their world and their relaxed pace of life. Stilted wooden houses take up residence beside the road, while the fields are full of crops and buffaloes, providing an authentic look at rural Thai life and a contrast to the hustle and bustle of nearby Krabi Town. The ferry can take your motorbike across, but the flat roads and gorgeous views make Koh Klang perfect for cycling around.

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  • Koh Phi Phi

    Natural Feature
    Map View
    Jungle limestone cliffs around Phi-Phi Leh island with tourist boat parking
    © StoryLife / Alamy

    Perhaps the most famous island in Thailand, Phi Phi has been one of the star attractions of the Land of Smiles for well over a decade now. With its gorgeous bays, beaches and natural features, Phi Phi has more than earned its glowing reputation, but some would argue that its nightlife is its crowning glory. Famous for beach parties, bars and nightclubs, there’s never a dull moment to be had on Phi Phi, where friends are made in a second and memories last for a lifetime.

    Koh Jum

    Natural Feature
    Map View
    Palm beach, Golden Pearl Beach, Ko Jum or Koh Pu island, Krabi, Thailand, Southeast Asia
    © imageBROKER / Alamy

    If Koh Lanta is considered by some to be underdeveloped, then Koh Jum is practically undiscovered. A picturesque island that’s small in size, Koh Jum has a number of scenic beachfront bungalows to choose from that’ll prove to be the envy of all your friends. With little to do other than swim, sunbathe and explore the island, it’s perfect for a relaxing stay in Krabi. Gorgeous beaches, beautiful sunsets and friendly locals — what more could you want?

    Klong Muang

    Natural Feature
    Map View
    Klong Muang Beach, Krabi Province, Thailand.
    © Leonid Serebrennikov / Alamy

    Located further west than Ao Nang, Klong Muang is another mainland beach area that’s worth considering in Krabi. With its long stretch of soft sand and clear seas, it’s a quieter and, arguably, more beautiful stretch of beach than Ao Nang is, but it is thought to be a little too laid-back for some. That said, there are bars and restaurants in the area, and taxis can take you to the heart of the action in Ao Nang in just 20 minutes. A perfect place for families.

    Ao Thalane

    Natural Feature
    Map View
    Sea Kayak at Ao Thalane, Krabi, Thailand
    © Shisanu Tongchim / Alamy

    Not particularly bothered about the beaches but looking to explore Krabi’s natural spaces? Ao Thalane is the place for you. The top spot in the province for kayaking, Ao Thalane allows visitors to hop aboard a kayak and explore Krabi’s mesmerising mangrove forests. Weaving in, out and around the mangroves lets you experience some of the most beautiful natural spaces in Krabi and makes it possible to get up close and personal with creatures who call it their home. A peaceful and different way to spend a few hours in Krabi, it just might prove to be the highlight of your trip.

    Tub Kaek

    Natural Feature
    Map View
    View to the Phang-Nga Bay from the Tub Kaek Beach in Krabi, Thailand.
    © Andreas Prott / Alamy
    Situated on the western edge of Krabi province, Tub Kaek is home to a quiet, mesmerising beach that’s often overlooked by visitors. Usually empty, this special stretch of land is not only a great place to rest and swim, but it’s also perfect for admiring the view of the limestone karsts and mountains that sprout out of the sea in front of you. Away from the beach, a national park offers the best hiking experience in the province, with the gruelling trail up Khao Ngon Nak to the Dragon Crest viewpoint, where you can enjoy unforgettable views of the province.
    These recommendations were updated on September 10, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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