Few tourists leave Krabi without taking in the sights of the Four Island tour, and it’s easy to see why. For just a few hundred baht you can take a wooden long tail boat and head for the beautiful islands of Koh Poda, Koh Tub, Chicken Island and the bay of Railay. It’s possible to charter a private boat or even a speedboat, which is a much better experience as it would grant extra time at any of the locations. Koh Poda, Koh Tub and Railay offer the chance to relax on the beach and take a dip in the sea, whereas Chicken Island – which gets its name from the fact the karst itself is shaped as a chicken – provides great views and an opportunity to snorkel amongst the colourful fish.
Whilst it may not provide enough time to sample the nightlife and revelry that Koh Phi Phi has to offer, heading to Phi Phi is still a great day trip. Not only does the main island have gorgeous beaches of azure water and powdery sand, it’s home to Maya Bay, one of the most famous and beautiful locations in all of south east Asia. Typical tours will also take you to monkey beach, where you can make a bunch of furry friends, and Piley Bay, a stunning spot with huge limestone mountains surrounding it and clear waters to snorkel and frolic in. Phi Phi’s small size means there are no cars or motorbikes on the island, and it’s possible to cover the whole island in just a couple of hours.
Just a 45 minute long tail boat ride from Ao Nang, or 25 minutes on a speedboat, lies the wondrous Hong Island. Rather than just a typical circular island, Hong is famed for the large lagoon in the centre of it, beset on all sides by imposingly beautiful cliffs. There are beaches around the lagoon and on the outer rim of the island, but the real beauty comes from kayaking into the lagoon itself, all while being dwarfed by the mountains around the edge. Lucky visitors may also catch sight of a monkey or monitor lizard, too.
Only 70km from Krabi Town are the hot springs. With water warmed by volcanic chambers deep down below, the hot springs provide the opportunity to bathe in warm waters between 35-42 degrees Celsius. It can get pretty hot, but not to worry – there’s a river to cool off in, too. Nearby is the popular Emerald Pool, a freshwater pool with a shockingly emerald hue that’s incredibly pleasant to swim in. With a sweaty 1km+ walk through the hot, thick jungle on the way to the pool, it’s a great way to cool off and get in touch with nature, all while taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Make sure to visit early to avoid crowds and schoolchildren.
Undoubtedly the best place for diving in Krabi Province, Koh Rok is just a one-hour speedboat trip away from Koh Lanta island. Diving in Koh Rok is like experiencing a whole new world, unearthing treasures such as colourful corals and an abundance of marine life, such as turtles, eels and maybe even the odd black-tipped shark. It’s also possible to snorkel rather than dive, or just enjoy the beach and the fine, soft, coral sand. It’s also the best place in Krabi to spot huge monitor lizards, who often just laze on the beach without a care in the world.
The best spot in Krabi Province for kayaking, Ao Thalane is a short drive from Ao Nang and is home to a winding maze of mangrove trees, which can be explored through kayaking on the river. Kayaking through mangroves, in and out of the sun and around the huge cliffs that sprout from the edge of the water is a humbling, peaceful experience, and the odd flashes of monkeys and crustaceans on the branches adds a little extra excitement. It’s a sustainable way to see more of Krabi Province, and is one of the last truly undeveloped tourist attractions around.
The Two Water Canal is just 34km from Krabi Town yet so few foreigners make it here. The name “Two Water” is derived from the fact that saltwater and freshwater meet, and the result is glass-like clear water that you can kayak and swim in, turning emerald-coloured in times of high tide. The surrounding nature is a mixture of banyan and mangrove trees that you can walk between courtesy of a walkway, and is a location that’s as undeveloped and naturally beautiful as you are likely to encounter in such a tourist-heavy province.