While not quite as popular as Phuket, the island to its east, Krabi is still a vibrant, beautiful province to visit in Thailand – with hostels bookable on Culture Trip.
From the bustling main hub of Krabi Town, to the seaside beach town of Ao Nang – and not forgetting the islands of Koh Phi Phi and Ko Lanta – Krabi is bursting with adventure and things to do. And thanks to the sheer number of quality backpacker hostels in Krabi, you needn’t pay through the nose to enjoy it.
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There’s an industrial, almost prison-like feel to the dorms at Sleeper Hostel in Ao Nang – but don’t let that put you off. This place ticks off the key elements on a budget traveller’s wish list: hot showers, free snacks, and comfy bunks with privacy curtains and individual power sockets. A 10-minute wander along the town’s main street will get you to the beach.
Run by a friendly father-and-daughter team, NOMAD is a quiet boutique hostel – so perhaps not ideal for party-seeking solo travellers – but it’s close to Krabi Night Market and the huge Maharat Fresh Market, so food lovers will be spoilt for choice. Don’t forget to bring a reusable water bottle – the hostel offers free refills as part of their ecofriendly efforts.
This clean, quiet hostel comes with private doubles and female-only dorms. Take a songthaew or tuk-tuk to the hilltop Tiger Cave Temple to take in a golden Buddha and panoramic views (it’s near Krabi airport, so makes a good pre-departure detour). Here to chill before your journey to Phi Phi? Catch a late-night movie in the AstroTurfed lounge area back at the hostel.
There isn’t a characterless room in sight at Chanchalay Hip Hostel – instead you’ll find boutique family rooms and small dorms decked out in polished concrete and white-painted brickwork with open-air showers. Check out the sculptures at nearby waterfront Chaofah Park, brave a taste of durian (the world’s smelliest fruit) at Krabi Walking Street market, or hop on a longtail boat for climbing at Railay Bay.
This upmarket hostel may be a little pricier than others in Ao Nang, but TAN provides real bang for your buck – from the smart architectural design and super-clean dorms to the accommodating staff. The on-site cafe is a huge plus – serving arguably the best flat whites and açai bowls in Krabi – and you can borrow yoga mats for an impromptu stretch on the deck. Beach calling? It’s just an eight-minute walk away.
Link Hostel is a laid-back social spot with modern, light-filled dorms and double rooms overlooking a central courtyard. It’s a little out of the way – a 30-minute walk to the nearest beach, further to the centre of Ao Nang – but bring your own scooter or rent one of the hostel bikes and getting around will be a doddle. The ample swimming pool is a delight after the “Krabi commute”.
Taking a class or two in the martial art of muay Thai is a popular pastime for travellers in Thailand – but if you’re serious about improving your roundhouse kicks and reverse foot thrusts, why not go all in and book a stay at Khunsuek Muaythai Hostel in Ao Nang? You’ll be staying with like-minded gym bunnies and have easy access to top-quality training and facilities; the boxing ring even has a sea view.
The clue is in the name here: host Oily and her family go out of their way to ensure everyone’s stay at Reset Hostel is comfortable and fun (keep an eye out for the free snacks and travel tips) and these efforts are reflected in the spotless dorms and homely atmosphere. You’re a 20-minute tuk-tuk ride from Ao Nang, but nearby Klong Muang Beach is an equally divine place to unwind.
Krabi is a magical place. So where better to experience its charms than in the aptly-named Hogwarts Hostel? Located in the town centre, close to the river and its famous black crab statue, it’s within strolling distance of the huge Walking Street night market. The modern dorms are comfortable, bathrooms clean, and staff friendly (they can sort tours for you, too). Hogwarts is a great choice for those looking to stay in Krabi Town on a budget, and everyone’s welcome – even Slytherins.
In the heart of Krabi Town, and close to the ferry port to Koh Lanta, Pak Up is a fun hostel that attracts a diverse, friendly crowd. It hosts frequent parties and co-runs the Krabi Pub Crawl. And as it sits at the bottom of busy Chao Fa road, you needn’t look far to extend the night. Hoping to explore further? The hostel rents out motorbikes.
K-Bunk has made a good name for itself with travellers and locals alike due to its fun, friendly vibe. Another thing it’s really well known for is breakfasts. The hot-pan full English is the perfect food to soak up hangovers or to start an adventure (although healthier alternatives are available). Clean, comfy rooms promise a decent night’s sleep.
Only 20 minutes from the bustling hub of Krabi Town, it’s easy to see why Ao Nang Backpacker Hostel has long been a popular choice in the region. With huge dorms and popular communal spaces with a pool table and a restaurant, it’s a great place to meet fellow travellers. Dorms are both mixed and female-only and lockers are available. To top it off, motorbikes can be rented and tours booked from the front office.
A good host and friendly staff is what makes the Hangover Hostel in Koh Phi Phi so alluring. The manager cares about the enjoyment of his guests, encouraging them to socialise where possible, and also provides expert advice free of charge. Just 10 minutes from the ferry pier, and a stone’s throw from the beach, it’s a great location at a great price, too.
Few hostels here boast a sea-view common area, yet that’s what Blanco offers and more. A typical beachside hostel, Blanco also has a restaurant serving Thai and international food. Plus it’s just a short walk to the fire shows and beach parties that put Koh Phi Phi on the map. A beautiful base for any adventure on this enchanting island.
Modern, secure and clean, Hub of Joys ticks all the boxes. Less than 10 minutes on foot from the beach, it’s perfectly placed to enjoy this sleepy island, while friendly staff are on hand to provide advice on activities and recommend an island tour or two – and all for a bargain price. A jolt of life on an otherwise sleepy island, it’s a great place to stay on Koh Lanta.
Emma Sparks contributed additional reporting to this article.
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