Insider's Guide - What to do and Where to go in Krabi
Krabi is one of the most relaxing parts in all of Thailand. It is a province that has the most stunning scenery imaginable, beautiful white sandy beaches that stretch on for miles, a lush green jungle and over 200 islands just off the coast.
Krabi actually covers quite a large area, so a lot of the attractions require a bit of traveling, but when everywhere you look is beautiful it is no hardship at all.
The best time to visit is between November and April as the weather in the South of Thailand is tropical, so showers are common at some times of year, but with many places now opening all year you will always find something to do.
The airport in Krabi is offering more routes and more frequent flights than ever before so come and explore the best things to do in Krabi!
Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of your trip to this beautiful part of the ‘land of smiles’!
Sightseeing & Attractions
Wat Tham Sua
This Buddhist temple is only 10 kilometers northeast of Krabi Town. The strenuous 1,237 steps to reach the summit may turn some people away, but the view from the top is beautifully rewarding. A large, golden Buddha statue will greet you once you make it there.
Wat Tham Sua, as it’s known in Thai, was named after the tiger paw prints once found in the cave. Legend has it that a tiger once lived in the caves. This natural wonder sits within the jungle and houses many monks that live and worship here. The caves can be explored on foot and you will find many icons and relics to take a look at. Make sure you visit the ‘footprint of the Buddha’ while you’re there.
Wat Kaew Temple
Wat Kaew is a temple sitting in the middle of Krabi Town. It is not the biggest of temples but has beautiful decorations on the inside walls, they are painted a gorgeous blue color and have various Buddhist drawings on them.
At one end of the temple is a large golden Buddha which is the focal point of the temple.
It’s a must-see as you don’t get as many tourists here, so makes for some beautiful vacation photos. Don't forget to dress appropriately when you visit (no shorts, mini skirts or uncovered shoulders), and at the entrance to the temple you must remove your shoes.
The temple is open every day from 8am to 5pm and is easily accessible by foot from anywhere in Krabi town. And entrance is free, bonus!
Krabi Elephant Sanctuary
Want to spend an unforgettable day with amazing elephants? The Krabi Elephant Sanctuary is the place to go. It’s a place where former work elephants get the chance to live in a safe and animal-friendly environment, far away from abuse and violence.
Here, visitors have the chance to interact, feed and bathe with these beautiful animals while supporting an amazing project. A full day tour here includes pick up from your hotel and lunch is even included! Learn all about the elephants and why you should NEVER ride them. All in all, it’s a great day out in Krabi!
Railay is one of Krabi’s most iconic beach areas and is only accessible by boat from Ao Nang. Fortunately, the boats depart hourly and take only 15 minutes so it’s super easy to get there. The limestone cliffs attract rock climbers, and the serene beaches draw in anyone looking for a relaxing, sunny atmosphere.
With a jungle right by the sand, be on the lookout for many playful yet sneaky monkeys. When you arrive at Railay you will not find any roads or cars because of its cut off location, just a few long tail boats and a couple of bars to spend your evenings in.
The perfect location for a romantic getaway! With so many things to do you’ll never want to leave this hidden paradise!
Khao Khanab Nam
Standing at 100 meters tall the stunning Khao Khanab Nam Mountains are one of Krabi’s most famous landmarks. These majestic natural wonders act as the gateway to Krabi town with the river running between the two limestone cliffs forming a widely photographed beauty spot.
Inside, the mountains hide a very spiritual site, caves with collections of stalagmites and stalactites are definitely worth exploring, although the location is more well-known for the large number of human skeletons that have been found here. You can also climb one of the two mountains and enjoy the spectacular view from the top!
It’s also worth stopping by the Ko Klang fishing village as part of the trip, where you’ll discover a museum and a local craft centre. Villagers will demonstrate cotton weaving, the making of local tools and utensils plus fish breeding, it’s also possible to buy souvenirs and gifts direct from the local folk.
Klong Thom Hot Springs
Less than an hour away from Krabi Town is the district of Klong Thom. There are a few hot springs in the area that are as beautiful as they are therapeutic. Krabi Hot Springs is a serene spot under the shade of the tropical rainforest. It gets quite busy in the afternoons, so try to get there as early as possible.
Many locals also enjoy going to Saline Hot Spring, the smaller of the two main areas. The springs have been cut into the smooth rocks by the water that comes from deep rooted thermal springs located inside volcanic chambers.
The water gets up to temperatures of around forty degrees celsius and contains natural mineral salts that have many healing properties. Take a dip and feel totally relaxed. And if you fancy a cooling swim after, there’s a stream nearby that is perfect for this.
Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
Close to the Krabi Hot Springs is the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park and the magnificent Emerald Pool. Photos simply cannot do the crystal-clear water justice. You’ll need to walk over a kilometer to reach the stunning mineral pool, but it’s absolutely worth the trek.
Again, come as early as you can to beat the crowds and have the most peaceful experience. Home to many spectacular plants and animals, this park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. Go for a swim and admire the natural waterfall.
Keep your eye out for the Pita Gurney bird, once thought to be extinct but some have recently been spotted in the park! A great day out getting close to nature.
Ruen Mai Restaurant
Often referred to as one of the best Thai food places in Krabi, Ruen Mai is the place to visit if it’s your first time trying authentic Thai food. And it will definitely set the bar high with regard to Southern Thai cuisine. Its new location outside of Krabi Town has made it even more popular with guests, who pour in throughout its open hours.
The restaurant is more like an outdoor garden with thatched bamboo roofs and grows its own vegetables and herbs on-site. Our favorites include the Pad Pak Mieng (marinated shrimp wrapped in leaves), Panaeng Curry (a sweet, nutty Thai curry) and Goong Makham (stir-fried tamarind shrimp).
The restaurant is open for lunch 10.30am-3pm and dinner 5-10pm.
A true homage to local cuisine, Gecko Cabane has a relaxed vibe and quirky décor. The food is equally simple and delicious, almost like home-cooked meals that you can request to be made as per your preference - remember only ask for spicy if you really mean it!
Thai food has been given a twist with Western ingredients (owing to the French owner and his Thai wife), but the taste still remains authentic, and one of the best in the area.
If you come here you just have to try the Massaman Curry, Pork Tenderloin Hang Lay Curry and Pineapple Fried Rice. The restaurant is open all day from 11am-11pm.
The Grotto sits in the wider Rayavadee Resort and is named due to its location beneath a craggy limestone cliff that skirts around Phra Nang Beach. The setting here is truly stunning, and this is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset or simply spend a relaxing afternoon taking in the views and sea breeze.
The Grotto serves a range of delicious cocktails as well as bar snacks that make the most of local ingredients. Some of these include prawn satay or skewers with a peanut dipping sauce as well as crispy vegetable spring rolls with plum sauce.
There are also other light dishes such as sweet and sour Thai seafood soup called Tom Yam Po Tak Talay or Western classics like Greek salad.
To end the meal, you can order from a selection of desserts that make the best of exotic Thai fruits such as the coconut pudding or ivory chocolate mousse with pineapple.
Arty Momma Rasta Bar
Reggae bars are surprisingly popular in South East Asia, but they suit the beachy lifestyle perfectly. Arty’s bar captures that classic, laid-back, no-worries vibe better than most. Simplicity is key at Arty’s, with cushions to sit on the floor and a drinks menu that won’t leave you scratching your head.
The bar staff are more than happy to join you in a drink and a chat, and there are several guitars and ukuleles just asking to be played.
Whether it’s reggae on the speakers or talented locals playing a live set, there are few bars with a better atmosphere for a drink in Krabi than Arty’s Bar.
Whilst it may look like a tiny, hole-in-the-wall bar, Chu-a-pa has a tremendously impressive range of beers, both imported and domestic. It’s also leading the charge in promoting Krabi’s craft beers, which are few and far between in the south of Thailand.
Knowledgeable staff will help you pick a beer if you’re overwhelmed with choice, and you can enjoy it sat on directors chairs around tables propped up by old beer kegs – a really cool spot for a pre-dinner drink watching the sun go down over the ocean.
Factory Beer Garden
Factory Beer Garden is more often than not full on a weekend. It’s a large, open-air bar with rustic wooden furniture and tools on the wall provide a factory-like theme and live music is always playing in the background. It’s also attached to a restaurant, serving simple but tasty local food.
The combination of an open air bar on a warm night, cold drinks and live music make it a great place to let your hair down and have some fun!
New kid on the block, Get Rad’s is the brainchild of the owner of the popular Slumber Party hostel and already seems to be enjoying the same success. As Krabi’s first mixology bar it definitely stands out from the crowd, and boasts a large menu of cocktails for thirsty vacationers.
Unpretentious and laid back, this cocktail bar has already secured its status as the go-to bar in Ao Nang.
Weekend Night Market
One of the most lively things to do in Krabi at night is head to Walking Street (known as Thanon Khon Dern in Thai). A night market is held on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from six o’clock. You’ll find a wide variety of items for sale, from handmade oyster pearl jewelry to classic souvenirs and T-shirts.
Of course, there will also be a ton of delicious street food vendors. There are always plastic chairs and tables to sit down at, so there’s no need to be in a rush. When you’ve wandered long enough, enjoy a drink and watch a Thai musical performance at the central stage.
Unlike some other areas of Thailand, Krabi Town is different. It receives many tourists but it has not changed itself to pamper to the tourists needs and has managed to retain its ‘local’ feel. The river running through the town is always full of fishing boats bringing in their days catches ready for the restaurant tables.
The town has a genuine feel to it with its local bars and eating spots, it’s worth visiting for an authentic taste of Thailand. Come here to shop like a local.