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When I started planning and researching our trip to Thailand last year, I quickly realised that we’d need a lot longer than the 7 days we’d originally planned to spend in Krabi. With each Google search, the list of things to do in Krabi grew longer, so we decided to stay in Krabi for 11 days and skip Chiang Mai, to make sure we had time to see and do as much as possible in the south of Thailand.
It’s fair to say that there are enough things to see and do in Krabi to keep you busy for at least two months. With countless islands, jungle treks, hikes, temples, markets and more stunning beaches than you can shake a stick at, it was really difficult to decide which attractions were must-dos and which ones would have to wait till next time. We wanted to see it all!
We are fortunate enough, however, to be staying with a close friend who lives in the area who we could hit up for ideas on the best things to do in Krabi and which things we should skip. And while we definitely didn’t have time for everything on our list, we certainly made the most of our 11 days in Krabi.
13 Things to Do in Krabi, Thailand
While in Thailand, we wanted to experience a real variety of everything on offer. Some people visit Thailand purely for the white sand beaches and all-night parties but for us, we wanted to see a bit of everything, so this list includes a variety of activities for those who love to explore.
Hike to Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint
If you love hiking as much as we do, no trip is complete without hitting up a trail and the Khao Ngon Nak trail (also known as the Tup Kaek trail) is definitely not one to miss. Be prepared to get your sweat on – this is definitely not one for the faint-hearted. You’ll be climbing up hill pretty much all the way in sticky, tropical, humid conditions but the view from the top and the various viewpoints along the way, make it worth the effort.
The hike takes about 2-3 hours each way to complete, but I’d allow a minimum of 3 hours each way to admire the viewpoints along the trail and to spend a bit of time at the top. You can access the trail head from Tup Kaek beach.
Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach and Tonsai Beach
Anyone who’s done five minutes of research will have heard of Railay Beach. But there’s so much more than meets the eye when it comes to this beautiful part of Krabi. Railay Beach is actually connected to the mainland but is only accessible by boat and consists of four different beaches – Tonsai Beach, Railay East, Railay West and Phra Nang Beach.
While on Railay make sure to enjoy the chilled reggae bars of Railay West, the viewpoint hike over Railay East and West and the hidden lagoon, which you can climb to when walking between Phra Nang and Railay East.
You can also book paddle boarding trips to see the bioluminescent plankton from Railay, which would be an incredible experience!
Visit Ao Nang
We stayed at a friends house just outside of Ao Nang and found the main street and beachfront to be very touristy and busy, especially at night. Having said that, it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs, cheap clothing and book transfers and Krabi island-hopping tours.
There are countless restaurants along the beach front and lining the main street, with bars, restaurants and some clubs staying open late into the night. Lots of people come to Ao Nang to party, but our favourite part was the beach. Ao Nang Beach is really beautiful, if you can look past the tacky shops and bars. And, as it’s so long, it doesn’t get overly crowded. It’s also a nice spot to watch the sunset.
Top tip: Head to one of the massage parlours along the beachfront between 10am and 2pm for a happy-hour half-priced massage (not all vendors offer 50% off, so check beforehand). We enjoyed a full-body Thai massage on our first morning in Ao Nang and it was the perfect way to unwind after a long flight and a busy 36 hours in Bangkok.
Krabi 4 Island Tour
We spent our last day in Krabi island hopping on a 4 island tour and it was the perfect end to an amazing trip. The 4 island tour usually consists of a stop at Phra Nang Beach and Cave, Tup Island, Chicken Island and Poda Island. These are the three islands closest to Ao Nang so it takes less than an hour by boat to reach them.
The islands are exceptionally beautiful, serene and peaceful. The white sandy beaches are very secluded and great for snorkelling. At one point, I was stood knee deep in the water surrounded by tropical fish swimming through my legs, which was amazing! We spent an entire day sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling and hopping from beach to beach.
You can either book a private speed boat tour, many of which provide you with lunch and snorkelling equipment included in the price, or you can book a private long-tail boat which may be cheaper if there’s a group of you. Some tours also offer a 4-island sunset tour for an additional price.
Book a Khao Sok National Park Tour
While not in Krabi itself, Khao Sok National Park is a short three hour drive north and should not be missed! Our three days in Khao Sok National Park were a highlight from our trip. The National Park itself is beyond beautiful!
We booked a tour with Khao Sok Riverside Cottages and enjoyed a night at the Riverside Cottages jungle complex in a quaint river room and a night in an overwater bungalow on the Cheow Lan lake. Our tour included meals at the overwater bungalows, transportation around the park, a river canoe trip, a jungle hike and two boat safaris, with the chance to see a variety of wildlife, including tigers, elephants, monkeys, gibbons and tropical birds.
I’d recommend three days in Khao Sok as a minimum, as there’s so much to see, but if you only have two days, it’s still worth the trip!
Krabi Island Hopping
Due to limited days in Krabi, we weren’t able to spend any time island hopping. We had a choice between three days in Khao Sok National Park or three days on one of the many islands – Ko Lanta, Ko Jum or maybe Ko Phi Phi to name a few. Island hopping is why many people visit Krabi in the first place and it’s easy to see why when you consider the white sand beaches, palm trees and relaxed island life.
Island hopping in Krabi is definitely something we’ll include on our next trip. If you want to visit some islands while in Krabi, visit Ko Phi Phi for the party and incredible scenery, Ko Jum for peace and quiet and Ko Lanta for long white sand beaches.
Kayak Through a Mangrove Forest
There are plenty of mangrove forests near to Krabi that are worth a visit. Mangrove forests are rife with life and provide an amazing opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife. We spent a couple hours kayaking through other-worldly, eerie mangrove forests at Ao Thalane Kayak Centre and saw a huge water monitor lizard, a parrot and a toucan, as well as a swimming monkey – is it just me, or did anyone else not realise that monkeys can swim?
If you prefer an active holiday to sitting on the beach, I’d highly recommend this as a cool way to spend a morning.
Relax on Tub Kaek Beach
One of the lesser known spots in Krabi, we visited Tub Kaek Beach twice during our trip. You’ll find this quiet, secluded spot is almost deserted and presents a much more laid-back vibe than some of the more popular beaches at Ao Nang and Railay. What’s more, we found Tub Kaek Beach a lot quieter due to the absence of the noisy long-tail boats, which kick out quite a racket!
We loved chilling out at the cool Andalay Beach Bar at Nong Thale and have to give them a huge shout out as I accidentally left my purse on the table when we left and, on returning two hours later to look for it, found it had been discovered by the staff and immediately put in the safe! Drinks are a little pricey here compared to elsewhere in Thailand but you’re really paying for the location. Be sure to head here in the evening as this is a great spot to watch the sunset!
Other Things to Do in Krabi…
And a few other things to do in Krabi if time allows…
- Hike to Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple)
- Visit the Emerald Pool
- Visit the Krabi hot springs
- Shop at the Krabi Town Night Market
- Take a boat tour of Khao Khanab Nam Caves and Mountains