Krabi is a southern province on Thailand’s Andaman seaboard.
Covering an area of approximately 4709 sq km, Krabi province is bounded by Phang Nga and Surathani provinces from the North, Trang province and the Andaman Sea from the South, Trang and Nakorn Si Thammarat provinces from the East and Phang Nga province, and the Andaman Sea from the West. Krabi’s landscape is undulating and dotted with hills and mountains, the highest of which is Khao Phanom Bencha at 1,350m. Krabi is divided into eight districts: Amphoe Muang (Krabi Town), Khao Panom, Khlong Thom, Plai Phraya, Ko Lanta, Ao Luk, Lam Thap, and Nhua Khlong.
What is Krabi's climate?
Krabi has a tropical monsoon climate. Even if it is warm all year round, the two periods of April-May and September-October are the hottest with temperatures ranging from 27° to 36°. The best time to visit Krabi is from November through March when it is less humid.
Locals enjoy the period from June to August, since the weather is usually fine and their favourite places remain uncrowded. Everything is a little less expensive at this time of year, as well.
The September-October period is also the wettest which encourages locals to visit abroad. One consolation for those who remain is that the beaches, outdoor restaurants, and streets are less frequented by visitors. And even at this time, you still get long intervals of sunshine between the heavy showers. During this wettest part of the summer, you will still have access to the top activities that Krabi has to offer in order to discover its outstanding landscape.
Krabi Province highlights mother nature’s amazing treasures such as white sandy beaches surrounded by lush vegetation, limestone cliffs, and palm trees for as far as the eye can see. The province includes over 130 tropical islands well-known to adventurers who want to discover Krabi’s real wildlife and stunning beauty thanks to its virgin islands and abundance of caves.
The area is being developed with a wide range of places to stay from small bungalows to five-star prestigious resorts. Most accommodations are located around the beach areas of Ao Nang, Railay, and Phra Nang with some small local hotels in the provincial capital, Krabi town.
If you want to relax and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of the city, Krabi is the right place. You can reach some of the quiet beaches by longtail boat and enjoy a peaceful time in a flash. The top destinations are Hat Noppharat Thara, Ko Phi Phi islands, named Paradise on Earth. Ao Nang and Railay are uniquely beautiful by their white sandy beaches and limestone mountains that attract rock climbers from around the world.
What to do in Krabi?
Kayaking, sailing, birdwatching, snorkeling, island hopping, and sightseeing are among the top activities that Krabi offers. In the interior, two predominantly mainland national parks, Khao Phanom Bencha and Than Bokkhorani offer inland scenic attractions including waterfalls and caves, and opportunities for trekking, birdwatching, and eco-tours.
One of the main features of the Krabi area is its mangrove forest that you can explore by long-tail boat through small canals. You can see different types of mangrove trees and encounter abundant wildlife in the area including fish, monkeys, and birds. Krabi’s mangrove constitutes an important part of the biodiversity of its ecosystem by providing a safe and protected environment. Krabi has many things to do within its borders to keep families, couples, and backpackers all happy. The province is ever-changing and new restaurants, shops, and activities are always piping up.
Ao Nang: all the major beaches on Krabi’s mainland
In this article, we compiled for you which beaches you can explore in Ao Nang and the vicinity.
Krabi has many beautiful beaches and most of them are located on the paradise-like islands that you can explore while island hopping in Krabi. However, Krabi has a popular holiday destination with its beach town Ao Nang, which has also many beautiful mainland beaches to offer. You can reach them by scooter or taxi and in some cases only with a boat. They are indeed all located on the mainland, but not all of them have access to the road network.
How to get to Ao Nang
To reach Ao Nang it’s best to travel via Krabi Town. With this option, you can fly to the Krabi International Airport which is connected to locations in Thailand as well as e.g. Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Macau or Qatar. Furthermore, you can take the ferry from Koh Lanta or Koh Phi Phi directly to Ao Nang. These boats will arrive at Nopparat Thara Pier.
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is the main beach of the resort town of Ao Nang. The beach promenade is particularly well visited at sunset. Various restaurants, coffee places, pharmacies, shops, banks, ATMs, massage places, tailors can be found in Ao Nang.
Nopparat Thara Beach
Nopparat Thara Beach is located on the other end of Ao Nang. The beach is a 4 kilometers long stretch of sand and even 20 meters wide at low tide. The sand is a little bit rockier since it’s intermingled with shells and corals. It’s especially popular for picnicking with the local Thais. At one end of the beach, you can find the small island of Koh Khao Pak Klong. At low tide, you can walk from the Nopparat Thara Beach through the shallow water to the island. At the same end, there is also a big parking lot since you can also board the ferry from Ao Nang to Koh Phi Phi over here. In general, Nopparat Thara Beach is pretty quiet and less visited than Ao Nang Beach.
Klong Muang Beach
Klong Muang Beach is located about 15 kilometers outside of Ao Nang. The village of Klong Muang is expanding continuously but is currently much quieter than Ao Nang. Therefore, the beach is less visited and you can find some nice quiet spots in the shadow under the trees. The main section of the beach has nice fine sand and is great for swimming. It’s best to visit Klong Muang with a day trip from Ao Nang by scooter.
Tubkaek Beach is located a little more north of Phang Nga Bay. Here you can find some luxury resorts. The beach itself hasn’t too many shady spots, but it is very fine and good for a swim. Tubkaek Beach offers also a very beautiful sunset view at many islands like Koh Hong or the Phang Nga Bay. If you don’t want to stay on-site, but like to visit Tubkaek Beach you can combine it with a scooter tour from Ao Nang. The trip takes up to 20 minutes when you are driving calmly and slowly.
Railay Beach, often also referred to as Rai Leh, is located on the peninsula next to Tonsai Beach. It’s very popular with many tourists who are moving straight from Ao Nang to Railay at their arrival. The scenery with all those limestone cliffs makes the Railay Beach experience unique for many travelers.
Railay is split into east and west. The east is mostly covered with mangroves and not suitable for swimming. That’s the reason why most people stay in the west of Railay Beach. The fine sand over there descends smoothly into the ocean and you can have a great swim in Railay West. At low tide, you have to swim a few more meters off the coast to get really into the water. Very popular among rock climbers from around the world!
Phra Nang Cave Beach
Phra Nang Cave Beach is the most beautiful beach on Krabi’s mainland. It’s a small paradise with fine white sand, surrounding cliffs, and clear, turquoise-colored water. Many of the visitors are coming with a longtail boat from Ao Nang to enjoy a nice day trip. Since the Phra Nang Cave Beach is pretty long, you still can find lots of nice spots without any boats that are great for swimming.
At the southeast end of the Phra Nang Cave Beach, there is a huge cave that you can take a look into as a visitor. In addition, you will have a great view of the entire beach. The huge rocks in front of the cave are also very popular for climbing.
Islands of Krabi
Krabi province in southwestern Thailand is a paradise of epic proportions. Because much of the province’s land is located along the Andaman coast, you can expect a lot of sand, sun, and sea. What’s more, the islands of Krabi are plentiful, with no shortage of beaches. The islands of Krabi can be counted to almost 200. Krabi islands have become popular destinations with travelers looking to expand their exploration game. Krabi islands come in many shapes and sizes. Set in crystal turquoise waters, this is truly one of the most stunning places on Earth.
With hundreds of kilometers of coastline, you could enjoy Krabi without ever setting foot on a boat, but why would you do that? The islands of Krabi are part of what makes this unique province so special. Krabi islands range from large and grandiose to tiny and uninhabitable. For every Krabi island that you can overnight on, there’s a handful that can only be admired from the water.
An Untouched Paradise
Magnificent limestone cliffs are the trademark of this province, and the islands of Krabi are no exception. Because many of Krabi’s islands are sheer rock jutting out from crystal seas, it’s sometimes impossible to set foot on them. However, there are always secrets to discover where the ocean meets the land. Day trips to the Krabi islands for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are popular, even if you never touch the ground!
It’s impossible to visit all of the islands of Krabi; it would take a lifetime! However, if you don’t wish to make it your life’s mission, there are a few islands of Krabi that simply can’t be missed. If you’re undecided on which Krabi island to stay or visit, read on.
Koh Poda is the largest in a group of four Krabi islands found just offshore of Ao Nang. Also included in this group are Koh Gai (Chicken Island), Koh Tup, and Koh Mor. Together, these Krabi islands make up what’s known as the four-island tour. One of the most popular tours departing from Ao Nang, you can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing in a variety of environments, all over the course of a day.
Poda Island itself is a popular destination on its own. It takes around 25 minutes to reach this Krabi island, which can be seen from Ao Nang beach. Once there, you’ll have to pay
400 THB for the national park fee. You can expect crystal-clear waters, fine sand beaches, and a whole lot of relaxation. A small reef lies just off the coast, making it a great snorkeling destination.
Four Islands in One Day
Gai means chicken in Thai. Though you won’t find any chickens here, a large rock formation resembling the head of a chicken gives this Krabi island its name. Koh Tup and Koh Mor are tiny islands connected by a sandbar. At low tide, it’s possible to walk between the two and even and far as Koh Gai, located around 500 meters away. Because of the shallow and clear water, this is where the snorkeling fanatics will want to be.
Koh Hong is a breathtakingly beautiful group of Krabi islands, numbering around twelve. Though many of the islands are small and don’t have beaches, they are still a sight to behold. One of the most popular day trips from Ao Nang, the largest of the Hong Islands boasts a number of white sand beaches. In the back of this Krabi island, you’ll find a stunning lagoon that is perfect for snorkeling and swimming.
Day trips to Koh Hong are the only way to see this Krabi island, as the government doesn’t allow overnight guests here. Because of its National Park status, expect to pay an additional 400 THB fee upon arrival. Tour groups often include the fee in their price, so make sure to ask. If you’re a fan of lazy beach days filled with swimming, snorkeling, and outstanding scenery, Koh Hong is just right for you.
Koh Phi Phi
The Phi Phi islands are located in Phang Nga Bay, between Krabi and Phuket. An archipelago consisting of six Krabi islands, Phi Phi is likely the most well-known of the Krabi islands. Approaching the islands by boat is an unforgettable experience – as the surrounding seas begin to shallow, the sun’s rays turn the water a blinding aquamarine. Combined with soaring cliffs covered in emerald vegetation, Phi Phi is truly one of the most spectacular places on the planet. As you might expect, there’s a lot to do here. It’s one of the world’s premier Scuba diving destinations. It hosts some of the best beaches, snorkeling, and parties.
Phi Phi Don
Koh Phi Phi Don is where you’ll stay while overnighting on the archipelago. The Krabi island hosts the chain’s only accommodation and is its main economic center. Home to a myriad of shops and services, Phi Phi Don is well-equipped for tourism. Restaurants, hotels, and nightlife come in all shapes and sizes. Because of the island’s small size, transportation is limited to foot traffic and longtail boats.
Actually, two islands connected by a sandbar, Phi Phi Don boasts a stunning hourglass shape, with two crescent beaches on either side. A popular viewpoint hike allows visitors to soak in the panoramic views. Tours of surrounding islands leave constantly to show off the rest of the archipelago.
Phi Phi Leh
Phi Phi is known the world over as being the scene of the 2000 film The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows a group of backpackers who settle on a hidden Thai island, shunning society and forming their own off-color community. It attained cult status, and Phi Phi Leh has been attracting fans ever since, hoping to catch a glimpse of the paradise advertised in the movie.
Unfortunately, all that attention has negatively impacted the landscape. Vegetation was altered for the film’s production, and efforts to replant after shooting were not enough to weather the devastating tsunami of 2004. Combined with irresponsible tourism, Maya Bay, where the movie was filmed, has experienced a host of ecological problems.
As of June 2018, boats are no longer allowed through the world-famous gateway into Maya Bay. However, the bay can still be viewed from the entrance, and it’s just as spectacular. Hopefully, this time off will give the area a chance to heal.
As the southernmost islands making up the Phi Phi archipelago, Koh Bida Nok and Koh Bida Noi are a mecca for the diving community. Uninhabited, the islands are not accessible by foot. It’s a diving-only experience around here, and you’ll get your money’s worth. Both Bida Noi and Nok are home to some of the most popular dive sites in Krabi. Its underwater topography ranges from a shallow, sheltered bay to steep, underwater cliffs covered in coral. You can expect to find a variety of marine life here, including sea snakes, hawksbill turtles, and barracuda.
Though these Krabi islands are easily reached from mainland Krabi or even Koh Lanta, we recommend including them during a trip to the more well-known Krabi island, Koh Phi Phi Don.
Making up the northernmost island of the Phi Phi chain, this Krabi island rests beside its sister, Mosquito Island. Mosquito island itself is closed to foot traffic, but many snorkeling boats pass by here on their way to Bamboo.
Bamboo Island is a popular day trip from Phi Phi Don, mostly as part of larger island tours. There’s not much here – just a beach, some nature, and some snorkeling.
For those who dream of tiny, idyllic islands with just enough space for the essentials, Bamboo is worth a visit. Because there are no services, make sure to bring any food and water you may need, and pack out what you bring in.
Like many islands around here, Koh Rok can’t effectively be considered a Krabi island. That’s because it’s two Krabi islands! Koh Rok Nai (inner island) and Koh Rok Nok (outer island) are connected by a band of coral. Located to the south of Koh Lanta, these Krabi islands are part of the Mu Koh Lanta Marine National Park. Because of this status, you can expect to see an abundance of nature here. There is a small restaurant there, but some travelers recommend bringing your own food as a backup.
Once you’ve had your fill of world-class snorkeling, you can explore the island on foot and you’ll have the chance to see some interesting flora and fauna.
Koh Rok is open to visitors only during the high season – November to May.
Plan Your Trip!
With so many Krabi islands to choose from, there’s something for everyone in this paradisiacal place. Depending on the length of your holiday, you might be able to hit up several of these magical isles during your stay in Krabi. Wherever you choose to go, we hope to see you there!