Krabi's breathtaking beauty is hardly a secret. The province's iconic beaches grace the pages of magazines and are often the backdrop of choice for jet-setting influencers. With a mix of exciting locales to discover, from insanely gorgeous Railay Beach to the bustling energy of Ao Nang, along with around 80 offshore islands like Phi Phi and Hong, it can be a little perplexing choosing where to go. This guide unpacks our go-to hotels, the best time to visit and our favourite itineraries.
Hong Islands viewpoint
How to get there
Flights from the UK to Krabi are indirect, with layovers in Dubai, Bangkok or Singapore. Travellers often include Krabi in their itinerary after visiting Bangkok or Chiang Mai, potentially coupling it with Phuket or venturing to tranquil isles like Koh Yao Yai & Koh Yao Noi. Phuket has more flight options and is just 2 hours away from Krabi by road. We’ll recommend the best airports to fly into/out of when we’re putting your trip together.
Best time to visit
The prime time to explore Krabi is from November to April, when the weather is sunny and mostly dry. Even during the low season while monsoons bring heavier rainfall, sunshine persists, and less crowds and lower hotel rates make the experience worthwhile.
Where to stay
Krabi Province covers a diverse tapestry of regions, with Railay Beach and Ao Nang taking the spotlight on the mainland. When it comes to the islands, Koh Phi Phi, made famous by that Leo Di Caprio movie, is a definite crowd pleaser. But don't miss other jewels in Krabi that could enhance your holiday. Here's a snapshot of Krabi's highlights.
Vibrant and energetic, Ao Nang serves as a gateway to Krabi's beaches and islands. The main beach is just as photogenic as other parts of the coastline, but here it’s met with a labyrinth of streets brimming with shops, dining venues and lively bars dishing out beats and SangSom buckets. The best way to spend a night here is sampling the tasty street food in Ao Nang Landmark Night Market before watching the nightly fire show on the beach. Centara Ao Nang Resort & Spa has a great location, tucked in a quiet corner of the beach yet within 10 minutes’ walk to the heart of town.
Centara Ao Nang Resort & Spa Krabi
Railay is a peninsula nestled between Krabi Town and Ao Nang, only accessible by boat. The two knockout beaches, framed by Avatar-like cliffs, rightfully claim their place among the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. Railay West welcomes boats from Ao Nang (around 100-200 baht each way) and has charming streets lined with eateries and bars. Over on Phra Nang beach, you’ll find mysterious caves, as well as the stunning Rayavadee. This world-class resort is home to The Grotto, an extraordinary dining spot tucked beneath the shelter of an ancient limestone cliff.
The Grotto, Rayavadee
Tub Kaek beach
Tub Kaek beach is wonderfully tranquil and is a hidden gem of Krabi, around a 30-minute drive north from Ao Nang. This idyllic golden shore cradles gorgeous retreats like Banyan Tree Krabi and Amari Vogue Krabi, the perfect havens for honeymooning couples. If you love a little adventure, hike the jungly trails of Dragon Crest Mountain, right on your doorstep. But the overall vibe here is relaxed and romantic, with the spectacular views of the Hong Islands taking centre stage – especially at sunset. If you stay at Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort, don't miss the chance to create a golden hour dream with a romantic beachside dinner.
Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort
Koh Phi Phi
The Phi Phi islands have earned widespread recognition for their exquisite beauty. This place is a day-trippers paradise, so we recommend arriving early on our Avoid the Crowds Phi Phi Island Cruise from Phuket or Khao Lak, or head here during low season. Even better, stay on the island for a few days to appreciate its beauty once the daytime rush subsides. Saii Phi Phi Island Village is Crusoe-chic living at its best, with rustic-style stilted bungalows tucked in the gardens and hillside villas complete with a private pool.
Hillside Pool Villa, Saii Phi Phi Island Village
Koh Lanta is a super chilled-out island, far removed from the bustling party atmosphere found on more prominent islands. Couples and wellness seekers come here to snorkel in clear-water lagoons, dine in rustic seafood restaurants and gaze at some of Thailand’s most stunning sunsets. Our favourite place to stay is Pimalai Resort & Spa, an eco-friendly hideaway nestled on a forest-cloaked hillside. Spend mellow days kayaking through mangroves, exploring secret beaches, then return to the resort for a hot bamboo massage in the spa.
Pimalai Resort & Spa
Things to do
Whether you're on the mainland or the islands, Krabi is packed with amazing experiences. Jungle trekking, island hopping, temple visits, rock climbing, hot spring dips and underwater explorations – this is just a glimpse of the adventures waiting for you. Click here to read our recommended things to do in Thailand.
Top three dishes to try
Krabi has something for all tastes – from familiar western chain restaurants to street-side delights like grilled seafood, noodle bowls and sweet pancakes. But if you want an authentic taste of Southern Thailand, these standout dishes showcase the region's rich and diverse flavours.
Massaman Curry: While this curry is enjoyed throughout Thailand, its origins can be traced back to the southern region, influenced by Indian and Muslim culinary traditions. This flavourful curry has tender chunks of meat (often beef), potatoes, peanuts and an array of aromatic spices.
Gaeng Som: This tangy and spicy soup is a signature dish of the southern region. It's made with a sour broth, often derived from tamarind, and features a variety of vegetables, shrimp or fish.
Khua Kling: A fiery stir-fry dish made with minced meat (usually pork or beef) and cooked with a blend of southern-style spices, including turmeric, garlic and chilli. The result is a bold and intense flavour that's a hallmark of southern Thai cuisine.
How many days to stay
We suggest staying between three and seven days in Krabi. We highly recommend visiting as part of a multi-centre to make the most of your time in Thailand. Our Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park & Krabi suggested itinerary pairs elephant and jungle adventures with beach downtime. Or the zen-inducing Thailand Wellness Journey ends on a high note at beautiful Rayavadee on Railay Beach.
Banyan Tree Bangkok
We’ll listen to what you love and find the right trip for you, but for more inspiration, here’s some other well-matched combos:
U Chaing Mai – 2 nights
The Bush Camp Chiang Mai – 2 nights
The Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort – 7 nights
Under the Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree Bangkok – 3 nights
Banyan Tree Phuket – 5 nights
Banyan Tree Krabi – 4 nights
Bring the kids
Village Hotel Sentosa – 5 nights
Centara Ao Nang Resort & Spa Krabi – 6 nights
Elephant Hills Jungle Safari – 2 nights
Elephant Hills Jungle Lake Safari
Download our brochure for further reading or give us a call and let our experts help you create your own made-to-measure version of the perfect Krabi holiday.
This feature was updated on 4th January 2024. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print. Feature by Heather Flanagan.