Broken highlands and flat plains make up the charming resort of Krabi – a province that covers over 130 islands. Here, verdant forests are home to mangroves and cassia trees, while the rich soil offers the perfect conditions for growing rubber trees, palms, oranges, coconuts and coffee.
For sun worshippers, Krabi is popular for its many relaxing beaches. Palm-lined Ao Nang is Krabi’s main beach town, offering a variety of accommodation, restaurants and souvenir shops. With daily excursions by long-tail boat to explore secluded offshore islands departing from here daily, this is a also a great base from which to discover the beauty of the wider region.
Just 20 minutes by road, plus a 20-minute long-tail boat ride from Ao Nang, lies beautiful Railay. Although part of the mainland, this wonderful isthmus is only accessible by boat and has a real island feel. Its pristine panoramas have graced many a guide book and poster print, with its jungle-clad cliffs the backdrop to some of Thailand’s best white sand beaches. On its shores, colourful long-tail boats bob in front of limestone karsts rising up out of the clear emerald waters. With Railay’s east dominated by mangroves, the west is the main attraction.
Ao Phra Nang beach is a breathtaking spot to visit in the early morning, but can get incredibly busy later in the day. Rock climbing is hugely popular in Railay, with visitors flocking here to ascend to the limestone cliffs from across the globe.
Away from Ao Nang are a number of other pretty beaches, including the quieter Klong Muang and Tub Kaek, as well as Phai Plong Cove where you’ll find the Centara Grand Beach Resort. Accessible only by boat, yet still close enough to visit Ao Nang in the afternoon and evening, the Centara Grand offers a great location.
There’s more to Krabi than just good beaches. If you’re after adventure, as well as rock climbing, you can try out plenty of watersports including sea kayaking, while nature lovers can explore beautiful natural environments and spot rare animal and birdlife, such as the Gurney’s pitta.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park is home to a stunning rainforest filled with cascading waterfalls, including the famous 11-tiered Khao Phanom Bencha. For trekking enthusiasts, a number of wildlife trails lead you straight into the heart of the forest, where you can spot monkeys. Walk deep into the beautiful Tham Pheug Cave to stand among glistening stalactites and stalagmites.
GMT +7 hours
Thai. English is widely spoken at beach resorts.
No vaccinations are compulsory but some are recommended. For more detailed and up-to-date information, contact your GP or a specialised vaccination centre.
Tip porters and hotel staff if you’re happy with their service. If a service charge isn’t added to your restaurant bill, tip 10-15%.
• Dress neatly in all religious shrines - never go shirtless or in shorts, hot-pants or other scanty attire.
• Take off your shoes when entering private Thai homes, chapels that house Buddhist images, and mosques.
Tee off at the nine-hole Pakasai Country Club, go rock climbing and hire a mountain bike.
Go sea canoeing, kayaking, fishing and scuba diving.
• Explore department stores and small shops selling clothes and crafts.
• Between Phruksauthit Road and Maharaj Road you’ll find a vibrant market selling fresh local produce.
• Browse one of the night markets for exotic fruit and tasty food.
• Visit The Beach Plaza, a shopping centre selling everything you can think of and serving Thai cuisine and western fast food.
• Ao Nang has a stretch of white-sand beach lapped by clear water.
• Railay Beach sits against the backdrop of a limestone cliff and is a great place to try rock-climbing.
• Most hotels offer American, English and continental breakfasts, and you may find western-style fast food outlets, snack bars and ice cream parlours.
• Thai cuisine is a spicy mix of noodles, curries, sweet-and-sour dishes, slow- and fast-cooked ingredients, exotic spices and condiments.
• Head to Ao Nang’s seafood centre for mouth-watering fresh delicacies. In this tourism hub you’ll also find a range of international cuisine including Italian, Japanese and Indian.
• Krabi Town is the best place to try authentic Thai food.
• Don’t drink the tap water or ice – stick to bottled mineral water or purified water in hotels.