Things to Do in Krabi
From the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, the jungle-shrouded limestone cliffs of Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands rise majestically, giving way to white-sand beaches and lush green jungles further inland. Longtail boats putter between the islands, collectively known as Koh Phi Phi or Ko Phi Phi, surrounded by turquoise waters and colorful marine life.
The Hong Islands (Mu Ko Hong or Mu Koh Hong) are a group of rocky blips in the Andaman Sea, located just off the coast of Krabi in southern Thailand. A popular day trip destination from Ao Nang or Krabi, the islands are fringed with rain forests, hidden lagoons, and white-sand beaches.
Krabi’s Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea) is a spiritual center that’s famed for its 1,237 steps which lead to the massive, gilded Buddha statue which dominates the peak. While the climb is not for the faint of heart, the spectacular views of Krabi, the surrounding countryside, and the Andaman Sea make the effort worthwhile.
Koh Panyi is a charming Muslim fishing village built on stilts over the water. Visit to see the 18th-century houses, the mosque, and the floating market. The area is a popular stop on tours of the region that also take in well-known sights such as James Bond Island (Khao Phing Kan) and Hong Island.
With limestone rock formations jutting out of the emerald green sea, Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga) in Thailand is famous the world over for its natural beauty. Many visitors to Thailand will find themselves crossing the bay on the way to popular tourist spots, such as Phuket or Krabi, but this place deserves some dedicated exploration time of its own.
Phranang Beach is a sweeping curve of pale gold sand that’s backed by limestone cliffs and overlooked by the distinctly-shaped Chicken Island. Phra Nang Cave (Princess Cave) features a one-of-a-kind fertility shrine, while bioluminescent plankton create spectacular night-time effects when conditions are right.
Tup Island(Koh Tup) is one of the most popular offshore islands around Krabi, and is a staple part of the itinerary for most day trips from the mainland. Situated southwest of Ao Nang and between Poda Island and Chicken Island, Tup is smaller than the other islands in the archipelago it belongs to, but its white sands and excellent snorkeling certainly don’t disappoint.
Tup Island(Koh Tup) is most commonly visited as part of a ‘Four Islands’ longboat tour from Ao Nang. The three other islands include Poda Island, Chicken Island, and Mor Island, with a stop at Phra Nang Cave Beach usually included. This entire area is incredibly scenic, with panoramic views of the Krabi coastline as its backdrop.
The clear waters and abundance of tropical fish surrounding Tup Island(Koh Tup) make it a haven for swimming and snorkeling, although many visitors prefer to simply relax on the beach or enjoy a stroll. At low tide, a sandbar emerges linking Tup Island with Chicken Island as well as the smaller Mor Island. This unique occurrence is commonly referred to as Talay Waek, meaning ‘divided sea’.
Surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and backed by thick forest, the interconnected fairy-tale beaches of Railay (Rai Leh) are accessible only by boat. The four beaches—Tonsai, Phra Nang, East Railay, and West Railay—offer powder-soft white sand, clear calm waters, and a decidedly bohemian vibe perfect for those looking to get away from it all.
Part of the tiny Poday archipelago off the coast of Krabi, Poda Island (Koh Poda) ranks among the most pristine of the islands that line the coast. Dramatic limestone formations are visible from the white sands of the beach and a nearby coral reef provides excellent snorkeling.
With blue-green waters that can turn a vivid emerald when the light is right, the Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot or Sra Morakot in Thai), is a natural travertine swimming pool set in a protected evergreen forest. A pretty path lined with smaller pools runs through the trees to the Emerald Pool, then continues to the Blue Pool further on.
More Things to Do in Krabi
Krabi is famous for its towering limestone cliffs, idyllic beaches and peaceful mangrove forests, and Ao Thalane (Thalane Bay) represents one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in all of Thailand. On this stretch of coast 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Krabi Town, dense mangroves shroud the karsts and cliffs, hiding caves, small inlets and secluded lagoons.
The best way to explore Ao Thalane is with paddle in hand. Shaded by the canopy, kayaking through the winding network of mangrove roots gets visitors close to nature, where it’s possible to spot kingfishers, crab-eating Macaques, river otters, herons, monkeys, monitor lizards and snakes. It’s an ideal place to escape the bustle of Ao Nang or Krabi for a day spent surrounded by only the sounds of nature.
Ao Nang beach sits along the edge of the town of Ao Nang, Krabi’s main tourist hub. Fine sand, clear waters, beautiful views, and cluster of bustling bars and restaurants make the beach a popular spot to spend a day relaxing in the sun or swimming in the Andaman Sea.
Sister island to Koh Yao Noi, Koh Yao Yai (also written Ko Yao Yai) is an unspoiled gem that sprawls amid the karst seascapes of Phang Nga Bay (Ao Phang Nga). The coast offers white sand beaches, fishing villages (many on stilts), and mangrove forests; inland are timeless landscapes of orchards, rice fields, and rubber plantations.
The calls of birds and monkeys can be heard throughout the leafy Ton Pariwant Wildlife Sanctuary, a 139-square-mile (224-square-km) forest in the southern province of Phang Nga. Hidden beneath the low-lying mountain forest are ATV trails, ziplines, boardwalks, and the bubbling Klong Song Phrek River, which guests can experience on whitewater rafting adventures. A popular three-mile rafting route boasting Class II and Class IV rapids is accessible from the park.
In addition, a 1.2-mile (2-km) footpath is one of the best ways to spot some of the sanctuary’s wildlife: treeswifts, flycatchers, bulbuls, parrots, and at the end of the rainy season in October, the magnificent blooms of the rare Rafflesia kerrii, the world’s largest flower at nearly three feet across. Occasionally, some of the region’s rarer inhabitants—the blue-banded Kingfisher and white-handed gibbon—also make appearances.
The sanctuary can only be experienced with a guide. Day trip tours ferry visitors the two hours each way from Phuket and often bundle nature walks with visits to the swimmable pools of the Ton Pariwat waterfall, ATV adventures, and river rafting. Although Viator tours do not include this activity, some packages include elephant rides in the sanctuary.
The Wareerak Hot Spring Spa is a unique, award-winning spa located within tropical jungle in Khlong Thom district, Krabi. As well as offering a tranquil place to stay, the spa also offers full- and half-day hot spring experiences, including various treatments, lunch, and return transfers.
Located close to Krabi’s famous Namtok Ron waterfall, the spa uses natural hot spring water to promote good health and vitality. Along with the thermal pools, it offers hydrotherapy sessions, spa treatments, Thai yoga, and Thai massages. There are 14 bungalows and villas that are designed to invoke a sense of relaxation and pampering for overnight guests, and the communal areas include a botanical garden, nature trail, reflexology track, relaxation areas, and a meditation zone.
Located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Krabi, Ao Luk provides visitors a playground of outdoor adventures. While Krabi might bring to mind images of idyllic beaches, Ao Luk is more about the jungle, especially within Than Bok Khorani National Park. Here, eco-tourists find abundant treks, waterfalls, caves, mangrove forests and the stunning (and swimmable) Bok Khorani pond. The park also contains a series of small islands popular for canoeing, snorkeling and diving.
An alternate way to explore the Ao Luk district is in the tree tops themselves. Tree Top Adventure Park, one of the area’s most popular attractions, takes visitors through the canopy from platform to platform by way of rope walks, zip lines, Tarzan swings, rope bridges and flying skateboards.
Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam -- it’s a mouthful that in English means “canal of two waters” – is a stunning natural paradise where crystal-clear freshwater springs meet saltwater mangrove forests. Located about 21 miles (34 kilometers) outside of the town of Krabi, Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam is lined with boardwalks, making it a photogenic place for nature walks beside and above the water. Wooden chairs placed throughout give guests a spot to stop and admire the views.
One of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the area is in a canoe. Rentals are available by the hour or the day, and from the park entrance, you can paddle all the way to the Andaman Sea.
This museum within the grounds of the Wat Khlong Thom temple in Krabi displays artifacts unearthed during excavations carried out behind the wat.
Bronze tools, beads and stone ornaments form the majority of the exhibits, dating back to perhaps 5,000 years ago.
The beads are a particularly significant part of the collection, made of glass and stone. Roman coins have also been found here, along with pottery and ceramic shards.
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