If you’re planning your first trip to Thailand, why not check out the best things to see and do in Krabi Province during your visit? Located on the Andaman coast of southern Thailand, Krabi is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
The whole area offers fabulous attractions, lazy beach times, exciting days of island hopping, and adrenaline-pumping activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, zip lining and rock climbing.
Inland, you can enjoy majestic temples, giant Buddhas, tropical forests, mouth-watering Thai cuisine, and the very best experiences for your holiday in Thailand.
Powdery white and gold sand beaches, swaying palms, blue seas and warm sunshine await along the coastal region.
Offshore, over 200 islands rise majestically from the blue waters covered in lush tropical foliage of every shade of green, while below the surf, coral reefs protect myriad species of marine life.
You will find souvenir shops, cafes, bars, restaurants, and daytime and evening markets serving locals and visitors in the towns and resorts along the coast.
For the party people, other things to do in Krabi include full-moon parties on the beaches, and bars and clubs that rock on ’til dawn.
In this article, to help with your bucket list must-dos, I highlight 25 of the best things to see and do in Krabi Province, stretching from the Khao Phanom Bencha National Park to the north of Krabi Town, to Noppharat Thara Beach in the west and Ao Nang resort to the south.
25 Best Things to Do in Krabi
1. Pay a visit to Krabi Town
Not as commercialised as many of Thailand’s large cities, Krabi Town is a working provincial capital with its own port, nearby International Airport, and excellent infrastructure to get you to the beaches and attractions you want to see in Krabi Province.
With fewer tourist numbers than the bigger resorts, the shops, cafes, restaurants, street-food carts, bars, and markets will keep you busy both day and night, and are excellent venues to soak up the culture and lifestyle of the Thai people.
It is as popular with day-trippers wanting to visit its numerous attractions as it is with those choosing to base themselves there.
2. Visit the Wat Kaew Korawaram Buddhist Temple
Located on a hillside on the edge of Krabi Town and accessed off the main Maharaj Road, the origins of the Wat Kaew Korawaram Temple date back to the mid-1880s.
Initially established by a small group of Buddhist monks and novices, it has grown into one of the largest and most important temples in the Krabi Province.
One of the striking differences between this temple and many others is the paint scheme of blue tiled roof and white walls, where the majority of temples have a colour scheme of red and gold.
The 2500 sqm terrace is reached by a wide, grandiose stairway lined with gold snake-like sculptures, while the ordination room has impressive wall paintings, Buddhist relics and a tall Buddha statue.
On the terrace, you will find food and drink stalls, Wat Kaew Holy Amulets and a souvenir shop. Opening hours to the temple are 10.00 to 17.00, and entry is free.
3. Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea)
For those who love Asian religious architecture, another revered temple sits just five miles north of the town.
The Tiger Cave Temple is one of the most popular attractions to see in Krabi, with travelling time from the town about 15 minutes, or 30 minutes if you’re visiting from Ao Nang.
The beauty of this complex has to be seen to be believed. From the temple’s base, you can see numerous caves, small pagodas, tiger statues and small buddhas.
You can also see the beginning of the 1237 steps that must be climbed to reach the summit, and the stunning views across the forest canopy, and the small town of Wat Tham Suea.
It is a tough, tiring climb, and a bottle of water should be included in your bag. Also, make sure you have a tight grip on your bag, camera, hat and sunglasses, as marauding groups of Macaque monkeys are not averse to trying to relieve you of them.
Nonetheless, they make for some great photo opportunities.
Entrance to the complex is free, and open 24 hours a day, although visitors are asked to be down by dusk for safety reasons.
Recommended tour: Emerald Pool, Blue Pool and Tiger Cave Temple Tour
4. Enjoy Ao Nang both day and nighttime
Ao Nang is the most popular destination to stay in Krabi. Its ideal location makes it perfect for exploring the offshore islands, natural parks, and inland attractions.
Its beach is not as idyllic as Railay’s or neighbouring islands. Still, it is an excellent beach to relax or enjoy sunsets after a day of sightseeing. Also worth a visit are the adjacent Noppharat Thara Beach and Pai Plong Beach.
The latter beach can be reached by following the Monkey Trail, which runs along the coast through a wooded area and is home to a friendly community of monkeys.
Ao Nang is a very convenient base camp because it offers all the services you could wish for in addition to its location – many restaurants, bars, cafes, massage centres, Muay Thai gyms, etc.
In addition, at night, it also has a fun nightlife. It is nowhere near the same as Phuket or Koh Samui, but enough to have fun after dark. The most popular area is Center Point, with bars and even a cabaret.
Ao Nang is where I usually stay in Krabi when visiting the area. It makes a perfect camp base and is lively enough to entertain you after a day of visiting or island hopping.
5. Take a dip in the Emerald Pool
Often included as part of a combined trip to the Tiger Cave and Krabi Hot Springs, the Emerald Pool excursion is much more than just a little wild swimming.
Situated in the Thung Teao Forest National Park, around fifty kilometres to the east of Krabi Town, the trip includes a visit to the Emerald Pool, short forest walks, a visit to the shrine of a long-passed hermit and a chance to see some Macaque monkeys.
Fed by underground streams high in calcium carbonate, a swim in the Emerald Pool is said to help provide certain health benefits similar to those found in other mineral baths around the world. The pool is about 20m round and 1.5 metres deep.
Swimming in the Emerald Pool is allowed from 8.30am to 4.30pm with a charge of 200 Baht.
6. Are you wondering what paradise looks like – Pay a visit to Railay Beach
Sitting on the coast between Krabi and Ao Nong, Railay Beach is considered by many to be the prettiest beach in Thailand.
Access to the beach is only available by boat, and long tail ferries regularly operate from Krabi, Noppharat Thara and Ao Nang beaches, with direct routes to Railay.
With bright white sand glistening in the sunshine, long tail boats bobbing on the azure blue seas, palm trees rustling along the beach line and limestone cliffs climbing skyward at each end, it is certainly one of the prettiest beaches to see in Krabi.
With a couple of bars and snack shacks along the beach, you can spend as much time as you like working on your tan. Or you can be a little more adventurous.
7. Relax with a bathe in Krabi’s Hot Springs
Often grouped together with organised trips to the Emerald Pool or jungle trekking, a short, twenty-minute walk through the forest will get you to Krabi Hot Springs.
Surrounded by lush, tropical jungle, the Blue Pool is a natural hot spring, with average temperatures of between 35 to 45 degrees Celsius. It is also the deepest pool, with an average depth of 4.5 metres.
A little further along the trail, you will find the Crystal Pool. As you would expect, the water is crystal clear. It is also the biggest of the pools at 45 metres long, 35 metres wide and averages 1.25 metres deep.
The site includes a café for snacks and drinks, changing rooms, and a chance to get close to the local forest life, including the mischievous Macaque monkeys.
Krabi Hot Springs is open from 08.30 to 18.00 every day. Entrance cost is 100 baht per adult, 60 baht per child and 30 baht for a car.
8. Book at least one boat trip during your stay in Krabi
One must see in Krabi is located 15 kilometres south of the town. Ao Nang is the largest full-on tourist resort in Krabi Province.
It has everything the tourist might want to do in Krabi, including late-night partying, and in the high season, from the beginning of November through April, it is probably the busiest resort in the province.
I mention this because it is also the embarkation point for a large number of Krabi’s many fabulous boat trips. Many visitors choose this area purely because of the variety of stunning islands and beaches they can explore by boat.
You can enjoy casual long tail boat tours to different beaches. Or cruise serenely around numerous offshore islands. You can book specific speed boat trips to islands such as Phi Phi Don, Phi Phi Leh, Maya Bay or the Hong Islands.
You can book half-day morning or afternoon trips with lunch or tea included and swimming or snorkelling options. You can book to some of the best spots to watch the sunset, while you enjoy a romantic three-course meal and drinks.
Also, if you’re the active kind, you can enjoy a guided kayak tour of the caves or islands, or hire your own kayak.
- 4 Islands Day Trip by Speedboat Including Lunch Box
- 7 Islands Sunset Tour with BBQ Dinner and Snorkeling
- Hong Islands Day Trip by Speedboat with Lunch
- Private Luxury Longtail Boat Island Hopping Tour
9. A must do in Krabi Town is a visit to the Night Market
Markets worldwide are renowned as places where visitors can get up close and personal with locals going about their daily lives. In Southeast Asia however, they take it to a whole new level.
One of my favourite places to visit, Krabi Night Market, began life some years ago as a small local produce market on the banks of the Pak Nam River.
So popular was it with the locals and an increasing number of visitors, that it was soon moved to a larger area behind the Vogue department store, and has since grown to take up three streets. Hence its local name, the Walking Market.
Although fresh local produce is still sold, you can browse countless stalls of both Western and traditional Thai apparel. Choose off-the-shelf goods and souvenirs, or ask for a unique memento that the artisan traders will make for you, from silk clothing and shoes, to bags, wood carvings and jewellery.
The aroma from the many street food stalls will soon have you drooling, so why not try a few Thai delicacies such as Tom Yum Soup (a peppery soup of shrimp, mushrooms, and lemongrass), Khao Man Gai (steamed chicken, rice and peppers) or Pad Thai (vegetables, peanuts and choice of meat).
If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the latest deep-fried insect dishes.
The market is open from 5.00pm to 10.00pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, so why not enjoy the entertainment and round off a fabulous evening with a glass of wine on the terrace of a local bar?
10. Learn more about the culture and history of Krabi at the Andaman Cultural Center
If you have cultural interests and want to know more about the culture and history of Krabi, come to the Andaman Cultural Center in Krabi Town.
It is a small but modern, interactive and well-organized museum where you will learn about the history of the region, its culture, lifestyle and beliefs.
The museum exhibits local handicrafts, traditional costumes, tools and utensils, musical instruments, photographs, contemporary art and other cultural samples. You will also see displays of marine life, replicas of historical tools, pictures and other products.
This visit will take only a short time, but it is worth doing if you pass through Krabi Town.
11. If nature and hiking are your passions, pay a visit to Khao Phanom Bencha National Park
Located around 25 km north of Krabi Town, this National Park covers over 50 square kilometres of land split between three districts, and includes Krabi’s highest peak, the Khao Phanom Bencha, at 1,397 metres above sea level.
Park attractions include numerous hiking trails, the 80-metre-tall, five-cascade Huai To Falls, the three-cascade Huai Sakhe Falls near the entrance, and the Khao Pheung Cave with its stalagmites and stalactites.
Over 200 species of birds and wildlife also live in the park, including gibbons, black bears, clouded leopards and tapirs.
The park is open from 08.30 to 16.30, 365 days a year. The entrance fee is 100 baht per adult and 50 baht for children 3 years to 14 years. Hire cars and scooters are charged 30 baht.
For those who prefer to make it up as they go along, a limited number of chalets in the park can be booked for overnight stays.
12. Check out the Monument of Black Crabs along the Pak Nam River
If you’re in Krabi and killing time between excursions, consider a walk along the banks of the Pak Nam River.
With the recently constructed promenade, the walkway is a popular gathering spot for families and young Thais, especially on weekends and public holidays, and is a great venue to sit quietly with a drink and watch the world go by.
As you stroll the banks you will see plenty of long tail fishing boats, water taxis and ferries going about their daily business carrying passengers to the islands and many of the attractions along the coast.
You can also get a few holiday snaps with the giant crab statue located near the Khanap Nam Pier. Officially named the Monument of Black Crabs, the black crab is a symbol of the town, denoting the respect the townspeople have for this crustacean that provides both food and income for so many.
13. Rock climbing on Railay Beach
While the stunning beauty of Railay Beach may be enough to lure many of its visitors, for others, it is climbing the towering limestone cliffs that are on their bucket list of things to do in Krabi.
Railey is one of the most popular climbing destinations in Thailand, and has hundreds of ascents suitable for everyone from highly professional climbers to the rank novice.
Around Railey, there are some climbing schools where you can book beginner climbing courses, including tuition, all necessary kit, and often collection from, and return to, your hotel.
The long-established Real Rocks Climbing School is considered one of the best, and with highly trained instructors, it offers a selection of courses from one day to multiple days.
Recommended activity: Half-Day Rock Climbing at Railay Beach
14. Visit the Shrine at Phra Nang Cave
If rock climbing in Railay Beach sounds like too much effort, why not take it easy and pay a visit to the Phra Nang Cave?
The Phra Nang Cave (also known as the Fertility Cave) can be found at the beach’s southern end. It is said that fishermen and sailors from centuries ago worshipped a mythical sea princess, who became a symbol of fertility and lived in the cave.
Today, the cave is full of fertility symbols, with a propensity for the phallic kind. The legend goes on that if you drop a wooden carved phallus into the sea anywhere along the coast at high tide, it will find its way to the cave.
Whether true or not, who knows, but the cave certainly has plenty of them.
Inside the cave, you will also find the shrine of Phra Nang, much revered by local sailors. And view the stalactites that have produced a lookalike chandelier, formed by hundreds of years of minerals dripping from the cave roof.
The entrance to the cave is also considered an excellent place to get some good photos of the setting sun.
If you’re not staying at Railey, numerous tours are available from elsewhere to the cave, or you can book a water taxi to get you there from Ao Nang, costing around 100 baht.
15. Visit James Bond Island
That Thailand has truly magical places, no one doubts. This island is one of them. You will often see it in articles, postcards, or guides to Thailand.
The name of this place is Khao Phing Kan. It is known this way because this place appeared in the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” by James Bond.
The whole area is gorgeous, and this limestone rock formation so spiky coming out of the sea is almost unreal. Undoubtedly, it is one of those places to see in Thailand and that lends itself to the spectacular photos we all want of our travels.
Recommended tour: James Bond Island Longtail Boat Tour & Canoe Option
16. Try your hand at Scuba Diving
With some of the best diving waters in Thailand, it’s little wonder that divers from near and far head to Krabi Province to enjoy the best diving experiences.
For novice divers and those wanting to try this exhilarating sport for the first time, Ao Nang has several excellent diving schools, where long-standing professional divers will teach you the basics of scuba diving, depending on the length of your course.
If you want a taste of scuba diving to see if it’s for you, the introductory course is one day. Your instructor will cover all aspects of safety, how the equipment works and how to use it. If all goes well, you also get two accompanied open water dives. From then on, the choice is yours.
Further courses run from two to several days, where you can train to become a fully certified scuba diver and begin to explore the Andaman Sea’s mysterious and fascinating underwater world.
17. Treat yourself to a relaxing Thai Massage
Even if a full-on spa day available at the big resorts is beyond your holiday budget, you can still enjoy an invigorating Thai Massage almost anywhere you choose, including your favourite beach.
The masseur will undertake the massage using hands, thumbs, fingers, forearms, elbows and even feet, to squeeze and relax the muscles. He/she will also rock and reposition your body and limbs to pull and stretch the joints and muscles as required. No oils or lotions are applied during a full Thai massage.
Because of the Thai massaging style (stretching, pulling and kneading), you will not lay on a massage bed. A Thai massage is carried out from a mat or thin mattress laid on the floor (or sand) so the masseur can apply all the weight needed during the session.
A Thai Massage will typically take between 30 minutes to over an hour, and in a massage parlour will cost around 250 to 600 baht.
18. Be amazed by the giant reclining Buddha at Wat Sai Thai
Thai temples often have giant Buddha statues. In Krabi, you’ll find several of them. One is the Reclining Buddha at Wat Sai Thai Temple. It’s just a 15-minute drive from Ao Nang.
Don’t expect a statue as giant as the one at Wat Pho in Bangkok, but it doesn’t hurt to stop for a few minutes to take a picture.
19. Book a boat trip through the Mangrove Forest
If you fancy a day away from the beach crowds and love nature, consider booking a long tail boat cruise through the Mangrove Forest of Krabi.
Trips leave Krabi from the pier on the Pak Nam River promenade by the Black Crab Statue. However, this trip has numerous variations and other embarkation points, including Ao Nang and Railay Beach.
Trips typically last three to four hours, and booking the complete package costs around 600 to 800 baht.
The trip is particularly popular with nature lovers, bird watchers and photographers, and some of your best holiday pictures can be snapped as you glide through the narrow waterways into the forest.
The forest also has large mud flats and wetland areas where you will see various species of waders.
On the complete package, you will visit the traditional fishing village of Koh Klang, where you can look around their fish farm, explore the village and enjoy a seafood lunch.
You also get to visit the fascinating Kanab Nam Cave, where centuries-old rock paintings are still visible, although there is a small extra charge.
If you’re feeling a little more active, there is also a guided kayak version of this trip, although personally, I prefer to be chauffeured.
20. Get the adrenalin pumping with some White Water Rafting
A recent addition to the things to see in Krabi, the Songprak River is not just a haven for the local birds and wildlife, but is fast becoming the place to go for wannabe adrenalin junkies.
If you’re feeling a little bored with jet skis, paragliding or rock climbing, how about enjoying a little white water rafting?
The Songprak River flows through Phang Nga Province north of Krabi town, and a number of trips to the area include the five-mile stretch of rapids used for rafting. Journey time to the district is around 50 minutes from Krabi.
On arrival, instructors will brief you on all aspects of safety, what to expect on the water, and kit you out with all equipment, including hard hats and life jackets.
For those familiar with the sport, the grades of difficulty on the three-mile stretch are 2, 3 and 4, making it ideal for the novices. For those with previous experience, the course continues for a further two miles, making five miles in total.
A professional instructor accompanies each boat on its journey, to ensure there are no mishaps.
21. Make time your own, by hiring a kayak
Although I’ve briefly mentioned kayak-guided tours, hiring a kayak means your time is your own, with no restraints on how long you’ve got on this island or which beach you stop at for lunch.
With so many beautiful islands just offshore, Ao Nang is a great place to hire a kayak, but there are equally incredible places along the coast where you can pick one up.
If there are two of you, you can book two, one-person kayaks or a two-person kayak and halve the paddling.
A few considerations before collecting your kayak. Wear open-toed saddles rather than flip-flops. Lather yourself in sunblock, and carry some in your backpack. Even if you’ve decided to lunch from a snack shack on a beach, do at least carry a decent-sized bottle of water with you and a couple of munchy bars.
If you hire from a well-established company, when you collect your kayak they should tell you about any inclement weather likely to blow in and any tide problems you should be aware of.
Once you slide onto the water, your time’s your own, and you can choose to explore the islands, limestone cliffs, caves, hidden beaches and mangrove forests.
Expect to pay anything from 600 – 1000 baht for a day’s rental, and the hire company should include life jackets and insurance in the cost.
22. Visit one of the prettiest viewpoints on Koh Phi Phi Don
One of the biggest problems with getting those fantastic viewpoint snaps is the major hike required to get there. In some instances, suggesting a degree in mountaineering to undertake the climb to a particular viewpoint would certainly be helpful.
Not, however, if you’re Island Hopping and staying on Koh Phi Phi Don for a night or two. There are not one but three good viewpoints as you walk up the track, and you will pass one and two on your way to three.
The top viewpoint is just over 180 metres above sea level. It’s not the highest in the world, but it still offers some stunning vistas across the islands and bay.
From the laid-back Reggae Bar on the beach, head for Loh Dalum Bay, and you will come to a well-worn path and signposts for the viewpoint.
Most of the path is paved or stepped, and if you’re of average fitness, the climb will take around 30 minutes. There are plenty of resting places along the route, and you will find snack shacks and restrooms at each viewpoint.
At viewpoint three, you can enjoy a burger or ice cream and chill in one of the hammocks strung up on the terrace.
Looking down from the viewpoint, you will enjoy the stunning landscape of Koh Phi Phi Leh, Loh Dalum Bay and Tonsai Village.
For the photographers, the best time to arrive is before 10.00am, to ensure the sun is behind you. And of course, sunsets are always a big draw.
After taking your photos and recovering from your climb you can return the way you came, or choose one of the three trails that take you further round the island to Rantee Beach, Pak Nam Beach or Ao Toh Koh.
As a footnote, joint trips are also available to Phi Phi Don and Phi Phi Leh, where the film ‘The Beach’ was made in Maya Bay. If you’re considering this excursion book early. Visitor numbers are strictly controlled to Maya Bay due to reef damage caused by previous visiting boats and tourists.
In conclusion, wherever you stay in the province, you will be close to many of the best things you may want to do and see in Krabi.
Although you will find plenty of things to do in Krabi year-round, the monsoon or rainy season runs from June through October, with the high visitor season from December through March/April.
One thing’s for sure: whenever you visit this stunningly beautiful country, you will make memories to last a lifetime.
Recommended tour: Phi Phi Islands Speedboat Day Tour
23. Go back in time with a visit to Koh Klang Island
Do you believe in time machines? You should, because just five minutes in a long tail ferry boat will transport you back through 100 years.
If you’ve ever thought about what life must have been like hundreds of years ago at your chosen holiday destination – now you can find out.
Koh Klang Island is home to 5,000 people, made up of rice farmers, fishermen and their families, with one big difference for this part of the world. The vast majority are Muslim.
From the pier at Krabi Town, where you pick up your ferry, you can see the roofs of Koh Klang village.
A small island just 70 km long, it was first colonised around a century ago, and while the world around it began to adapt to the increasing numbers of visitors, Koh Klang seemed to get left behind.
Depending on your longboat taxi driver, you may approach the island and its village through a mangrove forest, which began life before the village.
The village is made up of traditional bamboo huts and has a floating restaurant. No pork or alcohol is allowed on the island, and you won’t find any temples here, but there are seven mosques and basic amenities.
In the fields, you can watch the farmers planting and harvesting their rice, while on the beach, fishermen land their catch, maintain their fish farm and repair their nets.
But things are slowly changing. Some residents have moved away from their traditional local skills and begun to produce handicrafts to sell to the slowly increasing numbers of visitors.
The population is friendly and welcoming, and will go out of their way to accommodate you.
There is also a limited amount of basic accommodation, which tends to be private rooms let by families. That said, although the accommodation may not be fit for a king, the villagers will certainly make you feel like royalty.
24. Flower Gardens: an idyllic spot for flower lovers
About 25 kilometres north of Dragon’s Crest, this beautiful park displays a wide range of flowers in different gardens and plant constructions such as hearts or pyramids.
It is one of those off-the-beaten-path things to do in Krabi if you plan to spend some time in the area and have a vehicle to explore the region. The entrance fee is inexpensive, and the place is ideal for taking pictures.
25. Enjoy good seafood at Lae Lay Grill
There are amazing restaurants in Krabi, and Lae Lay Grill is one of my favourite restaurants in Ao Nang. Although it is a bit far from the beach, inside the forest, it is worth a visit.
The restaurant offers good ocean views and is an ideal place for romantic dinners and to try quality seafood in the form of seafood platters or their most popular dish: soft crab.