6 Things to Do in Krabi
Featured destinations: Krabi
Published 27 February 2017
Ever get the feeling that you are long overdue a holiday? When your wanderlusting just gets the better of you – probably on a Monday morning – and you start dreaming of being transported to an idyllic Thai beach? You know the one, filled with rugged karsts cutting striking shapes across endless, stunning shoreline, where the crystal clear turquoise waters are filled with exotic marine and plant life; and secluded, unspoilt islands are just a short ride away in a long tail boat, all colourful ribbons floating in the wind...
Well, then prepare to have your mind blown, as that iconic image that you’ve had locked away in your head for far too long is probably located somewhere in the exquisite, southern Thai province of Krabi.
I fell in love with this jaw-droppingly beautiful region while working as a teacher in the nearby city of Hat Yai. It was a place that I would escape to whenever there was a Thai public holiday, allowing me a break from the hustle and bustle and the chance to experience everything that this gorgeous, tropical location has to offer. Additionally, Krabi became a great base for me while exploring the surrounding area, due to its excellent transport connections and links.
To make the most of your trip, I’ve outlined the best things to do while holidaying in Krabi:Long tail boat and karsts image: Sandy Dhaliwal
Spend the day island hopping
Krabi has 200 neighbouring islands of varying sizes and inhabitants – many of which are completely deserted and untouched. And a stay here would not be complete without soaking up such picturesque scenery! Island tours also allow you to visit dreamy emerald coloured lagoons, charming isolated coves, and of course a diverse range of islands, depending on your preference. Favourites of mine include the dazzling beauties of Ko Poda, Ko Hong, Ko Kai, Ko Mor and Ko Tub. Extended trips can additionally take you to Maya Bay (famously featured in the film The Beach) or Ko Khao Phing Kan, otherwise known as ‘James Bond Island’ (from The Man with the Golden Gun).
If it’s a clear and calm day, you could also partake in some snorkelling, kayaking or scuba diving. And if you’re staying in Krabi Town or nearby Ao Nang, you’ll be conveniently placed as many of the excursions set off from there.
Krabi market image: Sandy Dhaliwal
Wander the markets
After a long day of sightseeing and activities in Krabi, there is no better way of rounding off your time than with a stroll along the atmospheric Walking Street, home to the popular night markets. Here you’ll find a colourful mix of open-air clothing and souvenir stalls, lively bars and rustic eateries; plus range of quirky musical acts and street performers entertaining the crowds. If you’re after traditional street fare at its best, as well as a few mementos from your travels, you’ll undoubtedly be in the right place.
Railay Beach image: Sandy Dhaliwal
Have a beach day in Railay
This is a must, especially if you don’t go on an island trip; Railay is that place you were daydreaming about at home... and more!
Watch the world go by in this paradise as you sit back on plush white sand, taking in the jagged limestone cliffs jutting across the dazzling azure horizon, sipping on cocktails or tucking into some of the freshest fruit around.
And if you need to stretch your legs, wander the nearby markets or take a little trek to the famous Tham Phra Nang (Princess Cave), an important sacred shrine for fisherman, meant to bring good luck. Interestingly, the cave is filled with hand-carved wooden phalluses, offerings meant to bring the aforementioned good fortune. Further along is a fantastic viewpoint and hidden lagoon, though be prepared, as the terrain can be strenuous at times here. Close by you’ll also find Tham Pha Nang Nai (Inner Princess Cave), though you’ll have to make do with marvelling at the natural beauty of its cave formations, as there isn’t a penis statue in sight!
Finally, if you’re wanting to take things up a notch you will not be disappointed, as Railay is a leading rock climbing centre, housing close to 500 bolted routes – suiting everyone from beginners to advanced climbers, and offering a range of courses, expeditions and areas to choose from. You’ll be rewarded the further you scale too, as the views from summits are quite frankly, unparalleled.
Tiger Cave Temple, Krabi
Visit the tranquil Tiger Cave Temple
Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple) is one of the province’s most important religious sights, as well as one of its most charismatic and humbling landmarks. Conquer its staggering 1,237 stairs and you will be greeted with dramatic, panoramic views of the wondrous Andaman and its surrounding islands. The peaceful Buddhist sanctuary also houses a dazzling array of historical relics including gilded stupas, ornate Buddha statues, opulent altars and more.
Though if the trudge to the top seems a little beyond you, you could always opt for a tuk tuk ride instead, or make do with exploring the caves below. Here you’ll find more religious artefacts, including Buddhist artwork and imagery, sculptures and more. Additionally, watch out for the local monkeys frequenting the jungle-like periphery, as they can be quite mischievous.
Sandy at a Krabi cookery class image: Sandy Dhaliwal
Learn the secrets of Thai cuisine with a cookery class
How amazing would it be to be able to cook the fabulous food you have been eating back at home? On one of Krabi’s cookery courses, you’ll have the chance to learn how to create traditional dishes like a local, source your ingredients at a fresh produce market and find out exactly what goes into a Thai curry paste. You’ll tuck into your culinary creations at the end too. Learn how to make a starter, main and dessert, with options including massaman curry, spring rolls, hot and sour soup, green curry, spicy salads, pad Thai, deep fried banana and sticky rice. If you’re a foodie, this one is definitely for you.
White water rafting, Krabi image: Sandy Dhaliwal
Indulge your adventurous side
If you’re not content with just sitting back and admiring the view, there is a wide range of activities on offer to test your limits. For rock climbing, there is of course Railay, as well as the chance to scuba, snorkel and kayak while touring Krabi’s bordering islands.
Additionally, you can head to Songprak River for an exhilarating stint white water rafting. If you’re a first-timer, there is nothing to fear as the difficulty levels are fairly low, though still providing a challenge and a rush. Instructors will take you through the safety and paddling techniques, while being on-hand along the rapids too.
If you’re keen on taking things back to land, you could always hit up the quad biking trails in Ao Nang or head on a hiking trip to one Krabi’s spectacular national parks. With cascading waterfalls, dramatic mountainous landscape, miles of plush, preserved rainforest and a plethora of native fauna and flora, Khao Phanom Bencha National Park will astound, as well as challenge you physically.
While the views from the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains (Dragon Crest Mountains) will also be worth that three to four-hour trek. Catch your breath along the way at the spectacular viewpoints and waterfall, while taking in the vast, natural brilliance of its jungle-like climate and diverse wildlife.
Head to Krabi with one of Round the World Experts' Krabi Holidays, or give our Krabi Experts a call.