If you’re looking to discover the best things to do in Krabi then you’ve come to the right place. Krabi is a popular tourist destination in Thailand and for good reason. With its sprawling sandy beaches and stunning natural beauty, Krabi is a real-life paradise. It’s also very accessible, boasting its own airport that offers both domestic and international flights.
As quite a large area, there are plenty of fun things to do in Krabi. Whether you’re looking to relax and unwind, party until dawn, or get the adrenaline pumping with some outdoor activities, there is something for every type of traveller. Even better, it’s not a particularly expensive place to stay, so it’s perfect for those on a budget.
1. Relax on the beautiful beaches
Krabi is the place to go if you want ultimate chill with expansive beaches and that laid back vibe which Thailand is so known for. Wile away the days sprawled out on the sandy beach, sea lapping at your feet, and a view framed by limestone cliffs and traditional long boats. You’ll be spoilt for choice, but here are some of the best beaches in Krabi:
Arguably the most famous of the Krabi beaches due to its serene location, unbeatable beauty, and activities on offer. Railay Beach is located south of Ao Nang and is only accessible by boat. With no cars or roads, it is a rare chance to really get away from the world.
Koh Hong Island
A gorgeous island that is part of the Than Bok Khorani National Park, Hong Island is another idyllic place to unwind. It is located just off the coast of Krabi and offers crystal blue waters and soft sand.
Phra Nang Beach
The southern strip of sand in Railay bay, Phra Nang Beach is perfect for safe swimming in its shallow water. It is accessible via a 20-minute long-tail boat trip from Ao Nang. You’ll also find caves, coral reef, and limestone cliffs to explore.
Koh Lanta Yai
About two hours from Krabi Town, Koh Lanta Yai is a small island with several gorgeous beaches. It is one of the quieter and less expensive spots in the Krabi area – especially compared to the Phi Phi Islands – and is a perfect place to relax for a couple of days. It’s also a great spot for diving, with a number of certified diving schools on the island.
2. Explore Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
Rich in biodiversity and outstanding natural beauty, Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is a must-visit. Discover the various wildlife and plant species on a nature trek through the park and take in the exceptional views from the vantage point. Find the cascading waterfall and go for a swim in the crystal lagoons.
Take the chance to immerse yourself in the surrounding nature. With tropical rainforest and ancient woodland, there are not many places like it. The Emerald Pool draws numerous visitors to the park, with its crystal clear water and warm temperature. It doesn’t get much better than bathing in a natural pool in the heart of the jungle.
3. Bathe in Klong Thom Hot Springs
For another natural spa experience, head to Klong Thom Hot Springs within the beautiful rainforest. The water originates from ancient volcanic springs, reaching temperatures of forty degrees Celsius. With natural mineral salts, the springs are said to heal a number of ailments – from skin problems to rheumatism and sciatica.
It is an idyllic spot to sit back and relax in a lush jungle setting. The Klong Thom Hot Springs are located close to the Emerald Pool, so it’s worth visiting both for the ultimate pamper session. For a really indulgent treat, throw in a traditional Thai massage treatment too.
4. Climb to Tiger Cave (Wat Tham Sua)
Wat Tham Sua – more commonly known as ‘Tiger Cave’ – is one of the most well-known caves in Krabi. It is part of a network of caves within the jungle, which are home to the monks who live and worship there. Its nickname comes from the fact that an impression of a tiger’s paw can be seen within the cave, where tigers were believed to live once upon a time (thankfully not anymore).
You cannot leave without visiting the ‘footprint of the Buddha’. It’s an ascent of 1,237 steps, so it’s no mean feat! But at the top you’ll be greeted by a giant golden Buddha statue and stunning panoramic views of the Andaman Sea and its islands.
5. Rent a boat to explore the islands
One of the most popular tours in Krabi is the Four Island Tour of Koh Gai, Toh Tup, Koh Mawr and Koh Poda. Explore these beautiful islands by long tail boat and stop at each location to sunbathe, swim, or snorkel.
Koh Gai island is shaped like a chicken (hence the name – gai means chicken!) and is linked via sandbar to Koh Tup. Koh Mawr is a rocky island distinguished by its towering cliffs topped with lush green vegetation. Koh Poda is located 6km off Ao Nang Beach. With palm trees, coconut plantations, and white sandy beaches, it is the tropical getaway of dreams.
6. Ao Luk Mangroves
Located around 40km north of Krabi Town, the Ao Luk district is home to lush mangroves and caves. Hire a long-tail boat to explore the three caves: Tham Lod Neua, Tham Lod Tai, and Tham Phi Hua To.
Inside the caves you’ll discover various rock formations, from stalactites and stalagmites to rocks shaped like a dragon’s head and crocodile head. Look out for ancient paintings on the ceiling from around 3,000 years ago, and marvel at the unique formations.
7. Phi Phi Islands hopping
A dreamy way to spend the day is exploring the Phi Phi Islands by boat. Surrounded by sparkling azure waters, they are the perfect place to go scuba diving or snorkelling. Relax on the islands or go hiking to discover the appeal of these islands.
To really make the most of all that the Phi Phi Islands have to offer, stay for a night or two to soak up the laid-back atmosphere and tropical island life. To learn more about travelling to these islands, have a read of my guide to visiting the Phi Phi Islands.
8. Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
Generally considered to be the most recognisable landmarks in Krabi, the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains are set on either side of the picturesque river. Jutting out of the ground at 100 metres tall, they are a symbol of majestic natural beauty.
The mountains are situated above an intricate series of caves. Inside these caves you’ll find an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites – and even some human skeletons! These are believed to have been from people stranded in the caves as a result of a flood.
If you’re a little claustrophobic and would rather be outside, you can climb to the summit of one of the mountains. Here you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views across Krabi. Just keep in mind that it’s quite steep. So a reasonable level of fitness is required and bringing plenty of water is always a good idea.
9. Go rock climbing
If sunbathing all day makes you restless, then get the blood and adrenaline pumping with a spot of rock climbing. Railay Beach is a very popular spot for rock climbing. Beginners can join a half day rock climbing tour that includes hotel transfers and the instruction of a professional guide.
For the more experienced climbers, you are spoilt for choice with over 700 climbs available in the area. In fact, climbers travel to Krabi from all over the world to scale the many limestone rocks in the region.
10. Snap a selfie at James Bond Island
Famous for its appearance in the James Bond movie, The Man with the Golden Gun, the island has become a bit of a tourist trap. Its official name is Ko Khao Phing Kan and is one of the most popular things to do in Krabi.
Seek out the recognisable funnel-shaped rock that appears to be perched precariously on the water and snap a signature selfie. Aside from the popular photo spot, the surrounding area is a beautiful place to explore on a boat tour.
11. Find fossils at Susan Hoi
Susan Hoi is home to a 200m stretch of fossilised shells which date back 40 millions years! The shell cemetery is one of only three such cemeteries in the world, so it really is one of the most unique things to do in Krabi. It’s also a well-preserved spot, lacking the distinct commercialism of other Krabi areas.
A true geological wonder, the fossils were formed when limestone deposits in the surrounding water covered the ancient sea creatures. They were preserved and fossilised as a result. As well as the shell cemetery, there are a few small Chinese temples to explore too.
12. Visit Wat Kaew Temple
Located in the heart of Krabi Town is the Wat Kaew Korawaram temple (often known simply as ‘Wat Kaew’). It is the largest Buddhist temple in Krabi Town and one of the most prestigious in the region. Although not as famous as the Tiger Cave, it is adorned with beautiful decorations and intricate paintings inside.
Visitors can explore the temple gardens, which are accessed via a grand staircase that is lined with golden statues of Nāga. A popular pull of the temple is its spectacular carving of Buddha, created from a single piece of jade. There is a souvenir shop, as well as food and drink stalls.
13. Try white water rafting
For an outdoorsy activity and adrenaline kick, try white water rafting in the rapids on Songprak River. Professional guides provide full training and safety instructions to ensure you are as prepared as possible. Perhaps not one for the faint-hearted but certainly one of the most fun things to do in Krabi.
There are various difficulty levels available, so it’ll be tailored for you depending on whether it’s your first time or if you’re more experienced at white water rafting. The instructors join you in the boat to ensure it all goes smoothly – well, as smoothly as white water rafting can be!
14. Go kayaking
If the thought of white water rafting is giving you heart palpitations but you’d still like to get out on the water, then try kayaking instead. There are a whole host of different locations where you can go kayaking in Krabi.
Cruise through mangroves and canyons in Ao Thalane, or explore the ancient limestone caves of Bor Thor. It’s an adventurous but relaxing way to take in all the natural beauty and hidden spots of Krabi.
15. Hike to Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint
If you haven’t already seen enough spectacular views in Krabi, then make your way to Khao Ngon Nak Viewpoint – also known as Dragon Crest Mountain. It is located around 30km north of Krabi Town and you begin your hike in Nong Thale.
The trail is 4km long and will take around two and a half hours to reach the viewpoint, depending on your pace. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views in every direction. Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, as well as comfy hiking shoes and a raincoat to keep you dry if the heavens open.
16. Enjoy a Thai cookery class
Thai food has garnered an exceptional reputation around the world for its wholesome ingredients and mouth-watering flavours. The only way to learn how to cook the best authentic Thai food is directly from the locals themselves.
Thai cookery schools are dotted all throughout Thailand and there are plenty in Krabi. Learn how to cook a classic Pad Thai or Thai Green Curry from locals with years of cooking experience. At the end of your cookery class, sit down to enjoy your creations.
17. Wander around Krabi Town
For a break away from the beaches, spend a few hours wandering around Krabi Town. It is a charming market town with that appealing laid-back feel that has become synonymous with much of Thailand. There are plenty of shopping provisions and hotels within the town, so it is well set up for visitors.
Although it is the main transit point of tourists in the area, Krabi Town still brings an authentic personality with a local feel. Take the opportunity to immerse yourself in some Thai culture and you’ll be rewarded with impeccable hospitality. Once you’ve got your cultural fix, return to the beaches for the ultimate relaxation.
18. Visit the night market
Krabi is home to a thriving night market which runs every Friday to Sunday from 17:00 to 22:00. There are around 70 stalls serving everything from authentic Thai food to more touristy souvenirs. It can’t quite live up to the unbeatable Bangkok markets, but it’s still worthy of a visit.
Wander the night market, discover various artisans and artists, and support the local sellers. Grab a few tasty snacks and indulge in some delicious Thai street food. It’s an extremely lively shopping event and a great way to get a glimpse into the local Thailand life.
19. Experience the nightlife
With the increasing numbers of young tourists flocking to Krabi, it has developed into a bit of a party place. There are plenty of bars to choose from, the drinks are cheap, and the alcohol content is strong. You’ll have cocktails coming out your ears and you can also take advantage of happy hours.
Ao Nang Beach is a great spot for a lively atmosphere, with various bars and restaurants in the area. Just remember that one drink in Thailand is the equivalent to around three back home in terms of strength. So without sounding like your mother, be wary of how much you are drinking, as it’s easy to get carried away.
Top tip: For a safer alternative to walking home alone, hop in Thailand’s equivalent of Uber: a tuk tuk! Just make sure you negotiate a price before you get in. They will likely try to take advantage of drunk tourists, so try not to get ripped off.
20. See a ladyboy show
Thailand is famous for its incredible ladyboys – also known as ‘kathoeys,’ which translates to ‘someone of a third gender’. For an undeniably fun and bizarre night out, be sure to see the ladyboys in action.
The most famous ladyboy show in Krabi is the Blue Dragon Cabaret. It’s full to the brim with lavish costumes, hilarious celebrity impersonations, and brilliant dance performances. Prepare to be dazzled, surprised, and entertained by this unique cabaret show.
Where to stay in Krabi
The resort town of Ao Nang is a great place to stay in Krabi, as it’s slightly nicer than Krabi Town. It’s a great base to explore all that Krabi has to offer. The town has been adapted for tourists so you’ll find lots of western influences. These include a 24 hour McDonald’s (perfect for drunk food if you’re there to party!) and plenty of restaurants serving sandwiches, burgers and pizzas. It’s not exactly a cultural hotspot but it is fun, laid back, and lively.
I stayed in the Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort, which had three stunning infinity pools overlooking Krabi and the beautiful beaches. It was ideally located with spacious rooms and lovely facilities.
When is the best time to visit Krabi?
The best time to visit Krabi is between November and April. This is when you’ll benefit from beautiful weather and warm temperatures. Monsoon season is between May to October, so it’s best avoided.
Although on the other hand, it will be much quieter outside of the peak season. I visited Krabi in May and we experienced minimal rain with mostly sunny weather. It’s all a bit of luck though, so it depends what’s important for you.
Is Krabi a good destination for solo travellers?
Krabi is a fantastic destination for solo travellers, including solo female travellers. Given that it attracts huge numbers of young tourists, you’ll find plenty of other like-minded solo travellers. Like the rest of Thailand, you’ll find incredibly friendly and welcoming locals who will make you feel safe and at home.
The biggest risk – as with anywhere in the world – lies in the party scene. Particularly with such strong cocktails, just be wary of how much alcohol you’re drinking. But other than that, Krabi caters wonderfully for solo travellers, with various accommodation and hostel options.
So there you have it – all the best things to do in Krabi. It really is a stunning place to visit, with an alluring appeal and a chance to experience authentic tropical island life.
If you’re planning a trip to island, be sure to check out my other Thailand posts and guides: