Famous throughout the world for its pristine beaches, secluded islands, and awe-inspiring scenery, Krabi ranks as one of the very top destinations in Thailand to visit. Whether you plan on partying at Ao Nang Beach, escaping the crowds at Railay, rock climbing the limestone cliffs, or sipping on a martini at James Bond Island, there's a huge amount to enjoy, explore and experience in this idyllic part of the country. If you're planning your itinerary, be sure to make room for these 20 best things to do in Krabi, Thailand.
20. Rock climb at Railay
According to The Planet D, Krabi is one of the best places in the world to learn how to rock climb. With over 300 climbing routes up Railay's limestone cliffs alone, it's hard to disagree. Railey offers scores of companies offering climbing courses, most of which are highly professional and very competently priced (just be sure to research the company first - top tips included Hot Rocks and King Climbers). If you've never climbed before, you'll find plenty of courses and excursions that'll teach you how.
19. Take a dip in the hot springs
Set deep within the rainforest are the Krabi Hot Springs, a perfect spot to sit, paddle, relax, and enjoy the glorious surroundings. The water, which comes from thermal springs buried deep inside volcanic chambers, can get pretty toasty, reaching temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius. Laden with natural mineral salts, it's believed to offer numerous therapeutic benefits. Either way, it's the perfect way to refresh yourself after a hard day of hiking.
18. Visit James Bond Island
If you're a James Bond fanatic, you'll know exactly what to expect of James Bond Island. This is the island that provided the setting to "The Man with the Golden Gun," and while Bond himself has gone AWOL, the breathtaking sheer limestone cliffs, emerald green water, and rocky outposts are still very much intact. Located just a short boat trip from Krabi, it's a must for nature lovers, who are sure to get a big kick from exploring the island's towering mountains, mangroves, and grotto monasteries.
17. Take a speed boat to Koh Hong
Ready for a high-speed adventure? Then book a speed boat to whizz you over to Koh Hong, one of a small group of islands located around an hour north of Krabi. It's only got one beach - Pelay - but one is more than enough when it's as beautiful as this one. Framed with limestone cliffs, the beach has an enclosed feel - which may well explain why it's often referred to as 'Room Island.' When the tide is high, long boats can sweep into the 'room' and swimmers can enjoy the crystal clear waters with their rainbow-colored fish and gorgeous coral. Due to its isolation, there's a good chance the only other people you'll see during your visit are the locals risking life and limb as they collet the nests needed for birds nest soup from the overhanging cliffs.
16. Watch a boxing match
As sunleisureworld.com says, Muay Thai (also known as Thai boxing or Thai kickboxing) is Thailand’s national sport, so what could be better than checking out a match while you're in Krabi? Developed by the ancient warriors of the kingdom of Siam for use in battle, the sport utilizes a combination of kickboxing and clinching to create the ultimate self-defense technique. The training that goes into kickboxing is incredible, with most boxers beginning training at around six years old and pitching up for their first fight two years later. The end goal of every fighter is to be watched by millions in Bangkok's Lumpini and Ratchadamnoen stadiums. If you want to cheer them on their way, be sure to check out a match at the Ao Nang Krabi Thai Boxing Stadium.
15. Kayak at Bor Thor
If you want to escape the tourist path and enjoy an adventure on the water, book a kayaking tour of Bor Thor. The trip by minivan from Krabi to Bor Thor Village takes around 40 minutes. Once you're there, you'll start paddling through the mangrove forest to Tham Lod Tai, a cavernous tunnel that cuts through the limestone mountain to reveal clusters of stalactites and Stalagmites. After that, it's onto Tham Pee Hua Toh, a giant cave dotted with prehistoric paintings and covered in layers of prehistoric shells. Finish off with a stop at the stunning lagoon of Tham Khao Wong, and then it's back to the bus for a well-deserved snooze.
14. Visit Thung Teao Forest Natural Park
If you're a nature lover, be sure to include a visit to Thung Teao Forest Natural Park during your trip to Krabi. Blessed with hundreds of varieties of flora and fauna, it's the ideal place to discover more about the local ecosystem and take some Instagram-worthy snaps. While you're there, check out the Emerald Pool, a crystal clear lagoon with the kind of warm waters that beg to be explored.
13. Party At Ao Nang Beach
If you're after a day of sun, sea, and sand, don't go to Ao Nang Beach. It's got those things for sure, but other beaches do them better. If, on the other hand, you're looking to down some cocktails and check out the Krabi nightlife, don't miss it. The shoreline is crawling with restaurants, bars, and clubs, all competitively priced, and all teeming with tourists looking to shake the sand off their feet and enjoy a night of first-class entertainment. It's touristy, youth-oriented, and anathema to anyone looking for a quiet drink and a sunset stroll. If you're in the mood to party, however, it's the place to be.
12. Climb the Tiger Cave Temple
Named by Holidyrider as one of the best things to do in Krabi, a visit to Tiger Cave Temple shouldn't be missed... providing you have the stamina for it. Before you reach the temple you'll need to hike up a very steep and very sweaty 1237 steps. If you get to the 1000th and can't face the rest, persevere. The views from the top, not to mention the huge golden Buddha statue, will make the sweat and the tears worth it. While you're there, be sure to check out the markings on the walls of the cave - legend has it they're paw prints left by the tigers that once roamed the area.
11. Treat yourself to an authentic Thai meal
If you're feeling peckish, why not take the advice of tripcanvas.co and treat yourself to some authentic Thai cuisine at the Ruen Mai Restaurant? Located well away from the beaten path and encircled by a thick ring of trees, it might take some time (and a navigation app) to find it, but the gorgeous assortment of Thai dishes and the equally exquisite bamboo-lined dining room more than compensate.
10. Dive at Koh Lanta Yai
Located around two hours from Krabi Town, Koh Lanta Yai is a diver's paradise. As The Crazy Tourist notes, the island is packed to the rafters with certified diving schools, all ready and waiting to take you out to discover the stunning coral and rainbow-colored marine life of the crystal clear waters. Even if diving leaves you cold, the gorgeous scenery and relaxed vibes of the island still make it worth a visit.
9. Shop the night market
Krabi Town isn't your typical tourist town. Sure, there's a bunch of tourists milling around, but it's still got a very keen sense of identity. The river is teeming with colorful fishing boats bringing in their daily catch, the restaurants are authentic (well, mainly - there's a few McDonald's obviously, but where isn't there?) and the shops still sell things other than tie-dye sarongs and kitschy souvenirs. If you want to experience it at its best, visit the night market. Open weekly from Friday to Sunday, it's packed with local vendors, food stalls, and street performers. Grab a coconut ice cream and prepare to indulge in some late-night shopping, Krabi style.
8. Enjoy a spa treatment at Boossabakorn Spa
If all that rock climbing and hiking have left you with a foot full of blisters and aching joints, treat yourself to some all-out indulgence at the Boossabakorn Spa. Deservedly known as one of the best spas in Krabi, it offers a full complement of treatments, from full-body massages to lava wraps and facials. If you're too tired to make the walk over, they'll even arrange for you to be collected from your hotel and deposited back a few hours later.
7. Visit the Krabi Shell Cemetery
Susan Hoi is quite possibly the most unique place in Krabi, and a must-visit for anyone with even the vaguest of interests in geology. A cemetery of a very different kind, it's packed with archaic, petrified shells. Locals say it dates back over 75 million years. Scientists put it closer to 24- 45 million. Either way, it's very old, very fascinating, and very, very memorable.
6. Explore Phra Nang Cave
Named by Journey Era as one of the best attractions in Krabi, Phra Nang Cave is full of legend, myth, and, somewhat curiously, phallic symbols. Legend has it that if someone carves a lingam and releases it at high tide, it'll eventually make its way to Phra Nang cave. Whether that explains the hundreds of carved wooden penises decorating the cave, who knows? Either way, they're there, and they make a very valid, if somewhat bizarre, reason to make the 15-minute walk from Railay to Phra Nang Beach.
5. Go island hopping
The Krabi coastline is scattered with around 200 islands, some of them too small to support a crab, let alone a person, and others large enough to be inhabited. If you want to explore as many as possible, it's worth renting a boat from Krabi and sailing off on an island-hopping adventure. If you're not confident of your sailing abilities, it's easy enough to hire a guide to accompany you. To avoid falling foul of the weather, try to plan the trip between November and April.
4. Scale the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains
Wherever you are in Krabi, it's almost impossible to miss the Khao Khanab Nam Mountains. These natural wonders tower above a network of caves, providing an awe-inspiring landmark that's calling out to be explored. Inside the caves you'll find clusters of stalactites and stalagmites, along with a somewhat mysterious collection of ancient human skeletons. If you can drag yourself away from the caves, one of the mountains is climbable - it's a bit of a trek to the top, but the stunning views make it worth the effort.
3. Visit Wat Mahathat Wachiramongkhol
Wat Mahathat Wachiramongkhol is the tallest Buddhist stupa in Southern Thailand, and quite possibly one of the most intriguing. Incorporating as many Indian architectural details as Thai ones, the towering golden chedi dominates the complex. Studded with small statues of giants and the Buddha on the outside and adorned with richly colored paintings of mythical creatures on the inside, it's a sight to behold.
2. Take a walk on Phra Nang Beach
Widely regarded as one of the most attractive beaches in Thailand, Phra Nang Beach is a gorgeous combination of warm turquoise waters, mysterious seas caves, and candyfloss sands, all backdropped by two craggy limestone cliffs. Understandably, it attracts hundreds of day-trippers, but there's a way to beat the crowds - stay overnight on Railay, and take an early morning stroll across the beach to enjoy it as its most beautiful, and it's most deserted.
1. Escape the crowds at Railay
Most people who've visited Railay Beach say it's the most beautiful beach in Thailand. Obviously, not everyone agrees, but if we go with the majority, it's a must-visit during your time in Krabi. As it's only accessible by boat, you're guaranteed a blissfully peaceful day of sunbathing, snorkeling, swimming, and cave exploring. Despite being completely cut off from the mainland, a few intrepid bar owners have set up shop on the shoreline, so be sure to round off your day with a cocktail as you enjoy the sunset.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn