Krabi is one of the most beloved destinations in Thailand. It caters to both budget backpackers and luxury travelers, supplying all visitors with a quintessential coastal backdrop complete with soaring limestone karsts, crystal clear bays, tropical lagoons, vibrant night markets and dazzling offshore islands. I visited Krabi recently with Thailand Insider - this was my second visit to the region, such a special place to return to. I've put together a complete travel guide for you guys that includes the best beaches, hikes, restaurants, hotels, day trip ideas, photo locations and more.
The prettiest clear water at Phra Nang Beach. Outfit details: Lovers & Friends one-piece, linked here.
HOW LONG IN KRABI
Four days. To get the most out of Krabi and enjoy both the adventure and beauty of the coastal destination, I suggest spending five nights here. With four full days you'll have ample time to explore the mainland, as well as embark on an offshore island day trip. Try to plan your visit with at least one day of weekend overlap - the Krabi Night Market only operates Friday through Sunday and it's a must-visit while in town.
Longtail boat in Railay.
WHEN TO VISIT KRABI
High season is November through February when temperatures are comfortable and rainfall is minimal, but this three month window is also notorious for high hotel prices and crowds of tourists on holiday. The country's monsoon season and low season are one and the same - June through October. These are the rainiest months of the year, but hotel prices are typically at their lowest, and tourist sights will not be as crowded. Low season really is a roll of the dice - rainfall can last anywhere from 15 minutes to 15 hours. And finally, the hottest months of the year are March through June when temperatures average an unbearable 95 degrees.
It's a 7.2 km hike to reach this view point at Khao Ngon Nak.
PLACES TO VISIT IN KRABI
HOLY PRINCESS LAGOON
It's a quick, gnarly adventure to reach Princess Lagoon, a tropical oasis hidden away in the limestone cliffs that surround Railay. From the Railay Viewpoint, it's a 15-minute climb down to reach Princess Lagoon. A series of rope climbs and muddy footholds lead the way to a shallow oasis that feels like an open air cavern, completely surrounded by towering limestone walls.
A cluster of four offshore islands where you'll find a beautiful lagoon surrounded by soaring limestone formations. Koh Hong is lovely to visit when it's quiet and empty, but if it's crowded, the small beach might feel overly touristy. It's a 20 to 40 minute boat ride to reach Hong Island, depending where you depart from in Krabi. And you can visit as part of a group tour or hire a private longtail boat.
KHAO NGON NAK
It's a steep 7.2-km roundtrip climb to hike Khao Ngon Nak, but the payoff is incredible. The trek itself isn't terribly hard - it's just the heat and humidity that are killer. The trail leads to one of my favorite views in all of Thailand, a sweeping setting where craggy limestone peaks rise up out of lush jungle. There's even a potato chip-style rock that sticks out of the mountain, a popular photo spot for hikers.
KOH LAO LADING
Beautiful island off the coast of Krabi, and just north of Hoang Island. Also known as Paradise Island, Koh Lao Lading is a haven of limestone cliffs that rise up out of the calm turquoise bays.
After sealing off Maya Bay from the world for more than three years, Thailand has now opened it most iconic bay to the public again. The closure was much needed, as the once pristine lagoon had become a circus, often filled with dozens of tour boats and hundreds of people at once. Three years later, the coral is healthy and marine life has returned to the secluded bay. To keep the water healthy, boats and swimming are now forbidden inside Maya Bay.
PHRA NANG BEACH
Phra Nang is the prettiest beach in Railay, and looks like the quintessential Thailand postcard complete with soaring limestone cliffs, views of offshore islands and crystal clear water. The beach is located in Railay, a part of Krabi only accessible by boat.
Lovely viewpoint that overlooks the beaches of Railay, as well as the surrounding palms and limestone cliffs. It's an easy 15-minute hike up from Phra Nang Beach.
Whether you're an experienced rock climber or a newbie, Krabi boasts a wealth of limestone karsts, cliffs and walls for adventurers of all skill levels to conquer. Krabi Rock Climbing offers a variety of courses, including cave treks to viewpoint that overlook Phra Nang Beach, Railay West and Tonsai Beach, and then rappelling down the side of a cliff. Or, multi-pitch skills lessons for more advanced climbers.
A coastal shell cemetery located 17 km from Krabi town. Here you'll find snails, shells and sea creatures petrified in the thick slabs of rock.
WAT KAEW KORAWARAM
Beautiful white Buddhist temple located in the heart of Krabi Town, near the weekend Night Market.
WAT THAM SUA
A stunning temple complex built into a mountain that is accessible via a 1,200+ step climb up a mountain. At the top you'll find a beautiful white temple, golden Buddhas, stupas and 360 views of Krabi. Wat Tham Sua, also known as Tiger Cave Temple, is a 20-minute drive from Krabi Town.
Breakfast feast at Rayavadee Krabi.
EATING IN KRABI
THE GROTTO AT RAYAVADEE
Located in Railay, the Grotto is set on Phra Nang Beach inside a limestone karst with views of the ocean and offshore islands. The location is pretty spectacular, all the feels of dining in a cave.
Jungle Kitchen is a local favorite in Ao Nang that serves delicious, affordable Thai cuisine. Popular dishes at this family run restaurant include yellow curry crab, grilled prawns, Tom Yum soup, black pepper crab, steamed fish and variety of curries.
Another Ao Nang favorite, Kodam Kitchen is filled with classic Thai dishes including curries, stir fry, soups, papaya salad and roti. But it's the prawns that are a highlight for most visitors, cooked several different ways including pan grilled with garlic butter and pepper, stir fried with lemongrass and chili oil and baked with black pepper, ginger and celery.
KRABI NIGHT MARKET
A must-visit while in town, but only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings from 6 PM to 9:30 PM. Also known as Walking Street, the bustling Night Market is a small maze of food stalls located in downtown Krabi. Food is cheap, and you'll find just about everything scattered amongst the colorful kiosks including mango sticky rice, crepes, grilled corn, skewers, stir fry, sushi, seafood and more.
Grilled prawns at Kodam Kitchen, in Ao Nang.
Longtail boat rides in Krabi.
STAYING IN KRABI
For one of the more epic resort settings, look no further than Rayavadee Krabi. The property sits on the edge of the Krabi Marine National Park nestled in Railay, surrounded by Krabi's signature limestone karsts, offering up a pretty incredible pool backdrop. Villas and pavilion retreats are scattered throughout the jungle property - it's not uncommon to see wild monkeys in the tree tops!
This was waiting for me inside my pavilion at Rayavadee Krabi.
Every morning there were a dozen monkeys above my front door swinging from vines and scurrying in the treetops.
GETTING AROUND KRABI
The easiest modes of transport within Krabi are scooter rental, tuk tuk and private taxi.
I had Phra Nang Beach all to myself the entire morning. Outfit details: Lovers & Friends one-piece, linked here.
My digs in the jungle.
GETTING TO KRABI
Krabi is home to an international airport that connects the region to a handful of international destinations including China, Doha, Dubai, Moscow, The Netherlands, Seoul and Singapore. Most tourists visit Krabi via Bangkok, a quick (and cheap!) 80-minute flight. Krabi is also accessible by ferry with routes connecting it to Phuket, Koh Lanta, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Jum. Note that most international flight patterns are on hold due to COVID.
The view from Khao Ngon Nak. Outfit details: Free People top, linked here.
I woke up steps away from Railay Beach every morning. Outfit details: Lovers + Friends one-piece, linked here.
Sunset dinner at The Grotto.