No shortage of choices
Published/Last edited or updated: 16th October, 2018
Whenever the conversation turns to Krabi, the question of where exactly to go comes up quickly. This is a large province containing several popular destinations along with attractions that don’t get as much attention, but can be equally (or more) rewarding. It’s also possible to hit some notable spots found beyond Krabi’s provincial borders.
Though some of Krabi province’s key destinations—like Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Jum—are best to visit on multi-night stays, many others are conducive to day trips from either Krabi town or the Ao Nang area. Some travellers book into group tours, while others rent a vehicle or arrange a taxi to explore independently.
Magnificent beaches rim the Railay peninsula and can be hit as day trips by boat from piers found in Krabi town, Ao Nammao and Ao Nang. We prefer to spend a few nights on Railay and some rock climbers settle in there for months, but it’s absolutely worth a day trip if that’s all the time you can spare. Learn more in our in-depth Railay guide.
While they’re not nearly as picturesque as Railay’s beaches, other mainland beaches such as Ao Nammao, Ao Nang and Haad Noppharat Thara are easy to hit as day trips by public songthaew from Krabi town. If you have your own wheels, tranquil Long Beach, Khlong Muang and Tup Kaek are also worth a look, and the trail to “Dragon’s Crest” point near Tup Kaek should make for a thrilling day of hiking. We’ve covered this whole coastal area in more detail over in the Ao Nang guide.
Most travellers taking day tours for diving and snorkelling around national park islands like Ko Poda, Ko Hong and Ko Phi Phi Leh book tickets in Railay or the Ao Nang area, which are considerably closer to these islands than Krabi town. However you will find travel agents in town advertising the same trips, and the extra van ride in the morning isn’t a huge deal.
From Krabi town it’s also possible to book full-day tours up to Phang Nga Bay to check out James Bond Island, the floating village at Ko Panyee and perhaps some kayaking or a visit to the monkey cave at Wat Suwankhuha. These trips start with an early-morning pick up in Krabi town and don’t return until late afternoon. Phang Nga town is a more convenient place to launch day trips to the bay and its many karst isles and sea caves, but again, a trip from Krabi town is worth considering if you’re short on time.
Mainland national parks
The closest national park to Krabi town is Khao Phanom Bencha, featuring the angelic Huay Toh Waterfall. It can be combined with Khao Pheung Cave and Wat Tham Seua’s breathtaking clifftop chedi for a day trip that takes you straight north out of town.
A more popular option is Khao Pra Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary’s Emerald Pool (Sra Morakot), located 60 kilometres southeast of Krabi town. It’s the headlining stop on various “jungle tours” that also include a hot-spring waterfall and often some combination of elephant trekking, ATV riding, kayaking and/or a stop at Wat Tham Seua. These tours are quite popular—particularly from Ao Nang—and the crowds detract from the natural beauty.
Taking you 45 kilometres north of Krabi town, Than Bok Khorani National Park is one of our favourite day trips thanks to the ancient cave paintings at Tham Phi Hua Toh and the emerald water of the park’s namesake waterfall, which draws far fewer visitors than Emerald Pool but is equally refreshing. If heading up here independently you could also factor in a visit to see the crystal-clear water wrapped in banyan roots at Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam.
Most of the tours that head north from Krabi town include kayaking near Tham Phi Hua Toh in Ban Bor Thor, or amid Ao Tha Len’s mangrove forest and limestone canyon. Several tour outfits offer these trips in the 1,500 to 2,800 baht range; Tha Len-based Sea Kayak Krabi is one good option that also runs kayaking trips to Ko Hong. Those who are not into tours can head up to Tha Len independently and rent kayaks on their own.
Travel agents in Krabi town also offer day trips to Khao Sok National Park, a top-tier natural attraction featuring a lake of staggering beauty along with caves, wildlife and waterfalls. Khao Sok is absolutely worth a visit, but we suggest spending a few nights there because it encompasses a very large, spread-out area. If going on a day tour from Krabi or Ao Nang, expect to pay around 3,000 baht per person for a trip that will include at least six hours of sitting in a van. Multi-day tours to Khao Sok can also be booked in Krabi, though we’d prefer to head there on our own and check out the tour options locally.
Closer to town
The aforementioned Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple) makes for an easy and worthwhile half-day trip out of Krabi town—at least if you’re up for climbing 1,237 steep stairs to see the brilliant view from atop the cliff. Culture enthusiasts looking to avoid the tourist crowd should check out the rural island of Ko Klang, easily accessible from Krabi town’s riverfront via a 20-baht public ferry.
A longtail boat would allow you to combine part of Ko Klang with a spin through mangroves and a stop at Khao Kanab Nam, a signature natural landmark that’s worth a visit to explore the cave and observe an ancient human skeleton.
David Luekens first came to Thailand in 2005 when Thai friends from his former home of Burlington, Vermont led him on a life-changing trip. Based in Thailand since 2011, he spends much of his time eating in Bangkok street markets and island hopping the Andaman Sea.
These tours are provided by Travelfish partner GetYourGuide.
Our top 9 other sights and activities in and around Krabi