The best places to visit in Krabi, Thailand
Welcome to our guide on the best places to visit in Krabi, Thailand! Krabi is undoubtedly one of the most popular places to visit in Southern Thailand. A long time honey destination, but also popular with backpackers and travellers from all over the world, this beautiful corner of Southern Thailand is no longer a hidden gem. It’s a postcard picture beach destination with plenty to see and do.
In this guide, we’ll share some of the top places to visit in Krabi. We’ll cover the many islands, trekking trails, temples, towns and fun activities, plus some lesser-known attractions. Join us for the ride and get your notepad ready. These places are not to be missed!
Starting our list with one of our favourite places to visit in Krabi, Hong Island is one of the most beautiful islands in Krabi province. For some reason, it’s less visited than neighbouring islands, meaning it’s a lot less crowded. Koh Hong is the main island to visit in Thanbok Kharanee National Park and is also the largest. It boasts a beautiful lagoon area where you can swim, nature trails, a clifftop viewpoint and some gorgeous white-sand beaches.
Hong Island is a stop on the popular ‘Hong islands’ tour, which takes you to a number of islands in the national park. You can also visit it without any island hopping, with a direct longtail boat from Ao Nang. As Koh Hong is so large, it feels less crowded and more relaxed than Krabi’s other islands. Go for an epic hike to the viewpoint and then return to the beaches to soak up the sun.
For more information on visiting Hong Island, check out our guide here.
WATCH OUR KRABI TRAVEL GUIDE TO HELP PLAN AN UPCOMING TRIP
Fancy visiting somewhere a little different during your time in Krabi? Go on a kayaking adventure through the mangroves and limestone cliffs of Ao Thalane! This small fishing village is built on the mouth of the Nai Sa river, just a short drive from Ao Nang and Krabi town. Undoubtably, the best place way to explore the area is by kayak. This fun adventure activity is great for all levels of kayaking experience and it attracts far less tourists than the islands and beaches.
Morning or evening guided tours are available. You also have the option of renting a kayak and heading out to the mangroves yourself. During the excursion you’ll paddle up narrow waterways, getting up close to a huge mangrove forest, spotting a variety of wildlife and looking up at giant limestone cliffs. You’ll also be able to stop on hidden beaches near the mouth of the river. The nature at Ao Thalane is like a scene out of Avatar or Jurassic Park. It’s well worth a visit!
Thailand has over 40,000 temples, with some of them more impressive to look at than others. If you want a temple experience like no other, climb the 1237 steep steps and you’ll arrive at the mountaintop viewpoint that hosts Tiger Cave Temple. This unique Buddhist temple features breath-taking views of Krabi’s jungle and mountain terrain. It’s also a cool sight in itself.
A huge golden buddha statue looks out at the valley and pointed pagodas line the walkways at the mountaintop. You’ll feel like you’re on top of the world! One cool aspect of visiting Tiger Cave Temple is the many monkeys you’ll meet along the way. They’ve made the winding staircase their home. Tiger Cave Temple is completely different to the other Krabi attractions on our list.
One of, if not THE top place to visit in Krabi is Railay Beach. Railay has quickly made a name for itself as one of the most visited tourist spots in Thailand, featuring towering limestone cliffs, caves, white-sand beaches and endless tropical scenery. There’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Railay! As an area cut off by Krabi’s huge cliffs and jungle terrain, the only way to reach Railay is by boat.
Board a longtail boat from Ao Nang and you’ll arrive at Railay in only 10-minutes. Arrive early to beat the huge crowds and you’ll get a much better experience of this beautiful area. You may even wish to stay here! The top things to see and do in Railay include Diamond Cave, a number of smaller caves, viewpoints, nature trails and a small beach town. However, the highlight of any visit is relaxing on the breathtaking white-sand beaches. Railay is also one of the best places in Thailand for rock climbing; so be sure to check that out.
Poda Island, Tup Island and Chicken Island – the 4 island tour
Another one of Krabi’s must-do island tours is the 4-island tour. Aside from Koh Phi Phi, it’s the most popular boat trip in the area, with many boats departing from Ao Nang every day. The first stop-off point is Phranang Cave Beach in Railay, which we listed above as another top place to visit in Krabi. The tour then takes you to a duo of islands that are connected by a sand bar; Chicken Island and Tup Island. As with any South-East Asian sand bar, the scenery here is amazing to see and you’ll capture some excellent photos.
The final stop on the tour is a larger island, Koh Poda. As the island is so large, there are plenty of beach areas to explore and you’ll be able to find a spot away from the tourists. It feels much like a dessert island, with tall palm trees, powdery white sand and warm, shallow waters that stretch out for 200m in low tide.
If you’ve already visited Railay Beach and would rather spend lots of time at the main attraction, Poda Island, we recommend skipping the four island tour. You can catch a longtail boat from Ao Nang to Poda island first thing on a morning. Spend a full day relaxing on Poda Island with very few tourists. The many tourist boats then start to arrive at midday.
Ao Nang town
When visiting Krabi, there’s a good chance you’re staying in Ao Nang. It’s a good base to explore all of the islands and mainland attractions. It’s also jam packed with hotel options for every budget, many restaurants, shops and a good nightlife scene. If you’re not staying in Ao Nang, we recommend visiting for half a day.
Arrive into Ao Nang in the afternoon to relax on the long stretch of beach. You then have an endless collection of shops and restaurants to check out. We personally enjoyed walking down the promenade on an evening with a street stall drink. When the sun goes down, head over to Ao Nang Night Market for a vibrant atmosphere and plenty of street food stalls. Ao Nang is also the place to visit in Krabi if you’re looking for good nightlife.
Dragon Crest Mountain
Dragon Crest Mountain is a striking mountain viewpoint and trail, located a 30-minute drive from Ao Nang. As its name suggests, the mountain is large and captivating, instantly recognisable from a distance. Not really an attraction to visit but a rewarding hiking route, an adventure to Dragon Crest Mountain isn’t for the faint of heart. That’s especially true when you also face the challenge of Krabi’s hot and humid climate!
To see Dragon Crest Mountain, you’ll first need to drive to the start of the nature trail. To get there, either catch a taxi or rent a moped or car. You’ll then embark on a 2-hour hike to the top of the mountain, climbing through trees and clambering over branches and rocks. It really is quite challenging! Throughout the hike you’ll be greeted with a number of scenic viewpoints, with a grand finale viewpoint at the end of the trail.
Dragon Crest Mountain is one of the best places to visit in Krabi for those that like off-the-beaten-trail attractions. The full hike takes around 3.5-4 hours return.
Koh Phi Phi
Koh Phi Phi, also known as the Phi Phi Islands, need no introduction. Once featured in the film ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo Di Caprio, Koh Phi Phi has long been a spectacular island destination in Thailand. Its beaches regularly appear on lists of the best beaches in the world! Is it as beautiful as they say? It certainly is! However, it can also get very crowded with tourists, which takes away the beauty a little bit.
Nevertheless, Koh Phi Phi is one of the best places to visit in Krabi for anyone. Any trip here is memorable and the island scenery you’ll see here is idyllic. Boat tours take you around the island archipelago, stopping for photos at popular beach spots. ‘Maya Bay’ is the star attraction on the Koh Phi Phi tour.
We recommend visiting Koh Phi Phi on an early morning tour. Arrive before 8am to beat the crowds and have a much better experience of seeing the islands.
Emerald Pool, Blue Lagoon and Hot Springs
Not one Krabi attraction but a handful of some excellent places to see within a short distance of each other, the lagoons and pools of Krabi are just over an hour’s drive from Ao Nang and Krabi Town. Emerald Pool is a bright turquoise fresh water pond that has formed at the base of a mountain. Its brilliant colour has quickly made it a hotspot for tourists and locals. Just along the trail in the same area sits Blue Lagoon. This lagoon is a much deeper shade of blue than Emerald Lagoon and the jungle background is breath-taking.
The final water feature in this area is Krabi Hot Springs. Here, you have a choice of natural hot spring bathing pools, with each pool a different temperature. Can you brave the hottest spring of them all? The hot springs has formed amongst the natural jungle scenery and is a nice place to relax in the shade.
You can visit all of the above Krabi attractions in an organised day-trip. Some of the tours even include a stop at Tiger Cave Temple, another recommendation on our list. Alternatively, you can hire a car or moped and drive to the natural pools yourself.
Tonsai Beach and the Monkey Trail
In between the Railay Beaches and Ao Nang town, you’ll find a small beach cove known as Tonsai. Once primarily a local area, it’s now a popular place to stay for tourists. It has a beautiful beach, just like Railay, but without the high prices for accommodation. It’s not only a good place to stay either. You can visit Tonsai for a morning of relaxation on the beach by getting a boat there from Ao Nang. Alternatively, take the Monkey Trail route around the cliffside for a more adventurous and scenic path.
The trail takes around 15-minutes to complete and isn’t very challenging. Along the way, you’re bound to see some monkeys hanging out in the forest and trying to blockade your path. They’re cute but opportunistic, so watch your belongings! Tonsai Beach itself has a small town with some nice cafes, restaurants and shopping stalls. You also have a beautiful sandy beach. Tonsai Beach is a lot less touristic than neighbouring areas, yet the tropical scenery is just as beautiful.
Ao Nang Massive Cliff Climb
This next attraction on our list is one of the best places to visit in Krabi for those that like challenges and venturing to places not many others can. Ao Nang Massive is a towering limestone cliff that overlooks Ao Nang town and beach. Hike up this giant cliff face and you’ll soon feel like you’re on top of the world once you reach the top! Challenging, adventurous and admittedly not for everyone, it’s a unique attraction to check out whilst visiting Krabi.
To climb this epic viewpoint, you’ll need to book an organized tour. The team that organize this hike and rock climbing tour are professional, friendly and a lot of fun to climb with. You can find out more on their Facebook page here. We only recommend this Krabi attraction for those that have some experience with rock climbing.
Located to the south of Krabi Province, Koh Lanta is an island that has separated from the mainland. It’s the go-to place for those that want a laid-back atmosphere, lots of resort-time and countless idyllic beaches. We absolutely loved our time on Koh Lanta and can see why it’s quickly becoming one of Thailand’s most popular islands. It lacks the nightlife, things to do and facilities of the likes of Phuket and Koh Samui, but in our opinion, this is a good thing.
We recommend visiting Koh Lanta for at least a few days. Choose a nice beach resort and spend your days relaxing, eating nice Thai food and visiting a laid-back live music bar on an evening. There isn’t a great deal to do in Koh Lanta, but that’s the beauty of it. Saying that, you do have a few excellent snorkelling tour options when you do want to explore.
Whilst you’re in Koh Lanta, we recommend checking out a tiny island off the coast of Koh Lanta Noi. Completely unknown by the majority of tourists, this small island has practically zero tourism. Only a couple of tour operators have guided tours here. Combine this with the fact that the scenery is breath-taking and you have an amazing place to visit during your time in Krabi. To this day, our visit to Koh Talabeng remains as one of our best adventures in Thailand!
A boat tour to Koh Talabeng starts at an island known as Skull Island, which is named as such due to its cool cave scenery and skull-like shape. The stop here involves some light rock climbing and epic viewpoints. The second island stop will be in Koh Talabeng itself. We spent an hour or so kayaking around the island. We then stopped at a secluded beach spot for some lunch, before continuing with more sea kayaking.
During the entire island hopping experience, you’ll get to see monkeys, monitor lizards, un-touched beaches, caves, giant limestone cliffs and lots of tropical scenery. Best of all? There’s barely any tourists in sight. Read more about Koh Talabeng in our guide.
Kaew Korawaram temple and Krabi Town
We’ve already mentioned Krabi’s most popular temple, Tiger Cave Temple. However, the Buddhist temple known as Kaew Korawaram is also worth a visit. This brilliant-white temple complex sits on a hilltop and features a winding staircase to the top. Its bright white colour and grand pillar design gives it a unique look compared to the many golden and wooden temples around Thailand.
Inside the temple, you’ll find a large golden statue and some beautiful ornate furnishings. It’s worth spending around 40-minutes exploring Kaew Korawaram as part of a combined visit to Krabi town. The nearby area has some nice local shops, markets and restaurants.
Our top tips for visiting Krabi
- For a central place to explore many of the destinations on our list, consider staying in Ao Nang. It’s very central to everything and has good hotel options.
- Some of the attractions we’ve featured can be done at the same time or in the same day as part of a guided tour. Check out some of the best Krabi tours on Get Your Guide.
- There’s a lot to see and do in the Krabi area. Aim to spend at least a week here to get a good appreciation of how beautiful Krabi is.
- Set a rough itinerary of ‘must sees’ for your visit to Krabi, along with a daily attractions planner. You’ll see a lot more if you stick to your plan.
- It’s inevitable that you’ll do a boat trip during your time here. The islands are not to be missed! Pack some sea sickness tablets or buy some from 7/11 in Thailand. Even if you’re not prone to sea sickness, they can really come in handy.
- View Selective Asia’s weather guide for some great information on expected weather during your stay. Krabi, although mostly hot and sunny, has distinct rainy seasons.
- Krabi is one of the most popular places to visit in South-East Asia. Therefore, it can get pretty crowded and some areas are extremely touristic. Try to time your visit during a quieter month of the year. If visiting during peak season (December – January), pick a few less visited attractions from our list. The lack of crowds will be welcomed.
- On a similar note, if visiting during peak season, book your accommodation in advance. When booking in advance, you often get better rates and a wider selection of hotels.
- Wake up and head out early when visiting Krabi attractions. It’s a lot more enjoyable seeing the beaches, islands, temples and more, without the hordes of tourists.
- Taxis can be quite expensive in Krabi compared to other areas of Thailand. Do your research on local bus transport and consider renting a car or moped. Organised tours can also be good value.
Thanks for reading our guide on the best places to visit in Krabi Thailand. We hope we inspired you with some amazing Krabi attractions and you can now discover them for yourself. As Krabi is such a large province made up of many small islands, we recommend staying in a couple of different places to experience different areas of the province. Combine a stay in Ao Nang with a few nights in Koh Lanta. Alternatively, catch the ferry over to the Phi Phi Islands for a couple of nights. Plan an itinerary that suits you best and have fun exploring this beautiful beach paradise.
If you have any questions about any of the places to visit in Krabi we’ve featured, be sure to post a comment below.
By RickyAuthor bio:
An adventurer at heart that loves anything outdoors. Beaches, mountains and amazing scenery is everything I love about travel! I also enjoy home comforts and need a nice place to relax and re-charge after every trip.