Krabi is one of the most beloved destinations in Thailand, catering to both budget backpackers and luxury travelers. It dazzles all visitors with its iconic coastal backdrop complete with soaring limestone karsts, sparkling bays, tropical lagoons and vibrant night markets. And it’s this beauty of the region that makes it my favorite destination in Thailand. My travel guide below includes the best beaches, hikes, restaurants hotels and more.
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The prettiest clear water at Phra Nang Beach. Outfit details: Lovers & Friends one-piece, linked here.
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.
Longtail boat in Railay.
It’s a 7.2 km hike to reach this view point at Khao Ngon Nak.
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. The journey over to Koh Hong is 20 to 40-minute by boat, depending where you depart from in Krabi. It can be visited as part of a group tour or by 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 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. The bay is remains boat-free, but it hasn’t detoured tourists from visiting, and the beach is often packed with people.
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 a viewpoint that overlook Phra Nang Beach, Railay West and Tonsai Beach, and then rappelling down the side of a cliff. Or, there are 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.
The setting of the Rayavadee Krabi is the best in this part of Thailand.
Banyan Tree Krabi is home to 72 luxurious suites and villas equipped with private pools in a tropical rainforest setting, many with views of the Andaman Sea. The beachfront property is located down the road from Phulay Bay.
Phulay Bay is a Ritz-Carlton Reserve property, home to 50+ villas and pavilion retreats set in a tropical oasis so expansive that guests navigate the grounds by buggy. The rooms boast over-the-top luxury, home to oversized beds outfitted in plush white linens, outdoor tubs, indoor tubs, plunge pools, walk-in closets and floor-to-ceiling windows all overseen by your personal butler. While the property is beachfront, the rocky beach is less than ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Amazing alternatives for guests are the expansive infinity pools that face the offshore islands, as well as a visit to the beaches of Hong Island.
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. Rooms are spacious, quiet retreats where wild monkeys greet guests every morning from the treetops. Limestone karsts serve as backdrops to the swimming pool, tennis court and restaurants. And gorgeous beaches are just steps away from the rooms. My favorite place to stay in this part of Thailand.
Grilled prawns at Kodam Kitchen, in Ao Nang.
Longtail boat rides 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.
A lovely restaurant to grab a drink and enjoy the view of the offshore islands and the Andaman Sea, especially at sunset. There’s an admission ticket that goes toward your food and drink spend at the restaurant, which is accessible via a songthaew that shuttles guests to the hilltop setting.
Another Ao Nang favorite, Kodam Kitchen’s menu 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
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.
Eco-friendly restaurant that sits a bit out of the way, but a worthwhile place to eat in Krabi. The menu options might be a bit overwhelming, but highlights include the crab curry, fresh fish, fried shrimp and prawns.
Every morning there were a dozen monkeys above my front door swinging from vines and scurrying in the treetops.
The easiest modes of transport within Krabi are scooter rental, tuk tuk and private taxi, as well as long tail boat for transport between Ao Nang and West Railay.
I had Phra Nang Beach all to myself the entire morning. Outfit details: Lovers & Friends one-piece, linked here.
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.
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.