With a one month trip to Thailand, I worked tirelessly on making sure that there was something on our itinerary for every one (4 Adults, 2 kiddos). I had already been to Krabi before and it was one of our favorite places to go in Thailand, but little did I know that a return trip back to Krabi would be at the top of ALL of our highlights list.
^ Not enough time to read this massive guide? Pin It For Later! ^
Spending time in Krabi is simply a must. In this article, you’ll see what to do in Krabi in 3 days. You’ll find out about everything you need to know about Krabi, where to stay, what to eat, how to get there and around and obviously, the best things to do in Krabi.
Krabi Town vs Krabi Provence
Where is Krabi exactly? So, Krabi is both the name of a town that is about 800 kilometers south of Bangkok but also the name of a Province that includes other areas and islands, such as Ko Lanta. For the sake of this particular post, I’m going to be talking about what to do in Krabi Town and the nearby Ao Nang beach area, which is only about a 20-minute drive from Krabi Town and often lumped into Krabi. Personally, we have LOVED staying near Ao Nang.
Why Stay In Krabi?
If at any time while reading this post about things to do in Krabi you feel like I am overselling this location, I’m not. I really truly have loved Krabi each time we’ve visited and think it really is one of the best places to stay in Thailand, mostly for the following reasons.
Easy To Get To
I’ll go into detail below on exactly how to get to Krabi, but one of my favorite reasons for loving Krabi is that it is just so dang easy to get to, especially compared to the islands. For example, it’s a short 1.5 hour flight from Bangkok, making it incredibly easy to get to.
Krabi Island Vibes Without Having to Get To An Island
Getting to the islands can be a beautiful adventure in and of itself! However, if you are short on time, wanting to maximize your time, or are traveling Thailand with kids, sometimes spending a whole day hopping ferries or taking terrifying tiny prop planes isn’t ideal. Krabi is NOT an island, but it’s got all the great beaches, beach bars, beach restaurants and beach vibes that any great island has without the hassle of actually getting TO an island.
Amazing Thailand Beaches
There is absolutely NO shortage of simply breathtaking beaches in Thailand. But after exploring 5 other Thai islands myself, Krabi actually has my favorite one of all (but more on that below).
Perfect For Thailand Family Holidays
A hot debate is often “Where is the best place in Thailand for families?” Many people will argue Ko Lanta, but I think that Krabi actually has a lot of the same attributes (and is a lot easier to get to!) and is skipped by too many families. Again, you can read all about visiting Krabi with a Family here.
When Is the Best Time To Visit Krabi
There are roughly three “seasons” of Thailand.
Hot Season: March- June. I LOVE the heat! So, 90s-100s F with high (90+%) humidity doesn’t scare me, especially when I have the allure of the refreshing ocean waves. We’ve been to Krabi in May and found it to be fantastic weather. However, many people find this time frame too hot, especially with kids or babies, who can get dehydrated quite easily.
Rainy Season: June- October. If you go to Thailand during the Rainy season, guess what you will most likely get during your trip? Sure, rain, but you could very well get wonderfully sunny days!!! It is a risk going during this time, as it wouldn’t be uncommon to have rainy and sunny days mixed, or you could just get slammed with several days of downpour. Luckily, Krabi doesn’t close up as much as some of the other islands during the rainy season, so if you find yourself in Krabi during these months, you should still find plenty of places to stay, eat, and Krabi activities still going on.
Winter: November- February. Winter? Ok, NO. Not winter in the sense that most of us think of it, especially in Krabi. Locals joke about “winter” but the reality is that instead of the scorching 100+ F and 90% humidity, you can find “cooler” temperatures in comparison! How does a 80 degree day sound? Perfect? Yup- that’s what everyone else thought, too. Which is exactly why this is actually the highest tourist season. Expect more people and higher prices in Krabi during these months.
Shoulder Seasons: October/ November or April/May are fantastic times to go to Krabi. You take a slight risk of rain, but cross your fingers for more sunshine! While we had several days of potential rain in early November, we actually only got rained on (very shortly) once, making the rest of our days in Krabi perfect weather.
How To Get To Krabi
Getting to Krabi is relatively easy. It really depends on where you are coming from, but here are a few basic ideas. Further in this article, you’ll see my recommendations for getting around Krabi. For example, once you have flown in, how do you get to your hotel? I’ll cover all that below in further detail.
Krabi By Plane
One of the easiest and fastest ways to get to Krabi is by flying. There are actually a ton of direct flights into Krabi. Alternatively, you can fly to Bangkok and spend some time there and then book a really cheap domestic flight straight into Krabi (KBV Airport code). Our flight to Krabi was only about $30 per person (Add about $20 if you want baggage and a meal inflight).
Krabi By Bus
You can get to Krabi by bus from Bangkok, but expect at least a 10 hour journey (often overnight) for around $30 (sometimes less). From someone who has taken long bus rides in Thailand, I can confidently say, just fly!
Krabi by Ferry
Depending on what island you are coming from, there might be a ferry available. For example, from Ko Lanta, we could either take a shuttle van door to door or take a ferry. However, note that some ferries to Krabi don’t operate all year round, so be mindful of that when booking. Some popular islands that ferry into Krabi are Ko Lanta, Ko Phi Phi, and Phuket.
Best Things To Do in Ao Nang
We are actually going to start our “What to do in Krabi” list on my favorite part of Krabi: What to do in Ao Nang.
Ao Nang To Railay
At the end of our month-long trip, I individually asked my Mom and Dad as well as husband what their top moments of the trip were. Despite varying interests, every single one of us couldn’t say Railay fast enough.
This was my second time taking a longtail boat to Railay beach and yet, it was just as beautiful as the first time. There are actually several different beaches on Railay Bay such as Railay East, West, Tonsai, and Phra Nang. No words can really do it justice, so here are a few photos to take your breath away of Railay West.
The only way to get to Railay and Tonsai beach is by longtail from Ao Nang and costs about 200THB roundtrip from the ferry pier.
Not surprisingly, Railay is getting more and more crowded and busy. Even just in the few years span of our two trips, resorts sadly began popping up right on the pristine beachfront, taking a bit of the natural wonder away. However, with all that being said, I still say that if you are looking for sheer natural beauty, then these are the best beaches in Krabi.
Phra Nang Beach
Phra Nang Beach is still on Railay Bay, so plan that as part of your day trip out there. The short walk through the jungle is sadly no longer available due to the development of new expensive hotels on Railay. However, you can still get from Railay to Phra Nang beach either by a longtail boat around the corner of the bay or about an hour’s walk (probably less- we were walking with small kiddos in tow!) via Railay East.
You’ll walk through a bunch of beach bars and pass numerous shops. You’ll come to Railay East where mangroves grow right out of the ocean. You can stop here for a swim as well.
Continuing on, you’ll begin to pass through stunning caves and eventually pop out at Phra Nang.
To be honest, I could spend the whole day here alone….minus the throngs of people.
Again, even just a few years ago, this beach was relatively quiet, but with increased tourism to the area and more accommodations on Railay, the beaches are quickly becoming overcrowded. But, at least for now, I still say Phra Nang is a must!
Here, you’ll also find Tham Phra Nang Nok (The Princess Cave). What’s so special about this cave? Again….I’ll just let the photos do that talking!!!
Ao Nang Night Market
The “walking street” used to be the place to go for the night market. However, Ao Nang’s new Landmark Night Market is now the place to be. It is the perfect sized night market (not like some of those overwhelmingly crazy markets in places like Bangkok). It’s got fantastic food, nightly bands and entertainment, and several rows of shopping, many with local artisans and products rather than the mass-produced stuff found in larger markets.
There is a long stretch of road in Ao Nang that is lined with plenty of shops, mostly souvenir type locations. If you are looking for elephant pants, trinkets, souvenirs, beachwear, etc you can find it all here.
Ao Nang Beaches
If you are wanting to hit up more beaches but don’t want to pay the longtail boats to get to Railay, there are plenty of fantastic beaches to relax on right at Ao Nang.
Krabi Town Things To Do
We loved Ao Nang for all the beach access, but if you are looking for more things to do in Krabi Town, there are still plenty of options!
Krabi Town Night Market
If you are staying in Krabi Town and are looking for Krabi night activities, then don’t miss the night market. It used to be that Krabi town had the better night markets, but with the newly opened Landmark Market in Ao Nang, you won’t miss much if you choose one over the other.
Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua)
Just a few minutes north of the Krabi Town Night Market is the Tiger Cave Temple. We had every intention of waking up early and hiking this but on the morning of, the 1,000 step climb to the top of the temple for views out of Krabi didn’t sound as relaxing as a morning splashing in our private villa’s pool with our boys.
However, if you are looking for a great activity to do before the heat of the day with a good amount of physical activity, Tiger Cave is a great option
Island Hopping Krabi
One of the great things about Krabi is that if you want, you can just hunker down here and do day trips and island-hops to the nearby popular islands. We had chosen to make islands like Phi Phi and Phuket their own, separate, destinations for numerous days, but again, if you are short on time, it is definitely worth adding in any of the following tours to see some more of the famous Thai Islands.
Some of the most popular day trips and tours from Krabi are:
- Krabi to Phi Phi Island
- You can take a ferry from Krabi to Phi Phi yourself and be there in about 90 minutes from the Klong Jirad Pier.
- You can also take a speedboat by private charter or tour group.
- Krabi To Phuket
- Another extremely popular island to go from Krabi is Phuket. You’ll take a Krabi to Phuket ferry or speedboat (similar to above)
- 4 Islands
- Hong Island Krabi
Other Things To Do Near Krabi
Emerald Pool, Blue Lagoon and Hotsprings
All of these attractions are actually at the same site. One of the easiest ways to get to the Emerald pool is with a motorbike. It takes about 1 hour to get there and you’ll only need a few hours to really see it all and enjoy all there is.
Many people recommend going later in the day, closer to closing time, but the reality is, like most things here, this Krabi attraction is getting more and more crowded all the time as well so don’t expect to have the place all to yourself anymore.
Splash around in a picturesque blue/ green natural hot spring well in the Emerald pool, take an easy walk around the beautiful blue lagoon (not for swimming), and relax in the hot springs.
Expert Tip: You really only have three ways of getting out to the Emerald Pool:
- Rent a Moped (hard to do with kids)
- Rent a car (possible, but slight headache figuring out logistics)
- Just go with a tour
If you’ve got a need for speed and are looking to do something off the beach, but still under the beautiful karsts of Krabi, there is the Krabi Kart Speedway. There are also ATV, paintball, archery and BB gun activities at the same location, giving a fun alternative to the beaches!
3 Days in Krabi Itinerary: Build Your Own Itinerary
What I absolutely love about Krabi is that you can spend a little or a lot of time here and either way, you can’t go wrong. We personally chose Krabi as some intentional downtime on both of our trips. It was a time to not have a jam-packed schedule and instead just kind of plan as we went. It was time to just relax on a beach as a couple or spend time in our private pool villa with the kids. However, if you have extra time or are looking for more Krabi places to visit than just beaches and hotel pools, there are still so many great options!
What you have planned for the rest of your Thailand Itinerary might influence exactly what you do in Krabi Itinerary 3 days. My recommendation is to choose 1-2 activities from the above list for each day depending on your time, interests, and other Thailand activities. Here’s just an example
Railay Bay: Spend the entire day at Railay.
Start your day with Tiger Temple.
Afterward, head to Ao Nang to grab lunch at any of the beach restaurants.
After lunch, keep going down the main road and find a great Ao Nang beach to enjoy the rest of your day at.
Get to a beach bar before sunset and grab a cocktail as you watch the most beautiful sunset!
Finish your day at the Landmark Night Market eating delicious food and browsing the hand made souvenirs.
Option 1: Choose an island hopping tour to go to. If you already have Phi Phi and/or Phuket as another destination on your trip, then spend the day doing a Hong Island day trip.
Option 2: Go to the Emerald Pool
Getting Around Krabi
Getting around Krabi is quite easy. There are several modes of transportation that are available. Things like taxis are available. There is also “Grab” in Krabi (think Uber or Lyft) which is a wildly popular thing to use now.
These pick up truck taxi vehicles are incredibly common in Krabi and are a great and affordable way to get around. On our first trip to Krabi, it was the cheapest option from the airport to our hotel. You can even book them ahead of time so that you get dropped off at your destination as opposed to a general route.
You can also use a Songtaew to get around Krabi as well. They are kind of like a bus/ taxi combination. You can hale a Songtaew from anywhere on the road. They often drive main routes, so you might get dropped off at something similar to a bus stop. However, you can always try to offer a bit more money to be taken to your exact destination.
If you are just a couple, mopeds are dirt cheap to rent and are fantastic at getting around. Many hotels have offers, but there are lots of places in town to get them as well, running about $5-10 (USD) a day.
Rent a Car
Depending on just how much you are wanting to get around and how many people you have, renting a car is not a terribly bad idea (although public transportation in Krabi is really easy). Driving around Krabi isn’t anything like driving around crazy Bangkok. It is just more of a matter of the logistics of getting to and from the car rental, etc. However, if you have a family and are planning on doing a lot of day trips (Tiger Temple, Emerald Pool, Ao Nang to Krabi Town, etc) then it actually could be cheaper to just hire a car per day rather than grabbing local transport.
Tuk Tuks and Samlors
A samlor is basically a motorbike with a sidecar, but for the sake of this article, I’m just going to lump it in with a Tuk Tuk, since they are usually similar in prices to get around. These are perfect for when you are wanting to go shorter distances (for example, from Ao Nang Beach to the Landmark Night Market) and only cost a few bucks per ride.
Ask Your Hotel About Shuttles
Our hotel actually had a free shuttle that took us just about anywhere we wanted to go in the Ao Nang area for free. We saw plenty of vans driving around with hotel logos doing the same and is a great way to save a bit of cash.
Where To Stay In Krabi: Krabi Hotels
I’m going to break down the most popular places to stay in Krabi by different categories so that you can see what all of your options are. I’ll give my biased opinion but the best area to stay in Krabi is going to come down to your personal travel preferences/ what you like to do as well as your budget.
Railay Bay/ Tonsai
Even though it’s no longer as secluded as it once was, if you are just wanting to be a beach bum, you couldn’t ask for a better place to stay. The biggest downside is that the only way to get to/from Railay is by Longtail. Therefore, if you want to do ANY further exploring of the area, you’ll have to make your way back to Ao Nang by boat each time. Because most of these accommodations are going to be a Krabi luxury resort, they also going to be on the pricier side compared to places in town.
Railay Bay Resort and Spa: This Krabi luxury resort sits right on the main beach of Railay so you have all the amenities you need at your fingertips from on-site resort food to nearby restaurants and shopping. It’s also really easy to grab longtails right from the beach if need be. Plus, the views out over the bay are exquisite! Click Here to See the Gorgeous Infinity Pool Overlooking the Bay!
Rayaveeda Resort: This is one of those resorts that I was mentioning previously that it actually has sort of ruined the rustic and natural feel of Phra Nang. However, it’s been built now and that is that. So, I guess one might as well enjoy this simply luxurious, stunning, and amazing resort with phenomenal views out over the ocean. Click Here To See Current Prices and Availability.
In my humble opinion, this is the best place to stay in Krabi (feel free to tell me otherwise in the comments, though!) Great access to the beaches and you can still be to Krabi town in about 20 minutes for day or afternoon trips. You are close to the piers for day trips to other islands and there are plenty of places to eat and things do in Ao Nang to keep everyone busy.
Where to Stay in Ao Nang:
Anana Ecological Resort: If you are wanting to support sustainable tourism, then you can’t beat Anana in Krabi. They are Green Globe certified and committed to The World Tourism Organization’s (UNTWO) sustainability mandate and even have an “Eco Tuk Tuk!” They have complimentary shuttles around Ao Nang but you may never want to leave the gorgeous hotel! Click Here To See Current Pricing and Availability
Scene Cliff Views: They have their name for a reason. The views are out of this world. You’ll feel like you are staying at a truly authentic Thai experience with the beautiful Thai architecture and delicious food offered on sight. Click Here To See Current Pricing and Availability
If you only want a day trip to the beach, Krabi Town may be a better option for you. With plenty of things to do in Krabi Town, you can find affordable lodging right in town.
Krabi Golden Hill: Located very close to the Krabi weekend night market, this hotel is clean and has free transportation within Krabi town. Click Here To See Current Availability and Pricing
On a Budget
We aren’t called the ECONOMICAL Excursionists for nothing. Thailand is already notoriously cheap, but that doesn’t mean we still don’t go looking for good deals and budget options!
If you are visiting Krabi with a family and haven’t read out Krabi With Kids article yet, head over there, which includes our top recommendations of where to stay in Krabi with a Family as well!
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