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One of Thailand’s most alluring destinations, Krabi is an idyllic island lying amongst mangrove forests and limestone karst landscapes. You’ll find endless miles of picturesque coastline with white sand beaches and a variety of fascinating cultural attractions to explore. From postcard-perfect island day trips to bustling markets and glittering temples, here are the best things to do in Krabi.
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A small peninsula that has four picturesque beaches, Railay Beach is a bucket list item for many visitors traveling to Thailand. Upon arrival, you’ll understand why, as its white sand beaches, beautiful landscapes and crystal clear waters are like walking into a living postcard. Enjoy its secluded atmosphere, then marvel at its limestone caves and lagoon hidden inside the cliffs. There are no roads here, just walking footpaths, making it the epitome of a tropical paradise for adventure-filled afternoons and laid-back sunset gazing.
It’s not surprising that island hopping is a top activity in this area, as a visit to Krabi means you’ll want to soak up as much natural beauty of the surrounding region as you can. Koh Poda is one of the most popular islands in Krabi that can be reached by a long-tail boat, where you’ll discover a landscape of soft white sand beaches and palm and pine trees swaying in the breeze. There’s also a coral reef that can be accessed right from the beach. Koh Hong is another hot spot, known for its spectacular rock formations and natural lagoon surrounded by limestone formations.
Known for its location showcased on the Leonardo DiCaprio movie “The Beach”, the Phi Phi Islands are some of the prettiest in Southeast Asia. Only a 45-minute speedboat trip from Krabi, this idyllic area is filled with tropical beaches, beautiful rock formations and turquoise waters that are filled with a vibrant array of marine life. Visitors flock to Phi Phi Don to connect with locals and nature, while the smaller uninhabited Phi Phi Leh has gorgeous bays and beaches, including the famed Maya Bay.
Thung Teao Forest Natural Park is where to find the famous Emerald Pool. The park is popular for its stunning landscapes that include lush foliage and emerald-colored water. The biggest highlight of this park is the unique Emerald Pool, where you can take a short trek through limestone foothills that open up onto this majestic pool that is perfect for swimming. See if you can spot local wildlife, enjoy a picnic on the rocks, or admire the powerful plunging water from the beautiful waterfall in the middle of the Natural Park, while photographers will be in their element with the endless array of landscape photo opportunities on offer.
Perfect for a dose of culture, make the trek to Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave) to discover a labyrinth of stone caves. Nestled within the thick jungles, the caves house an array of temples, where monks step inside to reach divinity. Climb the 1,237 steps to reach the top of the caves for spectacular views from the top, where “Footprints of Buddha” are stationed and you can marvel at the Andaman Sea and surrounding islands. Legends state that once a tiger used to live in these caves and was precious to Lord Buddha, hence the name “Tiger Cave”.
After you’ve grown weary from outdoor adventures, head to Klong Thom Hot Springs and enjoy its therapeutic and soothing hot tubs. The free-flowing warm water is decorated by shiny rocks that have been smoothed over, located inside the volcanic chambers of Klong Thom. A blend of natural mineral salts, the water is said to have healing properties and stays warm enough for you to soak in before exploring the surrounding woods for an afternoon picnic. In the same reserve as the Emerald Pool, it’s worth combining these two activities on a day trip from Krabi Town.
You’ll find an old-world charm in Krabi Town, a market Thai town that was around before visitors starting visiting from around the world. It’s a laid-back area where you can experience a slice of local life and genuine Thai culture and hospitality, where its river is a hub of activity with its fishing boats, small bars and river taxis ferrying both visitors and locals alike. Perfect for leisurely days and nights, you can take a stroll along the docks, sit by the seaside and enjoy a drink or partake in the nightlife scene.
If you want to enjoy an adrenaline-pumping activity on your visit to Krabi, then try your hand at snorkeling, rock climbing or sea kayaking. The area’s coastline is best known for its striking cliffs and beautiful limestone rocks that rise up from the water, offering you plenty of chances to explore the aquatic life swimming beneath the crystal clear waters. Head to the Railay Peninsula for a chance to go rock climbing with one of the schools that cater to a variety of skill levels, while Tonsai is another great spot, popular for its secluded beaches that offer some of the best views from above.
If you want to sample some of the region’s local delicacies, visit one of the markets in Krabi. Not only will you be able to taste ready-made meals and snacks, you can also pick up a cool souvenir. Local vendors sell anything from handicrafts and art to tourist t-shirts and small trinkets. Krabi Town has a large market on the weekends, while the wet market of Maharaj Market is open every day in the mornings. Talad Sod market is open in the evening, while Ao Nang market, Nongtalay and Klong Muang Market are also popular spots to browse.