Settled in the Southern Thailand, Krabi Province is located on the coast of the Andaman Sea.This magical island boasts of its rich with flora fauna that make Krabi one of the most sought after destinations, especially by those who are looking out for romantic getaways. With many small and big islands, the sparkling blue and green water of Krabi are also famous for activities like scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, rock climbing, and jungle treks.
Things to do in Krabi
Scuba diving and snorkeling
Directly off Ao Nang there are two islands, Koh Podah Nai and Koh Podah Nok, and a handful of limestone outcrops. The area’s local diving concentrates around these, as well as the sites at Koh Phi Phi, Shark Point Marine Sanctuary and Hin Daeng and Mouang. Divers can enjoy an abundance of radiant soft corals and a tremendous diversity of marine life. There are gently sloping reefs, caves and exciting swim-throughs. The shallow reefs also offer opportunities for some tremendous snorkeling. The local sites are accessed in around 20 minutes whilst those further afield take over an hour.
Kayaking is also a great idea to explore Krabi’s dramatic scenery without damaging the environment. Slow and silent, these sturdy “sit-on-top” craft can move almost unnoticed through different coastal ecosystems, passing mangrove, canyons and caves. There are several areas favorited by most travelers: Ao Luk in the north of the province, Ao Thalane (mangrove and canyons) at the southern tip of Phang Nga Bay, Bor Thor (ancient limestone caves), and Koh Hong (an island with a hidden lagoon at its centre). There are also some new kayaking sites closer to Ao Nang that have been exploited in recent years – including Nai Sa village, and Sai Thai village. In every place, you will be able to observe wildlife up close. Several species of birds (hornbills, kingfishers, little herons) are easily spotted, as well as monkeys, in particular the crab-eating macaque. On Hong Island, the marine life includes brightly-coloured crabs, many tropical fishes and birds, and the occasional giant monitor lizard.
The monumental limestone rocks in Krabi attract climbers from all over the world to scale their heights. They come particularly to Railay and Ton Sai. Many beginners are also tempted to try their hand here, whether they are looking for an adventurous day out, or a more serious involvement in the sport. In Krabi the reasonably safe technique of sport climbing is usually practised. Sport climbing is a form of roped climbing where metal bolts, placed close together permanently in the rock, are used for protection. If you slip, your harness and rope will arrest the fall after maximum 50cm, leaving you to concentrate on improving your technique.
The elephant is seen as a symbol of the nation and a talisman for the Thai people. With their wrinkly grey skin and swaying trunk, they are a fascinating combination of brute force, gentleness and remarkable agility that inspires both respect and affection. With elephants fast disappearing from the wild in Thailand, the best place to see these fascinating animals up close is in a trekking camp. There are a few camps in Krabi – such establishments must follow strict guidelines as set by the National Livestock Department regarding the provision of adequate food, water and shade for their animals, as well as proper health care. A trek will allow you to experience the animals’ natural forest environment.
Krabi Town night markets
The weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) “Walking Street” market in Krabi Town is a great way to immerse yourself in the Krabi lifestyle: street food, shopping, entertainment all in one place. Take a taxi, or a join-in minivan from Ao Nang. On other days of the week, you may wish to do a late afternoon trip to town, to visit the riverside and then head to the regular night market (food only) for some great hawker stalls.
Longtail boat charter
Chartering your own longtail boat is also another great idea for a private daytime island tour. It requires no advance booking. A good half day (4 hours) excursion would be the 4 islands, or the Hong Islands if departing from Klong Muang or Tubkaek. Plan for a departure around 1-2 pm, though it is still possible to go later and reduce the time spend on the islands. The longtail drivers will need to be back at 6.30pm at the latest. An alternative trip from Ao Nang would be to the Railay beaches, which are a short 15 minutes. You could easily spend a couple of hours, or the whole afternoon here before returning at 5-6 pm.
Thai massage and spas
Get yourself in the holiday mood as soon as you touch down with a trip to spa for an exotic Thai massage (or other treatment) that will make all traces of city stress disappear. Spend the rest of your holiday perfectly relaxed and blessed out.
Visiting Krabi temple: Tiger Cave
There are a number of temples open to visitors, the most interesting of which is Wat Tham Seua (in Thai) or Tiger Cave Temple. Set in a beautiful forest, the temple is in fact a famous meditation centre. You can walk around the nature trail in the Khiriwong Valley, with its maze of caves, visit the main Tiger Cave and bell tower (the largest in southern Thailand) and, for those who are fit enough, climb the 1,237 stairs to the mountain-top shrine for a view that will really leave you breathless. Organised tours are available from all agents, or you can easily go independently with a rental car or motorbike. The site is only a few kilometers outside of Krabi Town.
Visiting Hot Springs and Crystal Pool
In the south of Krabi province in Klong Thom district (around 70 km from town and near the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve), are nature’s own hot tub Jacuzzis, known as Nam Tok Rawn in Thai. The water here comes from thermal springs, originating deep underground in volcanic chambers. Located in the jungle, this site features naturally hollowed-out ‘bathtubs’ in the smooth stone, filled to the brim with fresh running spring water at a pleasant 35-40 degree Celsius. After a soak, take a refreshing dip in the cool river below.
A visit to the Hot Springs would not be completed without a trip to the nearby “Crystal Pool” in Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve. Also known as Emerald Pool, this is an astonishly-hued natural pool found in a clearing after a short walk through the forest, that is filled with pure spring water- although at ambient temperature. Swimming is possible here. Tours to the hot springs and crystal pool are available from many agents, or ideally you can rent a car, or take a taxi to go privately.
Thai cookery classes in Krabi
If the fiery yet delicate taste of Thai cuisine has got you hooked, you may want to learn some skills that will allow you to reproduce the same wonderful flavours back home. Cookery classes are a relatively recent phenomenon in Krabi and all are geared for the lowest common denominator, which is great for novice cooks, even children, who want to learn the basics. Find out the secrets of balancing of sweet, hot, sour and salty flavours, as well as some of the techniques used to cook- stir frying, curries, soups and salads. There is normally a selection of dishes to choose from at each session. It can be a fun “rainy day” activity to do with a small group of people, and of course, you get to eat your efforts in a big feast at the end of the day.