Towering limestone karsts, the turquoise waters of the Andaman Sea, you’ve heard amazing things about Krabi and you know it’s going to be everything you dreamed of
…until you step out of your songthaew and notice the massive crowd of tourists.
Avoid The Crowds: What to do in Krabi
If you’re looking for the party…. it will be easy to find.
But... if you’re more into chillin on the beach with a j, hanging out in a hammock for endless hours, occasionally getting work done, and exploring the terrain on your own terms, you’ve chosen the right guide.
Where to stay in Krabi:
You have a decision to make here. Krabi or Ao Nang? My first piece of advice, choose Ao Nang.
Whether you’re flying into Krabi on a pitstop to another destination or staying for a few days, it’s well worth avoiding the crowded backpacker hub and continuing on another 15-20 minutes for the BEACH VIBES!
Ao Nang is a 40 minute minibus or taxi ride from the Krabi airport.
If traveling with Lomprayah, their shuttle will drop you right at your accommodation.
Continuing on the Koh Samui, Koh Phangan or Ko Tao? Here’s how to get there!
Spend the night further away from the beach.
Finding a quiet place to retreat to in the vicinity of Ao Nang Beach can be difficult. The beach attracts lots of people, and the closer you stay to the beach the busier it will be.
That’s more noise and distraction you’ll have in the way of your good vibes.
Getting a good night’s sleep away from the hustle of the bustle of the beach scene will allow you to spend more time adventuring, finding secret beaches in krabi, or relaxing in a hammock somewhere.
What to do in Krabi:
The best things to do in Krabi can all be done without joining a big group tour.
Explore the coast and Islands by Kayak
Grab some water and snacks from 7/11 and head down Ao Nang beach to find the Kayak stand.
(You can rent a Kayak until 6pm. Use your best negotiating skills.)
This kayak is your key, your chariot, to peace and solitude!
Once it’s just you (& your partner in crime) and your kayak, on the open water… you can go anywhere (anywhere you can make it back from by 6).
Check out the Monkey Forest Trail at the end of Ao Nang beach.
It connects to a resort, but the monkeys use this trail to travel between Krabi's secluded coves.
Take a walk up to Nopparat Thara Pier
Long tail boats galore, and plenty of things to see along the way. You can even take a rest on Nopparat Thara Beach and watch the sun set.
Spend the day replenishing your Vitamin D & Vitamin Sea
Ao Nang and Nopparat Thara are fairly long stretches of white sand beach. So even though they are popular spots, there's still plenty of room to stretch out on the sand or even hang your hammock between two coconut trees (just keep one eye open for falling coconuts)
Beach vendors will come around offering beer and snacks, which means that you don't have to leave the beach for refills.
Soak up the sun. Take a dip. Drink a beer. Take a dip. Eat corn on the cob. Take a dip. Take a Nap. Take a Dip. Repeat
We could get used to this schedule
A few Places to go in Krabi:
Get out of Ao Nang and into the chill zone.
Some of the best beaches in Krabi are only accessible by boat. If you don’t want to paddle out there on your own, you can easily arrange a ride with a longtail boat from Ao Nang.
If you’re into the vagabond beach life, then you might never make it past Tonsai. This little beach has been a hippie paradise for years.
By day, rock climbers dot the magnificent cliffs, and by night you’ll be treated to fire shows, poi, and hula hooping on the beach. There are plenty of mellow bars to relax at, or just grab a mushroom shake, hit the beach, and watch the colors change.
Know before you go: in recent years a huge development project moved the village of Tonsai off of the beach and behind an ugly grey wall. Even worse, the project has since been abandoned. The wall stands, heavily graffitied as a reminded of what mass tourism does to small communities.
Railay Beach just doesn’t feel real when you see it for the first time. This is the kind of place you’ve seen pictures of hundreds of times, and it looks even more stunning in reality.
Huge limestone cliffs peek out of the jungle, and longtail boats line the shore offering photographers plenty of instagrammable opportunities. There are some jungle hikes you can attempt, limestone rock climbing opportunities and some amazing view points to be found.
For more info about Tonsai Beach and Railey Beach check out this post by Where In the World is Nina?
And for more ideas of things to do in Ao Nang Krabi have a look at Journey Era’s Post
Visit the best beach in Krabi:
Ao Nang beach is fine...
but the most exciting part of our time in Krabi was discovering our very own Secret Beach! Seriously, we were the only ones there.
Luckily it’s super easy to get to!
Just take a songthaew taxi over to Ao Nam Mao Pier!
Go there for the food, and outdoor market, but stay for the secret beach!
We had some of the best food over in Ao Nam Mao! This area has a strong muslim influence, and has some of the best halal food in Krabi. You’ll have a difficult time finding any of the standard thai pork dishes in this area. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new.
(Cheaper food is always further away from the pier) Read on for more recommendations on what to eat in Krabi.
Plan to be in Ao Nam Mao around low tide (this is when the magic happens).
An island of mangroves appears from the water! Take a stroll down the beach to the uncovered land bridge and out the the island.
Here in this circle of mangroves is (a creepy well AND) the perfect spot to hang a hammock and watch the tides roll out and then in again.
Disconnect from your work, your life, and the busy beach scene that’s only 10 minutes away.
Revel in that alone time and chill super hard in Krabi.
What to Avoid in Krabi:
SURE they look so cute on your instagram feed, but those cute little bastards will take your shit and run! Don’t leave any food or valuables unattended!
Travel Agent Scams:
You’re bound to have noticed the tourist information stands all over thailand. They offer package tours and transport from one place to another “at a discounted price.”
The fact is, that these places have a terrible reputation for poor service. Unfortunately, they tend to sell you whatever makes them the most money, not necessarily what you’re looking for.
If you’re heading to Koh Samui or another island in the Gulf of Thailand then check out this post: How to get from Krabi to Koh Samui
It might be a no-brainer to some, but elephant riding continues to be a popular tourist activity all over thailand. Not only is carrying people damaging to the elephants, but also the abuse these elephants endure during their training is heartbreaking. Please don’t contribute to the exploitation of these innocent creatures. **PSA over**
Island Hopping Tours:
We don’t recommend taking one of those long tail boat tours of the islands in one day and neither do these other bloggers:
- The Adventurous Educator’s 7 Island Tour review
- This Girl Abroad’s “Why you’re better off skipping the 4 Island Tour in Ao Nang”
This is simple... The closer to the beach you are, the more expensive the food will be.
What to eat in Krabi
After your aquatic adventure, you’re going to be hungry!
This area of Thailand has a strong muslim influence, and you will find great halal food in Krabi. Most local places won’t serve pork dishes. Although this is a touristy town, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to find a decent meal
Local food in Krabi
There aren’t many great options for cheap food close to Ao Nang beach. You’re going to have to walk a bit, but trust us it’s worth it. About 1km from Ao Nang beach, near the mosque, you’ll find great local halal street food options and local restaurants with great food and good prices. You should be able to find something delicious for under 100 baht.
Dishes to try:
Chicken Rice| You’ll find a great local version of a Thai street food classic just outside the mosque. Their chicken is roasted and has a tasty crispy skin unlike the traditionally boiled version.
Three Favors Fish| This dish consists of a whole fried fish topped with a thai three favors sauce. The sauce is sweet, sour, and a little bit spicy.
Chicken with garlic and cashews| Bite size pieces of chicken stir fried with garlic and cashews with a sweet sauce.
Tom Kha Gai| A coconut milk soup with galongal, strips of chicken, and vegetables.
Fried Basil with Chili and Chicken| (Pak Krapow Kai) pretty self explanatory.
Coconut Ice Cream w/ peanuts| Gabby’s favorite treat. On the main road in Ao Nang you’ll find her on your right hand side as you’re heading out of town and away from the beach. She's got a tiny hole in the wall place.. but if you find the right lady she’ll even let you sip the coconut water as she slices up fresh coconuts for your bowl of ice cream.
We tend to prefer street food, (which you can find right near the mosque). However, there are 50-60 baht gems tucked in between the 100-250 baht restaurants! Just keep your eye out for prices.
The further up from the beach you go, the more local joints you’ll find. Just walk straight by those dudes trying to convince you to come into their restaurants.
I swear the places with the most love and flavor in their food are usually cheaper and less flashy!
(Tip: Restaurants with 4 walls will almost always cost more)
Best Place to Stay in Krabi:
For a peaceful accommodation with a comfortable work-friendly area have your taxi drop you further up from the beach at Blae Hostel, the “hammock Hostel”.
We’ve stayed at Blae twice now and both times it has been the perfect spot to kick back in one of their many hammocks and get some much needed peace and quiet. You’re greeted first by the sweet staff, they are super friendly, they can answer your questions and book any tours or transportation for you. (Like your Lomprayah bus/ferry ticket and pick-up)
Blae Hostel is located about 2 minutes from the main road which adds to the peaceful nature of the atmosphere.
The rooms are basic, but comfortable and stylish, with your own outdoor covered terrace, a hammock, and sitting/ lounging area. It’s easy to get inspired while lounging in a hammock with your laptop staring into the greenery that surrounds you.
The common area at Blae is shared with their sister Hostel “Glur”. It’s a large covered patio with lots of space to sit, that opens up to more verdant gardens, and a pool that’s surrounded by jungle plants.
Don’t worry there are plenty of hammocks, floor pillows, and casual seating to enjoy your complimentary breakfast, meet some cool travelers, or focus on work in a community setting.
The common area is the best place to connect to the wifi and get into that work groove
It’s even stocked with coffee, tea, and snacks 24/7 to keep you on that grind or in case you get a bit munchie!
**Note** By booking through the links on this page, we will receive a small commission at no cost to you. This allows us to continue our travels. Thanks for your support!
Where is your Ideal work location?
Do you have an ultimate chill out spot?
Tell us in the Comments so we can hang our Hammock there…