Krabi is the area of southern Thailand that has captured our hearts the most. This area with its limestone cliffs, beautiful turqouise water and pristine islands is a beauty. There is so much outdoor hiking in national parks, Dragons crest hike, emerald pools in jungles outside the city, hot springs, Tiger cave temple overlook hike and mangroves. Krabi is a beautiful green coastal city in southern Thailand that has so many things to do including the best beach rock climbing and island hopping in the phi phi islands by boat and snorkeling. This is the area that is actually more budget than Phuket and all the other islands in the south. The flights, accommodation and food are a better deal which is ironic because I think this is secretly the best area of the country for beaches and islands. This is one of the most iconic places in all of Thailand that needs to be on your list when you visit the country.
Things to do
Rock Climb Railay Beach
Rock climbing on the limestone cliffs over Railay beach is one of the famous areas to rock climb in Thailand and in southeast Asia. The views of the ocean and the island are gorgeous. This was one of our highlights that we got to do while we were in Krabi. It was such a fun experience even being a beginner climber level. There are different routes in the area and they can help you find the beginner, moderate or advanced climbs and routes. We did a half day private tour with a climbing guide working for the company Krabi Rock Climbing. You can do cheaper group tours and whole day tours if you are a more experienced climber. Our guide even offered for us to do a whole day tour for the price of half day because it was low season and there wasn’t many tourists climbing that day. We had a great experience with this company and the guides were very skilled, knowledgeable and friendly. The half day private tour costs 2700 baht or $87 USD. The cost includes your transportation from Ao Nang beach as they pick you up from your hotel at 7:30am and take you to the ferry to get to Railay Island. The cost of the ferry both ways is included in your climbing fee. The last ferry is at 4pm back to Ao Nang and they give you the money for your return ticket the day of your climb. They offer water and provide all your gear and chalk and shoes. They do cheaper group tours as well which just means you have to share climbing time with a small group of people normally around 5 people. If you do a private tour you get more climbing time. See Krabi Rock Climbing and all of their tour options and costs here.
Railay Beach is a cool island off of the mainland Ao Nang Beach to hangout for the day. This is a perfect place to hangout after a morning rock climbing. The beaches are some of the most beautiful in Krabi area I think. There are caves to explore, lots of funky island bars and restaurants and shops to explore and the picturesque long tail boats with limestone cliffs. The island has a very chill laid back vibe and is small with several places you can rent and stay as well overnight.
How to get there:
You must take a long tail boat ferry from Ao Nang. You buy your ticket at the Ao Nang Long-Tail Boat Service Club booths which is found at both ends of Ao Nang Beach Road. The booths service hours are 08:00 until 6pm. 1 one-way ticket costs 100 baht per person. The unfortunate thing is that you have to wait for the boat to be filled with seven other passengers before you can go or leave, which sometimes can be a long wait, if you’re traveling alone or in a small group. The boat ride only takes 10-15 minutes and goes through the beautiful limestone cliffs. There are night rides from Ao Nang to Railay from 6pm to midnight for 150 baht per person.
Snorkeling the Phi Phi Islands
There are many ways to tour and see the Phi Phi Islands. This is one of the main sites to see in Krabi. You can see them from either Phuket or Krabi. The islands are beautiful limestone cliffs in turquoise waters. There are many popular areas the tours cover such as Maya Beach, Loh Samah Bay, Pileh Cove, Viking Cave and Monkey Beach as well as sandbars where you can cross between two sections in low tide. You can charter a private boat for the day or you can do a group tour for the most budget choice. There are long tail boats you can hire to take you out as well. Be careful when you are snorkeling we definitely ran into large groups of sea lice that feel like small jellyfish stings all around on your body that were painful.
Private Speedboat hire– A 7 hour full day private tour of the islands costs around 18900 baht or $600USD per group of up to 10 people. You can see an example of this tour here.
Long tail boat hire– A 3 hour half day long tail boat tour of the Phi Phi islands is 635 baht per person or $20usd. You can also do a full day tour on a long tail boat for around 900 baht for two people or $30usd. The long tail boats are definitely a slower way to tour that take much longer than the speedboats to get to the different hot spots in the islands but it is definitely more budget.
Group tours– You can join a group speedboat full day tour of the islands main attractions on a 7 hour day tour for 1500 baht per person or $48usd. This includes your transportation pick up and drop off at your accomodation, lunch on board, and your snorkeling equipment. None of the tours include your 400 baht national park entry fee to get off and walk onto islands. You get to choose whether or not you do that. Here is an example of a group speedboat tour here.
Tiger Cave Temple Hike
Tiger Cave Temple is one of two killer hikes in the Krabi area. This temple/cave is a long staircase ascending into the limestone cliffs next door to a jungle. The hike is 1237 steep stairs up to the temple complex where monks actively live and worship. The hike is no joke and is honestly an intense workout that will take around 1-2 hours depending on your speed and fitness level. This hike has the best views of Krabi around and is worth the climb. There are many monkeys on the trail on the way up in packs. They will steal your food or water bottles both of which we saw happen to other people on the trail. You can hire a song tao from Ao Nang beach for 700 baht roundtrip to get to the temple and have them wait for you to finish as well. Make sure you pack water because the complex is pretty far out in the middle of nowhere and they don’t actually sell much of anything on the grounds. Sunset or sunrise would be great times to hike for the view. There is no entrance fee to the temple or the hike once you arrive on the grounds, just your transportation fee to get there and back. Since it is remote, it is best to arrange your transportation ahead of time for how to get back.
Ao Nang Beach
Annana Ecological Resort
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At sunset, nature is painting for us.. Day after day.. Pictures of infinite beauty 🌄 @Sky Garden, Anana Ecological Resort Aonang, Krabi #sunset #nature #sunsetdinner #romanticdinner #rooftopdinner #romanticdinnerinkrabi #Anana #romanticcouples #sky #travel #ig #landscape #sun #love #beach #photooftheday #naturephotography #sunrise #clouds #beautiful #instagood #sea #picoftheday #travelphotography #sunsets #photo #summer #landscapephotography #sunsetlover #sunsetphotography
This is a quiet and nice area in Krabi that has lots of great restaurants, cafes and shops. This is a very close and convenient spot to stay for island day trips, getting to Railay peninsula and exploring other areas of Krabi. We stayed at Annana Ecological Resort. The resort is tucked away off the main street and bustle. They have a yoga hut and their own permaculture farm where they grow food to serve at their restaurant. There is a delicious buffet morning breakfast. The hotel starting room cost is $121USD/night. We had dinner at Jenna’s Bistro & wine which had great steaks.