With so many activities that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy, Krabi has framed itself as a laid-back resort destination where the emphasis falls on comfort and relaxation instead of on high-energy parties. The natural landscape is accentuated by limestone outcroppings known as karsts that pop up all over the countryside. With abundant plant life and beautiful coral reefs, there's plenty to explore while you're staying here.
Exploring the archipelago
One of the most remarkable ways to experience the limestone rock formations and spectacular beaches is to take a daytrip from one island to another. Many tour guides offer organised daytrips to the highlights of the archipelago, which are worth it and a chance to break away from the crowds of the mainland resort. For the more independent explorer, sea kayaks can be rented for trips out to some of the nearest small islands. A boat day trip to Phi Phi is a must too!
Than Bok Khoranie National Park
If you have a tent and would like a place to set up camp, consider heading out to Than Bok Khorani National Park, a secluded place with no concrete accommodation but an abundance of plant species culminating in a very picturesque pond surrounded by gardenias and apocynaceae. The park also boasts several limestone caves and some lovely mangrove forests. Many visit on a day trip from Phuket.
Many rock climbing outfitters in Krabi also give lessons at various skill levels to help you improve your rock climbing abilities. The limestone cliffs and unique stone formations have helped Krabi carve out a global reputation among rock climbing circles. Ton Sai is the first stop for most climbers, as it's the most frequented climbed spot in the area. Other climbing outings to more secluded areas are easily arranged with the help of climbing outfitters.
Koh Lanta Marine National Park
The sea gypsies, or Chai Leh, still live and work on the island of Koh Lanta—now a marine national park. For centuries they have practiced their own form of spirit worship and spoken their own distinct language. This island also has the region's standard fare of beautiful beaches, unique rock formations and stunning coral reefs for exploration. Some of the rainforest on this island is virtually untouched and remains protected. Visitors can rent bungalows and stay a while. It's also connected to Phi Phi island by ferry.
Shell Fossil Cemetery
Thirty five million years ago, the site of Ban Laem Pho Cape was an enormous freshwater swamp that hosted millions of small snails. The remains of these creatures formed a fossilised composite that has grown almost 16 inches thick. This huge slab has become one of Krabi's most popular attractions and can be reached via a 10-mile drive from the town of Krabi.
Ao Nang Beach resort area is the primary tourist hub of Krabi, with Krabi Town itself not offering a whole lot to out-of-towners except for a glimpse of everyday life for the locals. While not quite as exciting as Phuket, in the resort area you'll find bars and restaurants whose doors remain open past midnight, though you'll be hard-pressed to find any exhilarating parties or discotheques. Instead, this is a more family-oriented holiday spot with some nice restaurants and a relaxed, quiet atmosphere.
The official diving season in Krabi is from November to Mach, though the conditions are hospitable all year round and divers are here at every time of the year. Snorkelling is also a great way to get a view of the coral reefs. Diving companies on the mainland can get you certified as a diver and will also arrange diving trips out to all of the best reefs in the surrounding area. The diving at Phi Phi is especially good.
Bikes can be rented in the Ao Nang resort area, and a cycling loop that heads out of town guides cyclist through the limestone rock formations that dot the landscape. The road curves through old villages and groves of coconut trees, and riders can stretch this spectacular route into as much as 15 or 20 miles of biking.
Railay Beach may be the region's most unique coastal area, with its crescent shaped coastline that's cut off from the mainland by huge outcroppings of rock. Only accessible by boat, you can charter a vessel to drop you off for a daytrip to Phra Nang, a sacred enshrined cave, or for an overnight stay in one of the resorts that lay claim to these peaceful beaches. Even the beaches at Phuket don't even compete!
Daytrip to Wat Tham Seua
Wat Tham Seua is the largest temple in Krabi, and its name means Tiger Cave Temple. It's literally tucked into the limestone cliffs of Ao Luk Thanu mountain range, and the Buddhist monks that live and worship here do so in the caves themselves. The highlight of this temple is 'Buddha's footprint', located at the summit of a 1,272-step climb, a point that affords wonderful views of the countryside spreading in every direction.