Spending 3 days in Krabi, Thailand? If so, here are 3 things to do that will make you not want to leave! This once sleepy backwater of Thailand has exploded on the tourist map thanks to its incredible natural beauty. Krabi features dramatic karst peaks rising dramatically above the aquamarine Andaman Sea, beautiful white sand beaches tucked away on hidden islands and peninsulas, and lush tropical jungle rising into the mountains. In addition, there are many things to do in Krabi that makes it the perfect escape from the cold winter this 2016-2017 holiday season!
3 Activities for 3 Days in Krabi
Day 1 Railay Rock Climbing
For rock climbers, Railay is the ultimate destination in Thailand for climbing due to karst formations rising dramatically from the beaches or straight out of the ocean. The most popular spots to climb are on the Railay peninsula, with Railay West providing some of the best (and most challenging) spots to climb right off the white sand beach. On Railay East, the climbing wall is in a mangrove lined bay, which is less visually stunning, but has easier climb routes. Gear can be rented at Railay and lessons can be booked at local shops. Arrive early to book lessons since the area can get crowded! Free climbers can hire a boat to take them out to climb the offshore formations that allow for cliff jumping into the ocean after climbing, a perfect way to cool off!
Day 2 Bumming on the Best Beaches in Krabi
For beach bums, one of Krabi’s best beaches is right at the end of the strip of Railay West. Phra Nang beach (do not confuse this with Ao Nang, scroll below for more info) is a beautiful strip of white sand with a karst formation sitting just offshore and is great place to spend the day on the beach. Food and drink are readily available from the boat vendors who park right on the beach. Further along Railay West near the rock climbing wall, you can watch the rock climbers make their assault while lazing away on the beach with a beer. For a good laugh, check out Phra Nang cave at the end of the beach next to the rock climbing wall for a shrine of phalluses placed for the spirit of the princess who Phra Nang beach is named after.
Note: This beach is not usable at low tide.
Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi is also one of the best beaches in the province. Nestled on the protected island of Phi Phi Ley, this beach has been spared most of the overdevelopment that plagues most beaches in Thailand. However, loads of tourist boats visit here throughout the day. The best time to enjoy the beach by yourself is early in the morning or late afternoon after all the tours have gone. You can charter your own longtail boats from Phi Phi Don to take you here at those times. Otherwise, you can join one the day trips that will take you around Phi Phi Ley and will make a stop at Maya Bay.
Day 3 Krabi Island Hopping
Krabi is a great destination to do some serious island hopping. For active travellers, sea kayaking is a great way to explore the coastline and its many karst formations. The Andaman Sea is shallow for long distances off the shore and the water is calm. Therefore making conditions ideal for sea kayaking. Kayak from Ao Nang to the Railay peninsula, explore the offshore karst formations near the resorts of north Krabi, or go further afield with an tour guide into the mangroves that line the coastline.
For those too lazy to paddle, the Andaman Sea in Krabi has a wealth of islands to explore. The islands of Ko Phi Phi were the filming location for “The Beach” and a popular day trip from Krabi. Ko Lanta is a quiet throwback to how Thailand used to be before it was discovered, while nearby Ko Hong is a perfect location for kayaking and snorkeling.
Flying into Krabi Airport (KBV) is the easiest way to get here from overseas or from Bangkok. Several international airlines fly directly here and there are many budget airlines plying the route every hour from Bangkok. Make sure to grab a local sim card so you can easily get online anywhere in Krabi!
Travellers who are already in Phuket can take the ferry or bus here. Alternatively, you can hire a car to take you along the beautiful Phang Nga province on the way to Krabi .
Krabi is a very big province. If staying at the big resorts north of Ao Nang, renting a car is a good option to get around since taxis are expensive to get to Ao Nang where many activities are. The roads here are quieter than other parts of Thailand, making it easy to self-drive. Otherwise, you can hire a taxi or private car to take you around. Note that most “taxis” here are actually larger open air tuk-tuks, so if you need a vehicle with AC, you must generally book in advance.
For some locations, such as Railay or Ko Phi Phi, a boat is required for access (even for Railay, which is an inaccessible peninsula). Longtail boats frequently ply the route from Ao Nang to Railay, or you can rent a kayak and paddle yourself there. The Phi Phi islands are farther out and require a speedboat or ferry to access. Hop on the ferry at Ao Nang or Krabi town. Otherwise, you can also book a speedboat to take you out there.
Where To Stay
Most of the larger resorts are north of Ao Nang along the coast across from Ko Hong. These are huge luxury resorts with very beautiful grounds, but little to do outside of the resort. Ao Nang has the best mix of budget to luxury accommodation with tourist amenities such as markets, shops, restaurants, etc. Railay has some very exclusive resorts and some very cheap backpacker lodging aimed for climbers. The location is very beautiful and remote after hours, but there are fewer facilities here than in Ao Nang. Krabi town is a provincial Thai town that is larger, but has fewer tourist draws except as a transit hub. The Phi Phi islands have lodging on Phi Phi Don, but Phi Phi Ley is a national park and only allows camping with permits.