Krabi is a beautiful beach destination boasting the unparalleled natural scenery that Thailand is famous for and lots of adventurous activities. Whether you simply want to relax on pristine beaches, or take in a unique cultural experience, Krabi can be a wonderful tropical paradise for families.
From exploring limestone cliffs and hidden lagoons to relaxing in the sand and playing in the gentle water, Krabi promises an unforgettable vacation for families visiting Thailand with kids.
This travel guide to the best things to do in Krabi, Thailand outlines the 11 best activities in Krabi that will surely entertain the adventure enthusiasts, nature lovers, or simply families who enjoy relaxing on the beach.
About Krabi, Thailand
Situated on the stunning Andaman coast of Thailand, Krabi is a popular tourist destination in Thailand. Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, the coastal town is also a gateway to Thailand’s most famous islands like Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi – ranked among the best destinations in Asia for a family vacation.
The capital of the Krabi Province, the town has a population around 32,000 residents, but attracts millions of tourists each year – eager to play in the turquoise waters, climb the limestone cliffs, or explore the surrounding jungles.
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How to get to Krabi
Because Krabi thrives on tourism – it’s largest industry – it is easy to get to the town on the west coast of Southern Thailand. You can fly directly into Krabi Airport on one of nine airlines.
With direct flights from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Phuket, as well as cities in other Asian countries like Singapore and Malaysia, flying to Krabi is easy and fairly inexpensive. The airport is located about 40 minutes from Ao Nang Beach, so if you are staying within walking distance from the beach, expect a drive once you arrive.
There are plenty of shuttle buses and taxis at the airport you can catch once you arrive, so there is no need to schedule transportation in advance. However, if you decide to do so, you can pre-arrange transportation here.
Additionally, you can also take an overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani similar to the sleeper train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai, and then catch a bus to Krabi. If you book the sleeper train to Surat Thani, we would recommend spending a day or two in Khao Sok National Park before taking the bus or a private transfer to Krabi.
Where to stay in Krabi
Because tourism is Krabi’s main industry, you’ll have no problem finding hotels in every budget when visiting Krabi. While you could stay in Krabi town, we recommend staying close to Ao Nang Beach to put you within walking distance of shops, restaurants, water activities and the night market.
From inexpensive hostels to beachfront resorts, here are a few great, family-friendly places to stay in Krabi.
Top 11 Things to Do in Krabi
You now know how to get to Krabi and where to stay, let’s dive into the best things to do in Krabi Thailand once you arrive. Here are our top recommended activities and attractions in Krabi.
Relax at Railay Beach
No trip to Krabi would be complete without a visit to Railay Beach.
Accessible only by boat due to its limestone cliffs, Railay Beach offers stunning scenery, calm, shallow water that is perfect for families with young children, soft sand, beachside restaurants, and rock climbing opportunities for the adventure seekers. (More on that below.)
You could spend a full day relaxing at Railay Beach. From Ao Nang Beach, catch a longtail boat for 200 baht a person to Railay. If you prefer the serenity of the beach after the crowds leave at low tide, you could even stay at one of the beachfront properties at Railay Beach.
Go Island Hopping
Krabi is surrounded by some of the most idyllic islands in the world, each with its own unique charm, topography and atmosphere. One of the most popular things to do in Krabi is to take an island tour to explore places like Koh Phi Phi, Maya Beach, Koh Pai or the Hong Islands.
Snorkel in the vibrant coral reefs, soak in the water on a private island, and revel in the breathtaking scenery in lagoons and coves surrounded by towering cliffs.
If you have extra time, many people choose to stay a few days on the islands to truly soak in the atmosphere and experience the islands without the day tripper crowds. There are a lot of great places to stay on Koh Phi Phi, if you prefer to spend a night or two on the island. If you do so, you can easily just catch the ferry from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi rather than booking a guided tour to the islands.
Take a Sunset Stroll along Ao Nang Beach
If you stay in Ao Nang, you can also spend a day exploring the vibrant beach town known for its lively atmosphere and beautiful sunsets.
During high tide in the morning hours, there is very little shore at Ao Nang and the part that is exposed and not under the water consists of crushed up shells.
However, at sunset when Ao Nang is experiencing low tide, the beach is much larger and soft sand is exposed, making it the perfect place for a sunset stroll or simply to sit and witness the sky ablaze with colors as the sun dips below the horizon.
We recommend starting your day at Railay Beach during high tide, and then ending your day at Ao Nang for sunset views.
Kayaking is one of the best things to do in Krabi. In fact, renting a kayak is one of the best ways to find hidden coves or access empty beach areas on uninhabited islands visible from popular beaches like Railay.
Kayaking is not only a fun family experience, but it is also a great workout and a way to escape the crowds along the beaches and find serenity among the natural beauty.
Take in the Atmosphere at Night
Whether you stay in Krabi town or Ao Nang, you’ll find an energizing night scene which centers around their night markets. Night markets are popular places to visit in Thailand. They’re some of the best things to do in Krabi, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok.
At the Krabi Night Market or the Ao Nang Landmark Night Market or night market place, you can indulge in the local culture and cuisine. The bustling markets offer a wide array of street food, handicrafts, clothing, and Thai souvenirs.
Don’t forget to haggle for the best deals and try some delicious Thai delicacies!
You’ll often find fire performances and live music which adds to the energy of the atmosphere.
Tour Tiger Cave Temple
For a unique cultural experience in Krabi, escape the beaches for a day and climb the 1,237 steps to reach the Tiger Cave Temple. Perched atop a hill with panoramic views of Krabi’s landscape, the temple is known for its golden Buddha statue and the tiger paw prints in the cave.
Considered one of the most significant temples in Thailand, Tiger Cave Temple, or Wat Tham Seua, is both a spiritual and historical place.
Keep in mind if you want to visit Tiger Cave Temple, this is a strenuous hike that requires a decent fitness level to reach the top.
You’ll also want to bring temple-appropriate coverings – like a shoulder covering or elephant pants. You can borrow clothing at the temple for a small donation, as well.
Explore Phra Nang Beach and Princess Cave
Phra Nang Cave Beach, accessible by a path from Railay Beach East or by kayak or longboat from Railay West, is best known for its cave that holds a shrine once created by fishermen and locals to the spirit of the Princess of Phranang Cave.
The shrine is filled with flowers and phallus-shaped lingam gifts carved from wood. The eye-catching wooden offerings are said to bring prosperity and fertility to the earth.
Aside from the cave, the beach itself boasts turquoise waters, powdery sand, and cave overhangs, making a wonderful destination for beachgoers looking for a unique cove to spend some time.
Swim in Emerald Pool and Admire the Blue Lagoon
The Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, located in the southwestern part of the Krabi Province, is home to the famous Emerald Pool. Here you can take a dip in the emerald-hued, mineral-rich waters, surrounded by lush forests.
Then hike through the jungle to the Blue Lagoon, and marvel at the overhanging trees with their massive roots extending across the bright blue water.
Hike Up Monkey Trail
If staying near Ao Nang and want to do a quick hike that doesn’t require a tour or renting a car, Monkey Trail offers a fun scenic adventure up a wooden staircase and along a path of wooden planks surrounded by tropical vegetation and wild monkeys.
The trail’s name is derived from the playful macaques that may cross your path, adding a touch of wildlife interaction to the journey. The path is well laid out but can be steep and somewhat rickety at times. It can be a challenging hike, particularly for elderly visitors or those with less physical endurance.
Another word of warning, the monkeys have been known to snatch hikers’ belongings. Don’t feed them or try to pet them, as they are wild animals and can become aggressive.
Get a Thai Massage
Walk along any main street in Krabi or Ao Nang and you will certainly pass no fewer than a dozen massage parlors. Do not pass up the opportunity to get a Thai Massage while you are there! Starting around 200 baht ($7 USD) you can get a soothing and rejuvenating 1-hour massage.
The massage’s centuries-old techniques, rooted in Thai healing traditions, not only ease physical ailments but also provide a tranquil respite for the mind. By applying pressure, stretching your body, and massaging your muscles, your masseuse will leave you feeling relaxed and restored.
We loved it so much, we went twice! And for those with kids, our 8-year-old was able to get a massage alongside us. It truly is one of the best things to do in Krabi, Thailand.
Go Rock Climbing
Krabi is a popular destination for rock climbing enthusiasts – offering a seemingly endless number of vertical challenges on its iconic cliffs.
Although we didn’t scale the cliffs overlooking the brilliant blue water, we enjoyed watching daring climbers embark on their climbing expedition from the comfort of the sand at Railay Beach.
If you’re up for the physical challenge and adrenaline rush, you can book a half-day guided rock climbing tour suitable for either beginners or intermediate climbers ages 5 and up.
Other things to do in Krabi
If you have additional time and are looking for other things to do in Krabi or nearby, here are a couple extra activities to consider during your stay.
Day trip to Khao Sok National Park
A day trip to Khao Sok National Park is a great way to see one of Thailand’s most stunning national parks. Located about 2 ½ hours away by car, Khao Sok is a great way to escape the crowds in Krabi and see some of the most stunning scenery.
You can book a guided day trip that includes a full day Cheow Lan Lake tour or rent a car and do a self drive to Khao Sok where you can book a longtail boat.
However, if time permits, we recommend booking a trip that includes an overnight stay at an overwater bungalow for the most memorable experience.
Visit an Elephant Sanctuary
Visiting an elephant sanctuary is one of the best things to do in Chiang Mai with kids, where the majority of Thailand’s elephant sanctuaries are located. But there are some elephant sanctuaries in southern Thailand, as well.
If your Thailand itinerary doesn’t take you to Chiang Mai, you might want to consider visiting an elephant sanctuary in Krabi.
Just be sure to do your research and make sure you are choosing an ethical elephant sanctuary, where the majestic creatures are treated with love and respect, and are not abused or forced to perform tricks for tourists.
How many days do you need in Krabi?
Krabi is great for a short visit or even an extended stay. Plan to spend at least 3-4 nights in Krabi, which will give you enough time for a tour of the nearby islands, a hike to the temple, and plenty of beach and night market activities. You want to be sure to build in a lazy beach day and plenty of time for relaxation.
In addition, you take a day trip to Khao Sok National Park, although we strongly recommend spending at least one night in Khao Sok.
But whether you spend a few days or a full week at the beach destination, there are so many things to do in Krabi that it will certainly become one of your favorite places to visit in Thailand!
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