Krabi Province is a popular beach destination at the Andaman Sea in Southern Thailand.
Krabi, a coastal province, abounds with countless natural attractions that never fail to impress tourists. Such attractions include white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, fascinating coral reefs, caves and waterfalls, as well as numerous islands.
The distinguishing feature of both Krabi and neighboring Phang Nga is the massive limestone karsts, rising vertiginously out of the flat rice paddies on land and as islands from the sea. Add in some gorgeous beaches and excellent scuba diving and rock climbing, and it's little wonder that tourism in the area has been booming. While less commercialized than neighboring Phuket, Krabi Province cannot be described as undiscovered: it receives two million visitors a year, and the major tourist areas cater extensively for foreigners.
From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that Krabi was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this town may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means sword. This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
The best time to visit Krabi is between the months November to April when the area's climate is less hot than usual. During this period the island gets a lot of dry North Easterly winds, so giving dry blue skies and starry nights. Then, down on the beaches one can enjoy nice sea breezes. From June to November the area gets a lot of rainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. During this period the island gets a lot of moist South Westerly winds, so giving a mixture of dry days and wet ones. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round. Visitors however, coming in this period will find it cheaper.
Bordering the Andaman Sea, Krabi is located 814 kilometers south of Bangkok and covers an area of 4,708 square kilometers. Its mountainous physical geography is broken by highlands and plains, covering more than 130 large and small islands, and abounding with mangrove forests. The Krabi River flows 5 kilometers through the town and into the Andaman Sea at Tambon Pak Nam. There are also klongs (canals) such as Klong Pakasai, Klong Krabi Yai, and Klong Krabi Noi, which all originate from Krabi’s highest mountain Mount Phanom Bencha.
North: borders with Phang-nga and Surat Thani
South: borders with Trang and the Andaman Sea
East: borders with Nakhon Si Thammarat
West: borders with Phang-nga and the Andaman Sea
You can get around on English alone in the more touristic areas, although a few words of Thai will come in handy off the beaten track and will be much appreciated anywhere. A number of other European languages are spoken in dive shops
Direct connections are by air, road and sea from other parts of Thailand.
Krabi International Airport (KBV) is about 10 km from the city limits, 15km from city centre. It is 40km from Ao Nang and 23km from Had Yao.
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited: Tel. 1566, 0 2280 0060, 0 2628 2000, 0 2356 1111, 0 7570 1591 – 93 .
Krabi International Airport, Tel. 0 7563 6541- 2
Air Asia Airlines: Tel. 0 2515 9999 or visit www.airasia.com.
To/from outside Thailand
Air Asia has daily flights to/from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tiger Airways flies to/from Singapore 4 times a week.
Search more from http://www.hotelandhostel.net/
The international departure tax surcharge is 700 baht but is included in most tickets now; domestic departure tax is included in the price of the flight.
National Car Rental has a branch at the airport; motorcycle taxi rides are available outside the terminal. Krabi Limousine (tel. +66-75692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides "limousine taxi" (using large air-conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 baht; Ao Nang for 800 baht; Phuket for 2500 baht.
Getting to/from airport:
An air conditioned airport bus service links the airport with Krabi Town, Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara Beach. Fares are 90baht to Krabi and 150 baht to Ao Nang/Noppharat Thara. Buses meet all flight arrivals. Songthaews run from Krabi Town to the airport and cost 30-50 baht, depending how much they overcharge you. Going to the airport, they will drop you at the departure terminal. From the airport, you will have to walk out and catch them along the main road to Krabi, a distance of about 400m.
Krabi does not have a railway station. Most travellers head to Surat Thani and transfer onto buses to Krabi from there. See the Surat Thani page for train times and the "By Bus" section below for bus connections between Krabi and Surat Thani.
To/from Bangkok:There are regular direct bus services between Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal and Krabi (~ 500 baht), but probably the best option is to take a VIP bus, which for 250 baht more makes the 10 hour ride much more comfortable. Buses from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (tel. +66-24351199) to Krabi take about 12 hours and depart as follows:
VIP bus - 07:20 - 1055 baht
First class bus - 19:00 - 680 baht
Second class bus - 07:30, 19:00, 19:30, 21:00 - 378 baht
To/from Surat Thani: Buses run from Krabi's bus terminal at Taladkao. Buses connect Krabi with Surat Thani with connections to ferries to Ko Samui and the other islands). Choose your ticket carefully - the trip should take no more than three hours, but some travellers have endured ridiculous ten hour rides (giving thieves ample time to go through the bags underneath the bus) which included extensive "repair stops" right in front of restaurants coincidentally affiliated with the bus company... such hassles can be avoided by using state/government-run BKS (บขส) buses (fare 140 baht) instead of dodgy private operators.
To/from Phuket: Shuttle buses run between Krabi airport and Phuket airport several times a day. There are also mini-buses that make the 2 hour run (more likely to be 3 hours). They depart every hour from Phuket busstation for 120 baht.
To/from Hat Yai: Vans take just over 4 hours, and cost around 250 Bt, and pick up / drop off generally where you want.
To/from Ao Nang: White-coloured songthaews run from Krabi Town to Ao Nang via Klong Jilard, Sai Thai, Ao Nang Junction Village and Noppharat Thara Beach. Fares 50 baht during the day until 18:00, 60 baht between 18:00 and 22:00. They run every ten minutes during the day and every 30 minutes after 18:00. In Krabi, songthaews depart from in front of the 7-Eleven on Thanon Maharat.
Krabi is on Highway 4. Shared songthaews (pickup truck taxis) from Ao Nang to Krabi are frequent and cost Bt 40. Originating in Phang-nga province, Highway 4 links many of the province’s districts. Other main routes include:
Highway 4035 to Plai Phraya district (Krabi) & Phra Saeng district (Surat Thani)
Highway 4034 links Ao Nang and Nopparat beaches
Highway 4037 to Khao Phanom district (towards Surat Thani)
Highway 4038 links Klong Thom and Lam Thap districts Highway 4206 links Klong Thom to Koh Lanta
Proceed along Highway No. 4, passing Phetchaburi – Prachuap Khiri Khan – Chumphon – Ranong – Phang-nga, to Krabi. The total distance is 946 kilometers.
Travel along Highway No. 4 onto Highway No. 41 at Chumphon via Amphoe Lang Suan and Amphoe Chaiya, Surat Thani. Proceed towards Amphoe Wiang Sa, change to Highway No. 4035 for Amphoe Ao Luek, and switch back to Highway No. 4 again to Krabi. This route is 814 kilometers. From Phuket: Proceed along Highways No. 402 and No. 4. The total distance is 176 kilometers.
Proceed along Highways No. 402 and No. 4. The total distance is 176 kilometers.
Ferries run from/to Ko Phi Phi, Ko Jum and Ko Lanta daily. Most depart in the morning. Tickets can be purchased at the dock or from tourist offices and most local guesthouses and hotels. The normal passenger ferry does not start from the center of town anymore, but from a new passenger port about 3 km outside Krabi. Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in the price of your ticket. If your boat starts from the old piers in the center of town (Chao Fah pier or Phi Phi pier), you are most likely on a more expensive and longer tourist boat ride. Also, make sure that when you arrive at the airport the taxi driver takes you to the correct pier. Many times they'll take you to a travel agent near the old pier and sell you additional accommodations or services. Only ever buy the ticket you need. Prices will often get cheaper the closer you get to your next destination.
Ferry tickets to Ko Phi Phi are 450 baht when purchased from a travel agent.
The large displayed time-tables in the many travel agencies are just for show and the times are not to be taken literally. Ask. As of July 2007, there were two ferries a day from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi a day: 9am and 2:30pm. They add additional ferries during high-season.
The pier at Klong Jilad, for ferries to and from Ko Phi Phi has a taxi desk with posted prices: 150 baht to Krabi town, and 350 baht to the airport.
Songthaew (public passenger pick-up vehicles)
Various tourist attractions can be conveniently reached by local Songthaew. Such attractions include Ban Huai To, Ban Nong Thale, Ban Khao Thong, Hat Noppharat Thara, Susan Hoi, Ao Nang, Ban Khlong Muang, Ban Nai Sa, Amphoe Khao Phanom, Amphoe Nuea Khlong, Amphoe Khlong Thom, Ban Bo Muang, Ban Hua Hin, Ban Khlong Phon, Amphoe Lam Thap, Amphoe Ao Luek, and Amphoe Plai Phraya. The local Songthaews depart from the Vogue Department Store on Maha Rat Road. Trips to other destinations can be made by taxi and rental car.
Krabi is mostly coast and islands, so you'll be spending quite some time on boats when getting around. The most common boat type for shorter hops is the long-tail boat (reua hang yao), which true to the name has the propeller at the end of a long 'tail' stretching from the boat. This makes them supremely manoeuvrable even in shallow waters, but they're a little underpowered for longer trips and you'll get wet if it's even a little choppy.
Krabi — base for plenty of beaches and islands
Koh Phi Phi A day trip by speedboat is the preferred way to visit these famous isles, though it can be the bumpy ride so is best avoided by those with back problems. Most people visit the island on a day cruise from the mainland or Koh Lanta, which takes in all the main beaches (including Maya Bay, “The Beach” of the Hollywood film) and snorkeling areas, but its also possible to stay overnight on the largest island in the group, Phi Phi Don.
Koh Hong These islands are located 25km North West of Ao Nang (a 45-minute longtail boat ride) and only 10km from Klong Muang. There are spectacular beaches on Koh Hong, itself as well as a hidden lagoon. There is also a nature trail inside the island as well as basic picnic facilities belonging to the National Marine Park.
Chicken, Poda and Tub islands These islands directly opposite Ao Nang are the closest to the mainland coast. Visit the spectacular white sand of Koh Poda before heading around to the sweeping sandback running between chicken, Mor and Tub islands at the low tide, Thale Wake (the Separated Sea), one of Unseen Thailand.
Tharnbok Khorani National Park Take a stroll in the shady woodland and swim in the deep pool at its centre.
Tha Pom Mangrove River Many Hued, fast flowing river, reached by a short nature trail, makes a refreshing swim
Hot Spring Nature’s own Jacuzzi, best visited early morning or late afternoon t avoid the crowds.
Crystal Pool An astonishingly bright and clear swimming hole reached after a pleasant walk through the forest.
Khao Kanab Nam Dog-ear’ symbols of Krabi, these crags are accessible by boat from Ruen Pae pier in town and contain large caves in their interior.
Ao Nang — Krabi's most developed beach, a long beach fringed by palm trees
Had Yao (Long Beach) — the last untouched beach in Krabi Province, and perhaps the most spectacular with its views of Jum Mountain and Ao Nang's cliff walls
Ko Jum — peace & quiet for those looking for solitude
Ko Lanta — sleepy island, the new escape for those who find Ao Nang/Rai Leh too touristy
Ko Ngai — part of Krabi Province, but easier to reach from Trang
Ko Siboya — rural Thailand with a difference
Rai Leh — Thailand's rock climbing Mecca, a craggy peninsula with several small beaches
Ton Sai — cheapest bungalows in the area, referred by backpackers away from the hordes of tourists and an easy walk to Rai Leh
Wat Kaew: one of the main temples in Krabi town, new building (to some it may look like a shiny white wedding cake) located on Thanon Maharat close to Th. Pattana. Contemporary Art Museum of Krabi, opposite Wat Kaew, open T-Su 10:00 to 5:00.
Tiger Temple (Wat Tham Sua): one of the most famous temples in Southern Thailand, located on top of a mountain about 3 km northeast of the Krabi town. There is a stairways with 1237 steps to the top to visit a tiger's footprint on the top of mountain. Those who make it to the top will also be rewarded with 360 degree views of the area and the sea. To get here is just a few Km out of town and a couple from the bus station. Should cost no more than B200 in a taxi. As you walk in, you will see a huge Stupa on the right with steps leading up inside. Entrance fee is B199, but this is NOT the Tiger Temple!!!! Continue walking past the shop on the left, apparently run by the Temple, which advertises bananas to feed the monkeys (and then there are many notices which advise against feeding them because they are a pest - and they are, one tried to attack the Writer!) Shortly on the left you will see the steps upward (there is no cost for this but you can leave a donation at the top if you make it) Be careful! Many of the steps are quite steep! If you have health problems, please think about this! The view from the top is phenomenal!
Rock climbing. Krabi is a world class rock-climbing destination, with the distinctive limestone karst formations offer a wide variety of climbs.
Diving. Krabi rivals Ko Tao on Thailand's east coast as a centre for diving, with a number of renowned dive sites in the Andaman sea, with many dive shops in Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta in particular set up to cater for them.
Boat Trips. Boat travel is one of the major ways to visit some of the more secluded beaches on the Krabi mainland, as well as the many islands and islets dotting the Andaman sea. A wide variety of options to suit different budgets is available, from distinctive longtail boats used by the locals to speedboats and cruise ships.
At night there is a charming night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Food is good and cheap, with Muslim influences. From time to time the town organizes shows on a small stage next to the market.
An even better market can be found on Maharat Soi (Lane) 10 in the centre of town. This market has plenty of fresh fruit and lots of authentic cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise point and enjoy. This market does not sell alcohol. There is also the new 'Walking Street' night market, between Vogue Department store and ViengThong Hotel, Fri-Sun, 5-10pm which sells food and general items such as clothes and handicrafts etc, and there is a largish seating area. Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in South Thailand) on Maharaj Soi 9 (behind the Shell station).
For early birds only. After 8am all the action is subsiding. Exactly at that time you can watch a show of national pride: the national anthem is playing and almost everyone comes to a standstill for a minute. The best place to get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable, khao njao (sticky rice), PatongKhoo, ChaRaawn (sweetened Thai-Tea) or fresh hot soymilk. The section of fresh fish and meat sellers is for hardened stomachs only.
There are several Italian restaurants of varying degrees of authenticity. Viva has Italian management. Since August 2010 Tamarind restaurant in ChaoFaa road is a good option too with amazingly good Pizza from 150-190TB, thin and crispy,
The Sin-O-Cha bakery next to Vogue department store does meals and is a good place for breakfast or to have coffee and cake. At night the pavement pancake stall outside the bakery is always packed with locals, the pancakes are larger than those at other stalls.
RuenMai restaurant, about 2km from the center on Marharat road, has very nice atmosphere and very good local dishes from 100 TB. open every day but closing between 3 and 5pm. You can get great western and thai breakfast (and maybe even the best coffee) at Relax Coffee near the pier.
Arun is a good breakfast place too (same roadside as Relax, more colourful atmosphere here, just what they call Cappuccino doesn't deserve this name, better go for the fresh Thai-coffee version: a large, very strong coffee. closed during low season.
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