Krabi province and is a gateway to one of the best beaches in Thailand. This region is very popular among tourists, if not, the most popular and perfect for anyone who is coming to Asia for the first time. Why? Thailand in general is very developed regarding tourism, that means you have many hotels and restaurants to choose from, and there are always ways to get to any island you like. Krabi province has many beautiful islands and they are more or less easy to reach. And some of the islands are perfect for day trips from Krabi Town. We would love to share with you the best beaches in Krabi province an why we love them.
BEST BEACHES IN KRABI PROVINCE
Once you are in Krabi Town and you plan to enjoy the best beaches around, it’s best to go to Ao Nang Beach (40 minutes from Krabi Town Airport) and stay there. There are also pick-up trucks that will take you for little money. If you don’t stay near the beach in Ao Nang, you can rent the scooter to get there (1 Day around 250 Baht).
BEST BEACHES IN KRABI YOU CAN REACH BY BOAT
You can take many trips with longtail boats to the best beaches around Krabi Town. Here it starts getting a bit confusing especially for travellers who are not sure where to stay. Ao Nang Beach is actually the place located closer to the beautiful islands and beaches around. You can join many tours or even look for a private tour. Just come to Ao Nang Beach and look for a booth where they sell tickets. Or even better, ask at your hotel. The boat ride to Railay Beach East takes 45min. Be aware that Railay Beach West is the famous beach everyone talks about if one talks about Railay Beach. More on that you’ll find further down in the article.
PRIVATE BOAT TOUR
We decided to go for a private tour which our hotel owner organised. We love Thailand because it is very easy to organize these kind of things. If your are in a hotel, hosts probably know someone who own boats and offer tours. The private tour our host organised for us was 2.500 Baht for both of us. This doesn’t include the entrance ticket to the national park you will enter.
With a private boat you have the advantage to start your day earlier. Our goal was to head of to the nearby islands as soon as possible so we could be the first ones on Tup Island. We love private tours especially in Thailand because they are really affordable and guides are very friendly. You can create your own day according to what you like. Furthermore, you can also decide how much time you would like to spend at a specific location. We love it.
HOW MUCH IS THE TICKET TO HAD NOPPHARATTHARA – MUH KOH PHI PHI?
Islands which you should visit such as Koh Poda, Tup or Chicken Island are part of the Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The price for the national park varies for tourists and locals. In January 2018 we paid 400 Baht per person to enter this national park. That was during high season. During the low season it will only cost you 100-200 Baht, depending on the time of your visit.
We were picked up at 7:30 a.m. at our hotel and drove with a tuk-tuk to Ao Nang Beach. When we arrived to Tup Island, there were only few people, which was very nice and great for taking pictures. Tup Island is a very small island with a beautiful white sand beach and easily belongs to one of the best beaches in Krabi. What is special about this island is that you can cross from Tup Island to another island called Ko Mor. On Tup island we purchased our tickets to the national park (400 Baht per person).
CHICKEN ISLAND (KOH KAI)
After Tup Island we continued to Chicken Island. You can spend some time on this island as well. During low tide you can walk from Chicken Island to Tup Island. Unfortunately we couldn’t do that, as we had a high tide. But we drove around Chicken Island as I wanted to see if the island really looks like chicken. And it does! I was so excited and happy to see it. It was awesome and one of the coolest islands I have ever seen. I mean, chicken island. Can you believe that there is an island which looks like this? 😀
KOH PODA AND SECRET BEACH
Koh Poda has one of the best beaches in Krabi. It is a small beach referred to as “Secret Beach” with surprisingly few people. Most of the tours and boats stay on Chicken Island or go straight to Railay Beach. Because we wanted to see other beaches which are not that known, our awesome guide took us there. When we arrived to Koh Poda, we said: “This is it, this is the Thailand we love.” The water was crystal clear. You can snorkel too as there are many cute fish around. However, be careful. They look cute, but they might bite your butt 😀 (don’t worry, they are harmless).
Little tip: If you clim up the rock you will get to a small cave where you can have this amazing view. Honestly, we would love to go back there. One of the the most iconic Thai beaches in Krabi province.
AO PHRA NANG BEACH
After beautiful Koh Poda we headed to Ao Phra Nang Beach. It was super crowded and too many people for our taste. If you walk to the end of the beach, you will get to a very interesting cave called Princess Cave. For tourists it is a funny place but for the locals it is a monument to fertility. At least our captain said that. We didn’t want to put a picture of it as it somehow doesn’t fit 😀 but google it and you will know what we mean. If you pass by the cave, and continue, you will get to big rocks. If you are interested in climbing, you can do some climbing there or observe climbers hanging in the rocks. This photo of Ao Phra Nang belongs to our article: Our best drone shots we took in Southeast Asia.
CHECK OUT OTHER DRONE SHOTS HERE.
Ao Phra Nang Beach is not necessarily one of the best beaches in Krabi, as it is hard to chill there due to the amount of people around. But it is a great stop-over if you are hungry. Many longtail boats offer quick snacks and lunch for reasonable prices.
RAILAY BEACH (WEST)
There are two Railay beaches: Railay Beach West and Railay Beach East. The one which you see below is Railay West. Many people consider Railay as one of the best beaches in Krabi. We can see why. The beach is broad and surrounded by beautiful rocks which is absolutely breathtaking. There is an resort and some small restaurants too. But for our taste there were just to many people. However, the typical thai boats make this place really iconic. We are glad that we visited but we would rather go back to our little paradise, Koh Poda 🙂
MU KO HONG GROUP
This is another day trip which you can do from Ao Nang Beach. We didn’t go for it as we heard from our host that Ko Hong is very touristy and we wouldn’t enjoy it much. We also didn’t have so much time in Krabi so we had to choose between Ko Hong and Chicken Island. We choose Chicken Island 😀
Ko Hong belongs to 13 small islands which are located in Than Bok Khorani National Park. All 13 paradise islands form the Mu Ko Hong group. Ko Hong (Room Island) is the largest island among them and often referred to as paradise island. It is surrounded by beautiful limestone cliffs, turquoise waters and lagoons. To enter this park you will be asked to pay around 300 Baht the person. Travelfish (one of the best travel guide for Southeast Asia) describes the classical boat tours as a bad experience and definitely not as something enjoyable. They also suggest you to take a private tour. And honestly we would do that as well.
Travelfish quotes: “arranging a private boat will allow you to leave earlier and reach some of the islands before they’re overrun. This way you can also decide where to go. Rather than follow the big tour boats, you might ask to stop at less-frequented islands, like Ko Lao Riam, Ko Pakka and Ko Daeng.”
We do believe Ko Hong group is still worth a visit. Just make sure you take a private boat to choose when and where you want to go.
WHERE ELSE TO GO TO FROM KRABI?
From Krabi you can easily get to the island Ko Lanta. This is not a day trip and if you decide to go to Ko Lanta we recommend you to stay there at least for a couple of days. There are many companies which organize shuttle buses from Krabi Town. It takes around 3 hours to get to Ko Lanta. Ko Lanta is one of these islands which are still not discovered by many tourists. It is a very nice island with a laid-back atmosphere and many beautiful beaches. This was our favorite:
Just rent a scooter and drive around to find your little piece of paradise.
KO PHI PHI
Probably every one knows Ko Phi Phi and famous Maya Bay. Ko Phi Phi is another group of islands which are located in the Krabi Province. You can also reach Ko Phi Phi from Krabi town. But the easier way to get to Ko Phi Phi is actually from Phuket. Ko Phi Phi is a nice place but it unfortunately became super touristy. But we can’t blame anyone for that or can we?
We recommend you to spend some time on other islands which are not that overcrowded. Just check out Ko Lanta. However, we did a boat tour around Ko Phi Phi and we really loved the Loh Moo Dee Beach. There was absolutely no one.
Maya Bay or The Beach belongs to one of the most famous beaches in Thailand. If it wouldn’t be so touristy, probably one of the best beaches in Thailand and maybe Southeast Asia. However, as everyone knows it’s a tourist trap. The beach was and regularly will be closed for some time to clean it up and protect it from the masses of tourists and boats that drop them off. Especially the reckless speed boats are threaten marine life tremendously.
HOW TO GET TO KRABI TOWN?
Krabi Town has an airport and it offers many affordable flights from Bangkok and other Thai cities. We flew to Krabi from Bangkok. The transportation from Krabi airport to the city is quite okay. You can take a taxi which is more expensive as a shuttle bus. Shuttle buses take more time but if you are on a budget then this is perfect for you. The shuttle bus will take you straight to your hotel in Krabi Town but be aware that it might take some time (as you the bus might be dropping other passengers first).
We stayed in a place called Krabi Pitta House. It was solid and they were generous enough to store our luggage. They also helped us with transport to Ko Lanta which we appreciated.
WHERE TO STAY AT AO NANG BEACH
We stayed a bit outside of Ao Nang Beach and we highly recommend it. It is a beautiful place called Rangsiman Resort (4,9 on Google Reviews). We didn’t really like the idea to be exposed to the touristic overkill in Ao Nang Beach (Lonely Planet calls it “a little trashy”) and we didn’t want to splurge neither. We were very happy with our decision.
WHEN TO VISIT KRABI
The Krabi region is located on the west coast of Thailand. The best time to visit Krabi is in dry season which is from end of December to April. The rainy season starts in May and lasts into December. Rainy season is not bad neither, for once the hotels are cheaper. You still have plenty hours of sunshine per day and less tourists around.
Hope you enjoyed our article and will explore the best beaches in Krabi.
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DISCLAIMER: We paid the accommodation and the tours at Rangsiman Resort ourselves. Same holds true for Krabi Pitta House. However, if you use our link to booking.com to book your stay at Rangsiman Resort and Krabi Pitta House (or any other hotel) we will earn a little commission at NO EXTRA COST FOR YOU.