- Tropical contemporary
- Seductive Si Kao seaside
- Total Thai temptress
- Sparkling sea, craggy karsts
- Sand-circled garden pavilions
- Sun-kissed limestone peninsula
- Craggy cliffs, beautiful beaches, unspoilt views
- Coast life
- Hard-bodied backpackers and sun-kissed sophisticates
With world-renowned hotels, high-kicking nightlife, mountains of adventure, and countless beaches and islands a long-tail boat ride away, Krabi is deservedly one of Thailand’s rising stars.
Not so long ago, the only way to get to Krabi was via Phuket. Back then, off-the-beaten-track backpackers used this gorgeous, mountain-flanked coastal strip as their playground, drawn by its snorkel-clear waters, seriously-white-sand beaches and astonishing karst cliffs (which they climbed for sport). Since the airport opened, however, Krabi’s been gradually evolving. New hotels mean places for Prada-packing mojito-sippers to rest their tired Manolo-shod soles in style and comfort. Compared to other hotspots like Samui and Phuket, though, Krabi’s still relatively underdeveloped, which is perfect if all you want is some quality time, barefoot, in paradise.
With a landscape chock-a-block with craggy limestone cliffs and hidden caves, Krabi boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While rock-climbing is undoubtedly top of many visitors’ Krabi must-try list, instead of crossing over cliffs, we suggest ducking under them – to explore the hidden caverns that lie beneath. Tham Phi Hue To, or Hualok, is a colossal cave filled with grottos and prehistoric sketches of people and animals. Tham Phra Nang Nok, also known as the Princess Caves, is decorated with symbols of fertility. Located near Railay, the more recently discovered Inner Princess Cave, Tham Pra Nang Nai, contains a hidden pool accessible by a mountainside trail.
- Easier to call than to flag down, Krabi’s taxis are cheap, convenient, and charge according to distance.
- Tipping culture
- Tipping is not necessary but it’s appreciated for exceptional service.
- Siesta and fiesta
- When it comes to time, tropical habits apply. Some shops open up late, and we mean late, in the afternoon.
- Packing tips
- Seaside chic: bring a good pair of shades, lots of sunscreen, your best bikini, and long-sleeved linens for the evening. For beach joggers, or those who want to try their hands and feet at rock-climbing, sportswear is a good idea. Waterproof footwear comes in handy (i.e. rubber flip-flops).
- As in Phuket, freshly foraged Andaman seafood is what most visitors feast on in Krabi. Dishes are likely to be barbecued, marinated and garnished with numerous herbs and spices. Southern Thais like their food spicy, so be prepared to drink a lot of water – or Singha Beer – with your meals. Southern Thai dishes worth tasting include kaeng som, a slightly sourish fish in a delicious broth flavoured with tamarind; and massaman, a more-ish yellow curry with peanuts and sweet potatoes. If you’re seeking variety, head to Ao Nang, which has the widest selection of restaurants.
- Thai baht. £1 is approximately THB65.
- Time zone
- GMT +7 hours
- Dialling codes
- Thailand: +66. The area code for Krabi is 075. Drop the ‘0’ if dialling from overseas.
- Do go/don't go
- By far the best time to visit Krabi is between late November and April, with January and February being the ideal months. Just remember that you won't have the place to yourself, so if it's a quiet escape you're after, your best bet is to book later. May marks the start of the rainy season, which continues until October. Apart from the gloomy weather, many businesses close during this season, and there can be an abundance of jellyfish in the waters, so swimming and snorkelling is more hazardous.