Krabi is located on the East Coast of Thailand and it’s a popular holiday destination. That’s why it can get pretty crowded there, especially on the beaches. But Krabi is much more than just beaches, hotel resorts and souvenir shops. What has impressed me most in Krabi was the nature we discovered on trekkings through the jungle and the view points far from touristy places.
I’ve heard many people say they didn’t like Krabi because it was too crowded or too touristy. The best way to explore the less touristy Krabi is to rent a scooter and drive around. You’ll be amazed by the stunning nature and impressive mountains that you can find there. If you decide to hike some of these mountains, even better.
WHERE TO STAY
I recommend staying near Ao Nang beach. In downtown Krabi there’s not a lot to do and the beach is far away from the city centre. From Ao Nang you can easily reach everything by scooter or taxi.
WHEN TO GO
The period from December to April is high season in Krabi. You’ll have the highest probability for good weather in this period but on the downside it’s also the time where Krabi is most crowded.
During low season prices are lower and Krabi is less crowded. You might have some rainy days but on other days the the sun will be shining the whole day. We were really lucky because it hardly rained when we were there in July. As I always try to avoid tourist crowds I was glad that we visited off season. Generally I’d recommend to visit during low season, even though you do have the risk of rain.
HOW TO GET AROUND
The best and cheapest way to get to places is to rent a scooter. Just check out some rental agencies, compare prices and try to bargain. If you don’t drive scooter you can take tuk tuks or taxis. Collective taxis shared with other people are commonly used in Krabi. Just make sure to agree on the price before you hop on and bargain to get a cheaper rate.
THINGS TO DO
- Watch the sunset in Ao Nang
- Rent a private boat for a day
- Tiger Cave Temple
- Dragon Crest Viewpoint
1. Watch the sunset in Ao Nang
The sunsets on Ao Nang Beach are the perfect end of a day. These were some of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. Even before the sun sets the sky shines orange but the best part comes after that. Once the sun is gone the whole sky turns pink and makes the ocean look pink too. We just sat on the beach and watched the sky change colours, amazed by the wonders of nature.
2. Rent a private boat for a day
On Ao Nang Beach the boat taxis offer to bring you to different beaches. If you’re a group of people it might pay off more to rent a boat for a whole day and cruise around to the places and beaches you want. This is not only a highly affordable day trip but also a great experience.
For € 90 we got a private boat including a captain for a whole day. As we were a group of 9 it was only € 10 per person. This even included water and snorkels on board. We were completely flexible and could go wherever we wanted and stay as long as we wanted. The snorkeling was great and we saw a lot of colourful fish.
You can either stay on the boat the whole day or go on land to visit some beaches or islands. Most of the places require you to pay a National Park fee of about € 10 if you get off the boat. There are a few beaches though that you can visit without paying the fee. Just ask your captain, he’ll know.
There are several agencies around Ao Nang Beach that offer private boat trips. Just make sure to bargain because they’ll always try to ask for more money.
3. Tiger Cave Temple
Tiger Cave Temple is a Buddhist temple on top of a mountain. You have to climb 1.260 stairs to get there. And I’m not gonna lie, it’s steep, it’s exhausting and you’ll sweat a lot. But the best views come after the hardest climbs – it’s definitely worth it.
I recommend going there as early in the morning as possible. The best would be to arrive on the top just before sunrise. Like this you don’t have to climb the mountain in the heat and you’ll have a stunning view of the sunrise. We started climbing the stairs at 7:30 in the morning and it was already very hot. When we descended again about an hour later the stairs became really crowded with people walking up.
Bring a bottle of water. Just before the temple on top of the hill there’s a drinking water station where you can refill it.
4. Dragon Crest Viewpoint
Dragon Crest Viewpoint is located in the Khao Ngon Nak National Park. It takes half an hour by scooter to get to the starting point from Ao Nang. You have to hike a beautiful path through the jungle to reach it. It takes about 1,5 hours to get there and it was more exhausting than we’d expected. But it was definitely worth it! There were only a few locals and us, nobody else. There’s good signage and the trail is in a good condition.
The first time you reach a viewpoint you might think you arrived but the trail goes on. In the end you have to climb a rock and walk a few more minutes on a path to reach the final view point.
As for every hike in Thailand I recommend doing it early in the morning. You walk in the shade most of the time but it still gets very hot and I was sweating a lot. Make sure to bring enough water and some snacks.
Despite initial doubts I really liked Krabi. It ended up being one of my favourite places in Thailand just because the nature is so beautiful. So if you go there don’t only stay in the touristic center but head out and explore the area.