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Krabi - Beaches - Islands -Sights and Attractions

Ao Nang Village

Originally a small fishing village Ao Nang has become the tourist centre of the province, with one of the best beaches and its wealth of restaurants and entertainment spots it means that everything you could want to do is within a mere few minutes. A host of bars and restaurants are easily within walking distance. The new Centre-point complex located just behind Aonang beach road is now the nightlife centre, there are many bars offering a wide variety of music styles, live entertainment restaurants and bars to holiday makers and locals alike.  Being a tourist centre makes it a little more expensive in the bars and restaurants, but there are still many very reasonably priced and high quality restaurants within a short distance.

Aonang is also the centre for the local tour businesses, if you want to arrange a boat trip out to the Islands or a guided tour of Krabi’s temples and natural inland attractions, there are many tour operators along the front of Aonang beach.

aonang beach

Beaches

Aonang Beach

Aonang beach is a pleasant white sand beach. The beach is divided into two sections, at the road end you will find the parking for the longtail boats. The other end of the beach is lined with small resorts, restaurants, bars and massage shops. This end is a nice swimming and sunbathing beach with a shallow entry to the sea and the lack of large waves making it very safe and easy for young children.

All areas are accessible to the general public, one of the great advantages of Krabi’s National Park status is that businesses are not allowed to operate on the beach itself. This beach can get a little busier in high season but you would  never call it crowded.

aonang beach

Pra Nang Beach

The next beach along the coast from Aonang, Pranang beach is totally different. There is very little development here. The beach is connected by a footpath from Aonang beach or at low tide you can actually walk around the beach. The walk is relatively easy for any fit able bodied person. If you feel energetic, you can also take a hike up the hill to the top of the headland for an amazing panoramic view. The walk is through unspoilt nature and you will be accompanied by many monkeys. Although they are harmless, you should take care to avoid leaving bags lying around with valuables in, the monkeys are very inquisitive and have been known to take bags and scatter the contents in search of any tasty food that may be inside.

The beach itself is one of the best anywhere in the world. It is a natural cove lined with lush tropical greenery and with the dramatic cliffs jutting out of the water, this really is an amazing place to spend some time. There are a limited amount of shops and bars selling snacks and drinks for reasonable prices.

Pranang Beach

Railay Beach

Railay is the name given to the headland next to Aonang. It is completely cut off by one of the limestone mountains so is only accessible by longtail boat. The boats travel on demand from Aonang beach at all times of day.
Railay was one of the very first tourist centres and is home to some of Krabi’s best resort. There are two beaches on the east and west side of the peninsula, the west beach being the more upmarket of the two. The west beach is a perfect place to have a drink and watch the sun go down, for some reason, the sunsets here are spectacular on an almost daily basis. During high season Railey is a bustling busy place with a great atmosphere, at low season, it’s very relaxed but still has all the facilities available.
Railay beach is also the home to many of Krabi’s climbing schools. The cliffs around have been famous in the climbing circles for many years with hundreds of tried, tested and safe climbing routes mapped out, well marked and documented. There also many climbing schools offering courses to beginners, the courses are run right on the beach on the east side of the Island.

railay beach

Nopperathara Beach

Nopperathara is the next beach along in the other direction from Railey. It’s really only a short walk along from Aonang Beach. The beach itself is about 2km long and is very shallow. At high tide it is possible to swim here, but at low tide you can walk out into the sea for hundreds of metres before the water will be waist high. This makes it a great beach for young children to play safely.

The opposite end of the beach from Aonang is a favoured spot for Thai locals and tourists to spend the weekend. On public holidays it can get really quite crowded, but also a very nice local atmosphere, everyone is friendly and will sit around eating their picnics, tie up their hammocks,  and watch the kids play. At this end there is are also a number of small thai restaurants and food vendors set up shop along the road side at weekends.

nopperathara beach

Klong Muang Beach

Klong Muang beach is home to some of the more up market resorts. Klong Muang is about 15km from Aonang, taxis can be easily arranged at most times of the day for a very reasonable price.
Klong Muang beach is lined by rocks which at low tide are visible above the surface. This looks very beautiful, but at low tide, makes it not the easiest of beaches to swim at. It is a very quiet and cealn beach and looks completely natural.

 

It really is a beautiful place to spend some time just wandering along picking up shells. The Sheraton Resort and Nakamanda resorts are both 5 star Resorts next to the beach, but they are barely visible from the beach and do not have private beach sections so the whole beach is open to the public.

klong muang beach

Tup Kaek Beach

Tup Kaek beach is the end of the road from Aonang. This is perhaps the least frequented beach and arguably the most pristine and idyllic. The beach itself is a long natural cove of about 3km. At one end is the very prestigious Ritz Carlton Phulay Heights development, the other end is occupied by a couple of other 5/6 star resorts. This beach is usually completely empty and any time other than peak season.

Access to the beach is public but is not so easy to find. You will find an access path to it about 100m before the TupKaek Boutique resort. There are a couple of resorts which will serve public off the beach but prices are likely to be relatively high.

aonang beach

Long Beach

About half way along the road to Klong Muang there is a new road to Long Beach. The beach for some reason not so well known or developed as the others in the area. Being long and straight, it is perhaps not quite so picturesque as others in the area but the sand is very soft and it is a great swimming beach. If you follow the road to the T Junction at the end, then turn left, you will find access to the beach there. There are a few small resorts along the beach but as yet not any of the larger hotels have based themselves here.

 

Long Beach

4 Islands

There are 4 Islands which are the destination for Aonang’s famous 4 Island tour. Chicken Island (Koh Gai or Hua Khwan), Koh Poda, Koh Mor and Koh Tup. These are small uninhabited Islands.  These Islands are accessible all year round. You can take reasonabley priced longtail boats out to the Islands just about any day of the year

On the largest of the Islands there is a restaurant and bar where you can get snacks, but other than this, the Islands are uninhabited. It is also possible to hire kayaks for cruising around the Islands, which is a great fun way to spend a day. A few operators also offer scuba experience tours just off the beach, a great way to try it for the first time and get a feel for what its like to breathe underwater. If you like it, the experience can go towards a PADI openwater course, if you don't like it, then just relax on the beach with the knowledge that at least you gave it a try.

Poda

Chicken Island

Named after the, you guessed it, Chicken head shaped rock formation that towers above the Island. The other end of the Island has incredibly beautiful tropical beaches, perfect pristine white sand and crystal clear water. This is a great place for snorkelling and swimming. The water is teeming with small fish.

Koh Poda

A small Island about 1km in diameter entirely surrounded by a soft white sand beach. A perfect place for snorkelling swimming and relaxing. The shape of the Island with hundreds of very small coves means that you can always find a secluded place to relax.

Koh Tup and Koh Mo

These are two very small Islands surrounded by sand beaches. At low tide it is possible to walk between them, the sandbar being perhaps one of the most photographed spot in Thailand. Get up early and get there first on a sunny day and have the Islands to yourself and this is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Other Islands

There are an estimated 200 Islands near to the coastline in Krabi, some are larger than others, some are inaccessible, some are inhabited, but they are a source of endless opportunities to see new sights. You’ll never get bored.

4 Islands

Outlying Islands

Koh Phi Phi

The jewel of the Andaman, this Island is rightly considered one of the world’s most beautiful places. Perfect palm fringed white sand beaches, untouched coral reefs and the limestone mountains make this a tourist mecca. The diving is unparalleled, even snorkeling in the crystal clear water over the coral reefs is spectacular. Despite it’s popularity Phi Phi has managed to maintain it’s friendly fishing village identity. Accomodation ranges from budget to the highest rated 5 star. The Island is a boat ride away from Krabi, speedboats take about 30 minutes and the ferry about 2 hours. Ko Phi Phi is the most commercial of the Islands.

The film "The Beach" was filmed here and really established Phi Phi on the worldwide map. Phi Phi can get a little crowded at peak season, but as many of the resorts are actually only reachable by longtail boat, it has not spoilt its charm.

aonang beach

Koh Jum and Koh Sriboya

These are two Islands about 40 minute boat ride from Aonang The Islands have now been connected to mains electricity so we can expect them to begin to develop, but at the moment they offer a  taste of what Aonang was like 20 years ago with just small bamboo bungalow resorts and beach bars and restaurants.

Koh Talu

Not so much an Island as a rock formation. Home to thousands of swifts who nest in the rocks,  (the magic ingredient in Bird’s Nest Soup) the formation is about 50 meters high and literally sticks up straight out of the water. Under the surface, the Island is the home to dozens of species of fish making it a fantastic place to snorkel and marvel at the underwater world.

Koh Hong

About 25km off the coast from Aonang this is actually a small group of Islands. They are totally unspoilt and a fantastic sea kayak and snorkelling spot. The sea is full of brightly coloured fish and the sights underwater are spectacular. It is possible to camp here by arrangement. A 200 thb National Park fee applies to visitors to the Island, if taking a tour you should check to see that this is included.

koh Hong

Krabi Town

Krabi Market

A huge selection of foods makes Krabi morning market an amazing experience. The range of seafood and fish on offer along with fruit and vegetables of every description makes this a great place to start the day. Coffee and delicious ready made dishes are also available if you really want to sit and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. The market starts at around 2 in the morning and winds up at about 11. The earlier you get there the livelier it is as everyone rushes to get the pick of the catch. Shopping for the evenings barbecue will never be more fun.

krabi town

Krabi Walking Street

Krabi's walking street and night market runs Friday to Saturday. It has stalls selling local crafts and artwork and lots and lots of food and delicacies. The market is a very popular place for Thais to wander around and soak up the atmosphere.  Being aimed largely at the local market, it is a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts at reasonable price. The market also has a bouncy castle for the kids to vent some energy and leave the parents to sit, drink a cool beer and watch the world go by.

krabi walking street

Thara Park

At the centre of Krabi on the river side you will find Thara Park. This is a very well maintained municipal park very popular with Thais at the weekends. There are tennis and basketball areas, and a reasonably well  maintained children's park including swings, slides and climbing frames.
The park is circled by tarmac paths, a great place for a walk and a picnic.

Thara Park

Krabi Province - Inland


Reading all this, you would think that Krabi was just a beach, but nothing could be further from the truth. Krabi’s Inland area is a treasure chest of sights just waiting to be seen and these are the real gems in Krabi’s crown. The limestone mountains or Karsts jut up out of the ground throughout the entire province creating truly amazing panoramas at every turn. Most of the land between the mountains is home to either palm or rubber plantation so the small roads that weave amongst the mountains are treelined and shady. It really is a perfect place to cycle without too many hills. Or, if you feel less energetic, take a motorbike and just cruise. You can even take any of the small dirt roads that split off the main road. These roads are generally access roads to the palm and rubber plantations and the only people you will meet are the rubber and palm cutters who will stop for a friendly chat.

Here are a few of the better known attractions.

Krabi

Tiger Cave

Tiger Cave Temple is one of the most spectacular locations for a temple anywhere in the world. Perched precariously on top of one of the limestone cliffs and only accessible by the 1237 steps, it is also one of the greatest views to be seen anywhere. On a clear day you can see pretty much the entire province. The atmosphere up there is a truly spiritual place.

But even if you don't fancy the climb, Toger Cave or Wat Tam Suea is still worth a visit, buried into the mountain there are many caves with some beautiful Buddhas sitting amongst the stalagtites and stalagmites. The surrounding area also boasts some of the largest trees you will ever have seen, one small area of truly natural rain forest that all of Krabi province must once have been covered in.

tiger cave

Thalane Bay

Thalane Bay is the next Bay north of Ao Nang. The journey by road takes about 30 minutes. This area is famous for the mangrove forests that line the coast. It also has fantastic views out to see with the Karsts jutting out of the water making incredible shapes. At sunset this is a really great place to be. There are a couple of elephant trekking places along the road and several several small restaurants selling good priced local thai food. At the very end of the road out to Thalane, there are a couple of sea kayak locations doing tours of the mangrove forests. There are hundreds of small inlets and caves that make it a fascinating place to paddle around, enjoy the sceneray and wildlife.
Thalane also has a small but long established expatriate presence.

thalane bay

Hot Springs

Krabi’s hot springs are a great place to visit for either medicinal, therapeutic or purely recreational reasons. The waters are said to be healing and are certainly soothing to all aches and pains and, of course, there are claims of them having curative powers for just about any ailment. But whether these claims are true or not, soaking in naturally heated warm water in such a tropical and idyllic location is certainly restorative to the soul.

Whereas most hot springs you will have seen are simple pools of warm water, this one is more like a river and waterfall, and all the water is naturally heated, really quite an experience to see.

krabi hot springs

Emerald Pool

This is a natural pool that has a high salts and minerals content which gives it the amazing Emerald glow. The pools are located within a wildlife reserve, you can take a walk through the reserve to get there or take the easy route along the dirt road directly to the pool. The walk itself is well maintained and very enjoyable.

The color of the water is quite spectacular on a sunny day, when you first see the photographs it is quite difficult to believe, but the water really does look this colour.

krabi emerald pool

Phanom Bencha National Park

From Palm Valley its only a short trip though local roads to Phenom Bencha National Park. The park feels like a well kept secret, often even in high season you can wander around the pathways without seeing another person. The park is kept very well maintained with pathways lined with jungle. Towering trees, hanging vines and dense foliage provide a home for hundreds of animal species that you may be lucky to see, monkeys, birds and insects provide the soundtrack.

Peacocks roam freely around the grounds surrounding a number of small bungalows that can be rented and a small visitor centre which has some photographs and information for visitors. There is a minimal entry fee but it is well worth it.

Phenom Bencha National Park

Information is provided by Krabitrek.com. Krabitrek are based in Ao Nang, Krabi and provide the best selection of the classic Ao Nang and Krabi Tours as well as many new activities and sightseeing tours.

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