The forest meets the sea in Krabi, Thailand’s “Gateway to Paradise”. This small city at the mouth of the Krabi River lies on the Andaman Sea and is surrounded by jungle. Visit for the lively markets, art galleries and some of the best restaurants in southwest Thailand. When it’s time to move on, there are limestone cliffs, secluded beaches and marine parks all within easy reach, making Krabi a great base for exploring this beautiful region.
Start your visit in the centre of the city where you’ll find a range of accommodation, restaurants and Buddhist architecture. Look for Wat Kaew Temple, located off a main street and at the top of a grand staircase. The most famous temple in Krabi is Wat Tham Sua, or “Tiger Cave Temple”. It sits perched on top of a mountain not far from the centre of town. The hike to the top is worth it for spectacular views across Krabi and the Andaman Sea.
When it comes time to relax near the water, there is no shortage of beaches to choose from. Take a boat to the Railay Peninsular, which is surrounded by cliffs and therefore difficult to reach from the mainland. Its secluded nature and quintessential island vibe make it popular among visitors, including rock climbers who scour the cliffs at West Railay Beach. Go to East Railay Beach for cheap accommodation and a fun nightlife.
Ao Phra Nang Beach is 20 minutes from Krabi by taxi and offers white-sand beaches and clear, warm water year-round. Relax on the sand or get active and swim, snorkel or kayak.
Krabi might be a capital city, but it’s quieter than many destinations in the surrounding region and there is still plenty of traditional Thai charm to be found.
The international airport is 15 kilometres (9 miles) from the centre of the city and receives daily flights to and from Bangkok. Catch a taxi in to Krabi then get around on foot or by songthaew, a ride-share truck used to ferry passengers around town.