24 Hours in Krabi
Written by Ron Emmons
Surrounded by towering outcrops of karst limestone, Krabi is a major jumping-off point to some of Thailand’s most beautiful islands, such as Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta. Most visitors breeze straight through town, but it’s worth pausing here to soak up the spectacular setting and experience authentic Thai culture.
Feast your eyes on the lush produce at Maharat Market (Maharat Road, Soi 9), then devour a bowl (or two!) of delicious khao tom (rice soup) to give you energy for a challenging climb a bit later.
Stroll through town for a look at Krabi’s wacky sculptures, including apes holding traffic lights at the crossroads of Maharat Road and Soi 10, and giant bronze crabs down on the riverside.
From the riverside, you’ll also see Khao Khanap Nam, two 100m-high karst hills beside the Krabi River, which are the town’s icons and its most prominent landmarks.
Head north of town to Wat Tham Suea, where over 1,200 steep steps lead up to a stunning view over Krabi and the Andaman Sea. Climb slowly, rest frequently, and drink plenty of water.
Go to Ao Nang Beach, the most popular beach near Krabi. Enjoy a halal lunch at May & Zin (Nopparat Tara Beach, next to the Holiday Inn); the soft-shell crab and massaman curry are particularly good.
Hop onto a long-tail boat for the short trip to West Railay, which has a dazzling strip of white sand. Snooze, sunbathe, or swim, as the mood takes you.
Walk to East Railay, to view rock climbers in action on the sheer limestone walls. Take pictures, join a class, or if you’re experienced, try deep-water soloing – climbing the sea cliffs – high above the Andaman Sea.
Take a long-tail boat back to Krabi and treat yourself to a seafood feast at Poo Dam (Utarakit Road). For something a bit different, order the pad pet goong sator – spicy shrimps fried with petai, or ‘bitter beans’.
Wind up the day with a stroll around Krabi’s Weekend Night Market (Maharat Road, Soi 8), where you can shop for handicrafts and clothes, and sometimes see a cultural performance.
Krabi is a small town, so the best way to explore its centre and atmospheric riverside is on foot.
The cheapest way to explore the area around Krabi is by rented motorbike, which costs around B150–B200 (US$4–US$6) a day.
Ferries to islands such as Ko Phi Phi leave from the port southwest of the town centre; those to East Railay leave from the pier in town.
Distance: 5,359 km
Flight Time: 6 hours, 40 minutes
Frequency: Beginning December 6, Qatar Airways will operate four flights a week