Krabi is arguably a forgotten place when comparing with its tourist hoarding neighbour Phucket. Although that might be true, Krabi is not a place you will want to miss: from beautiful beaches in Ao Nang to the paradise sceneries in Railey West and East, Krabi is a place to relax.
Ao Nang – Your safe haven
Ao Nang is a perfectly located town in Krabi Province, Thailand. From here you can visit Hong Island, Phi Phi islands, Railey Beach and Krabi Town. This town has great options when it comes to beaches and you can spend an entire day lounging on the beach and enjoying the numerous restaurants and markets besides the beach. Why not take some time to You can kayak, go snorkelling or enjoy a drink by the bar. There is a lot to do in Ao Nang if you feel like relaxing and distressing.
But, if you feel like you would like to have other options and explore the beautiful islands around, then Ao Nang is the perfect place to plan your itinerary.
Hong Island- The Blue Lagoon Island
One of the best islands to visit has a mesmerizing lagoon in the middle of it and breath-taking views. Just hop on a long-tail boat (tour or rental) from Nopparat Thara Pier and in an hour you will get to Hong Island. If you choose to rent a long tail boat make sure you arrive at the earliest hour to avoid the crowds. Many tours have Hong Island in the itinerary and between 2 and 4 pm the beaches are filled with people.
The tour will likely take you first to Hong Island and then to other islands afterwards. To enter the Island you will have to pay a tourist fee since the Thai government is charging tourists to enter what they now call a “Nature Park”. Do not trust scammers in Ao Nang who will offer a discount and sell you a ticket that does not include this fee. You will either have enough money on you to pay on the spot or Thai authorities will not allow you to step a foot on the Island!
Before getting to the island, you should visit the lagoon and gaze upon the marvellous work mother nature has done. If you choose to rent a long tail boar, spend as much time there as possible, you will not regret it.
In Hong Island, you have time to rent kayaks and lounge at the beach. There is also sanitary facilities and a store where you can buy food and beverages.
Take your time to enjoy a bit of snorkelling: I find that Hong Island is one of the best places to do that.
For the adventurous kind, like me, do not miss out on the opportunity to go into the natural park itself and see with your own eyes the wreckage that was left behind in honour of the survivors of the 2004 Tsunami. It is an impressive sight.
Phi Phi Don Island
Although it is possible to visit Phi Phi Islands from Ao Nang, I would advise against this trip if you are just staying the day. Phi Phi has a lot to see and it is wasted if you don’t take the time to really enjoy Phi Phi Don and Leh. So choose one of the many options to get there from Nopparat Thara Pier and stay the night (at least) on Phi Phi Don.
The light blue water on one side of the Island and the slightly darker tone on the other can only be observed from one of the viewpoints on Phi Phi. For that, you will have to go deep into the Island where you will rarely find directions and only a few locals. Bring a map!
Railey West and East- A climbing experience
Railey Beach is just a 30-minute boat ride from Ao Nang so you can decide whether the weather will hold up before going there. For the adventurous kind, there is a neat climbing option close to the shore (not for the faint of heart) where you can enjoy a wonderful view of the bay.
If you would rather soak up the sun you will find at least two gorgeous beaches to choose from: one on Railey West (bigger and with various restaurant and shopping areas) and Railey East with a more honeymoon vibe and a more secluded and private beach.
The best part? You can walk from one side to the other (no need to hop onto another boat).
Whatever the choice is you will be sure to have a great experience. Don’t Forget to check what time the last boat leaver Railey! During the off-peak season the last boat would leave at 6 pm Sharp and if you didn’t catch the last boat, you would have to take the next boat in the morning.
Krabi Town- Tiger Cave Temple
How could you visit Krabi and not visit Krabi Town and most importantly, the Tiger Cave Temple? From Ao Nang to Krabi Town you can hire a taxi or use one of the local alternative namely the SONGTHAEW. In Ao Nang, these white táxis are very common and you will be sure to see many going up and down the street until sunset. There is a fixed rate to take you to Krabi town of 150 baht. Once in Krabi town you can visit Wat Kaew Korawaram temple and explore the marketplaces, even though I much prefer the markets in Ao Nang.
Most importantly take the time and energy to visit Tiger Cave – Wat Tham Sua and climb the staggering 1271 steps to reach the summit. It is worth it I promise you! It is one of the most peaceful places I have ever been to and the view is outstanding.
The humidity is a con so be sure to take water with you and ladies don’t forget you will need to cover your legs even if it is crazy hot! The effort makes the reward even more amazing.