Header image courtesy of @phulaybayreserve (via Instagram)
Krabi contains some of the most iconic landscapes in the world and is extremely sought after by the international community as a prioritised location on their bucket list. Best known for their Phi Phi islands and the picturesque Railay Beach, the terrain in this part of Thailand consists of the unique ‘floating’ rock structures which were showcased in numerous blockbuster films such as Avatar and James Bond. This region is located on the south-west coast of Thailand, home to more than a hundred offshore islands. For those familiar with Phuket, it is just east of it. Here's our guide to the best things to see and do in the area.
The best way to explore this region of Thailand is to take part a boat trip! Boat trips are widely available all around Krabi—we recommend checking out Krabi Sunset Cruise, Krabi EzyTrails and Thalassa Boat tours, which offer a range of day trips and evening trips to various islands. These chartered boat tours are amazing to have fun with other visitors of Krabi. Most tours include food and drinks, so you’ll be well taken care of on your day out at sea. However, private boat tours could be organised directly with your chosen accommodation if you prefer something more exclusive and suited to your own schedule.
From most of these boat tours you’ll have the option of touring the ‘four islands’, Phi Phi islands, and the James Bond island. The four islands are composed of Koh Poda, Koh Gai (chicken island), Koh Tub, and Koh Mor. On this excursion, one can expect to enjoy the scenery these islands provide and even step foot on some of the island’s soft sandy beaches. Chicken island is easy to spot with its distinct rooster like rock formation, so definitely have your cameras ready!
When approaching the Phi Phi islands, expect to have your breath taken away by its stunning and massive rock formation right as you cruise into its entryway. With these islands being a world-renowned landmark, don’t be shocked when approaching the Phi Phi islands and expect to see dozens of boats all cruising into the bay. We recommend just snorkelling around your boat rather than docking at the beach, to avoid the crowds. Expect to see plenty of angelfish glistening around you as you dive off your boat into the crystal blue waters.
Railay beach is a small peninsula between the city of Krabi and Ao Nang, only accessible by boat due to the high limestone cliff that separates it from the mainland. The limestones attract rock climbers from all around the world, so feel free to lounge on the beach while watching professional climbers tackle these major formations.
Rayavadee Resort is a five-star, 100-pavilion property that will provide world-class service on beachfront villas along the Andaman coast. What’s unique about this resort is its prime location on the tip of the Krabi peninsula, that provides guests with beachfront and cave swimming access. The grounds are nestled within the large rock formations and sprinkled with grass and tall palm trees all around. This resort is known for its straw-roofed villas with dark wooden interiors and a private yard—the classic beach resort experience.
One of Rayavadee’s natural amenities is the beginner rock climbing wall. You can find it just on the side of the resort—a short 15 to 20 minute climb with ropes to assist. This climb leads to the amazing viewpoint that gives a full view of the entire resort. The rock is naturally red and slightly muddy, so be prepared to get your hands dirty!
Rayavadee Resort, 214 Ao Nang, อำเภอ เมือง Krabi 81000, Thailand | (+66) 2 301 1861
The Marriott Bonvoy is a world-renowned brand, so one can expect the highest quality of service and amenities. A little on the pricier end but definitely worth every penny! Located up North in a national park is what makes this resort extremely tranquil and eco oriented. One of the unique services offered by this resort are sailing classes, this is not very common among Thai resorts, hence this is a good chance for one to learn a new sport.
The RitzPhulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Krabi 111 Moo 3 Nongthalay, Muang Muang, Krabi 81180, Thailand | (+66) 75 628 111
If you’re into more modern and chic interiors, then Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort is the place for you! What’s unique about this resort is its elevated rooms with a cliff view. It is also conveniently located within walking distance from all the shops and restaurants, so one doesn’t need to feel restricted to dining within the resort, and can fully explore Krabi’s local scene by foot. The hotel is rated four stars because of its lack of direct beach access, but its views and convenient location definitely makes up for it.
Avani Ao Nang Cliff Krabi Resort 328, Ao Nang, Muang, Krabi 81180, Thailand | (+66) 75 626 888