Krabi Town is a great launching place for all the amazing attractions that Krabi Province has to offer in southern Thailand. However, Krabi Town itself is not the destination that I dreamed of…..
The southern Thai town of Krabi is the perfect place to land due to it’s proximity to the international KBV airport. Upon landing either by ferry from Phuket or by air, you are ready to begin the exploration of the province bearing the same name. Krabi province is a lush region of jungles, limestone cliffs and picturesque islands just an hour or so away.
However, the beaches within Krabi Town proper were quite dirty, the water murky and filled with large jellyfish. The town itself was more of a party place saturated with bars, tattoo parlors and tourist shops. For all of these reasons, I would treat Krabi Town as a base camp/launching pad for all of the great places within a short reach: Kho Phi Phi, Kho Lanta – not as the destination.
Our favorite beaches near Krabi Town where Railay Beach and Klong Muang Beach.
Railay looks and feels like an island, but it’s actually part of the Thai mainland on the Andaman Sea side. The karst topography has left it isolated and devoid of road access, meaning the only way to get in is by hiring a long tail boat.
At Railay there are no roads; only footpaths. Although it’s actually connected to the mainland, the spectacular Phra Nang Peninsula is cut off from the rest of Krabi by limestone headlands and steep jungle valleys; the only access is by sea.
The entire peninsula is commonly referred to as Railay Beach, though there are four main stretches of sand with different names. In addition to Railay East and Railay West is Tonsai which is situated to the north – it has more budget friendly accommodation options.
Just a 30 minute moped ride west from Krabi Town is a quiet bucolic village set on a tranquil beach. Klong Muang Beach is still fairly unknown to the typical tourist, but it’s rustic, clean and serene beauty made it one of my favorites in this region.
A 20 minute ride north from Krabi Town takes you to one of it’s top attractions – the Tiger Cave. It is one of the more interesting temple complexes in southern Thailand, as the monks live and worship within a maze of natural caves in an overgrown jungle valley surrounding the temples.
Wat Tham Sua teaches a form of Buddhism called Vipassana (insight meditation), which is based on the teachings of the earliest Buddhist texts. In the main temple cave you will find bizarre photos of internal organs and split cadavers, which are supposed to reinforce the temporary nature of the body and help the monks to focus on more spiritual matters.
The main tourist attraction in the temple complex is the 1,272 step climb up a limestone tower to see the “footprint of the Buddha”. Even if you are in good shape, the heat and humidity make this a difficult hike as the steps are quite vertical and uneven (one step can have the height of 2 or 3) . Once you make it to the top, you are rewarded with stunning 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside and the Andaman Sea.
Although Krabi town was not our favorite destination in Thailand, it certainly was a perfect launching pad to some of the most beautiful places we have ever seen.