Krabi is a large province on west coast of southern Thailand. Krabi Town is the capitol, a quaint little city that lies at the mouth of the Krabi River where it empties into Phang Nga Bay, then into the Andaman Sea. It is a relaxed place of diversity, delicious food, and breathtaking scenes. Large limestone cliffs jut high into the sky, lush jungles and mangrove forests surround the area, and it is the perfect location to explore before onward travel as it is situated close to many other great destinations. I would definitely recommend a visit to this charming little city.
My suggestion while visiting Krabi Town is to get busy eating, wander around and talk to locals, and be sure to rent a motorbike to go on adventures (always wear a helmet, cops will pull you over if you don’t!) Those things will give you great insight on the culture of Krabi, Thailand.
Eateries are everywhere with plenty of vegetarian and halal options. Since we love cheap street food, the markets are where it’s at. Here’s our favorite places for cheap delicious eats:
Chao Fah Night Market – located on Khong Kha Road, on a promenade next to Chao Fah pier. Every evening food stalls line the banks of the river cooking up local dishes in a southern Thai style.
Krabi Town Walking Street – the largest market, a weekend event where certain roads are closed down to allow set up of pedestrian walkways through stalls full of local art, clothes, and handicrafts. There is plenty of delicious street food, all kinds of drinks, and often performances and Thai karaoke. There is a Zero Styrofoam policy, so you’ll see a lot less plastic here. Open 6-10:30 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday behind Vogue Department Store. The Market is also called Thanon Khon Dern (ถนนคนเดิน in Thai).
City Market – Open everyday from 2-10ish. Here you will find heaps of fresh fruit, smoothies, and sweets towards the front, and lots of curries, noodles, and meat dishes toward the back. We never had a bad meal here… Trust that you’ll walk out of that low canopied market with a happy belly. Located on Sukhon Rd between Uttarakit Rd and Maharaj Rd. Close to where the Weekend Walking Market takes place.
Maharaj Morning Market – Open until 10am here you can get every kind of fruit in season. There are spices, breakfast sweets, coffee and tea, rice dishes, morning soups, and many other breakfast delicacies. This seems to be where all the locals go for their daily groceries as well. Located on Maharaj Soi 9, behind the Shell station.
Our favorite places to adventure to around Krabi Town:
Wat Kaew Temple: You can easily walk there from any place in Krabi Town proper. This is one of my favorite Wats in all Thailand! There is something about the serene walk up the golden dragon stairs that makes you feel a sense of calm while the breeze caresses your skin, and cools you off. Peering up at the temple, surrounded by fiercely peaked points, you’re sure to be enamored by the sight. Leelawadees, or frangipanis, line the walkway, and at sundown it’s common to see children playing soccer at the base with monks in saffron robes perched up on the top of the hill. Local dogs, cats, and chickens roam the land as well. It’s a very laid back atmosphere, and will let you feel free to explore the parameters of Buddhist teachings. The temple itself is a stunning piece of Thai architecture. Once you enter the temple, the vibrant art work will overwhelm you. The inside is very bright and colorful with scene depictions covering the large walls and ceilings. The large golden Buddha sits high with many smaller deities, protectors, and flora laying below. Please be respectful and cover your body, legs and arms before entering.
Rent a motorbike for a couple days and adventure to out of town sights:
Railay Beach in Ao Nang is full of people from all over the world visiting the beach to enjoy the sun and admire the beautiful scenery. There is a surplus of restaurants, souvenir shops, massages salons, bars, and excursion bookings agencies around. If you follow the beach south, or left if your facing the ocean, you’ll run into friendly monkeys to play with. Watch out though… They are attracted to shiny things and will run off with your sunglasses if you don’t protect them ;) Be sure to keep going south, past the monkeys, to find a hidden path leading to another more private beach around the bay. It’s a 15 minute trek through lush nature, and when you see the view on the other side, you’ll be happy you made the trip. Be sure to bring fruits and water with you because there are no public places to buy things on the other side, only a fancy resort catering to guests, but you can enjoy the resort’s beach for free.
There are MANY more beaches lining the western border of the Krabi coast. One beach we especially liked because it’s privacy was Ban Tub Kaek, or Tub Kaak, or Tub Kaew (Google the location of the Phulay Bay Ritz Carlton, it’s that beach). We motorbiked over, snuck through one of the many impressive beach resorts, and set up camp on a remote strip of beach, to the far right if your facing the water. We had to walk through a small river leading into the bay, with our belongings stacked on our heads to get there, but once in the other side, it’s like you have your own private island with no one else around. The view of open waters and islands jutting out of the sea in the distance is simply amazing.
Wat Tham Sua, or Tiger Temple just a 10 minute motorbike ride from Krabi Town. It used to be a place where monks lived with tigers in the mountainous caves, but now there are lots temples, shrines, and pagodas commemorating them. If you’re up for the challenge you can dodge the money’s while walking up the 1,237 steps winding up a very steep mountain. This trek leads to an extremely stunning 360 view over Krabi Town and the surrounding farmlands.
There are plenty of Bars and restaurants in Krabi Town, and everything from cheap to expensive accommodation. There are 2 grocery stores nearby Tesco Lotus and Big C.
Krabi Town is also a great jumpoff point to journey via boat to the smaller, incredibly beautiful islands further in the oceans, like Koh Poda, Bamboo Island, or Koh Phi Phi. You’ll have to book these travels with an agency, so check around for the best price as they often vary.
continue your travels to more remote islands such as Koh Lanta (our fave), or Koh Yao Noi or even larger destinations like Phuket.