Krabi – A Travel Guide
Sitting on the Andaman Sea on the West coast of Thailand, Krabi is a popular destination for tourists, whether just passing through or exploring some of the surrounding areas. I’m a big fan of Krabi and in my opinion, the mix of beaches, culture and activities will suit almost every type of traveler with a little bit of something for everyone.
Krabi tends to be used as a transit point for travelers heading to Railay Beach, Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta but there is plenty to do in Krabi to entertain visitors, whether its a stroll along the vast riverfront, people watching in some of the cool cafes or heading out on day trips from the center of town, Krabi is well worth stopping and exploring for a few days.
Where to stay?
My favorite hostel in Krabi by far is Pak-Up Hostel, located smack in the center of Krabi town this place is perfect for meeting fellow travelers. Pak-Up hostel is incredibly sociable with clean and tidy rooms, plenty of spotlessly clean showers and loads of social areas to hang out and meet people. I stayed in a 4 bed dorm for ฿280 a nigh which did not include breakfast as some hostels do, but there is a small cafe right outside which will do toasties etc. The hostel is less than a 5 minute walk into town and you can grab a coffee and a couple of Banana muffins for less than ฿70! This was my first stop in Thailand and I went on to meet people I met in Pak-up all over Asia during the remainder of my time in Southeast Asia, so for me this is the best place to stay as a solo traveler if you’re wanting to make new acquaintances!
Where to eat?
As with everywhere in Thailand street food is absolutely the most affordably and tasty option: cheap, clean and very inexpensive and Krabi offers foodies some of the best street food around. You’ll find at least 30 stalls hawking a variety of curries, noodles, soups and snacks such as deep fried fish cakes or spring rolls. You can grab a Chicken Massaman curry with rice for ฿30 or you can go for some of the more adventurous local dishes such as frog yellow curry. The market is really used to serving foreigners so you’ll find most stall owners speak relatively good English and a lot of the stalls offer small onsite eating areas with free safe to drink water, just in case you order a curry that is way too spicy! Once you’ve tucked into your main dishes I’d recommend you grab some of the delicious Thai desserts being offered as well! The mango sticky rice is probably the most famous Thai dessert and Krabi is renowned for having some of the best mangoes in Thailand, so pick one up with sticky rice for ฿50 and you won’t be disappointed!
If street food isn’t your style, there are plenty of local and western restaurants all over Krabi that serve up a veritable selection of delicious food. In my opinion Thai food is amongst the best in the world, cooking and eating great food is an inherent part of the culture, so I’d recommend that you keep an eye on where the locals eat as these are the best and cheapest spots!
Things to do
Krabi can be used as a transit point to get to some of the nice beaches in the area and while you’re here you can easily take a day trip to Railay Beach, which is what I’d decided to do as accommodation in Krabi is much cheaper than in Railay.
Krabi is also famous for the Tiger Cave Temple at Wat Tham Suea, which used to home to roaming tigers who used the cave for shelter. There are incredible views from the top of the cliff as one of the pagoda’s sits 1300 steps up, so take your time as this is a tough climb but the views are well worth it.
Take a day to wander the streets of Krabi Town Center, check out Wat Kaew Korawaram, a large Buddhist temple in the center of Krabi which dates back to 1887, good for a few hours to wander around and even get a chance to interact with local monks. Sit in one of the cool cafes, watching the world go by as you drink in the surroundings or marvel at the strange caveman traffic lights on the main road in Krabi, which supposedly represent Krabi’s most famous ancestors. If you’re looking for a more laid back experience I’d recommend you just spend your time eating delicious food at the various street markets and stalls that pop up all over Krabi and sipping cocktails at any number of the fun bars while watching the sun go down.
Krabi really is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok and has a charm to it that I fell in love with, this was my 3rd time in Krabi and I’ll definitely be going back, if only to sample the best banana muffin I’ve ever had from one of the bakeries on Maharaj Alley!