The Krabi province of Thailand is famous for its stunning scenery of white sand beaches, limestone karst cliffs and mangrove forest, and has hundreds of gorgeous islands off its shores. Ellie and I spent just short of two weeks in this region, using the relatively small beach town of Ao Nang as a base to explore the nearby beaches and islands. While Ao Nang is fairly touristy, we really fell in love with it. The two main streets are lined with bars, restaurants, markets and hostels, making it a great place to meet people and have a good time. Having just spent a couple of weeks city hopping in northern Thailand, we welcomed being able to lay on the beach and do a bit of island hopping. Booking tickets to the beaches and islands was easy as the two main streets and beach front had dozens of ticket companies waiting to transport you. Here’s some of my highlights from our time in Krabi…
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang beach itself definitely isn’t the best beach in Krabi, but it was a short walk from our hostel so we spent a fair amount of time hanging out here. The sea is lined with longtail boats waiting to take people to beaches so it wasn’t exactly peaceful but it was pretty quiet at night, making it a perfect place to grab some beers and sit on the beach if you prefer that to bars. We had one particularly great night out with some people from our hostel where we went to a reggae bar, had some cocktails and ended up in the sea at 4am. We originally booked to stay in Ao Nang for 3 nights but ended up extending to 5 nights as we were enjoying it so much here.
We decided we would pay a visit to Railay Beach, as it’s one of Thailand’s most famous beaches and it only cost 100 baht for a ticket which seemed pretty reasonable. After a short boat journey, we arrived at Railay; limestone cliffs, clear water and lush jungle surrounding it. After spending a couple of hours relaxing on the beach and enjoying the scenery, we headed off to explore the area more, as there are some nice bars and food places to enjoy, as well as some caves and a viewpoint we could access from here. Unfortunately at this point, it rained heavily so we didn’t make it to the viewpoint but it must be beautiful from up there.
Koh Phi Phi
Unfortunately, beauty can be a burden, and that is certainly the case for Koh Phi Phi. When we arrived on the island, it was absolutely packed with tourists, with bass pumping from bars at 2pm, a strong smell of sewage and souvenir shops everywhere. That being said, the island itself is beautiful, and hopefully tourism will be controlled so the island doesn’t get completely ruined. We stayed on Koh Phi Phi Don for 2 nights and while I really enjoyed my time on the island, I was also excited to leave- Koh Phi Phi is the place to go if you’re looking to party hard, not to relax.
On our first night, I went to a fire show with some people from the hostel before hitting up a beach party. The beach becomes a mass of people, neon lights, booze and bass from about 9pm, so we just joined in at any spot we could fit into. I had a really fun night, ignoring the fact that I’m 90% sure I was spiked as I suddenly couldn’t move properly and ended up spewing into a bin. I had a heavy hangover the following day, made worse by the strong smell of sulphur and sewage that seems to radiate from everywhere on the island.
On our second day, we hiked up to the viewpoint Koh Phi Phi is famous for and enjoyed the relative peace and quiet up there, as well as the escape from the sewage smell. The hike to the top was quite easy and entry cost 30 baht.
Koh Lanta is easily my favourite place we visited in Thailand, and probably even my favourite place ever. We spent 5 nights on this wonderful island as we kept extending our stay (originally only booked 2 nights). I will write a separate post about Koh Lanta as I have so much to say, but put shortly, this island is what I imagined Thailand to be like- peaceful, beautiful beaches and unspoiled.
Krabi has so much to offer, and I couldn’t recommend a trip to this region enough. There’s hundreds of beaches and islands to explore and I can’t wait to come back and see more.