9 FUN AND ACTIVE THINGS TO DO IN KRABI, THAILAND
Krabi is what you think of when you picture Thailand in your mind. Towering limestone cliffs coming out of the water, dense jungle, and soft sand tropical beaches. We first went to Krabi in 2015 from Bangkok for a month of island hopping and beach time and we just went again in 2018. We’re guessing that if you’re reading this you’re considering a visit there or you’ve already been and maybe you’re going back a second time (who would blame you). So without wasting more time here are 9 fun and active things to do in Krabi, Thailand!
1. Go for a jungle hike to the top of Khao Ngon Nok National Park
Also known as Dragon Crest Mountain, this is probably the best hike in Krabi. The views are absolutely stunning! From the top, you’ll be able to see the mouth of the Krabi River emptying into Phang Nga Bay. It’s a moderate two-hour hike with a few steep sections and some stairs to climb. Expect to spend 4-5 hours going up and down.
Things to know about the hike
- The hike is 8 km (5 miles) round trip.
- Bring lots of water and wear sturdy shoes.
- Come early (8am) if you want to avoid the crowds and the mid-day heat.
- Be sure to check in before you hike up.
- Once you get to the top, the rock for the best photos is to the right.
- The best way to get there is by motorbike (200 baht per day) or you can take a taxi.
- Beware of snakes on this trail, we saw several on our hike up.
- Be prepared to sweat.
- Keep in mind that no drones are allowed.
- It’s free (yay!).
2. Cruise on a longtail boat for a Hong Island Tour
For a fun day out from Ao Nang Beach, consider hiring a boat to do the Hong Island Tour. You can cruise around, swim, snorkel, or dive off the boat. Always a good time!
For 3000 baht you can take a longtail boat, which fits up to 5 people for an 8 hour day (8am-4pm). You can buy tickets from a booth on the corner (where the road turns), across from the boats lined up in the water at Ao Nang Beach. You’ll also pay an additional 300 baht per person for national park fees, which you pay for at Hong Island.
On our tour, we visited Koh Pak Bia & Koh Rai, Koh Lao Lading, Hong Lagoon, Koh Hong. If you don’t want to do a tour you can also take a boat directly to Koh Hong (Hong Island). It’s worth noting that these islands tend to be busy during the peak season, but it still makes for a beautiful day.
3. Climb to the top of Wat Tham Suea (Tiger Cave Temple)
The name of this temple comes from a few different Thai stories. One story goes that a monk meditated in the cave here and witnessed tigers, while another story claims there are tiger paw prints on the inner cave walls.
What’s the best thing about this temple? You can climb 1,237 steps to the top for some stunning 360° views of the Andaman Sea and the Khiriwong Valley. There’s a large golden Buddha statue waiting for you at the summit. It’s a long slog up the stairs, but the views and sense of accomplishment are worth it. Definitely one of the most fun and active things to do in Krabi!
Things to know before you hike up
- Pace yourself, there’s no rush.
- Bring water
- Ladies, it’s a good idea to bring a sarong to cover up with, as this is a rule of the temple.
- Beware of the monkeys. Try not to carry anything (especially food) in your hand near them, they can get aggressive.
- Also, beware of the woman who gives out bracelets, she will expect money if you accept it.
- Start early before it’s super hot or later in the afternoon to see the sunset from the top.
4. Take a dip in the Emerald Pool
In the jungle lies this stunning crystal clear swimming hole filled with fish. This is a great way to break up visits to the beach and the islands. It’s about a 90-minute drive from Ao Nang Beach. Once you arrive, you’ll walk about ten minutes from the parking lot to the pool.
Avoid weekends (way too crowded) and try to arrive early, by 8:30-9am. The entrance fee is 200 baht per person and 10 baht to park a scooter. No food or drinks are allowed. There are also tours available if you don’t want to do it independently.
5. Catch a stunning sunset at Noppharat Thara Beach
This beach is only about a five-minute drive from Ao Nang. If you notice some clouds in the sky, go here for sunset, and don’t leave until at least twenty minutes after the sun goes down. You might think the sunset is over when it dips beyond the horizon, but the colors are only just beginning. We saw one of the best sunsets of our lives here!
6. Explore the Krabi Town Weekend Night Market
Located in the provincial capital, Krabi Town has some excellent markets. In case you come through town on a weekend be sure not to miss the weekend night market. It’s found on Soi Maharaj 8 in the large plaza behind the Vogue Department Store in Krabi Town.
Stroll around and sample the food, shop for gifts, or get something for yourself! Why is it one of the most fun and active things to do in Krabi? Because you’re walking around and actively eating your heart out…
Open: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 5 – 10pm
7. Chill out or rock climb on Tonsai Beach
Tonsai Beach has a laid back hippy vibe. This is the place to come to get away from it all. It’s not nearly as popular as Railay Beach, but it’s more affordable if you decide to stay the night or want to get away from the crowds. It’s a quiet place to take walks and just relax.
Head to the beach to watch the rock climbers in the morning or channel your inner Spiderman and try it yourself, then walk over to Railay Beach. There’s a path through the jungle or you can easily pass on the beach during low tide. From Ao Nang Beach it costs 100 baht one way to Tonsai by longtail boat.
8. Spend the day at Railay
Railay Beach is more upscale than Tonsai, but it’s a great place to spend a day or two. If you have enough time on the island consider climbing up to the viewpoint. It’s located on the east side of the island on the way over to Phra Nang Cave.
Be sure to wear clothes that you won’t mind getting dirty. Be careful because it can be slippery on the way up or down. It’s very steep but totally doable. It’s best to go in the morning before it’s too hot or in the early evening before sunset.
9. Phra Nang Cave Beach
This is one of the better beaches in Thailand. It tends to get crowded in the afternoon, but it’s still peaceful in the morning. Later in the day, it’s another good place to watch rock climbers or try rock climbing yourself. There’s also a small cave temple here that’s full of wooden phallic statues where people come to pray to fertility gods.
Floating on your back in the water to look up at the cave formations is legendary. This beach can be reached by foot from Railay or by boat from Ao Nang Beach.
WHERE TO STAY
Ao Nang: Moment Hostel
One of the better hostels we stayed in while exploring the Thai islands. The staff is helpful and friendly. They have free coffee, tea, and water. We rented a motorbike through them for 200 baht per day. There’s also a night market right outside the hostel and some bars nearby.
Tonsai: Chill Out Bungalows
The name says it all. It’s a rustic place set back in the jungle. They have a small store, a pancake vendor, a coffee shop, a bar with nightly fire jugglers, and pretty decent food. They also don’t play bad music, which is always a plus. This place isn’t for everyone because they don’t have hot water and only have electricity at night, but we really enjoyed our two nights here!
Railay: Avatar Railay
This is luxury at an affordable price. A modern, minimalist hotel with an outdoor pool and lush garden. The location on East Railay makes it a nice central position between West Railay and Phra Nang Cave beach. They also have live music every night!
What do you think of this list of fun and active things to do in Krabi? Has this convinced you to go?