Krabi tales

, Leisure

The city is blessed with white sandy beaches, picture-perfect islands and coral reef vistas

One of southern Thailand’s most popular island provinces, Krabi is famous for its scenic views, gorgeous islands and exquisite delicacies. Blessed with white sandy beaches, picture perfect islands and coral reef vistas, the region is most famous for coral diving. When we (me and few of my friends) planned to visit Krabi, we just thought it to be an adventurous trip, but we were surprised to see the number of options available to explore there. Being covered by stunning scenery, white beaches that stretch for miles, a jungle and over 200 islands just of the coast, Krabi covers quite a large area to explore. Be ready to travel a lot to see and experience the attractions.

Adventure beckons

Krabi’s coastline also offers plenty of ways for daredevils to indulge in fun-filled activities. Railay is known for some of the best rock climbing options in the world and there are numerous climbing schools for people of all experience levels. You don’t have to book anything in advance, just walk through the little town to Railay Beach East. “When you make it to the top, the view of Railay makes it all worth,” said Tong Yong Kee, our guide who accompanied us on the trip. He was right. The view is worth the climb. Railay West and Pranang Cave beach are the two gorgeous beaches here, the latter being the busier of the two (mostly because it’s smaller so it seems more full).

If you’re a beach lover, get out of Krabi Town and go straight to the beach. Ao Nang is Krabi’s main beach, which has everything that a traveller can expect. You can just relax or get adventurous by renting a kayak and explore the waters. Ao Nang also has a few restaurants that serve traditional Thai dishes and mouth-watering local seafood.

Krabi also has some night markets, so it is ideal for you to stay the night in Krabi Town and spend the day at Ao Nang. Also, you’ll likely need to be back in Krabi Town the next morning to move on to your next destination. If you want to stay out and experience the nightlife, then Ao Nang would be best to do that.

Island hopping

Visiting the islands is one of the best things to do while in Krabi! There are roughly 200 of them sitting just off the Krabi coastline, some are small rocks jutting out of the sea, some are quite larger but remain uninhabited and some are huge with many inhabitants. For example, Skull Island, Koh Talabeng, is known for dramatic, craggy cliffs and a mysterious scenery, Koh Gai is a typical tropical idyll, with powdery sands, clear blue waters, and vendors selling food and drinks, Koh Jum is the place to explore tiny fishing communities, mangroves and laid-back beaches. You can also include Koh Haa, Koh Poda, Koh Nok and Koh Hong. You can rent a boat from Krabi Town or Ao Nang and explore the islands. Alternatively, you can also rent a boat along with a guide.

Visiting temples & shrines

Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) is one of Krabi’s major attractions. Climb more than a thousand steps for a bird’s eye view of the surroundings and to admire the golden Buddha statue and pagodas. There are also old caves to explore. Another cultural highlight is the hilltop Wat Kaew Korawaram in Krabi Town. The white building looks like a fairy tale. The walls are covered with murals of various sizes. The Phra Nang Shrine is among the province’s quirkiest attractions.

How to reach

Krabi can be reached via government-run buses that connect Bangkok, Phuket, Phang Nga, Trang, Hat Yai and Surat Thani (Samui) to Krabi. The bus from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal to Krabi takes over 12 hours. There are also many private bus companies and travel agencies that provide air-conditioned buses or vans to and from Krabi and the other provinces. As we had reached Phuket by plane, we opted for the regular shuttle bus service between Krabi and Phuket, which are roughly two hours apart.

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