Krabi, Thailand is an extremely underrated city in Thailand. Most tourists flock to the nearby Phi Phi islands or Phuket. However, Krabi offers an arguably better experience for those after an outdoors, food-filled adventure.
There is no shortage of activities to do in Krabi. We highly recommend visiting the
- Princess Cave
- Fossil Shell Cemetary
- Khao Khanab Nam Caves
- Wat Kaew
- Thara Park
- Railay Beach
- Krabi Walking Street
- Elephant Sanctuary
- Tiger Cave Temple
- Obviously, eat some of Krabi’s delicious food
During my time in Krabi, I became a bit notorious in the city for winning the hostel’s beer pong tournament, downing a bucket of red bull and vodka, then diving into the dirty river, only to realize that I couldn’t get out due to a highly placed river dock. A King Cobra swam past about 5 minutes later and I got a bit of pneumonia, but certainly worth it.
Where does one begin? How do you choose one activity over another? We hope this acts as a guide to better understand the best activities for you and your loved ones while in Krabi.
Phra Nang Princess Cave
The Phra Nang Princess Cave is truly a bizarre and alternative tourist attraction. Its oddity is why I decided to list it first in this article. The cave is located close to Railay Beach. While the cave itself is nothing special, the objects inside the cave are certainly quite funny.
For hundreds of years, fishermen in the area have viewed this cave as something of a holy and sacred spot. They believe the fertility Gods smile on this site. As such, these men will bring wooden offerings to the cave. The offerings are large wooden phalluses. They believe that donations and tributes in these forms will help increase fertility for their families.
There are over 100 of these wooden phallic statues. Big, small, colored, metal, etc. It’s not exactly a place most tourists spend hours at (if so, it’d be a bit weird) but if you’re in the area, you can’t miss it.
Fossil Shell Cemetery (Susan Hoi)
This fossil shell cemetery is quite an interesting geological site. Make sure you visit at low tide otherwise the water will cover the most fascinating features of this park. From a distance, the broken beach looks like crumbling concrete slabs that were never cleaned near a beach. Once you approach the area and get a closer look, you realize that these slabs are made of millions of tiny seashells and fossils.
There is a small beach with a swing if you wish to spend a few hours relaxing. You can also do a bit of shopping at the tourist-centered stores nearby. There’s even a museum for those who wish to learn more about the history of the fossils. Admittedly, the translations are a bit confusing and don’t offer a tremendous amount of clarity or insight.
The Khao Khanab Nam Caves are prehistoric caves that highlight the area’s ancient history. It’s a very popular place to visit in Krabi because of an interesting way one can reach the area. Most decide to hop on a boat near the Chao Fah Bridge. From there, a captain navigates the river to reach these caves.
They are quite large and demonstrate how magnanimous the area’s limestone landscape can truly be. There are some very impressive clusters of stalagmites, as well as stalactites, so bring your camera!
Wat Kaew is smack dab in the middle of Krabi. It’s located a stone throw away from the majority of the hostels and bars in the city. You won’t be able to miss it as the entire building and temple complex is painted completely white. It’s a temple that is shockingly clean.
It might not be the largest temple in Krabi (though not far behind in size) but it is certainly the most fascinating temple. Outside, everything is white except for the Golden dragons on the staircase. Inside, the walls are painted with colorful frescoes depicting classic Thai stories from the ancient Buddha’s life.
If you’re looking for an activity that attracts locals, then look no further than Thara Park. Every morning and every evening, you can find hundreds of local Krabi townspeople relaxing, walking, jogging, and playing sports in this beachside park.
I highly recommend jumping into a game of pickup basketball. Though, don’t be so confident about your skills. A 5 foot 3 girl schooled me on these very courts. The teams are quite good!
Railay Beach is a rock climber’s dream. The limestone cliffs are chock-full of divets to grip and you have an incredible view of the beach from every angle (though, climbers should probably keep their attention on the rock in front of them).
There are numerous monkeys that play along these cliffs and crags. However, you can fully expect to be robbed of any food you might have. These monkeys can get aggressive if they don’t get what they want.
Many seasoned travelers say that Railay Beach is the prettiest beach in Thailand. Just behind the sand is a full and dense Thai jungle so you can experience monkeys, a beach, cliffs, and jungle all in one beautiful view.
Krabi Walking Street
No place in Thailand is complete without a walking market. This is a great spot to buy hand-crafted, artisanal goods and watch various local performances. They have an incredible series of food stalls.
You can haggle at these shops when buying woodworking products. They sell small trinkets, Muay Thai shorts, fake goods, and more! You can’t miss it if you haven’t seen a Thai market before. They’re famous for a reason!
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, elephant sanctuaries are the only worthwhile ways to visit elephants in Thailand. Many businesses in Thailand profit from elephant abuse (it’s the only way to safely manage to get tourists on top of these massive beasts).
You want to avoid those, as watching an elephant be hit with a hammer (something that is a common occurrence at those places) is deeply unsettling and will certainly ruin your experience. This is why we recommend elephant sanctuaries that refuse to allow tourists to ride these big yet gentle creatures.
There are two that we recommend in Krabi. The first is the aptly named ‘Krabi Elephant Sanctuary’. The second place of business is named ‘Krabi Elephants House Sanctuary’. These places actually help rescue elephants from places like circuses that don’t take proper care of them.
There is an added benefit to choosing the sanctuaries. These experiences offer unprecedented access to the elephants in the shape of bathing them, swimming with them, and feeding them various assortments of Thai fruits. Choose an ethical option.
The name stems from a time period when the last wild tiger of Krabi used to live in a nearby cave. This temple offers a giant meditating Buddha sits on the top of a mountain. Tourists who are expecting to have a peaceful temple visit will be unpleasantly surprised. It’s a challenging hike.
There are 1,247 stairsteps that lead you up to this steep mountain. The staircase that leads you to the top of this giant limestone mountain is unlike a normal staircase. In fact, the height of each steep is approximately 2 times the size of a normal step. It’s a serious climb, even for those who are naturally athletic.
The monks that live in the surrounding area beside the caves climb this height daily. After reaching the Golden Buddha statue and banging the giant golden gong that sits nearby the statue, you can look at the incredible vista. You can see views of the Andaman Sea and limestone mountains that jet out from the otherwise flat land.
Every visitor who reaches the top of this temple is speechless. However, that is likely because they don’t have enough breath to form words.
Eat Delicious Food
Krabi sits close to Penang in Malaysia. As such, the Penang Curry available in the area is extremely authentic. I could write for days about this subject, but I’ll keep it short. The food is Krabi is damn good.
Which is better – Phuket or Krabi?
Phuket is a better destination for those who want access to 30+ different beaches. There is a larger community of tourists who visit Phuket. Krabi is better for those who love the outdoors. It is also a better destination for foodies.
What is the best time to visit Krabi?
There is no bad time to visit Krabi. Because the area is tropical, the temperature is decently hot all year round. However, the monsoon season runs from April/May to October. If you want to avoid the rain, go in the wintertime.