Discover serene Krabi Islands: Bangkok Travelers Guide

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Thailand is full of fantastic places to visit. Each province has it’s own special flair, but many tourists go straight to Bangkok, Koh Samui or up north for trekking. Krabi is often overlooked, which is a shame because it is one of the most beautiful places in the country and travelers will very often find a more ‘real’ slice of Thai life there

Krabi is actually a province on the coast in the south of Thailand. The town that bears the name is also the largest town in the area. It offers much to the traveler, especially those that want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Phuket or the rowdy lifestyle of Koh Samui.

There are something like 130 islands in the archipelago that surrounds the province and the entire are is dotted with stunning limestone outcrops that push right out of the sea. Rock climbers from all over the world come here to experience not only the climbing, but also the sheer natural beauty. It is actually internationally renowned as the best pace to be in the off season for many of the top competitors.

All around the area are little islands, some which jut out of the sea at impossible angles, and loads of pristine white sandy beaches. Many of the secluded beach areas are only accessible by long tail boats and if you make arrangements to visit one, you can rest assured that you and your friends will be the only ones there. If you have ever seen the movie “The Beach”, you can imagine what it is like. In fact, much of the movie was actually shot around this area. The diving is world class too. Stunning coral reefs abound, and the array of wildlife undersea is amazing.

Ao Nang is the main beach resort in the province but many people prefer Railey beach better. Perhaps. There is loads of cheap accommodation, restaurants and little shops all along the beach front. From anywhere on the beach you can catch a long tail to Railey (also call Rah Leh) or Ton Sai beach. Ton Sai is where all the climbers stay. It is famous all over the world with rock climbers. You can arrange trips up the huge limestone lifts. Even beginners can do it. The schools that teach climbing are safe and the instructors well trained. Anyone can learn to climb there, even if you have never done it before,. You can get to Ao Nang by songthaew or boat, though if you go by the former you will pass by an amazing giant reclining Buddha statue which .ies along the road between the two towns.

Railey is something of a haven for the backpacker set. There are fantastic little bungalows all along the beach and not a single car in sight, because there are no roads. You can only get to Railey by long tail, unless you want to climb over the mountain path through the national forest (which in itself is amazing). Railey has a special magic to it, a very laid back feeling that is hard to find in many of the beach locations in Thailand. If you are looking for luxury, there is a Dusit hotel on the peninsula too. Ton Sai, right near Railey, has the cheapest bungalows I have ever seen in Thailand, and every great climber in the world knows about this place. If you really want to get away from it all, try here. But be prepared to hear everyone around you talk about rock climbing.

Had Yao is another great place in Krabi. It is probably the last completely unspoiled and undeveloped beach in the entire area. There is a huge long stretch of beach, but in the rainy season, there is very little to do, because there is not much more on offer than the beach. This is truly the “get away from it all” beach. If you just plan to lounge around your resort or on the sand, you would be hard pressed to find a more relaxing place in the whole country,

Koh Lanta is another great getaway that is the total opposite of Koh Samui. The entire area has stunning scenery and fantastic white sandy beaches. The coastline is dotted with more than 70 tiny islands. There are and plenty of forests, coral reefs and tree covered hills. This area is very popper with Swedish tourists.

Which brings us to Krabi town. This is where can go if you want something more than just beach life, rock climbing and scuba diving. Being the biggest town in the province, this is where you find the nightlife, great restaurants and some cool temples. The town has no beaches, and most tourists that come here head straight for Railey or Ao Nang. But Krabi is a fantastic little city, with a lot more ‘real’ Thai life than any of the beach resorts. There is a really cool temple called The Tiger Temple (Wat Tham Sua) which is 8km out of town. Just jump on a songthaew to get there. Be sure to bargain a bit on the price. You can get there for 20 baht if you are a good negotiator.

There are loads or great bars and cafes in town, and some of the best milkshakes you will ever find. You can dine at one of the night markets in town, where they cook up amazing dishes for a fraction of the price of a restaurant. Street food in Thailand is generally very good and safe. In Krabi you can also find good massage parlors, where you can get a full (real) Thai massage for a bargain. Be aware that in the low season, many of the cafes and restaurants close down.


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