Krabi boasts 132 islands under its jurisdiction and the large majority of these islands are deserted.
The tropical paradise of Krabi has been a springboard for the beautiful beaches and dramatic coastline cliffs of Laem Phra Nang, Koh Lanta and the famous Phi Phi Island. Tourists who use Krabi as a travel gateway would have missed out on what this coastal province has to offer.
Though far less commercialised than the neighbouring Phuket, Krabi is filled with countless natural attractions, welcoming an average of two million visitors annually. Besides the gorgeous beaches and white, sandy beaches that face the Andaman Sea, did you know that the massive limestone karsts, which emanate from the sea as islands, are popular among rock climbers?
Where to stay
In addition to stylish, five-star accommodation, Rayavadee boasts fine cuisine, one of the most unique relaxation spas in Thailand and warm, attentive service. It is also surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, nestled amidst tropical gardens.
Like most beach destinations, a string of hotels would stretch along the length of the coast so that guests are never far from the turquoise waters. Rayavadee, situated on the edge of Krabi's National Marine Park, sets itself apart from the rest of the lot by blending into the lush foliage of the Phranang Peninsula.
The Rayavadee Villa, furnished in elegant, contemporary Thai style, has its own free-form swimming pool, built-in jacuzzi and poolside dining room. Guests can enjoy the stupendous views of the Phranang Beach and utmost privacy in this luxurious resort.
Rayavadee, 214 Moo 2, Tumbon Ao-Nang, Amphur Muang, Krabi, +66 75 620 740-3, www.rayavadee.com
For other opulent resort options, check-in at Phulay Bay, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. It features a breathtaking view of the Andaman Sea, and alluring amenities on top of its extravagant villas, such as an infinity pool, destination Spa, Fitness Center, and a yoga and pilates studio. If there's anything you wish to do, feel free to highlight your needs and desires to your personal 24-hour butler who will tailor your visit for that bespoke Krabi experience.
The Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Phulay Bay Hotel, 111 Moo 3 Nongthalay, Muang, Krabi, +66 75 628 111, reserve.ritzcarlton.com
Where to eat
The Brazilian Churrascaria "The Lareira" encourages diners to help themselves to a spread of authentic Brazillian cuisine, including a generous variety of meat. The interior has been designed to replicate the looks of Krabi's mountains.
Ao Nang, Krabi's busiest beach destination, is home to several decent eateries such as The Lareira, a Brazillian steakhouse with a wide variety of rotisserie grilled meats, a gourmet salad bar and Brazillian appetisers and cocktails. For a fixed price, guests enjoy unlimited gourmet dishes in a cosy, cave-like environment.
The Lareira, The L Resort, 31 Moo 2, Ao Nang Beach, Krabi, +66 075 637 485, www.thelresort.com
Blue Mango Restaurant and Bar, which was previously known as Absolut Restaurant and Bar, serves up a variety of Swedish, international and Thai dishes. Their signature dish is the mouthwatering Plank Australian sirloin steak served with duchess potatoes, asparagus and sauce béarnaise on an oak plank flown in from Sweden itself.
Blue Mango Restaurant, 161/1 Moo 2 Ao Nang, Krabi, +66 075 637 689, bluemango-krabi.com
What to do
Diving and Krabi may not be synonymous, but the dive sites off Ao Nang Bay have their fair share of diverse and prolific marine life. Koh Daeng, or Red Island, and Koh Ma Tang Ming are recommended for experienced divers, while the waters at Koh Mae Urai accommodate most divers. Keep a look out for sea snakes, Blue-spotted Ribbontail stingrays, Yellow Boxfish, Blue-ringed Angelfish and Rock Basslets.
Looking for lucrative dive packages? Check out Tanjong Jara Resort's Tenggol Diver's Escape Package, a dive season special that gives you an opportunity to swim alongside some of the world's most spectacular marine life.
Ton Sai is a beach near Krabi in Thailand, offering great rock climbing routes that make it popular with both backpackers and climbers alike. Krabi has earned a reputation of being an international climbing mecca among enthusiasts worldwide.
With distinctive limestone karst formations in the vicinity, Krabi is a world-class rock climbing destination, and has even earned its reputation for being an international climbing mecca. Endless adventurers frequent the monumental rocks at Railay and Ton Sai for the steep cliffs and mountain sides. Feel free to approach the climbing schools if you're interested to sign up for introductory courses.
Ton Sai Beach, Railay Peninsular, Krabi
Where to visit
In the south of Krabi province, these are nature's own hot-tub jacuzzis. The water here comes from thermal springs, originating deep underground in volcanic chambers.
Idyllically located beneath the tropical rainforest canopies, cascading waters of the hot springs at Khlong Thom are tucked away in the heart of a small jungle preserve just 70 kilometres from Krabi Town. Many have proclaimed that soaking in these mineral-rich hot springs water yields numerous health and healing benefits. Whether the hydrotherapy bath can really rid you of rheumatism, we can't guarantee. But you'll definitely walk out feeling relaxed and recharged.
The area is open from 8:30am to 6pm, Baan Bang Kram-Baan Bang Tiaow, Khlong Thom District, Krabi.
While entrance fee to the hot springs is THB 90, you can choose to pay THB 200 and access other eco-spots in the vicinity, like the Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve and the Emerald Pool. The Emerald Pool, otherwise known as Sra Morakot, changes colour, depending on the amount of bacteria and algae content and temperature of the water. While the waters can be mesmerizing, be sure to watch your steps.
The Emerald Pool is open from 8:30am to 5pm, Khao Pra - Bang Kram Wildlife Sanctuary, Khlong Thom District, Krabi
Don't be daunted by the flight of 1237 steps -- upon reaching the top of the Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua), you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of Krabi's beaches and a sense of accomplishment. Besides the Tiger Cave, many people come to see the Buddha's footprint and a gigantic golden Buddha statue. If you only have time for one location, we recommend this over the hot springs and Emerald Pool.
Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua), A. Muang, Krabi.