Krabi is known for being one of the bases for those who want to go do some Island hopping in Thailand. Actually, Island hopping in Thailand is probably the most popular first major trip for many international young travellers. We sure can understand why, because of its infrastructure, many resources online and its long list of things to do within one single country!
One of my favourite places to travel to Thailand is Krabi. It is because of its unique limestone cliffs, the stunning nature and the laid-back vibe. Then, it also has the best islands in Thailand: Ao Nang, Tonsai, Railay, Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. Many adventures that can be organized here like world-class and thrilling rock climbing, not to forget to mention the incredible hikes.
Many people say that Thailand and the islands are overcrowded and the authentic Thai lifestyle is gone. It sure has changed a lot, but there are still ways to find authentic experiences and places that are definitely less crowded. When we last visited Krabi, we stayed in Ao Nang. Here is everything you know about the place and what to do in Krabi!
Krabi International Airport to Ao Nang
Ao Nang Beach is located about 40 minutes away from Krabi Airport by car. There are a few options to get in town.
1) The most expensive way to get to Ao Nang is by Taxi. but it is the most hassle-free method. You can get a taxi at the airport transport desk for a fixed price of 600THB and it will take you approximately 40 minutes.
2) If you are many people or a small group, Mini Va, it the best option and you can book a minivan right at the airport transport desk for a fixed price of 1050THB and will take the same time as the taxi depending on the speed of your driver.
3) For a cheaper way to get to Ao Nang, you can take the Airport Transfer Bus. The airport bus service between Krabi Airport and Ao Nang Beach only costs 150THB. Travelling time is about 55 minutes, the bus will drop you directly outside your hotel in the Ao Nang area. This depends if your hotel is listed on the bus stop list. The buses leave five times daily, with the last bus leaving from outside McDonald’s at 5:30 PM.
Island Hopping in Krabi
We honestly have never been able to say no to an island-hopping adventure. Going to Thailand is a must to jump on a boat of some sort and explore its islands. It also a different experience on every trip we do to the islands in Thailand. This time, invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, we have gone on-board an old refurbishes boat to sail to a few islands, including the popular Koda Island where you can take a snapshot with this incredible cliff. We had too much fun there and stayed actually longer than expected so had less time to island-hop to other islands. This was a customized rental so we pretty much did whatever we wanted. So if you like flexibility, you can hire a boat for the whole day or half a day, the rest, for the options of which islands you can visit, it will all depend on the time and the tide.
Despite the fact that it’s busy if you are in Thailand for the first time, a boat trip to the Phi Phi Islands should be on your bucketlist. Maya beach itself where the famous THE BEACH was filmed is closed, but there are so many other beaches that are way better!
You can get to Phi Phi from the two major areas: Phuket, and Ao nang/Krabi, but the tours are different from each place you go from. We suggest you do this journey from Krabi. This way of getting to Phi Phi Islands is way better from the tours from Phuket. The islands they take you on the itinerary from Krabi is much more unique and beautiful for photography. Tours typically bring you to James Bond Island, two islands connected by a sandbar, and the popular Railay Beach. Most of the tours are on a Thai traditional longtail boat, which is what we suggest taking it is an experience you should try at least once in your life and those are also quite photo-worthy boats. If you are a bit more on the fancy side, there are options to get nicer boats and speedboats.
Best Thailand Beach Town: Ao Nang
When you go to Krabi and looking for a place to stay, Ao Nang is one of Thailand’s best beach town to stay at considering the high amount of necessities for travellers from tours to attractions and markets. Ao Nang is also the best place to go for the Phi Phi Island tours. To get to Ao Nang, you would fly into Krabi from Bangkok and then take a taxi or a tuk-tuk to Ao nang.
Ao Nang has a lot of hotel options for any budget and actually has many nice places for just a little money! If you are looking for true luxury, you might have to go a bit further out 30 minutes and then, but Krabi is not the place if you are looking for ultra-luxury. The main walking street right by the beach has tons of hotels, shops, spa parlours and restaurants. There you will find many kiosks to book your island hopping tour. The beach at Ao Nang is also not too bad in some spots as some other spots are murky from the long tail boats.
Spa lovers: Hot Springs at Klong Thom
Yes, Krabi has Hot Springs! Set inside beautiful rainforest of Krabi you can find hot springs that have been cut into the smooth rocks and the water is provided from deep-rooted thermal springs that are located inside volcanic chambers. The water does get up to temperatures of forty degrees Celsius and contains natural mineral salts that have many healing properties. We recommend you a much-personalized experience at this private Spa (and also a hotel) Wareerak, where you will feel totally relaxed. The Klong Thom springs are quite close to the Emerald Pool so it is worth combining the two within the same day.
Wareerak Hot Spring Spa
Other than being a hotel you can book a day spa entrance which includes lunch, bathing, body scrub and a Thai massage. The circuit of the hot springs is also very relaxing and totally worth it. Make sure you bring some mosquito repellent because there are tons though! My favourite moment was the Then the coconut, yoghurt, tamarind scrub and shower, followed by the hot pools. Our recommendation is to take your own towels as the ones provided aren’t what we would call towels haha.
Where to Stay in Ao Nang, Krabi
There are many options for all types of family, people, budgets and locations!
If you are Muslim and it’s important for you to have an environment where your food is Halal certified, the best option if Ao Nang Princeville Hotel. At the moment the place is a little bit old and need refurbishing, which is exactly the case! They are looking into launching in the next 5 months new rooms which will be, of course, brand new. The food there is 100% halal certified and absolutely DELICIOUS as we had a full 3-course dinner there and kept wanting extra Thai appetizers, they were really the highlight.
If you like to be more secluded but close enough to the action, you can stay at the Centara Grand hotel. It is only reachable by speedboat, so you get the “secluded” deal. There are special buffet nights every now and then announced in advance, don’t miss the Surf & Turf feast!
If you want something quite new but on the main Ao Nang beach strip, consider Centara Ao Nang Beach Resort & Spa. The place is new and has many rooms. The downside is that they do not offer 24h room service which is a very big downside considering a hotel witch that many rooms.
For those who want the most luxurious options. Opt for the Ritz-Carlton, which is 30 minutes away from the Ao Nang centre of town or Dusit Thani Krabi.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. We use them as a way of assisting us in maintaining our website and follow our passion. Please use them when you are booking as it supports us greatly. We were invited to a Press Trip by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, but we decided on what we want to speak about. All opinions and suggestions are our own. Thank you.