Ever see those photos on the internet with the crystal clear water and wonder where in the hell that photo was taken? While all of them weren't taking in Krabi, I can guarantee a lot of them were! This place is what dreams are made of. When you think of paradise and what you'd think it'd be like, you're thinking of Krabi and you don't even know it! This breathtaking location is situated in the southwestern part of Thailand. It's between Trang and Phang Nga and is known for its lush jungles, beautifully shaped cliffs, temples and more. One of the most prominent islands here would be Koh Phi Phi, as that's where Leonardo DiCaprio's movie, "The Beach" was filmed. Back in June, I was blessed enough to visit this heaven on Earth and I already can't wait to go back. Here are a few places I highly recommend checking out if you're ever in Krabi, Thailand!
When you arrive, your mind will be going a mile a minute trying to figure out what to do first. So, while you're making plans, try to fit these gems into your trip:
1). Wat Kaew is a lovely white temple with lots of stunning Buddha placements. It's situated on a hill above Krabi, so be prepared for a little adventure on the way to this location! While you're experiencing the peaceful palace, you also get a bonus view point of the city. Win win, right?
2). Just a quick long-tail boat trip from Krabi, the amazing double limestone mountain formation, Khao Khanab Nam, can be viewed from the river banks.
Fun Fact: Khao Khanab Nam is actually the formal symbol of the province.
3). If you're capable of climbing a long flight of stairs (1,247 stairs to be exact) you will be rewarded with amazing views of the entire Krabi Province from the top of the hill at Wat Tham Sua. The giant Buddha at the beautiful temple is a sight to see for sure. This location is also known as the Tiger Cave Temple!
4). Love night markets? You're in for a treat! The Weekend Night Market is filled with food stalls that serve delicious Thai food, deserts and snacks. If the food doesn't sell you, the local souvenirs, clothes and other items will! The night-market area is open on Friday, Saturday and Sundays, and its closed off to traffic to provide a fun and safe experience.
Bonus: If you're a spicy food lover, then you’ve hit paradise since Krabi is the capital of spicy curries! Famous dishes you have to try: Gaeng Thai Pla, Gaeng Som, Kua Kling, Khao Mok Gai and Hoi Chak teen.
5). Cross the river at Thara Park to the other side to Koh Klang Island. Here, you'll be able to observe the rural Thai way of life, agriculture and authentic living. That'll be an unforgettable adventure on a trip like this!
6). Not far outside of Krabi Town, the magical Sa Morakot – Emerald Pool spring could be found with its bright blue color from the fairy tales we were told about as kids. Swimming is allowed in the larger spring located right besides the Emerald Pool, so, get ready to live your mermaid dreams. To top this experience, a visit to the Khlong Thom hot springs which is nearby, is highly recommended for relaxation and enjoying the adjacent waterfalls. What I'm trying to say is, you'll never want to leave this place.
7). Ao Nang beach is the center of the beach activities, nightlife, luxury hotels and tours on the Mainland in Krabi. It's a medium sized beach town that's got a lot of personality! All sorts of accommodation can be found on Ao Nang, from budget hostels located uptown to 5 star luxury resorts on the beach itself. Adjacent to Ao Nang beach is Ao Nopharat Thara beach, which is a 1.8 mile long sandy beach dotted with beautiful trees.
If you're up for a quick long-tail boat trip from Ao Nang beach, you can get to the all famous Ao Railay Beach! There's absolutely no access other than boats – so, no cars or motorbikes will disturb your peace and quiet time. That tropical dream you've always wanted is right here!! There's good food and bars lined up if you walk off the beach. Each bar has it's own vibe, and you're bound to see a few reggae spots. I can honesty say that this was the clearest water I've ever witnessed in my life, and seeing those crystal blue hues clash with the perfectly golden sands were what my dreams were made of. Everyone should visit here at least once in their life.
If you want to escape the crowds, here’s a list of the best hidden gems of Krabi:
1). Koh Rok Nai and Koh Rok Nok – Part of the Mu Koh Lanta national marine park and reserve, this pair of exotic tropical islands which are a mere 200 meters away from each other offer amazing nature, splendid diving and coral watching, inland hiking to a hill and much more.
2). Want to feel like Indiana Jones for a day? Take a trip and kayak along Koh Talabeng or Skull island – immense 70 meters tall hollow rock cliff shaped as a giant skull. Kayak around the island, explore the cliffs and watch the monkeys play around. If you feel adventurous, kayak to the giant cave entrance and climb inside the hollow tower – once in a life time experience.
3). Visit Laem Chamuk Kwai or what is known as the secret beach to get a glimpse of the smooth archway rock and view the amazing sights of the limestone cliffs emerging from the waters all across the Phang Nga bay.
Krabi really is paradise on earth! It has the inland cliffs, caves, ponds, turquoise pools, hot springs, mangrove forests and stunning man-made temples. Want to go a different route? Try the magnificent tropic white sand islands, colorful corals and limestone formations or secluded old style islands and high vibing party islands. Whatever you're looking for, it's all there for you to explore.
Now, to wrap up this article, let's talk about the things they don't tell you about Thailand (in general, not just Krabi) before you arrive.
1). Thai toilets can't flush toilet paper: Thailand's pipes can't handle toilet paper, so get ready to throw ALL you used toilet paper in the tiny trash can in the stalls or in your hotel.
2). The King is everywhere: Do not ever speak ill of the King, as Thailand has strict laws forbidding any conversation or remarks about monarchy. If you decide to catch a quick movie, be prepared to stand up before the movie starts, as they'll play a short video to pay their respects to the Royal Family.
3). Sweat: You will literally always be sweaty. So, don't be paranoid about it. We're all in this together!
4). ATMs: There is only ONE ATM on Railay Beach, and there are NO ATMs on Tonsai Beach. Plan accordingly.
5). Long Tails: Don't be impatient. Many long tails don't start sailing from Ao Nang to your desired destination until they have a certain number of passengers.
Have you been to this paradise? What was your favorite spot to hang out at? Comment below!