Krabi Town is the gateway to the tropical delights that the southern Thailand province of Krabi is known for; namely picture-postcard beaches, exotic adventure islands and lush national parks. Western-style restaurants pack the town, along with an ever-growing number of bars and shopping options, though overall the local feel is still strong. Spend your time here feasting on delicious flavours, visiting the cultural sites and hanging out down by the river, where relaxation is mandatory and charming views reign supreme.
Hop in a traditional long-tail boat and travel for around 15 minutes to the iconic limestone karsts of Khao Kanab Nam. Rising 100 metres out of the water, these natural formations are a spectacular sight. Don’t miss your chance to explore the caves adorned with stalactites and stalagmites and, if you’re feeling fit, climb the steps all the way to the top of one of the mountains.
Then journey on to discover a mangrove forest and traditional Thai fishing village. Art lovers will enjoy a pleasant stroll around Krabi Contemporary Art Museum. The intimate museum showcases an excellent range of contemporary Thai and international art. The museum is located directly opposite the bright and modern Wat Kaew Govaram Temple, so it’s easy to see both of these sights in a single afternoon. Entry to the museum is free.
Finally, make your way to Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple). This unique Buddhist temple complex is home to a series of natural caves, inside of which you’ll find beautiful statues and altars. If you’re up for a challenge, climb the 1,237-step staircase to the highest point where you’ll be greeted by a towering gold statue of Buddha. Take some time to admire the sensational panoramic views of the Andaman Sea, tropical rainforest landscape and dramatic limestone karsts in the distance. Just watch out for the cheeky resident monkeys.
Eat and Drink
Krabi’s two night markets offer a fun way to sample delicious, authentic food in a bustling environment. The first, located on Maharaj Soi, offers a range of vibrant stalls that serve up mouth-watering dishes, including the famous Pad Thai. The other, located near the Chao Fah Pier, is a great place to sit down and feast alongside local workers and families. A cheap and easy way to experience great Thai flavours any day of the week is to get acquainted with the local street food carts. For a little fun after dark you’ll find plenty of bars and watering holes around town, where you can sip cocktails, listen to live music and mingle with the friendly locals.
Where to Stay
Most of the hotels and guesthouses in Krabi are located in the town centre near the Krabi River. This puts you in a prime location to experience the dining, shopping, markets and nightlife on offer. If you are seeking a quieter experience, luxury resorts can be found on the outskirts of Krabi Town, mostly in the neighbouring beach areas and islands.
Walking Street Market, which takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, is a popular place to eat, shop and enjoy local entertainment. A range of buzzing stalls that serve great local cuisine sit alongside merchants selling handicrafts, leather goods, clothing and souvenirs.
Prefer a shiny mall-style shopping experience? Make your way to the Vogue Department Store, which offers well-known fashion brands, bookstores, electronic gadgets and fast food joints all under one roof.
Krabi Like a Local
You need to get up early for this one, but it’s worth it for the local experience. The Maharaj Market, also known as the Morning Market because it kicks off at around 4am, sells fresh fruit and vegetables, exotic produce, fish, meat and ready-made meals at bargain prices. Find a spot to eat breakfast amidst the morning bustle and enjoy an excellent insight into everyday Thai life. The best time to arrive is between 7am and 8am, which is when the market hits its peak.