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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Krabi

A guide to the best beaches of Krabi

Featuring some of the most beautiful – and famous – beaches in the world, entire holidays in Krabi can be taken up by exploring the spectacular coastline. With towering rock walls hiding intimate coves, turquoise blue waters and pillowy white sands, Krabi beaches will give you an idea of heaven, and that's without mentioning the islands off the coast. Strike lucky on these uninhabited gems and you'll have a beach paradise to yourself.

Ao Nang Beach, Ao Nang
Ao Nang Beach, Ao Nang

This popular destination on the west coast of Krabi's mainland gives you the best of both worlds. The spectacular beach is large enough that you won't feel crowded as you enjoy the warm sand and sea, yet there's also a real seaside town atmosphere with plenty of cafes and shops to stroll around.

Many of the most popular hotels in the area are set around Ao Nang, so expect to be sharing the beach with plenty of tourists making the most of cheap Thailand holidays. Even so, this also means that there's a lot to do other than taking it easy on the sand. Indulge in some gift shopping, try kayaking or join a scuba class – it's all on offer at Ao Nang.

Phi Phi beach, Phi Phi Island
Phi Phi beach, Phi Phi Island

Known quite literally as The Beach, this spectacular location was the setting for the 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio film of the same name. In the bay of Phi Phi island, this famous strip of sand tops most beach-lover's bucket lists.

You will have to hop on a boat to get there but the trip is worth it for the mind-blowing scenery and photo opportunities, plus the boats from mainland Krabi run very regularly. Phi Phi's fame does mean it's busier than other locations in Krabi, but there's plenty of room to stretch out and relax in your own slice of paradise.

Railay Beach, Krabi
Railay Beach, Krabi

The most popular beach in Krabi, Railay – or Rai Leh – is actually a peninsula hiding four separate beaches which are only accessible by boat. Luckily, there are regular public services throughout the day from various spots around the area.

All four locations have everything you imagine when you picture the perfect beach, including white sands, warm water and stunning scenery. As they are effectively cut off from the mainland there are no cars or roads near the beaches, giving them a quiet and secluded atmosphere despite the crowds.

Klong Muang, Nong Thale
Klong Muang, Nong Thale

Hugging the west coast of the Krabi region, this charming beach is somewhat of a hidden gem, but it won't stay hidden for long. Popular with the locals for being set apart from other tourist destinations, Klong Muang is truly the beach to get away from it all.

You won't find an abundance of souvenir shops, cafes or restaurants around this area, making it perfect for getting a taste of real Thailand off the beaten path. Soak up the peace of a beach that has yet to be truly discovered by the crowds – just remember to pack your own lunch.

Koh Poda beach, Poda Island
Koh Poda beach, Poda Island

The closest of the islands to Krabi Town, Poda Island houses the secluded Koh Poda beach and its beautifully arcing sand bar that encloses a lagoon. When the sand bar is at its fullest, it connects to two mini islands, and makes a charming stroll.

Dotted in the water around here are further tiny rock stack islands and you can see Ao Nang beach across on the mainland. The best time to hop on a boat to Koh Poda is in high season when the calmer weather means the sand bar and beaches are biggest.