A bundle of beautiful beaches
Once you’ve set foot on its silky, vanilla-white sands and admire the surrounding limestone cliffs chances are you’ll feel like you’re in paradise and won’t ever want to leave. The good thing is by spending your days soaking up the sunshine on these spectacular stretches of sand it means you won’t hardly spend a penny.
Krabi’s most accessible beaches are on the mainland and just a 20-minute low-priced shuttle bus ride from Krabi Town will take you to its best-known resort, Ao nang. Although it is relatively small in size, this perfectly formed holiday hotspot has everything you’ll need. There’s a good collection of restaurants and bars and as for the beach, it stretches around 2-kilometres and provides plenty of sunbathing spots.
A holiday in Krabi wouldn’t be complete without an escape to Railay Beach. Reachable only by boat, this small, yet extraordinary peninsula is well worth the ride. As well as being one of Thailand’s most sought-after beach areas, it’s got impressive viewpoints, a uniquely hidden lagoon and of course the landmark limestone cliffs soaring out of its waters. Due to the fact that there’s no roads, no footpaths and just traditional Thai long tail boats bobbing in the water, you really will feel like you’ve escaped to paradise.
An island-hoppers paradise
With 200 islands’ surrounding Krabi you’re in a prime position to hop on a boat and check out the surrounding bays and coves. The most famous bay that most holidaymakers tend to make a beeline for is the world-famous Maya Bay and rightly so considering its breath-taking beauty, plus it was the chosen backdrop for The Beach film starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Unfortunately, the island is closed indefinitely to visitors however once it does reopen, this tourist spot is a must-visit.
Another island-hopping hotspot is the lesser-known resort, Ko Phu. Head around 15-kilometres south of Krabi’s mainland and you too can set foot on the local’s favourite sands. This place has an amazingly authentic feel – instead of restaurants, souvenir shops and the likes, instead you’ll find locals bringing in the catch of the day or sourcing coconuts along the shoreline.
An array of affordable activities
Aside from its bundles of beaches, Krabi has an array of activities up its sleeve, many of which are super easy on the wallet, and some even free of charge.
Maya Bay isn’t the only island that was chosen as a film backdrop, the island Koh Tapu once made its big-screen debut, hence why it is often called James Bond Island. If you’re a diehard 007 fan, take an hour’s boat ride from Ao Nang to this 20-metre tall islet and experience first-hand where the filming took place. Even if you’re never seen the film, this island is definitely worth going to for a picturesque day trip, plus it won’t cost you much either.
Immerse yourself in the Thai culture with a visit to Wat Tham Seua. This Buddhist temple is used by monks as a centre of meditation and worship. With no admission fee, not only can you have a glimpse of their lifestyle, you can also witness the main highlight which is the footprint of Buddha. That’s if you want to take on the challenge of climbing the 1,200 steps up towards it.
From climbing heights to life down under, Krabi shoreline provides a diving experience that’s well worth the money. Every day, boats head out to the waters surrounding the islands of KoPodaNai and KoPodaNok, here you can come face to face with more than 200 species of fish amongst 80 different types of coral.
If you’d prefer to be above the water than under it then sea kayaks are a good way to explore the Krabi coast too. It may be a little more strenuous than kicking-back on a longboat trip, however you’ll get an unbeatable up-close view of the wildlife including kingfishers and lizards.
Krabi's impressive interior
To experience nature’s very own answer to a hot tub, go for a soak in the Klong Thom hot springs. Just an hour’s drive away from Ao Nang you’ll find these natural hotspots, literally. Bath in their heated 35-40 degree waters and feel your skin reaping in the benefits, rumour has it it’s great for soothing certain ailments. The springs were originally formed when thermal water from underground springs funnelled up to fill potholes in volcanic rock and they are now a popular budget-friendly tourist attraction.
Just when you thought Krabi had ticked all the boxes when it comes to impressive scenery, once you stumble across Koh Lanta National Marine Park you’ll see a whole lot more. Animal lovers, you’ll be in your element as wild pigs, languor moneys and monitor lizards call this place their home. As for Bok Khorani National Park, it’s a whopping 15-acres filled with lotus pools, waterfalls and streams.
Luxury on a budget
Thailand is the perfect place for a taste of the high life without the huge expense, particularly in Krabi with its generous supply of spa treatments and designer boutiques. The popular resort Ao Nang has an impressive line-up of Thai massage hut, many of which have a beside-the-beach setting so whilst you’re recharging your batteries with a relaxing treatment, you can soak up sea views. It’s also a fantastic shopping hub where you can bag tons of designer bargains.
When it comes to cheap hotels in Krabi the bed and breakfast Apasari Hotel offers an ideal base for a Thai getaway. Tucked away just a 15-minutes' walk from the lively Ao Nang beach, you'll get plenty of peace and quiet whilst still being close to the action. So when you've had your fill of sunbathing around the tranquil pool, take a short stroll down to explore the lively cafes, restaurants and shops.