A big thank you to Meanwhile in Thailand for this post!
Krabi (Ao Nang):
· Less well known than Phuket or Ko Phangnan, Krabi is only a two hour drive and a four hour ferry ride away from Phuket.
· Krabi is also famous for its high beachside cliffs, but nearby Rai Lei offers even more of Thailand’s best cliffs and climbing.
· Smaller, less crowded and more relaxed than Phuket, Krabi offers similar beaches and island getaways at a more reasonable, less personally taxing price.
· Krabi has an international airport and flights from AirAsia, so it’s a cheap and easy getaway from the craziness of Phuket and Bangkok.
· Ao Nang Beach – the main beach area offers nice views of the nearby cliffs and a relaxed beach feel. You can still get a massage, a shell necklace or some spring rolls, but you might have to ask, instead of being endlessly offered.
· Rai Lei – nearby Rai Lei beach is available by boat and offers the best cliffs and climbing in the country.
· Monkey Trail – just at the end of the beach and over the stream, this wooden walkway connects the main Ao Nang with a private resort beach. You can use the beach, you just have to sign in and out and promise not to enter the hotel areas. The trail is well named, do not be surprised if you see large numbers of monkeys surrounding you. They might be harmless, I don’t know.
· Kayaking – the amount of cliffs and islands make Krabi great for Kayaking and there are a number of tourist agencies offering tours. It costs 500 to 1000 baht, depending on how long you want to go for but it can offer a magnificent view of the cliffs, along with some much needed exercise.
· Ao Nang is small enough that the main area is walkable. You can rent scooters here, of course, and tuk tuks are ever-present. A cab to the airport is about thirty minutes and will cost about 500 baht, so be aware, and it may be best to arrange for one through one of the many travel agencies located in the main areas.
· The one lackluster thing about Krabi is the food options. Not that much different than most of the rest of Thailand, Krabi’s options of warmed over Thai, Italian and American favorites are less than inspiring.
· The night life is much more subdued here, even though it is still present, especially in high season.Be aware, Krabi is also the name of the province, and actual Krabi city is not located on the beach, nor is it a resort.