What To Do in Krabi
I headed straight for the area of Ao Nang in Krabi as that’s where friends had recommended it’s best to go. Krabi is large and there are lots of other areas you could base yourself in but if you want to be close to the beach, be able to get to Railay beach easily and go out in the evening, Ao Nang is the place to go.
If you’ve followed my route you’ll get to Krabi from Koh Lanta and it might get a bit confusing as you start to arrive in town.
After the boat ride, which is them putting your bus onto a concrete slab which then moves across the river, they’ll stop at a big bus station and all the people staying in Krabi central will get off there. Any one else gingo to another location such as Ao Nang will get separated off to sit and wait for your next busses to take you to your final destinations. They’re pretty good at communication what’s going on actually so even though I sat there worrying the whole time that I was going to miss my next bus as I didn’t understand anything it was fine. As always take snacks and water with you for the wait and subsequent journey.
The reason people go to Ao Nang is not actually to go to the beach there itself but to go to Railay Beach so I’ll start with that.
The main attraction in Krabi is Railay beach which is a quiet little beach a short boat ride away from Ao Nang. Long-tail boats, the traditionally Thai looking ones, take people back and froth all day to Railay Beach so just ask at your hostel where to go to get one and then wait for a couple of people to accumulate to go with you and off you go. There are a number of other islands you can hop around from Krabi too.
The main arrival point in Railay is the busiest of the beach areas there with restaurants and market stands leading down “Walking Street”.
Once you go back from walking street though you get into much quieter areas where at times you will be there only person there.
I walked A LOT when I went to Railay beach, trying to see all the places listed on the map, getting lost and enjoying the scenery.
On my wanders I discovered that rock climbing is really popular there so if that’s your thing this will be a perfect place to visit.
There is accommodation in the main part of Railay but it’s a lot more expensive than back in Ao Nang so the most affordable way to see it is just to pop over by boat.
If you fancy another boat trip for a day you can also go to Phang Nga Bay on a day tour.
Ao Nang Beach Krabi
Ao Nang beach is actually really nice to chill on. When you get down to the main broadwalk of Ao Nang beach turn left and walk along the sand past the restaurants. As you get further along there more sand opens up to chill on and get your tan on.
Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Down on Ao Nang beach you can hire a stand up paddle board which is a really enjoyable way to spend an afternoon. The water is mostly calm, making it a good place to try paddle boarding for the first time, but it does get some ripples anytime a boat goes past.
Nightlife in Ao Nang Krabi
The hub of activity in the evenings is in the main square just back from Ao Nang beach where there are a variety of bars that stay open late.
If you stay at one of the two hostels in the chain I did they organize a pub crawl once a week and other evening activities which you can take part in. It’s a good way to meet people as those things always are.
Where to stay in Ao Nang Krabi
I stayed at Slumber Party Hostel on the recommendation of a friend who stayed there on her travels and loved it so much that instead of travelling around the different islands whilst she was in Southern Thailand, she just stayed in Ao Nang.
There are two branches of Slumber Party hostel now because it has become so popular. One is at the top of the hill that runs up from the beach, and the other right by the beach front.
I booked the one by the beach front because well, “beach” but actually having seen the two now I think the one on the hill is probably the most fun to stay in. There are more people staying there and it seems to be much more lively and sociable in the evening.
Whichever one you chose though be sure to check you find the right one on the map and not make the rookie error I did of walking all the way up the hill, with you 15kg bag in midday heat, to find you’ve gone to the wrong one.
How Long to Stay in Krabi Ao Nang
I’d suggest spending more time on the islands than in Krabi. It’s nice for a day or two to see Railay, go for a paddle board and enjoy the night life there but the islands are much more beautiful areas to be in if you’re wanting a bit of beach time.
Getting from Krabi to Islands on the East Coast of Thailand
You can do this journey from Krabi but also straight from Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta too, it will just take you longer from the others because with Krabi at least you’re back on the mainland already. The trip across to the islands on the east of Thailand is a long one.
You can easily buy tickets for the busses and boats combined from any hostel or one of the stands on the street.
I actually went back to Kho Phi Phi before going onto the east of Thailand, which was a ferry hop back again and when I wanted to head over to the islands on the east coast I got a boat, bus and boat to get to Kho Pha Ngan. I left early morning and arrived in Koh Phangan mid-evening.
A lot of people decide to do the journey overnight but a warning if you decide to follow suit. Apparently the sleeping night ferry is very uncomfortable and there is nowhere to buy even water let along snacks if you get hungry.
On the daytime ferries at least you are able to by supplies and can just sit on the top deck of the boat and get a suntan while travelling (yes, this is pretty much how I spent every single ferry trip in Thailand).
Koh Pha Ngan