Quick facts on Krabi, Thailand
The beaches in Krabi are known to be some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Krabi is located on Thailand’s southern west coast. A province famously characterized by ragged, sheer limestone cliffs and dense humid mangrove forests. And incredibly, more than 100 offshore islands!
Some of the most popular beaches in Krabi include the Phi Phi Islands, which emerge from the sea like colossal forested boulders, and Railay Beach, a 400m stretch of sand, accessible only by boat and home to some of the best rock climbing spots in the world.
The 7 Best beaches in Krabi
Railay Beach is one of Krabi’s most famous beaches. Perhaps adding to the allure is the fact that this beach is only accessible via boat. Cutting off access to this sandy paradise are a couple of skyscraper-like limestone cliffs.
What to do on Railay Beach?
Two words: Rock Climbing.
Railay is Thailand’s top-tier rock climbing destination. Its tall limestone cliffs hold countless climbing routes that will appeal to even the world’s most elite climbers. But the coolest thing about these jagged cliffs? Megannums of rainfall have carved out delicate climbing routes to suit any experience level. Which means, even if you’ve got absolutely no climbing experience, here you’ll find the perfect route.
First off, I’d like to say that the following activity is dangerous. Extreme caution should be exercised if attempted. If you are afraid of heights, then this is not for you.
Hidden Lagoon (Sa Phra Nang)
The journey to reach this wonder of nature is treacherous. It will take you around 45 minutes to get there. The hike includes climbing up steep muddy slopes and scrambling down rocky ravines. This route is more about scrambling than climbing, so think twice before attempting if rain has fallen recently. Against all the odds, once you do finally reach it, you’ll find a magical pool surrounded by vast sheer cliffs and lush vegetation.
Important to note is that the lagoon is tidal, so be sure to time your expedition smartly and arrive by high tide. You can use this tide chart to help you plan your trip. Bare in mind that if you fail to time the tide correctly, you’ll be disappointed to find a small muddy pool upon your arrival.
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang Beach is one of Krabi’s most popular seaside destinations. And we’d like to think, one of the most scenic beaches in Krabi. It is home to the softest of sand and relatively clear water. You’ll find the majority of Ao Nang’s restaurants and nightlife along the beachfront area.
What to do on Ao Nang Beach?
Ao Nang Beach itself isn’t really known for diving or snorkelling. However, it’s conveniently located quite close to world class diving spots such as Koh Phi Phi and the King Cruiser wreck.
Koh Phi Phi
This island has beginner-friendly scuba diving opportunities. Exploring the underwater world here, you’ll find marine life such as pipefish, seahorses and razorfish as well as their larger cousins like leopard sharks, reef sharks, crocodile long-toms and turtles.
King Cruiser wreck.
This is a deep water dive site, for the more advanced certified divers.
The ferry was operating between Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands when she hit a submerged collection of rocky outcrops, 10 miles off of Phi Phi Island. The intense impact tore a massive hole in the hull and the vessel sank within just two and a half hours!
The King Cruise Wreck is now a popular recreational dive site and acts as an artificial reef, which attracts a plethora of marine life. Today, the shallowest point of the wreck sits at about 18m deep.
Phra Nang (Cave Beach)
As far back as ancient times, fishermen have been coming to the ‘princess cave’ to make offerings to the symbolic Phallus of Shiva before heading out to sea. They do this in hopes of being blessed with a safe passage and a bountiful catch.
What to do on Phra Nang Beach?
Well, visit the Princess cave of course.
A word of caution, the cave is filled with 100’s of carved out wooden Phalluses. If you are travelling with children, you may want to think twice before embarking on this activity.
Local folklore says that if somebody carves a wooden penis and releases it anywhere along the Krabi coast during high tide, one way or another it will eventually end up in Phra Nang cave.
If you’d like to avoid the masses of sun baked tourists, why don’t you to try out Tubkaek beach? I know what you are thinking, ‘sweet mother of pearl, but look at all those resorts’. While I do not dispute the fact that you may bump into a few bronzed humans, I do believe you won’t bump into many of them as the majority are enjoying their sunsoaked sun beds inside the resort.
What to do on Tubkaek Beach?
Despite the fact that this beach is lined with resorts, it still remains a public area. Tubkaek can be visited via a small pathway located on the beaches northern tip. We recommend you to come here before sunset with some company, a hammock and ice cold beers, kick back and enjoy the views.
Also, we don’t recommend that you to do this, but hypothetically speaking, one could possibly sneak into a resort for a midnight swim…
Hat NoppHarat Thara Beach
One of the more quiet beaches in Krabi, Hat Noppharat Thara is located 18km west of Krabi Town and has a 3km long beach which is lined with Casuarina trees.
What to do on Hat NoppHarat Thara Beach?
During low tide, it is possible for you to walk all the way to Koh Kao Pak Klong Island in the bay. Thai locals love doing this.
Koh Poda Beach
Alright, this piece of magic is not connected to the mainland, in fact it’s about a 25 minute boat ride (for $20) away from Ao Nang. However, this is a beach you do not want to miss out on. The boats in the picture above will be your ride to paradise.
Koh Poda belongs to Haad Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. Which means overnight stays are not permitted, unless you stay on the island’s designated accommodation “Poda Island Resort” (although the hotels are quite pricey).
With that being said, it’s best to arrive here by 10am, so that you can enjoy this peaceful paradise until 3pm, which is when the long boats will take you back to the mainland.
What to do on Koh Poda Beach?
There is a picture perfect coral reef about a 20m swim away from the beach. Snorkel, snorkel, SNORKEL!
Pra Ae Beach (Long Beach)
Pra Ae Beach, more commonly known as Long Beach, will give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to seaside accommodation. The beach itself stretches approximately 4km, the perfect beach in Krabi to do your early morning jogs on.
A major plus in our books: You won’t find umbrellas and sun chairs cluttering the beach as in other areas of Thailand.
Here’s a map of Pra Ae Beach.
What to do on Pra Ae Beach?
If you’re up for some adventure on your Krabi holiday, you can scramble around the rocks at the beaches south tip during low tide. Around the corner you will find the famous and beautiful Relax Beach.
The bottom line
The beaches in Krabi are some of the world’s most idyllic, from vast limestone cliffs to dense mangrove jungles. If you are looking for non-populated beach space, then it’s probably best to move along. However, if you don’t mind people and are keen to enjoy some mind-blowing views, then Krabi beaches are for you!
Kyle was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. In his spare time he kitesurfs with whales, gets attacked by jellyfish, SUP’s with great white sharks and rescues seals. He is not a best selling author like every other Tom, Dick and Harry out there but loves to write nevertheless. Especially about climate science and animals.