7 reasons to linger in Krabi Town

Aimee White

Aimee White

Despite being the capital of Krabi* province, you don't often find many people shouting about visiting Krabi Town, a port town situated in southern Thailand* overlooking the Andaman Sea.

Early morning on the river in Krabi Town
Early morning on the river in Krabi Town © Tino Alexandre Dos Santos Lopes - Dreamstime.com

You may have even been advised to skip it altogether, what with the overly developed Ao Nang, the typical gateway to Railay Beach and Koh Phi Phi, a short trip away.

But it would be a real shame to miss this fairly laidback provincial town, as there's more to experience here than first meets the eye. We've got the lowdown on the best reasons to linger for longer in Krabi Town.

Getting to Krabi: find great value holidays to Krabi, Thailand with TUI*, which offers direct and indirect flights from airports across the UK.

Get lost in the night markets

At Black Crab Night Market, the main night market in Krabi Town, you'll find row upon row of vendors selling delicious small and big bites.

The steam rises from huge woks, sounds of sizzling grills fill the air and colourful, fresh fruit shakes rest on beds of ice. Once you've made your selections such as local fish skewers, crispy samosas, or takoyaki (balls of deep-fried octopus), tuck in at the seating towards the back of the market, where you might also catch a live dance or music performance.

And while Thailand is largely Buddhist, there's a large Muslim community in Krabi Town, so you'll find plenty of halal options too.

Munch your way around the night markets
Munch your way around the night markets © Timwege - Dreamstime.com

Or, if you'd rather somewhere less lively but with all the local flavours, head down to a second night market down by the riverside at Chao Fah Park. It's a slightly smaller affair but there are more places to sit and people-watch.

If night markets aren't your scene, shabu shabu restaurants are also particularly popular in Krabi Town. This Japanese style of hotpot involves cooking thin strips of meat and vegetables in a bubbling broth at the table centre; head to Makan Shabu & Grill for halal options or local-favourite Shabu Kong Krabi for affordable set menus.

Climb a Buddha-topped karst

Krabi Town isn't exactly teeming with activities but it's within easy reach of a number of exciting excursions. A fifteen-minute drive (9 km) north of Krabi Town lies Wat Tham Suea, also popularly known as Tiger Cave Temple.

The peak of Tiger Cave Temple complex
The peak of Tiger Cave Temple complex © Kalyakan - Adobe Stock Image

This impressive hill and cave temple complex is as stunning as it is notorious, as you ascend 309 metres along a 600-metre path up a karst peak.

The demanding, 1,260-step climb can feel practically vertical, but it's worth persevering: at the top, pad across the terrace with a large, golden Buddha at the centre gazing over the vast green fields, lush canopy of trees and karst-studded sea below.

Then, back on ground level, keep a safe distance from the wandering monkeys and take a look inside a few caves with Buddha paraphernalia. This is an area of worship, so remember to cover your knees and shoulders; you can rent shawls at the ticket office if needed.

Dive into Emerald Pool

With south Thailand's tropical climate and Krabi Town's lack of beaches, chances are you'll want to cool off at some point. On the east side of Khao Phra Bang Khram Wildlife Sanctuary, one of Thailand's last remaining lowland forests, lies the aptly named Emerald Pool (Sa Morakot), a popular swimming spot reached by forest trail.

Dip into the Emerald Pool
Dip into the Emerald Pool © Fokke Baarssen - Adobe Stock Image

Roughly 600 metres ahead is the pretty Blue Pool, although note you can't swim here. There are some 2.7 km of trails to wind through at this Thai national park, with reptiles and over 320 bird species to spot, including the critically endangered Gurney's pittas, a tiny blue-capped, yellow-naped bird.

You'll need to book a tour or take private transport to reach the park with its crystal-clear lagoons which is roughly an hour's drive (60km) east of Krabi Town.

Get to know the town's street art

Uncover Krabi Town's impressive street art scene on a self-guided tour; check out Krabi Street Art's Facebook page to suss out the best spots, or search for 'Krabi street art' on Google Maps to plan your route.

Get stuck into Krabi Town's street art
Get stuck into Krabi Town's street art - photo courtesy of Krabi Street Art

Keep your eyes peeled for the likes of orange mud crabs (Marine Habitat) and the multi-armed Sun God Bead, plus more artwork detailing Krabi's proud heritage, culture and identity.

Along an exterior wall of Kaew Korawaram Temple on Hemthanon Road is a stretch of blue whales, a huge portrait of a woman wearing a traditional headdress and a local procession scene, while you can ponder the meaning of a child riding a Gurney's pittas from the shades of The Kopi coffee shop.

Escape the heat in the mangrove forest

There's a shaded, gentle boardwalk stroll you can take through a section of the mangrove forest, where you'll spot mud crabs scuttling along the trees looming out of the shallows of the Krabi River.

The short, 1.3 km-route features information signs which tell you more about the wildlife and habitats that reside here, and there's also a viewing platform overlooking the river towards the other side of the mangrove forest too.

Enjoy Krabi Town's local attractions

Wat Kaew Korawaram is Krabi Town's stand-out Buddhist temple, its sharp details and white exterior as striking as Chiang Rai's famous White Temple.

Naga serpents at the White Temple
Naga serpents at the White Temple © Valery Bocman - Adobe Stock Image

Two golden Naga serpents flank the staircase that ascends to this hilltop royal monastery, which was first built in the 19th century. As with all areas of worship in Thailand, remember to cover your shoulders and knees when visiting.

Meanwhile, back towards the riverside there's Chao Fah Park, with its promenade popular for jogging, cycling or scenic strolls. As you pass along, take in the views of the fishing and longtail boats, as well as the eerily intriguing abandoned passenger ferries of times gone by.

The gateway to your next destination

Once you've soaked up all Krabi Town has to offer, it couldn't be easier to move on to your next location.

Krabi Town is a thirty-minute drive from Krabi International Airport, ideal if you want to travel to the likes of Bangkok, Chiang Mai or international destinations like Kuala Lumpur or Shanghai, while public and private transport is readily available for getting around the rest of Krabi.

Choose from private taxis and minivans or listen out for the honks of white songthaews (shared taxis), which drive along Utarakik Road every 15 minutes; for 60 baht (£1.40) you'll reach Ao Nang in less than an hour.

You can also book boat and ferry options to the likes of Koh Lanta and Koh Phi Phi too.

Weather in Krabi Town

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the weather in Krabi. Find out more about conditions across the country in our complete guide to the weather in Thailand.

Ready to explore Krabi Town? Browse current offers on holidays worldwide with TUI.

Low deposits on summer & winter sun holidays with TUI

More about Krabi

Krabi by month

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Aimee White

Aimee White

Posted on Thursday 24th August 2023 in: Asia City Culture

Back to top

Explore holidays in the sun for less

More holidays

Airport parking

More parking

Airport lounges

More lounges

Related posts

Back to Travel inspiration Top ^