Ready to adventure to a destination where you can just sit back, relax and soak in stunning coastline scenery? But, you also want to be able to go off-beat and have lots of options for exploring? Then, we’ve got the perfect Krabi itinerary for you.
Krabi, located in southern Thailand, has over 150 islands off its 150km coastline. Paired with warm weather, sumptuous cuisine, and affable locals.
Check out our 7-day itinerary that ticks all your adventure holiday boxes.
What you Should Know about Krabi
Where is Krabi?
Krabi is located between Phang Nga and Trang on the southern coast of Thailand. It’s most famed for the more prominent destinations such as Ao Nang, Phi Phi Islands, and Koh Lanta.
Located just 80 minutes from Bangkok by air, it’s the perfect destination for those looking for a less crowded equivalent to Phuket. Check here the latest flight prices.
If you prefer the road, you can take a direct bus to Krabi from Bangkok. The bus is usually more affordable.
What is Krabi Famous For?
Most unique about Krabi is the 150 islands that exist along the coastline. Many do not offer land access, but those are characterized by white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and hidden caves. As a result, it’s one of the best places to go island hopping for those seeking remote and intimate destinations.
If you want to stick to the mainland, you can expect a totally different type of terrain. Here Krabi is characterized by a verdant jungle forest perfect for inner adventurers.
What is the Best Time to Visit Krabi?
The best time to visit Krabi is between November and April. This is because the weather in the south can be quite unpredictable in Thailand. But most places are open all year round, so you’ll always find something to do.
The weather at this time is normally in the high twenties, but a cool ocean breeze keeps it bearable. It’s a tropical destination, so you can expect a few rainy days to occur during this time of the year.
Our 7-Day Krabi Itinerary
DAY 1: Krabi Town & Ao Nang Beach
Explore Krabi Town
Krabi Town is a bustling market town situated amongst the unique limestone formations that jut from the verdant forest mangroves. It’s one of the main transport links in Thailand, making it a cosmopolitan hub in its city center.
We’d suggest spending half a day here to explore its bazaars and markets selling typical island trinkets. The perfect place for gift shopping! It’s got some of the finest traditional restaurants.
Or, if you’re looking for a break from Thai food, you’ll definitely find some alternative cuisine offerings here.
The river is where you’ll find the main hub of activity. From fishing boats to river taxis, it’s the best spot to catch a ride to the surrounding beaches and islands. Whilst most people hurry to the neighboring big-name destinations, we’d suggest spending the first half of your day here.
It’s the best spot to familiarize yourself with your surroundings and set an agenda for the next few days of exploring.
Enjoy the Views at Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang is one of the main beaches in Krabi. The beach is a vibrant tourist center located by the beach. It’s fairly small and takes only 30 minutes to walk from one side of town to the other.
It’s a great spot to place yourself for island hopping as most of the boats stop here. This spot is only twenty minutes from the town and has some great hotels in Krabi with a beach view. For your first evening in Thailand to set base before six days of exploring, we couldn’t think of anywhere better!
DAY 2: Railay Beach, Ton Sai & Phang Nga Bay
Relax at the Amazing Railay Beach
Fun fact about Railay beach? It’s actually a collection of four beaches. It’s one of Thailand’s most beautiful and frequented beach areas. Located just south of Ao Nang Beach, the beach is only accessible by boat. As a result, it’s one of the most tranquil locations in the whole of Thailand.
Characterized with limestone cliffs and long-stretching sandy beaches, you really feel cut-off from the rest of the world here. There is no road access and only footpaths. The only form of transport you see here is long-tail boats giving it an old-world charm. Railay is your very own tropical paradise, perfect for relaxing in the warm summer sun.
If you’re a rock-climbing fanatic, then Railay Beach is the spot for you. Unfortunately, you can rarely climb across the jaw-dropping crags with monkeys as your companions! However, it’s possible to do tours as a beginner if you would like to try with a qualified local instructor.
We’d always suggest going up with a qualified local as they know the crags well and the safest routes possible. Also, it’s only a 15-minute drive from Ao Nang, making it a perfect second pitstop after a morning of exploring that area.
Note that Railay is one of the most popular beach destinations. So it does tend to get pretty busy during peak summer seasons.
Have some Me-Time at Ton Sai Beach
Ton Sai is probably the quietest of the four beaches in Railay. Here there are only a tiny handful of accommodations, bars, and restaurants, as well as a climbing school for those adventurous enough to take on the cliffs. Nevertheless, the beach’s got some of the best snorkeling spots in the south, thanks to its crystal blue ocean.
The most popular activity in Ton Sai lies off the water along the coastline, climbing the limestone cliffs. It’s possible to experience this with a local school, and there are plenty on the island.
Aside from the cliffs, the beach is decorated with boho-hippy-style restaurants and bars. The perfect place to pick up a refreshing fruit smoothie made using fresh fruits from the jungle behind you.
Railay beach is only a ten-minute walk from here, but it’s a dangerous path when there’s a high tide. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you can take a hike through the rainforest. It’s a bit longer and takes around 45 minutes.
Contemplate Nature at Phang Nga Bay
Also referred to as Princess Bay, Phang Nga is one of the most popular attractions in Railay beach. If you’re seeking beautiful natural surroundings, unspoiled rivers, and endless caves to explore, then you can’t miss Phang Nga Bay.
One of the best things about Phang Nga Bay is that it exists in protected areas within the Phang Nga Bay National Park. Everything here is wild and raw. The scenery is stunning because it is so untouched. It’s easy to access the Bay either by boat or even bus station if you’d prefer to travel on land.
It’s a pretty famous landmark and might seem familiar when you first arrive. The famous limestone rock has appeared in many films. It’s also referred to some as ‘James Bond Island.’
We’d definitely suggest visiting the Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park whilst you’re exploring south Thailand. It’s been designated as a ‘Ramsar Site,’ an area dedicated to Ramsar Convention.
These are rare, and few these days, so it’s important that they are being maintained, and the site protects over 28 species of mangrove. It’s possible to explore by bamboo raft. You’ll definitely spot a variety of wild species as you do so.
There are over 80 bird species alone! You’re best to do this with an experienced guide. They know all the best spots for spotting monkeys and other various mammals and wildlife.
DAY 3: Island Hopping Time!
4-Island Hopping & Limestone Cliffs
After a lazy morning enjoying Railay, it’s time to explore more islands. The most typical boat trip is to the 4 islands: Chicken Island, Phanang Cave, Tub Island, and Podah Island.
The islands are most popular for their stunning scenery. You can expect crystal clear blue waters, endless white sandy beaches, and cliff-edge backdrops decorated with coconut palms.
Stop #1: Chicken Island
It got its name for the famous natural landmark. The unique limestone rock that juts out to sea has the same shape as a chicken’s head… it really is quite spectacular! It’s also a great spot for snorkeling as the waters are a little warmer here, and the coral is rich in unique marine life.
Stop #2: Podah island
It is home to a picturesque bamboo plantation unique visit whilst venturing through southern Thailand. The beach here is stunning. Rock cliffs decorate the beautiful long-stretching beach. It never feels busy here as the beach covers a large surface area. It’s a great spot for a lunch break during the day.
Stop #3: Koh Poda
This one is the smallest of the islands but still breathtaking in its natural beauty. The island is famed for its tidal sandbank and unique shoal formations. It’s a great pitstop to experience the variety on the many small islands that decorate Krabi’s coastline.
Stop #4 Tub Island
Koh Tup is actually situated in the Mu Koh Poda archipelago. Southwestern Ao Nang between Koh Poda and Chicken Island, it is famous among photography enthusiast and drone flyers.
The island is smaller than the other ones of the tour but is so rich in terms of activities. For example, snorkling tours are organized there to see tropical fish.
Don’t Miss the Limestone Cliffs
Krabi’s limestone cliffs are a playground for rock climbers. With over 650 marked routes, enthusiasts from all over the globe come to explore its adventurous crags. There’s a wide variety of routes available, from beginner to the most extreme, so if you fancy a go, then there’s something for everyone!
If you’re still up for connecting with your spirit of adventure, then an afternoon hiking is certainly a great way to experience this! One of the best spots is by Tham Phra Nang, which offers various routes for all levels. In addition, there’s plenty of schools located in the local town so you can go out with an instructor.
It’s one of the four islands you’ll stop at on your island hopping tour. So if you fancy being a little adventurous after lunchtime, then Phra Nang Cave Beach is the best spot for this.
You really can’t beat the view from the top of the cliffs. There’s no better way to spot your next island hopping destination with a panoramic view across the whole coastline!
You’ll head back to Krabi after a day of exploring, ready for the next boat ride out for another full day of island exploring.
DAY 4: Off to Phi Phi Islands
Phi Phi is a group of six islands. They are some of the most breathtaking across the whole of Thailand. Located just a 45-minute speedboat or 90-minute ferry ride from Krabi, it’s one of the must-do experiences along the south coastline.
Imagine picture-perfect endless sandy beaches and crystal clear blue waters. All of which are framed by jaw-dropping rock formations. It is a true island paradise.
The two main islands are Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don. Phi Phi Don is the larger of the two and attracts thousands of visitors to stay on its shores. However, Phi Phi Leh is a little less explored but has some of the most stunning beaches.
Our favorite is Maya Bay, where the film ‘The Beach’ with Leonardo Di Caprio was filmed. Several beaches exist inside the bay. Unfortunately, they’re all quite small, and some only exist during the low tide.
We’d suggest hitting this famous spot early in the morning to avoid the rush of boats that tend to hit its shores in the afternoon. Unfortunately, there’s no food available here, so if you want to camp overnight (which is allowed), you’ll need to bring your own food. However, there’s a small shack that sells drinks and snacks.
The coral reef and marine here are some of the most vibrant in Thailand. So after a morning of beach-hopping and a picnic-style lunch, we’d suggest grabbing your gear to explore underwater. The marine here is a protected area, so you’re sure to spot various species under the water.
DAY 5: Visit Tup Keak & Emerald Pool
Have a Climbing Challenge at Tup Keak
One thing you can’t miss while travel through Krabi is the Tab Kaek peak. It’s quite the climb, but the reward is one of the most breathtaking views across the whole of southern Thailand.
It’s one of the most famous photo spots in Thailand. Once you reach the top, which takes around two hours, you’ll come across a small tongue of stone where everyone poses for a photo. It’s quite a steep climb, so despite only being 3.7km, it takes a while to hike up, and we’d suggest bringing lots of water. However, it’s well sign-posted, so you don’t need to do it guided.
We’d suggest tackling this hike in the morning before it gets too hot in the sun. Unfortunately, you’ll need to hire a car or private driver to access the starting point as it’s impossible to reach by public transport.
It takes around half a day for this activity, so we suggest returning to Krabi town after enjoying some wind-down time on one of the beaches after a big day of active adventure!
Take your Unique Photo in Emerald Pool
The Emerald Pool is one of the most unique attractions in Krabi. Located in the Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, it’s an area rich in bio-diversity surrounding the crystal blue pond.
It’s possible to make a nature trail that surrounds the pond. It’s around 2.7 km and includes a visit past a waterfall and the most beautiful vantage point.
The Emerald Pool is one of the most stunning eco-tourist spots in southern Thailand. The pool is located within a wild sanctuary, and you have to take a trail through the tropical rainforest to access the pool. You’re sure to spot some of the most remarkable fauna and flora on your way!
It’s a great place for spotting unique and rare animal and plant species. If you’re lucky, you might spot the Pitta Gurney bird, which was once considered extinct! The forest is lush and verdant, which is a nice contrast from the white sandy islands.
It’s located next to Bang Teao Village, where it’s possible to stay overnight. Alternatively, you can take the hour journey back to Ao Nang.
DAY 6: Live the Experience of Kayaking Ao Thalane
Ao Thalane is one of the most beautiful mangrove forests in Thailand. It’s located only 20km from the town of Krabi and is covered in dense, verdant foliage that wraps the coastline. It’s the perfect place to explore by kayak!
Traveling by kayak means you’re able to explore the small caves and hidden lagoons that exist around every corner. Whilst it’s possible to kayak on the coastline, doing so at Ao Thalane protects you from the current. This means it’s a great activity for all fitness levels, as kayaking along the lagoon is a relaxing experience here!
We’d suggest booking a tour for this experience. It’s great to have a guide who can explain all the various fauna and flora that you will discover along the way.
Ao Thalane is most renowned for its rich fauna and flora. There are several species to spot here, including Kingfishers, Little Herons, and Crab-Eating Macaques. It’s one of the most active ecosystems in Thailand and, with little development, remains to be a true jewel of a destination. Feeling almost completely untouched, it is a place to truly appreciate existing in raw nature.
DAY 7: Explore Hong Island & Tiger Cave
The barely Untouched Hong Island
Hong Island is one of the most beautiful sites along with the Andaman coast. Arriving by kayak, your view is painted with towering limestone cliffs, crystal clear blue waters, and hidden lagoons. It’s got one of the most beautiful coral reefs, perfect for snorkeling or exploring underwater.
We’ve suggested leaving this one till last because it’s one of the most untouched islands. But, unfortunately, it’s part of the Than Bok Khorani National Park which means it’s only open for day visits, so no overnights are allowed. But it’s a great final island to explore before heading back for a final evening in Krabi Town.
Hong Island consists of a dozen tiny islands, some even without beaches. The most breathtaking element of this island is the natural lagoon that exists amongst the limestone rock formations. There’s only one entrance in, and the channel’s width is about ten meters, so it’s easy to access by kayak. Its crystal blue waters are one of our favorite places to take a final dip!
It’s easy to book a full-day tour of Hong island on a local boat with picnic lunch included. You’ll find lots of tourist agencies offering this in Krabi Town, so there’s no need to book in advance.
Check the Incredible Tiger Cave Temple
After you’ve returned from Hong Island, it’s time to venture to the sky! The Tiger Cave Temple is located just 5KM from the town of Krabi. It’s one of Thailand’s most stunning natural wonders. It’s definitely worth a visit! The biggest attraction is the ‘footprint of the Buddha.’
It’s quite a climb to the top of the temple…1,237, to be exact! But it’s certainly worth it for the breathtaking 360 panoramic views. From here, you can see the Andaman Sea and dramatic cliff-decorated coastlines. It’s also where you’ll find the ‘Buddha’s footprint.’
Not sure when to go? We’d recommend the best time is at sunset. Not only does it make the climb a little easier without the heat. But there’s no better place to enjoy a sunset over the horizon with the red hues decorating the whole of the southern coastline. It’s our favorite way to toast a final farewell after seven days of exploring.
Remember that Tiger Cave is a religious site. So it’s best to dress respectfully. Don’t forget to take a water bottle for hiking up those stairs, and be sure to hide any valuable belongings or sunglasses. The mountain is full of playful monkeys that love to play with valuables!
What budget to plan for Your Krabi Itinerary?
Krabi is much less expensive than Phuket, and most activities are super affordable. For example, if you want to go local and head to night markets, you’ll save a lot on budget.
The most expensive spot is Railay, as it’s a tourist hotspot. But if you stick to Krabi Town with day trips, you’ll save much more!
Krabi VS Phuket, How to Choose?
Not only is Krabi much bigger in size, but it’s also got a dynamic variety of offerings in comparison to Phuket. Most notable are the mangrove forests and limestone cliffs that you won’t typically find in Phuket.
If you’re looking for a less crowded destination and more relaxing, then Krabi is the spot for you. It’s a leisure island which makes it more appealing to families, whereas Phuket attracts a younger crowd.
Now you’ve got your seven-day action-packed Krabi itinerary ready, what are you waiting for? Time to explore the endless islands, relax on white sandy beaches, and explore hidden Mangroves. There is something in Krabi for everyone.