Krabi – Island Paradise in Thailand
Krabi is a province on Southern Thailand’s west coast and around a 2.5 hour drive from Phuket. It is famous for its limestone cliffs, lush jungles and stunning offshore islands and has fast become one of our favourite places. Krabi was the last stop on our recent three week trip to Malaysia and Thailand and it couldn’t have ended our trip better! We had been in Khao Lak before so we organised transport through the Centara Seaview Resort and the trip only took around two hours via minivan.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Resort on Ao Nang Beach and this was one of our favourite hotels ever!!! So well catered for kids and in a perfect location – you can read my full review on the property here.
WHAT WE LOVED
Emerald Pool & Thermal Pools
You can’t take a trip to Krabi without visiting Emerald Pool and the Thermal Pools. We hired a driver for the day who took us everywhere we asked for around $70 in a nice comfy airconditioned van. He spoke great English and knew the best times to visit each place to avoid crowds too.
Emerald pool is a stunning spring fed freshwater pool that is ridiculously blue and clear, hence the name – there is even little fish swimming around. The kids really loved this place, it was just beautiful and so refreshing! It was around 800m walk from the carpark to the pool, or you could take a more scenic route which was around 1.5km and took you past some small natural pools along a walkway.
The Klong Thom Hot Springs are a must visit too – The water here flows from thermal springs from deep underground volcanic chambers and contain natural mineral salts which are perfect for all sorts of aches and pains. The water was around 35-40 degrees so I found I couldn’t stay in too long without getting a bit overheated, but again this was a great spot for the kids to sit and relax for a short while!
King Cobra Show
Ok so this isn’t something that everyone will agree with but my boy is absolutely SNAKE CRAZY and his dream was to see his favourite snake, the King Cobra. So he was pretty rapt to find out there was a show in Krabi! The snake show is combined with a monkey show but we absolutely refused to pay to see the poor monkeys for many reasons so just did the snake show. The entry wasn’t cheap – It cost around $80 for us 5 but to see Max’s face was worth it!
The snakes are NOT defanged or milked so make sure you sit at a safe distance (we opted the very top step haha) although I am sure there has never been one go rogue before…but I wasn’t taking any chances! The snake handlers (are batshit crazy might I add) go so far as to kiss the cobras on the heads and put on a great show. They milk the snakes at the end to show they aren’t defanged and Max found the whole experience absolutely amazing. Alysse, not so much she wanted out! The highlight was when I was coming back from the toilet to be greeted with an escapee…yep a snake, not a cobra thank god but still a venomous one slithered out in front of me. I am sure I gave all the staff a giggle as I screamed and ran, whilst they apologised!
One of the most popular things to do in Krabi is hire a longtail boat and head off to explore the islands. Our boat cost us around $80 for the day including the driver, fresh fruit and water. One bonus is that it left from the beach straight opposite the Holiday Inn – walk out and jump on the boat and off you go! We pre booked our trip through one of the little tour operators that you find everywhere, and it was honestly the best days out we have ever had. The best part about the longboat is its private – just you and your family and you can do and go where you want. When you have finished at one place, tell the driver to take you to the next. Or when you have had enough, head home whenever you please.
CHICKEN ISLAND, PODA ISLAND & TUP ISLAND
These were our favourite islands for snorkelling. SO many little fish that were so friendly and the most beautiful clear waters! My three year old exclaimed that it was the best day ever!I honestly couldn’t tell you what all the islands were called as we stopped at so many little islands and bays but these were our favourite and great for the kids.
Railay Beach & Hong Island
Railay Beach is one of the most popular stops on the longtail beach trips, but sadly we didn’t stop as it started pouring with rain by that point. But the beach looked stunning and can see why its so popular! Hong Island and Hong Lagoon were absolutely beautiful. Not as great snorkelling as the islands but still plenty of pretty fish on Hong Island and stunning clear water. Defnitley more for relaxing and lazing on the beach.
Hong Lagoon is a passage of water only accessible by boat and surrounded by cliffs. The water is shallow so a great spot for the kids to get out and have a splash, and soak in the ridiculously beautiful views!
The shopping in the main town is fantastic. You can get everything from branded replicas (lots of "nike and adidas" sports wear), souvenirs, fashionable clothes, water sport gear and electronics. The night markets was more Asian style clothing and accessories and lots of street food and great for a night out.
FOOD AND DRINK
There is plenty of restaurants to choose from in Krabi and great little beach bars with happy hour cocktails and massages. The beach is beautiful and calm and we loved wandering down for cocktails in the afternoon to watch the sunset and the longtail boats arrive back into shore. Our favourite restaurant was directly opposite the Holiday Inn Resort and had delicious curries and cocktails! It also had toys and access down to the beach where the kids could chase baby crabs, and incredible sunset views.
Besides these activities there is the Tiger Cave Temple, night markets, caves, amazing shopping and more islands to explore. We only had 5 days so only managed to see and do what I have listed, but next time we will go for longer and see everything possible! It truly is a magical place with such a laid back vibe. Defnitley one of our favourite places in all of Asia 🙂