Krabi Province

Krabi Province (จังหวัดกระบี่) is a popular beach destination on the Andaman Sea in Southern Thailand.


Other destinations


Thaiwand Wall and Phra Nang Beach, Rai Leh

Krabi, a coastal province, abounds with countless natural attractions that never fail to impress tourists. Such attractions include white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, fascinating coral reefs, caves and waterfalls, as well as numerous islands.

The distinguishing feature of both Krabi and neighboring Phang Nga is the massive limestone karsts, rising vertiginously out of the flat rice paddies on land and as islands from the sea. Add in some gorgeous beaches, excellent scuba diving, and rock climbing, and it's little wonder that tourism in the area has been booming.

While less commercialized than neighboring Phuket, Krabi Province cannot be described as undiscovered: it receives two million visitors a year, and the major tourist areas cater to foreigners.


From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that Krabi was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this town may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means "sword". This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.

2004 tsunami

Krabi Province was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Now, several years on, signs of the damage are hard to find.


The best time to visit Krabi is between the months Nov-Apr when the area's climate is cooler. During this period the island gets a lot of dry northeasterly winds, delivering blue skies and starry nights. Down on the beaches one can enjoy nice sea breezes. From Jun-Nov the area gets a lot of rainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. During this period the island gets a lot of moist southwesterly winds, resulting in a mix of dry and wet days. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round. Off-setting the less favourable weather, visitors during this period will find it cheaper.


Bordering the Andaman Sea, Krabi is 814 km south of Bangkok and covers an area of 4,708 square kilometres. Its mountainous physical geography is broken by highlands and plains, covering more than 130 large and small islands, and abounding with mangrove forests. The Krabi River flows 5 km through the town and into the Andaman Sea at Tambon Pak Nam. There are also klongs (canals) such as Klong Pakasai, Klong Krabi Yai, and Klong Krabi Noi, which all originate from Krabi's highest mountain, Mount Phanom Bencha.


You can get around on English alone in the more visited areas, although a few words of Thai will come in handy off the beaten track and will be much appreciated everywhere. Dive shops are polyglot, speaking a number of other European languages.

Get in

The most popular way to enter this province is via its capital, Krabi Town.

By plane

Krabi International Airport (KBV) is about 10 km from the city limits, 15 km from the city centre, 40 km from Ao Nang, and 23 km from Had Yao. Thai Airways operates daily direct flights to/from Bangkok, as does Air Asia from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Bangkok Airway flies to Ko Samui nearly every day of the week. Destination Air Shuttle, Thailand's only seaplane service, also routinely flies in and out of Krabi (Ko Lanta) from Phuket and to the numerous outer islands.

By car

Krabi is on Hwy 4. Shared songthaews from Ao Nang to Krabi are frequent and cost 60 baht. Originating in Bangkok, Hwy 4 links many of the province's districts. Other main routes include:

From Bangkok:

From Phuket: Proceed along Hwy 402 and 4. The distance is 176 km.

By bus

Krabi Province's bus terminal is in Krabi town.

There are regular direct bus services between Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal and Krabi (~500 baht), but probably the best option is to take a VIP bus, which for 250 baht more makes the 10 hour ride much more comfortable.

Buses from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (Tel. +66 2 4351199) to Krabi take about 12 hours and depart as follows:

By train

The nearest train stations are in Surat Thani and in Trang.

Get around

Longtail boats, Ao Nang


Various tourist attractions can be conveniently reached by local songthaew. Destinations include Ban Huai To, Ban Nong Thale, Ban Khao Thong, Hat Noppharat Thara, Susan Hoi, Ao Nang, Ban Khlong Muang, Ban Nai Sa, Khao Phanom, Nuea Khlong, Khlong Thom, Ban Bo Muang, Ban Hua Hin, Ban Khlong Phon, Lam Thap, Baan Ao Luek, and Plai Phraya. Songthaews depart from the Vogue Department Store on Maha Rat Rd. Trips to other destinations can be made by taxi and rental car.

By boat

Krabi is mostly coast and islands, so you'll be spending quite some time on boats when getting around. The most common boat type for shorter hops is the longtail boat (reua hang yao), which true to its name has the propeller at the end of a long drive shaft stretching from the boat. This makes them supremely manoeuvrable even in shallow waters, but they're a little underpowered for longer trips and you'll get wet if it's even a little choppy.


  • Ko Phi Phi Don (เกาะพีพีดอน) Covers an area of 28 square km. Popular attractions are the twin bays with curving beaches of Ao Ton Sai and Ao Lo Da Lam.
  • Ko Phi Phi Lee (เกาะพีพีเล) Occupying an area of only 6.6 square kilometres, Phi Phi Lee Island is surrounded by limestone mountains and sheer cliffs plunging hundreds of metres to the sea. The sea is 20 meters deep and the deepest point in the south of the island is around 34 meters. Ko Phi Phi Lee has bays such as Ao Pi Le, Ao Maya, and Ao Lo Sa Ma. In the northeast is a large cave called Tham Viking.

Folk entertainment

Like Pa (ลิเกป่า) An adapted play, Like Pa follows the adventures of an Indian merchant from Calcutta who married a local girl named Yayi. The story is then followed by other plays. Like Pa is accompanied by the music of folk instruments such as various kinds of drums, cymbals, and gongs. The lyrics are a mixture of traditional Manora and Buranyawa songs. With its long history of popularity in Krabi, Like Pa performers are abundant here. It is believed that the play originated in this province.

Shadow Plays (หนังตะลุง) This is Indian influenced. There are many shadow play or nang talung companies in Krabi.

Manora (มโนราห์) The performance is native to southern Thailand.

Rong Ngeng (รองเง็ง) and Phleng Tanyong (เพลงตันหยง) A Malaysian adaptation, which is of Portuguese origin, rong ngeng is a traditional folk dance and music customarily performed in noble houses. It was later performed by locals with Thai lyrics called phleng tanyong.



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Much of the cuisine has its origins in Malay, Indonesian, and Indian food. Favourite dishes from the south include Indian-style Muslim curry (massaman), rice noodles in fish curry sauce (khanom chin), and khao mok kai (chicken biryani). Unsurprisingly for a coastal region, seafood features prominently on the menu. Traditional southern Thai food includes milder coconut-milk based curries popularly associated with Thailand: the dry, Malaysian-influenced Panang curry and Indian-influenced massaman (Muslim) curry with potatoes and nuts.

The wing shell (หอยชักตีน) is Krabi's best-known dish. In addition, stir-fried spotted Babylon (หอยหวาน) with chilies and basil is also noteworthy.


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Krabi's more well-developed tourist centres offer Internet cafes and international calling cards. Free Wi-Fi is increasingly available in bars and restaurants.

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