Krabi Town

A view over Krabi town and its distinctive karst topography.

Krabi (กระบี่), the capital of Krabi Province, sits a little upstream from the mouth of the Krabi River and is mainly visited en route to the nearby beaches of Had Yao, Ao Nang or Rai Leh (aka Railay). Krabi is 784 km south of Bangkok by road.

Understand

Krabi Town is, in reality, two towns. There is the dusty strip-mall of a town that borders Rte 4. And then there is the quite congenial and pleasant town of Krabi proper. The town's 50,000+ inhabitants see few of the droves of tourists that pass through on their way to the beaches. This is unfortunate, as those who stay find it a relaxed place that is worth exploring for a day or two, where they experience "the real Thailand", more so than in beach resorts.

Get in

Given its importance as a tourist hub, there are many direct connections by air, road and sea, but the nearest railway station is at Surat Thani.

By plane

Krabi International Airport (KBV) is about 15 km from city centre, 40 km from Ao Nang and 23 km from Had Yao. Both domestic and international departure taxes are included in the price of the flight and should not be payable at the airport.

Air conditioned buses link the airport with the town (90 baht), and also with Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches (150 baht). Buses meet all arriving flights and will drop you off in front of the Krabi Provincial Court. The schedule to the airport is listed on the Ao Nang page.

Songthaews run from the town to the airport (30-50 baht). Going to the airport, they will drop you at the departure terminal. From the airport, you will have to walk about 400 m and catch them on the main road to Krabi.

Motorcycle taxis are available outside the terminal.

Krabi Limousine (tel. +66 75 692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides "limousine taxi" (using large air conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 baht; Ao Nang for 800 baht; Phuket for 2,500 baht. Krabi Airport Transfers and travelkrabi.com offers luxury taxi and minibus (vans) for less however travellers may have to make deposit payments on-line via credit card for longer rides.

National Car Rental has a branch at the airport.

Domestic flights

International flights

Krabi has daily flights to the major regional hubs of Kuala Lumpur via Air Asia and Singapore via Tiger Airways. In summer there is a smattering of charter flights to cities across Scandinavia and Russia.

By train

Krabi does not have a railway station. Surat Thani has a station and you can transfer onto buses to Krabi from there.

By bus

There are several daily daytime and overnight buses from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (tel. +66 2 4351199, 12 hours, 600-900 baht).

For a bus from Krabi to Bangkok there is a choice of either a private bus company or BKS, the government-supervised bus company. Entering the Krabi Bus Station's front entrance, the BKS ticket vendor is to your left. The private company ticket sellers are to your right. You will have your choice of Bangkok destinations: the Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit) or the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai). Mo Chit is the better choice if you are heading north immediately, say to Chiang Mai, as buses to the north leave from Mo Chit. Mo Chit is also marginally closer to downtown if you are staying in Bangkok.

Surat Thani—a major east-coast bus, rail, and ferry hub—should only be about 3 hrs away. Try to use the government-run BKS buses (140 baht) instead of dodgy private operators that may take up to 10 hrs and employ various scams and thievery.

Phuket airport has several buses direct to Krabi airport. There are also hourly mini-buses that make the 2 hour run (more likely to be 3 hours) from Phuket's bus station to Krabi town (120 baht).

Hat Yai is just over 4 hours away by minibus (250 baht). Generally, they stop where you want.

Ao Nang is well-served by white songthaews that run from the bus station and the 7-Eleven on Maharaj Rd in Krabi Town via Klong Jilard, Sai Thai, Ao Nang Junction Village, and Noppharat Thara Beach. (60 baht until 18:00, 80 baht 18:00–22:00). They run every ten minutes during the day and every 30 minutes from 18:00-22:00.

By car

Krabi is just off Hwy 4. It is 784 km south of Bangkok, 165 km by road to Phuket, and 80 km to Phang Nga.

By boat

Several daily ferries connect Krabi with Ko Phi Phi, Ko Jum and Ko Lanta, though most depart in the morning. Tickets can be purchased at the dock or from tourist offices and most local guesthouses and hotels. The normal passenger ferry does not start from the centre of town anymore, but from a new passenger port about 3 km outside Krabi. Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in the price of your ticket. If your boat starts from the old piers in the centre of town (Chao Fah Pier or Phi Phi Pier), you are most likely on a more expensive and longer tourist boat ride. Also, make sure that when you arrive at the airport the taxi driver takes you to the correct pier. Many times they'll take you to a travel agent near the old pier and sell you additional accommodations or services. Only buy the ticket you need. Prices often get cheaper the closer you get to your next destination.

Ferry tickets to Ko Phi Phi are 300 baht (Jun 2012) when purchased at PP Family beside the pier in town. This includes the songthaew to the pier outside town. High season price is 400 baht, but it can be bargained down to 300 baht in the low season.

The large displayed time-tables in the many travel agencies are just for show and the times are not to be taken literally. Ask. As of July 2007, there were two ferries a day from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi at 09:00 and 14:30. They add additional ferries during high-season.

The pier at Klong Jilad, for ferries to and from Ko Phi Phi has a taxi desk with posted prices: 150 baht to Krabi Town, and 350 baht to the airport.

Get around

You can use either the songthaew or a taxi. From the bus station a taxi will cost 100 baht as it is about a 4 km trip. To the Tiger Temple from town, pay 200 baht for a taxi.

With a songthaew, opposite and a couple of hundred metres up from the pier, opposite the police station, is a songthaew stop at Maharaj Soi 7. Blue ones go to Tesco Lotus and other out of town places: this is on the way to the airport and Tiger Temple. Brown ones go to the bus station and charge 30 baht. Blue with white/yellow/red stripe go to the airport.

To get to and from Ao Nang, in the centre of town on Maharaj Rd (main road) near the traffic lights where male statues hold them up is the Vogue department store. A white songthaew goes from here to Ao Nang and costs 50 baht. It will come into Ao Nang along the beach road. These white ones also start from the bus terminal. Fare from Ao Nang is 60 baht before 18:00 (Feb 2016). With the songthaew, push the button to stop where you want to get off, then go to pay the driver.

Renting a motorbike is the cheapest way to explore sites outside of Krabi town. A reliable bike for 24 hours costs 150-200 baht.

See

A nearby fishing village.

Do

Buy

Krabi Town is far cheaper than Ao Nang. This is reflected in the price of food and drinks especially. There are two night markets in Krabi Town that are worth a look, and on weekends there is the Walking Street market from 17:00-22:00.

Eat

At night there is a charming night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Food is good and cheap, with Muslim influences. From time to time the town organizes shows on a small stage next to the market.

An even better market can be found on Maharaj Soi 10 in the centre of town. This market has plenty of fresh fruit and lots of authentic cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise point and enjoy. This market does not sell alcohol. There is also the new Walking Street night market, between Vogue Department store and Vieng Thong Hotel, F-Su, 17:00-22:00 which sells food and general items such as clothes and handicrafts, and there is a largish seating area.

Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in south Thailand) on Maharaj Soi 9 (behind the Shell station). For early birds only. After 08:00 all the action is subsiding. Exactly at that time you can watch a show of national pride: the national anthem is played and almost everyone comes to a standstill for the duration. The best place to get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable, khao niao (sticky rice), Patong Khoo, cha rohn (sweetened Thai tea), or fresh hot soy milk. The section of fresh fish and meat sellers is for hardened stomachs only.

During low season very few restaurants open at all. The floating restaurant (RuenPae) is open as well as a couple near the tourist area towards the pier, but in the town very few at all. The floating restaurant does brilliant seafood at a reasonable price as well as providing mosquito coils to keep these pests away from your legs.

Drink

There are a number of bars and cafe bars in Krabi town centre that cater to tourists, expats and natives. A few of them will have live bands at the weekend belting out cover songs, though Rocky Bar has live music every night. Stick to the main areas and it is most unlikely you will have anything but a pleasant time.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Cope

Connect

Go next

Routes through Krabi Town

Bangkok Phang Nga  N  S  Trang Sadao


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.