town in Krabi province, Thailand

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.

Krabi town and its distinctive karst topography

Understand edit

Krabi Town centre

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 53,000 inhabitants (2010) 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 edit

Given its importance as a tourist hub, there are many direct connections by air, road and sea, but the nearest railway station arriving from the north is at Surat Thani, while arriving from the south it's Thung Song Junction.

By plane edit

  • 1 Krabi International Airport (KBV  IATA) (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, and also with Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches. 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. 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.

National Car Rental has a branch at the airport.

Domestic flights edit

International flights edit

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

By train edit

Krabi does not have a railway station. Surat Thani has a station and you can transfer onto buses to Krabi from there. From Thung Song Junction railway station, hourly Minivans are available.

By bus edit

  • 1 Krabi Bus Terminal. In Krabi, buses use the bus terminal at Talad Kao, about 5 km north of town centre. It is one of Thailand's better bus stations: it's clean, has bilingual signage, a good cafe, many local transport options (motorbike taxi, songthaew, taxi, minivan), and free Wi-Fi.

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

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—is about 3-3½ hr away. Pantip Bus Company runs ten buses per day to Surat Thani from Krabi, the first at 04:30, then one just about every hour until the last at 16:00. Fare is 150 baht (2016). These buses stop frequently to let people on and off. A faster option might is a minivan. You will see a row of white minivans parked at the bus terminal. These travel to Surat Thani and other destinations regularly. Fare is 180 baht (July 2016). The journey will take 2-2½ hr. Beware of a little scam that the minivans like to play with their taxi driving pals: when in-bound, the minivans frequently stop at a tiny restaurant about 75 m from the bus station proper. Here you will be besieged by taxi drivers offering to take you to Ao Nang (where 90% of in-bound Krabi passengers want to go) for 400 baht. If you walk to the bus station (look for the big buses) you can catch a songthaew to Ao Nang for 60 baht (songthaew service stops at night).

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

Thung Song bus station is 200 m from the railway station. Minivans leaving on the hour between 07:00 and 17:00 each hour (140 baht - February 2019). Travel time is about 2 hours.

Hat Yai is just over four hours away by minibus. 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 Tai, 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.

Georgetown (Malaysia) via minivan or minivan+bus, switch at Hat Yai, RM120-130, 05:00, 08:00 or 08:30, 12:0], duration 7-9 hr depending on border and bus switch (Jan 2024).

By car edit

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 edit

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 can be purchased at PP Family beside the pier in town. The fare includes the songthaew to the pier outside town.

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.

Get around edit

Map of Krabi Town

You can use either the songthaew or a taxi. From the bus station to town center 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 Krabi 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 60 baht. It will come into Ao Nang along Ao Nang Rd. 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 pay the driver.

  • Krabi Friendly Car Rental, +66 75 612558, +66 81 6071494. You must post a "bond" (by credit card) in case someone who is uninsured runs into you or you are at fault. This is 10,000 baht and is returned to you at the end of the hire if no problems. 1,300 baht per day, plus refill of petrol.

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

  • 2 MotoKrabi Scooter Rental, +66 91 413 7811, . Daily 09:00-22:00. Reliable motorbikes including small and big models, Click, PCX150, Honda Phantom and even tuk-tuks. Friendly owner, speaking English/Russian. Free delivery and cash deposit instead of passport.

See edit

A nearby fishing village.
Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua)
  • 1 Contemporary Art Museum of Krabi (opposite Wat Kaew). Th-Su 10:00-17:00.
  • 2 Khao Kanab Nam. The symbol of Krabi, two karst rocks next to one other. A 15-min longtail boat ride takes you from the pier to the rocks, where you can walk up some stairs to the top.
  • 3 Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Sua) (take the road to the airport and turn left/north before you get to the big shopping malls; you should be able to see a big Buddha on the mountaintop; it should cost no more than 200 baht by taxi). One of the most famous temples in southern Thailand, built into a mountainside about 3 km north-northeast of Krabi Town, and swathed by tropical forest.The first thing you see as you walk into the temple compound is a huge stupa on the right (closed for reconstruction in late 2016), but this isn't the Tiger Temple. The temple is set into the base of the karst cliff which rises sheer from the forested plain: follow the ramp into the hall. Buddhas line the cliff overhang, then a few narrow steps lead into the cave shrine itself. The temple was only founded in 1975, yet already there are several contradictory explanations of how the tiger was involved.If you have at least an hour and feel fit, the first stairway beyond the temple has 1,237 steps to the top of the mountain, where there are great all-round views, and another large Buddha shrine. (This too is sometimes mistaken for the "Tiger Temple".)Otherwise, continue through the monks' village to the second stairway, which offers an easier climb into a scenic valley (called "Wonderland") with several smaller cave shrines.Signs warn you against feeding the monkeys, right next to signs advertising monkey food. Follow the warnings not the adverts: the monkeys are cute from a distance but utter pests close-up, and if they bite you (often without provocation) then you need rabies vaccine immediately.
Wat Kaew Korawaram temple
  • 4 Wat Kaew Korawaram (on Maharat Rd close to Pattana Rd). One of the main temples in Krabi town. A new building, to some it resembles a shiny white wedding cake.

Do edit

  • 1 Dhara Massage and Spa, 1/9 Ruamjit Alley (just off Issara Rd on the small street near Soi Ruamjit; if you're walking away from the water on Issara, pass major street Ma Ha Rat Rd on your right, then take your first left and it will be on your left). Go get a relaxing but powerful (and wildly inexpensive) massage, or couples massage here. The two women working here have real certifications and training, and they are very focused on their work.
  • Snorkelling, kayaking tours. Examples one-day tour: 4 islands, Hong island, Phi Phi islands for 1000-300 bhats depending if long-tail or speed boat. Include usually hotel transfer, snorkel mask, life jacket, lunch, frsh fruit, drinking water, basic insurance, and guide, sometimes dry bag.
  • Mangrove tour, half-day. 1500-2500 bhats.

Buy edit

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.

  • 1 Big C Supercenter, 349 Moo 11 Krabi Noi (on Hwy 4 between town and the airport), +66 75 810 411. 08:00-22:00. Large, two-storey hyper-market. Food court, banks, and small retailers on the ground floor, Big C on the upper level. Big C sells everything from bicycles and TVs to toothpicks.
  • 2 Makro, 119 Moo 1, Tambon Saithai, +66 75 700 100. 06:00-22:00. Bulk foods and household, restaurant supplies. Best selection of Western foods, including cheeses. Membership card is not required. There is a new Makro under construction in Ao Nang (Jan 2016). Should be ready in late-spring 2016.
  • 3 Lotus's (east of town on the N side of Hwy 4 beyond Big C). Hypermart, much like Big C, but with slightly better food department. 08:00-22:00.
  • 4 Vogue Department Store, 76/1 Maharaj Rd. 10:00-21:00. A throwback to another era, the Vogue is a 3-level department store selling brand name goods and designer labels. The basement offers bargains. Has a KFC and Swensens on-site.

Eat edit

Street vendor sells drinks in plastic bags

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.

Budget edit

  • 1 pier night food market (south of the river restaurant & bar). after 18:00. Only in evening, varieties of food stall, thaidish, roti, drinks and fruit shake. 30-60 baht single dish, ~300 baht (sea food).
  • 2 Maharaj market, 69 Maharaj 7 Alley, Pak Nam, Mueang Krabi District, Krabi 81000, Thaïlande (behind the Shell station). 05:00-12:00. food, wet, fruits market, even some clothes.
  • 3 Sin-O-Cha Bakery (ร้าน โรตีข้างห้างโวค), Maharaj Rd (next to Vogue Department Store). Also does meals and is a good place for breakfast or to have coffee and cake. At night the pavement pancake stall outside the bakery is always packed with locals. The pancakes are larger than those at other stalls.
  • 4 กระบี่สินโอชาเบเกอรี่, 86 Maharaj Rd.
  • 5 Hawa Food - Halal Food, 1 Maharaj 4 Alley.
  • 6 Poo Kai, 243 Utarakit Rd.
  • 7 BangNara Roti, 92/27 Vicar Rd.
  • 8 Ko Suang Restaurant, 92/27 Vicar Rd.
  • 9 By Little Bear : Halal Food & Drink (อิ่มหมีพีมัน ฮาลาลฟู้ด), 242/6 ปากน้ำ เมือง.

Mid-range edit

  • 10 May & Mark's House, 34 Maharaj Road Soi 10 Paknam, +66 75 612562, . 07:00-21:00. The story of this restaurant is fascinating. Husband and wife Matee and Kittiya opened a small restaurant in 1990. It was named May and Mark after their two children. It offered a selection of pre-cooked curries to be served over rice. Travelers would stop and stare at the pots of curry, then move on. The owners did not know why. Later they figured out that farangs were unaccustomed to eating food that had been cooked and then left to sit. To lure farangs, the owners added pancakes to the menu. Things didn't improve much. To make ends meet they started renting out rooms above the restaurant. One boarder, a man named John Kean from New Zealand, stayed for two months. When he was not off exploring Krabi, he taught the owners how to bake bread and prepare farang food. The menu expanded and so did the customer base. Other travelers shared their favourite recipes. A woman from California taught the owners how to whip up some Mexican food. Soon they were serving food from Sweden, Denmark, Germany and elsewhere from an extensive menu. They also do Thai food, coffee, and serve beer. Free Wi-Fi. This is primarily a restaurant, but the friendly owners also keeps some rooms above the restaurant.
  • 11 Easy Cafe by Relax Coffee, 30 Khongkha Rd (Near the pier). Great Western and Thai breakfasts plus decent coffee.
  • 12 Ruen Mai Restaurant, 117 Sai Thai (about 2 km from the centre). Nice atmosphere and very good local dishes from 100 baht. Open daily.
  • 13 Gecko Cabane Restaurant, 1 36-37 Soi Ruam Jit Tambon.
  • 14 Chalita Cafe & Restaurant, 7 3 Chao Fah Alley.

Splurge edit

Drink edit

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 edit

Budget edit

  • 1 A Mansion Hotel, 12/6 Chao Fa Rd (near Tamarind Restaurant). A modern place with free high-speed Wi-Fi that reaches most of the rooms. 450-840 baht.
  • Area 51, 1/13-14 Soi Ruamjit, +66 75 630257. Nice little guesthouse close to the city, with a bar downstairs. Friendly staff and free Wi-Fi. The place is also a local radio station. 200-300 baht.
  • Blue Juice, 1/1 Chao Fa Rd, +66 75 630679. A diving shop, bar, guesthouse and travel agent, all in one building! 150-350 baht.
  • Cha Guesthouse, 45 Utarakit Rd, +66 75 630609. Budget place. Single room, 150 baht. Double room for 220 (shared), 300 (private).
  • Chan Cha Lay, 55 Utarakit Rd, +66 75 620952, . A small, budget, centrally located hotel. Clean and well-kept. Air-con rooms also available. From 250 baht, shared bath; 350 baht, private bath..
  • 2 Madam Guesthouse (formerly Good Dream Guesthouse), 83 Utarakit Rd (opposite krabi customs house, between pak-up hostel and cozy house), +66 93-5791095, +66 98-0159355. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Centrally located budget guest house, free wifi, café and restaurant, tour/minivan information and booking. fan, free wifi (one AP per floor), shared bathroom (soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toilet shower), small water bottle included (plastic). room 300-800 baht (1-3 people).
  • Judy Guesthouse, Utarakit Rd (next to Jamaica Seed Bar, above a convenience shop). 150 baht.
  • K Guesthouse, 15/25 Chao Fa Rd, +66 75 623166, . Rustic wooden exterior, Thai-style accommodation, different from the usual concrete buildings. 150-450 baht.
  • KR Mansion, 52/1 Chao Fa Rd (close to town and next to the 7-Eleven on Chao Fa Rd), +66 75 612761, . Decent, well-priced fan or air-con rooms, good restaurant, travel services, a rooftop bar offering drinks with views and sunsets". 200-550 baht.
  • Krabi Nature View Guesthouse (across from Chao Fah Park), +66 75 624037, +66 81 8922656, . Guesthouse with travel services. Walking distance to the main part of town and night market. Friendly staff and free Wi-Fi. 150-350 baht.
  • Lipstic Guesthouse, 20 Maharaj Soi 2 (in an alley near Pizzeria Gusto in the center of town), +66 75 612392, . 150-450 baht.
  • No. 7 Guesthouse, Khongkha Rd. Hostel-style accommodation, with central TV lounge where you can watch DVD movies. Also free book exchange on site. Free Wi-Fi, and one hour of Internet in the lobby for each guest. 150-400 baht.
  • Smile Guesthouse, 12 Khong Kha Rd, +66 75 624015, . Hostel-style accommodation. 200-450 baht.
  • Swallow Guesthouse, 31 Maharaj Soi 4, +66 75 612464. Check-out: 11:00. One of the longest running guesthouses in Krabi, right in town, minutes from all markets, shopping, etc. Tickets and tours for all area destinations and beyond. Extremely clean. Friendly service. Free in-room Wi-Fi up to 6 Mb. Towels provided. 200-350 baht fan rooms only.

Mid-range edit

  • City Hotel, 15/2-4 Sukon Rd, fax: +66 75 621282. Standard Western-style hotel, comfortable but not luxurious. Facilities include hot water and cable TV. Clean, although dated. No restaurant. From 450 baht.
  • Grand Tower Hotel, 9 Chao Fa Rd, +66 75 621456. A big hotel on Chao Fa Rd, with on-site restaurant. 300-700 baht.
  • Greenhouse Hotel, 35 Maharaj Rd. Centrally located, some 200 m from the traffic lights and Vogue Shopping Centre. Breakfast is included in the price. Little English is spoken but this depends who is on duty at the time. Shower water is hot, no lift, and free Internet in the lobby. Reports of loud music late at night from a nearby club. 850-1,000 baht.
  • Thai Hotel, 7 Issara Rd, +66 75 611474-6. Standard Western-style hotel. Restaurant on the premises offers breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets. From 400 baht.
  • Vieng Thong Hotel, 155 Utarakit Rd, +66 75 620207, . These prices are wishful thinking as it is barely adequate and has to be bargained down aggressively after looking at the rooms. A bit of a walk from Chao Fa Rd, close to the city-market. Some older rooms overlook the river and the Khao Khanab Nam rocks, the symbol of Krabi. The newer rooms have windows to a brick wall or to another room at just 2 m distance. There are conference rooms and an overpriced restaurant on the premises. 900-1,200 baht.

Splurge edit

  • Krabi Loma Hotel, 20 Chao Fa Rd, +66 75 611168, . Standard hotel, with a swimming pool and restaurant on premises.
  • 3 Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort, +66 75 660501, . This garden resort is a 50-minute ride from downtown Krabi and the airport, and has a natural swimming pool and trekking opportunities in the adjacent Phanom Bencha National Park. This is an eco-resort. Low/high season prices are: double bungalows for 4 people 1,200/1,500 baht; single bungalows 600/900 baht.

Cope edit

  • 3 Krabi Province Immigration. M-F, 08:30-16:30; closed for lunch, 12:00-13:00. Krabi's Immigration Office is great. It's modern, clean, comfortable, and well-staffed. The queue never seems to be more than 10 persons. Free Wi-Fi too.

Connect edit

  • 4 Thailand Post (Uttrakit Rd, about a block south of Chao Fa Rd). All the usual services. Sell boxes and limited packing supplies.

Go next edit

Routes through Krabi Town
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This city travel guide to Krabi Town is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.