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What to do in Krabi: Koh Phi Phi Island, and Railay Beach Travel Guide

September 2, 2018

Couple embracing at the Emerald Pool in Krabi Thailand

Guys, I can’t rave enough about how beautiful Krabi, Thailand is. From the delicious food, and rich culture, to the pristine beaches and impressive limestone cliffs, it’s no wonder people call it paradise. Being full-time travelers, we see a lot of beautiful places, but none have even come CLOSE to Krabi, Thailand. Need more proof? We had only a week booked, and we ended up staying for three! Here’s the complete guide to this wonderful province including Koh Phi Phi Island, and Railay Beach!

Phra Nang Beach on Railay Beach one of the Best Places in Thailand

Krabi Travel Guide

How to Get to Krabi:

Krabi is easily accessible from Bangkok. You can take an overnight bus, a cheap flight, and even a van from Bangkok to Krabi. The best option for us was a $40 flight that landed in Krabi in just a couple of hours. We use Skyscanner to find most of our flights, and AirAsia is our most used Airline.

Krabi, Thailand Accommodation:

This depends heavily on the kind of traveler you are. If you are going to Krabi looking for a vibrant party scene, staying in Ao Nang is going to be your best bet. This strip sits right across the beach and is lined with dozens of restaurants, shops, bars, massage parlors, and even tattoo shops.

If you are looking for a more relaxing, and peaceful atmosphere with easy access to the Thai Islands, Nopparat Thara is going to be the choice for you. This side of town is where most long-tail boats and ferries depart for the Railay Peninsula, Phi Phi Islands, and Phuket. It is also beachfront with affordable street food options to suit any taste. We stayed at the Krabi Forest Homestay for 3 weeks and loved it. Gave us easy access to the Ao Nang Market, lots of cheap food nearby, and the ability to hop on a long-tail boat at any time of the day. It is also walking distance from all of the bars on the Ao Nang Strip!

Krabi Town is also a place where some backpackers choose to go if they are looking for a completely authentic experience away from other tourists. This has its benefits, but to be honest, we found it pretty boring outside of the Temples found in that area.

What to pack to Krabi, Thailand:

I truly stand by packing less than you think you need. Daniel and I travel around the world with nothing more than a carry on bag and have saved hundreds of dollars because of it. For a more detailed packing list, download our FREE carry-on only packing list below!

What to do in Krabi

What to do in Krabi

Tiger Temple
Emerald Pool

What to do in Krabi

Khlong Thom Hot Springs

What to do in Krabi

The Markets

What to do in Krabi

Eat the Street Food

Railay Beach

How to Get to Railay Beach:

From the Nopparat Thara Pier, get a ticket for the long-tail boat for 100 baht that drops you off on West Railay. You will have to wait for the boat to fill up completely with 8 people before it departs. The time for this can vary widely. In low season you can expect to wait as much as two hours. The only alternative to waiting is to pay the price for the entire boat. What we’ve done with others before is split the cost of the boat between however many people we have. It comes out a little more expensive, but can drastically reduce your wait time.

If you are planning on doing a day trip to Railay, I recommend you get a return ticket at the pier as well. If you don’t, you could wait HOURS before a boat departs, and there is still no guarantee that the boat will get filled. I personally recommend that you stay there for a few nights, and if you do, just buy a one-way ticket, as the returns are only valid on the same day. Keep in mind the last boat for Nopparat Thara from West Railay leaves at 6 PM each day.

Railay Beach Accommodation:
Where to Stay on West Railay

If you have a large budget and looking for luxurious accommodations, there are a plethora of fantastic resorts available for about $200-$500 USD a night on West Railay. This is probably the most well known, and photographed, beach on the peninsula and also where the Long-Tail boats drop you off. There are many bars along the West Railay strip featuring Rasta bars and live music.

Where to Stay onEast Railay

If you are looking for more modest accommodations, head on over to East Railay where you can find Bungalows without AC for about $15 USD. We personally stayed at the Diamond Cave Resort and loved it. This side of the peninsula is quieter and has easier access to the Railay Beach Viewpoint, and Pranang Beach, as well as affordable food options.

Where to Stay on Tonsai Beach

For those looking for a more laid-back vibe, and want to participate in adult-centered activities, and rock climbing, head on over to Tonsai! This side of the peninsula is the most secluded and is only accessible by jungle hike. On Tonsai you will be able to try magic mushroom shakes, smoke a joint at the copious rasta bars, and relax while listening to Bob Marley. The is also a rock climbers paradise featuring dramatic limestone cliffs that separate the Railay peninsula from Krabi Mainland. Accommodations here are also the most affordable, but can also be the most integrated with nature… We stayed here for two nights and got to take a shower with two giant cockroaches and sleep to the loud sounds of the jungle.

What to do on Railay Beach:
Railay Beach Viewpoint

The climb up to the viewpoint is very steep. You’re going to need to make sure you have two hands available as you are literally climbing UP the mountain for 10 minutes, but I honestly found this to be a lot of fun! Once you get to the top you have an INCREDIBLE view!

Watch the Sunset from the Pranang Beach or West Railay

What to do in Krabi

Explore the Pranang Cave
Go to Pranang Beach

What to do in Krabi

Walk Through the Many Caves

What to do in Krabi

Go Rock Climbing on Tonsai Beach

Koh Phi Phi Island

How to Get to the Phi Phi Islands:

For the Phi Phi Islands, you can get a ferry for about 350 baht per person for one way at most of the tourist information centers, and 700 for a return ticket. Most people, however, will go from Phi Phi to Phuket. Once you’ve paid the tourist info center, a van will pick you up from your accommodation the morning of, and drop you off at the pier where you will get on the three-hour ferry to Phi Phi. When you arrive, you are expected to pay a 20 baht island conservation fee before going in.

Koh Phi Phi Accommodation:

On Phi Phi, you have many accommodation options. If you’re into partying, staying near or on the beach will keep you in the center of all of the action. This also means that you will be dealing with loud music all night. Near Long Beach, you will find luxurious bungalows with views of the ocean. This is far from loud bars and catered to families and people looking for a relaxing vacation. If your budget is small, but you don’t want to be in the middle of the party scene, look for accommodations near the Phi Phi Viewpoint.

What to do in the Phi Phi Islands:

What to do in Krabi

Island Tour of Maya Bay, Monkey Beach, Bamboo Island, Koh Phi Phi Leh, and Bioluminescent Plankton

You can get pretty cheap full-day tours that take you all throughout the Phi Phi Islands and to see the bioluminescent plankton for about $30. Keep in mind they are weather dependent and it may be canceled the day of due to high waves!

Explore the Phi Phi Night Life

For a crazy pool party, Ibiza Pool Party is really good. The pool is nasty, but when you’re drunk you won’t care. Buckets range between 200 baht and 600 baht. Be careful with the sketchy ones in the street. They will put Thai Redbull in it with sketchy alcohol that has made some friends of ours very sick. If you’re not into pool party’s, no worries! You will be able to find drinks and fire dancers at tons of bars and clubs along the beach.

What to do in Krabi
Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint

This stunning view takes some work. You will have to take about 10 minutes worth of stairs, and pay 30 baht to be up there. Once you do you will have a stunning view of the isthmus at Phi Phi Don.

There you have it! If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us! In the meantime, pin this post below!

Related: How to Travel Carry On Luggage Only and Never Pay for a Checked Bag

ALSO!! In case you forgot to claim your free packing list, you can grab it down below!

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