Ao Nang beach, Krabi

Hotels in Krabi, Thailand

One of the two gateways to the Andaman coast together with Phuket, Krabi is the more laidback and less touristy beach destination in southwest Thailand. Despite the ravages of the December 2004 tsunami, Krabi recovered. Tourism has once again taken the driver’s seat in the local economy, with hotels in Krabi Thailand filling up to the brim with guests from all over the world. Krabi's well-loved beaches and limestone karsts rising out of flat rice paddies and turquoise waters have, as in its pre-tsunami past, captured the fantasy of many travelers since "The Beach" of Ko Phi Phi.

Where to stay in Krabi to enjoy the outdoors

As a coastal province in southwest Thailand, Krabi has earned a well-deserved spot in the country's tropical havens. It is not, however, without its share of massive crowds – about 2 million people visit Krabi each year – but there are still off-the-beaten gems waiting to be explored without elbowing other tourists out.

Rai Leh is a massively popular Krabi beach resort because it has clear jade waters and imposing limestone karsts that offer vertical challenges to the avid rock climber. Twenty minutes on foot is the highly recommended backpacker village of Ton Sai; it gets you close to the action and sights without depleting your baht at a fast rate.

The best beach resorts in Krabi are clumped in a narrow sandbar that separates the major beaches of Ko Phi Phi Don. Maya Bay, otherwise known as “The Beach,” is considered by many international travelers as one of the most beautiful in the world; it is nestled within the karst embrace of its smaller sister, Ko Phi Phi Leh. There are no hotels in Krabi in this national park, but day trippers sail to the island en masse.

Farther offshore, the Andaman Sea is a veritable underwater playground; kick off to your marine adventure from Ko Lanta Yai. Its proximity to Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, considered one of the best in Thailand and consistently in the top 10 of the world, makes it a favorite of divers and older crowds who enjoy sunset walks on white sand beach.

Accommodation in Krabi to get away from the crowds

Ko Sibuya is not as popular as James Bond Island of Phuket where parts of “The Man With the Golden Gun” was filmed in the 1970s, but it is where you can get away to escape Ao Nang; the best hotels in Krabi are there, but so are the crowds. Ko Siboya has the more ‘authentic’ Krabi Thai village resort because there’s a real rural scene going on – locals are busy tending their fishing nets and rubber trees than posing before a tourist’s camera.

Ko Jum, an island to the south, is more of a hammock-by-the-beach retreat. Accommodation in Krabi in this part of town is just a little more than that of Ko Siboya – mostly simple bungalows on the west coast. Ko Por is yet another smallish town in front of Ko Lanta Yai old pier; it is so off-the-grid that you would have to hop on a long-tail boat and shop in Ko Lanta. Most of the residents are Muslims, and they get by through fishing and farming, allowing you to see what an ‘undeveloped’ Thai village is really about.