The Best Things to do in Krabi, Thailand

Created by Elly McGuinness

Last Updated: September 24, 2018

So you’re looking for the best things to do in Krabi, Thailand, eh?

There are some amazing fun and free things to do in Krabi, especially if you love the outdoors. In fact, when we were looking for things to do in Krabi on a rainy day, it was pretty much just outdoor activities that popped up!

Rain aside, you will find a vast array of Krabi attractions to enjoy at any time of the year. And, even though we there about eight weeks, I’m sure we only got to experience a small taste of the top things to do in Krabi. Or the fantastic array of tasty food options!

With so many great places to visit in Krabi here’s our lowdown on what to do in Krabi with kids. (Based on the attractions and sightseeing that we enjoyed as a family of three during a two-month stay early in our worldschooling adventures).

Where to stay in Krabi

Whilst not the focus of this post, you will find a variety of places to stay in Krabi. Ranging from budget-friendly accommodation to more luxury style resorts such as the Element Krabi Resort and the Dusit Thani, Krabi. (Both of which we stayed at and can highly recommend).

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There are lots of things to do in Krabi if you love clear swimming water!

The Emerald Pools

About 55km from Krabi town, and 75km from Ao Nang lies the beautiful Emerald Pools. Set in a beautiful nature reserve you can cool off with a dip in one of the swimming areas or simply enjoy the surrounding nature trails and natural beauty.

This was a natural attraction with a relatively high entry fee. But we thought it was well worth it for the way the area is looked after. You can’t bring food inside, but it is OK to bring in water. We appreciated this because we didn’t see any rubbish at all inside. There are plenty of food stalls to help you refuel right outside the entrance, once you’ve had enough.

Swimming in amongst the fish in pristine crystal clear waters was so enjoyable for us and a real highlight of our Krabi island stay. We’d highly recommend adding the Emerald Pools to your list of must-visit Krabi attractions.

Emerald pools, Krabi Province, Thailand
Little Miss arm raised, Emerald pools, Krabi Province, Thailand

The Hot Springs

Located about 10 minutes’ drive from the Emerald Pools, the hot springs and emerald pools can be covered in one easy day trip. If you’re looking for things to do in Krabi and only have time for one or two day trips out of town, we’d recommend combining these two. They both offer stunning natural beauty which is just a little special and unique.

The hot springs are basically a cascading waterfall of hot water. You can sit in amongst the rocks and relax in the very warm waters (if you’re not warm enough already!). There is also a nature trail leading to the spring and there are a couple of local food stalls where you can order a meal out. These are located just outside the entrance, so enjoy the water and then grab a local meal before you leave.

Colin, hot springs, Krabi Province, Thailand

Kayaking Nong Thale

A lesser known nature area in Krabi is much closer to the main tourist areas. About 10 minutes’ drive from Nopparathara beach, or say 15 minutes from Ao Nang is Nong Thale reserve. Here you can hire a kayak and navigate your way around rocks and large tree roots, which we found to be a lot of fun!

We started with an amazing meal at a restaurant on the lake and then headed out in our kayak. After about 15 minutes of gentle navigation (we didn’t have any current, wind or waves to contend with!) we reached a beautiful clear swimming area, complete with many fish. Some of them even enjoyed coming over to nibble our toes when we decided to stay still in the water!

Afterwards, we headed to the other end of the reserve and enjoyed playing with the locals on a very slippery “slide” and just chilling in the water. We were lucky that we were able to borrow some old socks to make it possible to walk back up the “slide”! There’s no entrance fee to hang out at Nong Thale; you’ll just pay to hire your kayak.

Family selfie, Nong Thale kayaking, Krabi Province, Thailand
Little Miss & Colin, Nong Thale kayaking, Krabi Province, Thailand

Do you prefer a swimming pool rather than a natural swimming hole?

Many of the places to stay in Krabi will be complete with a swimming pool so you can keep cool whenever you need to. We spent a good chunk of our stay house sitting however and we didn’t have access to a pool where we were during this time. We love swimming and sometimes wanted an option where we could do something a little closer to home or where we could chill on a lounge chair while little miss played.

Many of the hotels and resorts and other accommodations in Krabi that have pools will allow you to use the pool for a fee. Sometimes that’s a rather decent fee, but for us it was worth it if we wanted somewhere to relax for most of the day. Check how long you can use the facilities for if you go for this swimming option, because some of them only allow you to stay for an hour.

One pool that we visited for the whole day was the Holiday Inn on the main road in Ao Nang (towards the Nopparathara end). There is certainly a full day’s entertainment provided for families here. You can use the pools, and the kids can have fun on the slides, in the playground, and with the kids club activities.

Little Miss water slide, Holiday Inn, Ao Nang, Krabi Province, Thailand

The Treehouse Café

The treehouse café was one of our favorite chill out spots close to the center of Nopparathara. It’s set in beautiful surroundings on the river and they’re currently developing the site to allow plenty of beautiful dining opportunities in amongst nature. There’s a pool there complete with loungers, and it’s free to use when you eat at the café or restaurant. The food is delightful with both western and Asian options. You can eat by the pool, in the cute air conditioned café, or at low tables seated on cushions in amongst nature. If you prefer a natural swimming hole, you can pop down to the river for a dip.

By the way, one of our favorite cafes in Ao Nang was café 8.98, which we frequented on a regular basis. It had the best healthy and tasty food. We really thought it offered such a nice mix between nutritious meals and drinks, and homemade “comfort” style food.

Little Miss thumbs up, treehouse cafe, Krabi Province, Thailand
treehouse cafe pool, Krabi Province, Thailand
Chocolate cake, treehouse cafe, Krabi Province, Thailand

Cafe 8.98

Colin Clapp enjoying Cafe 898, Ao Nang, Krabi, Thailand

The Krabi Slider

If you’re travelling as a family and your kids are after fun things to do in Krabi, check out the Krabi slider. For just a couple of dollars you can have fun zooming down little water slides and climbing on top of giant floaties that are tied to the ground in the middle of the pool. This is a water park probably designed more for the kids than grownups but the whole family can have a fun and cheap afternoon out there.

Don’t expect the highest standards of water park maintenance and don’t go there if you want to swim lengths. This is all about the kids having fun on the slides. You’ll find the Krabi Slider in a gorgeous setting in amongst some of the famous towering rocks of Krabi, and the kids will certainly have fun.

Little Miss, Krabi slider, Krabi Province, Thailand

Hikes in Krabi

The Krabi province truly is an outdoor mecca and hiking is one of the best things to do in Krabi because the landscape is simply stunning.

Although it’s hot, as long as you go prepared with plenty of water and a few snacks, there are some wonderful hikes in Krabi you can enjoy. Plus you should be able to seek out sun protection under the ample tree cover in the National parks.

Dragon’s Crest Peak

Located about 30 minutes north of Ao Nang, the hike up “Dragons Crest” (Khao Hang Nak) is one that we enjoyed and recommend. We didn’t go all the way to the top as we weren’t quite prepared in terms of water and food supply, but we did hike up to the first lookouts.

There is a small shop at the bottom of the National Park where you can top up your water and snack supplies, and there is a small fee to enter the park. There are a few steps and steady climbs to get through but the views of the Krabi valley and coastline are worth it. You can also opt to veer off to a waterfall which we didn’t do, based on our supplies. We were told by others that it wasn’t very big or spectacular.

Elly, dad & wife, Dragon Crest family hike, Krabi Province, Thailand
Elly selfie, Dragon Crest family hike, Krabi Province, Thailand
Elly, Dragon Crest family hike, Krabi Province, Thailand

One of our favorite Krabi places to visit? Forest natural parks…

Than Bok Khorani National Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Krabi and you love nature but you’re not keen on an uphill hike, there are options to visit the National Parks and explore without exerting yourself too much! Whilst the National Park hike up to Dragons Crest is simply a track that takes you straight up, there are other National Parks in the province that offer something a little different.

We visited Than Bok Khorani National Park, which was simply a stunning place to explore and cool off in crystal clear waters. The main network of nature trails is centered on an area of less than 2km. The entry fee to get into a park like this is relatively high but well worth it in our opinion. The park was so clean and well maintained and we loved being able to swim in the refreshing watering holes.

Than Bok Khorani National park, Krabi Province, Thailand

Want to add something “quirky” to your Krabi sightseeing list?

The Giant Catfish Farm

Quirky is one of the most fitting words we can thing of for this interesting place. In terms of Krabi Thailand things to do, it’s one of a kind! It’s also located right next door to the treehouse café so you can visit both places in one go for an easy and fun few hours out and about.

Once you arrive you’ll pay a very small entry fee and will receive a bag of fish food to walk around with and feed the fish or other wildlife you come across. The Giant Catfish farm is very rustic and there were one or two basic bridges we weren’t too sure about walking across! You’ll find ponds dotted around the farm where you can easily spot and feed the fish. Other wildlife you will likely encounter include turtles, a giant pig, monkeys (including one particularly friendly one!), a crocodile (behind a concrete wall) and other friendly locals like lizards (maybe even some huge ones).

If you get too hot there’s also yet another natural swimming hole here, which is good for a quick cool off.

Monkey & tortoises, giant catfish farm, Krabi Province, Thailand
giant catfish farm, Krabi Province, Thailand
Little Miss taking a dip, giant catfish farm, Krabi Province, Thailand

Enjoy some beautiful beach time in Krabi

Many people who are looking for things to do in Krabi are drawn in by the beautiful beaches.

Ao Nang beach is the main tourist area. It’s full of souvenir shops, cafes, and tour operators. You can also organize island hopping tours wherever you like from here. With many of them leaving straight from Ao Nang itself.

The dry season is definitely the best time to go on any tours of the islands. We were there during the wet season and the sea was always choppy so we didn’t go on any long tail boats or speed boats in the open water. Maybe next time!

Nopparat Thara is a bit more of a “locals” beach but could easily be deemed an extension of Ao Nang beach as you stroll between the two. We enjoyed hanging out here as it was close to where we were house-sitting. It’s a very family-friendly beach and if you come down in the early evening you’ll see lots of families hanging out, setting up picnics and playing with the millions of tiny hermit crabs in the sand.

Even in the rainy season Nopparathara and Ao Nang beaches were both very clean.

Some of the very best beaches are the ones you’ll find if you choose to go island hopping. However we enjoyed these two during the rainy season, and also Tubkaek beach a little further up the coast.

Nopparathara beach, Krabi Province, Thailand
Little Miss, hands on hip, Nopparathara beach, Krabi Province, Thailand

Looking for some cultural or unique things to do in Krabi?

Tiger Cave Temple

Located 30 minutes or so from the tourist areas of Krabi is Tiger cave temple. This is a Buddhist temple that was said to have a resident tiger living there many moons ago. Later it became an important sacred site known for the tiger paw prints in the cave, and Buddha statues dotted throughout.

It’s also a beautiful nature area and you can opt to go on a short easy hike that meanders in amongst open caves and Buddhist dwellings. For those who are feeling more energetic there are almost 1300 steps you can climb to reach the large Buddha statue on top of the hill. There are toilet stops on the way up and free drinking water is available at the top.

Tiger Cave temple steps, Krabi Province, Thailand
Buddas, Tiger Cave temple, Krabi Province, Thailand
Little Miss & panoramic view, Tiger Cave temple, Krabi Province, Thailand

Looking for fun things to do in Krabi town?

If you find yourself with a day in Krabi town, our top recommendation is to head to the mud crab statue on the river front. From there you can jump on a long tail boat and head down stream to visit a stunning cave. You can also opt to add on a ride through the mangroves and a visit to the floating village if you want to. This is a great way to get out on the water if the seas are a bit rough.

Elly & Little Miss, River ride, Krabi Town, Thailand
Little Miss in river ride caves, Krabi Town, Thailand
Little Miss & shellfish statues, Krabi Town, Thailand

Finally, if you have kids, the provincial library in Krabi town center is great. There’s a free playroom there that will keep your preschoolers entertained. You’ll also find a few English books kicking around.

Have you visited Krabi? What were your favorite things to do in Krabi? Or are you planning on visiting soon? If so, we hope this list is helpful for you! Please feel free to connect with us using the comment box below.

PS. If you’re visiting other parts of Thailand, you may be interested in our review of the Chestnut Hill Eco Lodge near Hat Yai. Or our Bossotel, Chiang Mai review.

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Elly McGuinness

Elly has been inspiring people to make sustainable changes to their health, fitness and lifestyle for 20+ years. She takes a holistic approach to wellbeing, is the creator of the Holistic Health Highway and is the author of the Amazon 5-star reviewed book ‘Burning Fat for Good’ which you can get here.


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