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Krabi Guide

How to decide

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Ao Nang is the most popular resort town in the whole Krabi Province. Featuring a great Thai and international dining scene, a decent shopping scene, and a hectic nightlife scene similar to (though smaller than) that of Patong Beach in Phuket, Ao Nang has all the assets for a successful tropical holiday. A prime island-hopping departure port, Ao Nang never ceases to grow and attract more and more visitors year after year. Its accommodation scene is also pretty impressive and counts a great choice of residences – including some very close to the beach - for any type of budget and taste.

Who is it For:

  • Families
  • Budget-conscious holidaymakers
  • People who like a busy and lively beach
  • People who want to be centrally-located and want everything in one place
  • People who love to party

What’s Good:

  • Massive choice of nightlife, dining and shopping options
  • Wide range of hotel prices
  • Many hotels right on the beach
  • Easy access to cool tropical islands

What’s Not So Good:

  • There are not many traditional Thai touches
  • Traffic is intense
 

How to decide

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Railay is really an ‘out of the world’ type of holiday destination. Only reachable by boat, Railay is a small peninsula separated from the mainland by high limestone cliffs, making the construction of a road impossible. Featuring four beaches and a central area hosting a good choice of resorts, Railay offers its visitor a step back to the backpacking era that made the area famous. There’s no motorised transportation and everyone moves from one place to the other on foot. Outside the resorts, most of the dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment venues have a rustic hippie touch, making the place really cool. Railay is southern Thailand’s prime destination for rock climbers and hosts some excellent schools in that domain.

Who is it For:

  • Rock climbers
  • Young travellers
  • People who want to get away from it all

What’s Good:

  • Pristine natural environment
  • Top-notch rock climbing routes

What’s Not So Good:

  • Can be crowded in high season
  • Beware of boat operators abusing their position

How to decide

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Klong Muang is a very rural area located some 15km north of Ao Nang. It features a small fisherman village and a handful of resorts, many of them boasting a five-star rating. Klong Muang area is pretty far from being developed for tourism and it therefore retains a very strong local and rural feel. Satellite businesses – restaurants, bars, convenience stores, massage parlours, and small boutiques – popped up like mushrooms around the largest accommodation establishments, offering visitors some more affordable dining, drinking and shopping options. Featuring three beaches and one cape, Klong Muang is the right place to take a relaxing break from the modern world in a pleasant natural environment.

Who is it For:

  • Wealthy travellers
  • People who want to get away from it all

What’s Good:

  • Cool sundowner spots on the northern side of Klong Muang Beach
  • Peaceful natural environment

What’s Not So Good:

  • A bit far from everything

How to decide

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Krabi Town is the capital city of Krabi Province. Built on the northern side of Krabi River, it has been a stop-over for backpacking travellers since the end of the ‘70s, which contributed to the development of a good choice of small guesthouses and hotels in the downtown area and on the river banks. Krabi maybe a city, but it nevertheless retains a charming southern Thai provincial character with its fresh markets, unpretentious restaurants and boutiques, and slow-paced atmosphere. The main commercial hub of the province, it hosts a few great man-made and natural sites definitely worth a visit if you are coming by.

Who is it For:

  • Budget-conscious holidaymakers
  • People who want to discover local city life
  • People who prefer a city base to explore all of Krabi’s inland attractions
  • People who love to party

What’s Good:

  • Affordable dining and shopping
  • Krabi River side

What’s Not So Good:

  • No beach (swimmable)

How to decide

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Nopparat Thara is the sister-beach of Ao Nang (both of them belongs to the same municipality). Like the two sides of the same coin, they could not be more different in their development and atmosphere. Nopparat Thara has a rather strong local feel, with its small fishing pier and the few hotels and satellite businesses displayed along the two-kilometre-long strip of sand. Despite some recent additions to its shopping and dining scene (Nopparat Thara Plaza on the beachfront, for instance), the area remains very peaceful when compared to its turbulent, ever-growing sister-beach, yet offers a good deal of affordable accommodation choices.

Who is it For:

  • Budget-conscious holidaymakers
  • People looking for a peaceful area
  • People who love to party

What’s Good:

  • Tranquil area to stay with easy access to buzzing Ao Nang
  • Important island-hopping departure port

What’s Not So Good:

  • Very few local dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment options

How to decide

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Phi Phi is a small archipelago of seven islands situated between Phuket and Krabi Provinces. Belonging to the latter, it can be reached from both of them in two hours by ferry or one hour by speedboat. With its limestone cliffs jutting from the sea, its white sand beaches and coves lapped by turquoise waters, its lush vegetation, and its superb underwater reefs, Phi Phi is a really captivating place. Only one of the islands of the group is inhabited: Koh Phi Phi Don. Its main village in Tonsai Bay features a wide range of dining, shopping, nightlife entertainment, and accommodation options while its northern tip – Laem Thong - hosts a few four- and five-star resorts with very little development around.

Who is it For:

  • People who want to spend their holiday in a postcard
  • Young travellers who want to party on the beach
  • People who want to learn or practice scuba diving
  • People who love to party

What’s Good:

  • Great leisure activities (diving, snorkelling, rock climbing)
  • Stunning scenery
  • Buzzing nightlife in Tonsai Village and Loh Dalum
  • Peaceful isolation is easily found in Laem Thong

What’s Not So Good:

  • Most notable sites can be crowded in high season
  • There are no motorised vehicles, so it can be a bit of a hike from the pier to your hotel
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