After about a week in the bustling city of Bangkok, I decided to take a break and visit Krabi. Krabi is one of Thailand's most popular islands, located in the southern tip. Only one hour away from the city, it is truly an amazing sight to see.
Krabi and Phuket rival in popularity, but I ultimately decided on Krabi for several reasons. Phuket is more expensive when it comes to hotels and transportation. It is also much smaller than Krabi with a denser population, meaning beaches would be much more crowded. Phuket's night life is apparently significantly livelier, but that was one sacrifice I was willing to give up.
Krabi Resort was the hotel of choice, offering breakfast, a gym, and their own private beach. The scenery was beautiful but if you book a standard room, expect just that. Next time if my budget allows, I would try booking one of their deluxe suites that come with their own pool.
The advantage of staying at Krabi Resort was immediate access to Ao Nang beach. Purchase a ticket for a ride on the long tail boats and visit other beaches including Railay Beach.
Railay beach is the peninsula between Ao Nang and Krabi. Surrounded by limestone cliffs, it is truly unique.
Rent a kayak or paddleboard and get a close up look at the limestone cliffs that have defined the area. The waters were extremely calm during December making it ideal for such water activities. Railay Beach is also well known to avid rock climbers with people traveling from all over the world to climb the cliffs.
At the far end of the beach is Phra Nang Cave, a fertility shrine. You can also climb deeper into the caves to get a view of the other side of the beach.
Other popular islands and beaches accessible via long-tail boats from Krabi include Chicken Island, Tub Island and of course, Phi Phi Island.
Krabi delivered on beautiful beaches and islands but completely fell flat when it came to food. Restaurants lining Ao Nang town catered to tourists but not in a good way. Everyone offered what they thought tourists would want: pizza, pasta, and stir-fried Thai dishes. Did I mention that all three types of dishes are offered by one restaurant?
As you walk about 30 minutes away from Ao Nang, you will notice more and more halal restaurants. I recommend trying restaurants in that area as opposed to ones located closer to the beach. The braised beef noodle soup pictured above was by far the best meal I had in Krabi.
Three days was the perfect amount of time in Krabi. Sufficient enough time to visit the islands I wanted and enough time to get sick of the mediocre food. Would I return? Perhaps for a day or two but not any longer.
Check out the rest of "A Bite Out of Thailand:" series:
Part 1: Bangkok Highlights
Part 2: Shopping in Bangkok
Part 3: Street Markets
Part 4: Soei and Thip Simai
Part 5: Gaggan
Part 6: Elephants World