Krabi Province has long been a favourite destination for HK travellers wishing to get away from the crowds of Phuket and Koh Samui. In fact, Krabi has everything that these destinations trumpet, albeit delivered in a more discreet manner. I recently spent a week exploring Krabi and the surrounding islands, and I was surprised to find what this place has to offer.
Krabi’s coasts have a double whammy in that they are lined with impressive limestone outcrops ideal for rock climbing and the sea is a turquoise green, unique to this area.
Ao Nang beach area (central Krabi) is party central and home to many hotels and a vibrant nightlife scene, however venture a little further afield to Klong Muang beach or Railay Beach to discover a truly amazing beach experience.
Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from HK to Krabi. The best connection is via Bangkok with Cathay Pacific, Thai Airways or even Emirates. However, this also adds value to your holiday with those wishing to break up the journey back home for a quick overnight shopping splurge or night out in Bangkok.
When to go?
The climate of Krabi Province is tropical and therefore warm throughout the year. On the other hand, Krabi is also affected by the monsoon winds that bring about seasonal changes. November to March is the most popular time for tourists to visit Krabi.
What to do?
As an athlete, I always look for outdoor activities to do when I’m on vacation. Krabi is a very hands-on destination full of adventure activities from caving, rock-climbing and mountain trekking to diving in Thailand’s most pristine reefs. Perfect for someone like me! Unlike Phuket or Koh Samui it lacks the commercial and tacky touristy activities and replaces it with a natural playground for you to explore or just kick back with a cocktail and admire. If you are into rock climbing, I highly suggest taking a daytrip to Railay Beach. Make sure to stay there for the beautiful sunset.
Insider tip: Once you arrive at Railay Beach take the hike/climb up and over to the hidden lagoon that is known as ‘Princess Lagoon’. No rock climbing experienced or equipment required but it is pretty physical scramble up and over to the inside of this rocky mountain, once you arrive the secluded lagoon is an oasis away from the rest of the world (just a few curious monkeys) and an ideal spot for a refreshing swim.
Where to stay?
Phulay-Bay by Ritz Carlton (Klong Muang beach area): The home of the Hang-Over II movie wedding scene, this resort with only 50 private villa/suites takes luxury to the next level. You could easily spend your entire holiday within the resort's grounds and be completely satisfied. The opulent villas are stylishly decorated combining Thai and North African architecture and decors. I thought I was in the Middle East!
Insider tip: The resort’s own baby elephant greets guest each night at the sunset bar as you look out over a private beach. The bar staff have come up with their own Mango-Mojito and they have a Mojito happy hour every day 5-7pm. It’s the perfect way to end the day sipping on one of these looking out at the archipelago of Islands on your doorstep.
Rayavadee (Railay Beach area): Rayavadee’s setting at the heart of a stunning peninsula on the edge of Krabi National Marine Park blends lush foliage, limestone cliffs, three beaches and the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, it can only be accessed via the resort's private motor-boat. This property screams LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Which would explain the day trippers, but you have the beaches to yourself early morning and late afternoon.
Insider tip: Enjoy dinner or lunch at the ‘Grotto’ the resorts private restaurant in its very own beachside cave, it even has wi-fi in this cave to catch up on some work or brag to the outside world… this is how real cavemen live today.
By Troy de Haas