Bustling Krabi Town is majestically situated among impossibly angular limestone karsts jutting from the mangroves, but mid-city you’re more likely to be awe-struck by the sheer volume of guesthouses, travel agencies and building work packed into this quirky, compact town. It’s a key transport hub, around which a busy traveller scene continues to evolve. Western restaurants and free wi-fi are ubiquitous, as are gift shops selling the usual trinkets.
And yet, if you hang around a while, you’ll see that there’s also a very real provincial scene going on between the cracks.
Much of the province has been given over to several national parks. Top destinations are Hat Noppharat Thara – Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Ao Nang, Railay, and Ko Phi Phi. The province includes over 80 smaller islands such as (Ko Lanta) and Phi Phi, well-known to adventurers, yachtsmen, scuba-divers, snorkelers, and day-trippers from Phuket.
Ko Lanta National Park, also in Krabi Province, includes several coral-fringed islands with well-known diving sites. The largest island, Ko Lanta Yai, is the site of park headquarters, and is also home to Chao Le, or sea gypsies who sustain themselves largely through fishing. The islands are best visited during the drier months of October through April.
Kayaking, sailing, bird watching, snorkeling are also among top activities. In the interior, two predominantly mainland national parks, Khao Phanom Bencha and Than Bokk-horani, offer inland scenic attractions including waterfalls and caves, and opportunities for trekking, bird watching and eco-tours.
The rock faces at Railay Beach near Ao Nang have attracted climbers from all over the world and each year are the venue for the Rock and Fire Festival. There are several rock climbing schools at Railay Beach. The rock is limestone and has characteristic pockets, overhangs and faces. Railay has numerous multi-pitch areas most of which start from the beach itself. A famous example is “Humanality”. In addition, deep water soloing is popular on the numerous nearby rocky islands easily accessible by long-tail boat.