You have to visit the different islands around Krabi to get a complete picture of what Krabi is all about :)
Fondest memory: There are so many places to visit, and we did not have a lot of time. So, we signed up for a full day speedboat tour that would bring us to all the nice islands arround krabi, and also stop to snorkel. Lunch (at phi phi) and refreshments were also included. The ride was a thrill and the sights were breathtaking.
Exploring: rather than staying in a resort or spending EVERY day lying on the beach, make the most of what Krabi has to offer and go exploring. As I've mentioned in my tips, there are pleanty of things to do at Krabi, from a meditation retreat, temple visit, or thai cooking class to climbing, hiking or various water based activities. Even just taking the time to enjoy the scenery makes a great day in Krabi.
Fondest memory: Sunset on Ton Sai beach - it's hard to describe the atmosphere on Ton Sai beach at sunset. On the one hand, there's the noise from all the climbers dangling from various parts of the surrounding cliffs, the sound of the water lapping the shoreline and the hum of the long tail boats that cross the bay. On the other hand, there's an overriding sense of calm that makes sitting on the beach or at one of the bars, watching the sun set over the ocean, seem like the most relaxing thing in the world. I love that real sense of holiday bliss.
Fondest memory: Although it is noisy from the constant coming and going of longtail boats, it still has a certain charm... and is a far cry better than what I saw on around Tonsai Bay at Phi Phi island! I came to love this little beach especially the area just near the "Last cafe".
Fondest memory: Next, we checked out this another famous beach of Krabi: Ao Nang. this beach is much smaller than Noppaharat Thara, near to shops, restaurants and bars. Water was more chilly and cleaner than Noppharat Thara Beach, however, there're many shells and dead corals on the beach, making the sand not as smooth as Noppharat Thara. Saw only one sales person selling jewellery on the beach, and about 5 tourists in total on the beach. No suntan chair and stuff, pretty quiet and nice place to relax and chill out. Not sure if you can do rock climbing here, but the scenery was awesome... rock + sun + sea + sand + waves + palms... typical Krabi!
Favorite thing: The best beach after Pra Nang is Railey West. It doesn't have that kind of white sand like Pra Nang but still beautiful enough... ;-) It's quite a big bay surrounding by steep limestone cliffs. There are some bars and restaurants right on the beach as well as some bungalow resorts. You can rent a kajak and paddle around the cliffs or just go swimming or sun bathing.
The point about Ao Nang is the Andaman Sea. The beach may no longer be pristine white sands, but it is nevertheless a great base for exploring this part of Thailand. The beach is virtually outside your hotel door, there are plenty of water taxis to the nearby Rai Leh Beach (cleaner than Ao Nang but virtually no facilities), organised snorkelling trips to nearby islands, boat trips to other key sites as well as land trips to the jungles of the peninsula. And with restaurants aplenty, a few bars and a small night market, there's enough to keep you occupied. And Krabi is only 30 minutes away if you want the noise and bustle of a city.
Fondest memory: The relaxation.
Favorite thing: I took the 4 islands (by longtail) and kayaking at Hong Islands. Prior to this, i surfed online and asked for rates from the various tour operators but sad to say, what they offered was quite expensive. My trip for 4 islands costed 350B and Hong Island for 1200B (per person with standard package) (www.seetho.com) I not advertising for them but do make comparisons before making a decision.
I enjoy the bargaining and island hopping.
Temperature in Krabi range between 16 to 37 degrees Celsius.
The best time to visit Krabi is off peak season.
Rainy season(Off peak): May - November, you can get great bargains on hotels from early May.
Peak season is from : December - April
Fondest memory: Bring sunscreen or suntan and drink plenty of water. Try the local food here. My favourite is papaya salad. Yummy.
There are quite a lot of monkeys (macaques) around Krabi. You see them climbing around in the trees or like this one (seemed to be an older one) right by the foot path (between Pra Nang and Railey East Beach) watching the people going by.
Be careful, they might get aggressive or steal your food.
Fondest memory: I was surprised to find ONLY ONE sales person on the beach, not typical Thailand, huh?!!! And this man was pretty friendly too, not that pushy aggressice type, he sat down, let you slowly choose if you want to instead of hard selling things.
Favorite thing: Staying in Railay was absolutely wonderful. It's beautiful and peaceful with lots of activities you can do such as kayaking, snorkeling and rock climbing. However, the drawback in Railay is that there are no medical facilities. And, if you think about some of the activities you might consider doing, there are risks of injury to consider. In the event of an injury that needs medical treatment, they would need to take you by boat to Ao Nang. Then from there a hospital which is probably in Krabi Town (not sure).
The most beautiful beach of the whole Krabi area is Pra Nang Beach. There are some fruit and soft drink vendors but no restaurants or bars. Also no toilets around.
You can go there by boat or by foot from Railey East Beach.
Fondest memory: Though not as spectacular as the one on the western side of Koh Samet, the sunset from Ao Nang beach was still special. By this time most of the longtail boats had already returned and the fruit and drink sellers, as well as sunbathers, deserted the beach. Then there was a feeling of serenity as the sun slowly turned the sky first a bright orange and then crimson red.
Most shopkeeps try to sell their wares at over 300% the general market price, so it is good to bargain. When they name a price, state that you're prepared to pay one third that and walk away. Chances are they will call you back and negotiate. Don't limit your haggling to little shops by the beach. Some "upmarket" stores and restaurants allow that too. A profit of 100B may mean nothing to you but is already alot for them, that's like 4 decent full meals!
Stalls in Ao Naung further from the beach tend to charge less so those will give you an idea of the prevailing market prices.
Here's the general price list of common items, of course it differs slightly from shop to shop:
1 pair wooden chopsticks: 25Baht (B)
Table set of 4pairs chopsticks with rests, saucers and mats: 250B
Thaiboxing shorts: 200B
Printed T-shirt: 150B
Lastly, try not to get anything from the airport unless you really need them. Prices are double that outside plus you can't bargain :(
We were interested in the island hopping tours and booked one at an agencies in Ao Nang Beach. Prices and content of tour varies at each tour agencies. So Keep walking and compare prices before making decisions. It can be up to a few hundred Thai Baht difference.
Fondest memory: People are quite helpful and smile alot even though they speak little English. Non-English Speaking Staff would quickly disappear and return with an English-Speaking Staff.