Beaches in Krabi, Thailand: Where Should You Stay?
Whether you’re looking for luxury resort or a rough hippy hideaway, the beaches in Krabi have accommodation to suit almost every kind of traveller. Here’s a quick rundown of the options to help you answer the common question: which of Krabi’s beaches should I stay at?
If you’re on a budget and have dreadlocks you’re going to love Tonsai Bay. The hippy vibe is strong there and the accommodation options reflect it. You’ll find plenty of small (and cheap) bungalows and the occasional upmarket option at Tonsai Bay. It might also appeal to non reggae enthusiasts as it’s the cheapest of Krabi’s beaches to stay at. The bad news is that most of the accommodation is set back from the beach and the village isn’t much of a looker. The beach isn’t bad but at low tide it becomes a bit of a rocky mess. It is close to the better beaches though and staying at Tonsai Bay isn’t so bad. We stayed there during our time in Krabi and I didn’t mind it, but Gia wasn’t a fan.
FURTHER READING: Becoming a Backpacker in Tonsai Bay, Thailand
This is the more budget friendly of the two Railays but it’s also the least attractive. The beach here isn’t up to much and it doesn’t look great for swimming, but there are some budget guesthouses and plenty of places to eat nearby. Basically Railay East is a step up from Tonsai Bay and attracts a more midrange crowd. Railay East looks pretty good from above but it’s average at ground level.
Railay West is one of the best beaches in Krabi — it’s the typical postcard view that probably convinced you to visit in the first place. The beachfront hotels look pretty expensive, but if you’ve got the money they are probably great options. There are some less expensive options on the paths leading to Railay East, but they aren’t that close to the beach and that area isn’t all that nice.
Phra Nang Beach
This is another great beach in Krabi, and there’s even a cave full of wooden penises to explore if you’re feeling bored. A lot of people visit Phra Nang Beach as part of a tour, so it can get pretty crowded, but I think it’d be perfect once the crowds have left. You can access Phra Nang Beach quickly via a path from Railay East. There aren’t many hotels or restaurants there and it seems like quite an expensive place to stay. You can get food from one of the food boats (like food trucks, but boats), which will help keep the costs down.
You can stay on Koh Poda but the reviews for the only resort on the island are terrible. Most people visit Koh Poda on a four island day trip from Krabi.
I just passed through this beach town on the way to Krabi Town — it looked OK but not as nice as Krabi’s other beaches. It is also a boat ride away from Railay East/West, Tonsai Bay and Phrang Nga beach, so if you want to spend plenty of time at those places, Ao Nang probably isn’t the best place to stay.
You might need to spend a night in Krabi Town if you’re catching a flight or a bus the next day. It’s not a bad place and the market is a great place to get a beer and some food (and see lots of rats!) But you’ll probably want to be moving on after a night.
Things to do in Krabi
As well as Koh Poda, most island hopping trips will take you to Ko Tup, a cool little sandbar island. The tours are cheap and the sights get very crowded, but it’s still a good day trip.
FURTHER READING: Crowded Island Hopping in Krabi
Seeing the beaches in Krabi from above
There’s a steep (and quite scary looking) track leading up to a viewpoint. The start of the track is on the path between Railay East and Phrang Nga Beach — climb it if you want some amazing views. It’s a fairly easy climb but does get fairly steep in parts, make sure you wear good shoes (the photo of Railay East was taken from this viewpoint).
Walking through the forest from Tonsai Bay to Railay East
This is a fairly easy jungle walk and is quite a fun alternative to walking around the beach/rocks. There are also some guesthouses up the hill; they probably aren’t bad places to stay if you want to avoid the crowds, but it’s a bit of a climb from the beaches.
Have you been to any beaches in Krabi? Which was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!