Finding the best beach when you travel to Krabi can be a hard job. With so many amazing places and beaches to visit in Thailand you can spend several weeks island hopping in Thailand and come across the most amazing beaches. You will for sure find one you like the most, but this article is here to help you a little. Around Krabi there are many islands, but some of the best beaches in Krabi are not even located on an island...
Thailand has been one of my favorite destinations over the last years and even after visiting more than 110 countries I keep coming back to this paradise. The food, the people, the laid-back vibe and of course the beautiful beaches is what make me travel to Thailand every year. In total I wrote more than 50 Thailand travel blogs.
Finding the best way to travel to Krabi? Check my latest blog post about finding cheap domestic flights in Thailand and find out that flights from Krabi to Chiang Mai are 50% cheaper than from Chiang Mai to Krabi.
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Krabi is full of cool things to do: rock climbing for beginners in Railay Beach, rock climbing for thrill seekers in Tonsai, zip lining tours and even abseiling, amazing hikes and much more, but this article is about its gorgeous beaches and hidden places.
1. Tonsai Beach
Although Tonsai Beach is located on the mainland near Ao Nang it is only accessible by boat. Its surrounding limestone cliffs cut Tonsai off from civilisation. If you want to get away from the tourists then visit Tonsai Beach. Tonsai is a very laid-back and to me may be the best beach in Krabi to visit. This is this peaceful little piece of heaven when exploring Thai beaches. Rock climbing is a popular thing to do in Tonsai.
The first time I visited Tonsai Beach was by mistake as I coincidentally I got off at the wrong beach during an island hopping trip. I stayed around, explored this beautiful spot and straight away fell in love. It seemed like life stood still on Tonsai beach, it was such a relaxed place to visit.
Where are all the tourists? Why are there only a handful people around here? It was very surprising to see that there were probably only like 25 people around. There was a small bar where I ordered a banana shake and I plunged in a beanbag. There were some hippies reading a book in the shade and smoking some funny cigarettes, that was about it.
Tonsai Beach is still pretty untouched and basic. There are 3 options to stay overnight. In 2016 Dream Valley Resort has been going through a renewing process and is now the most upscale place to stay. Dream Valley has built an impressive swimming pool and some luxury bungalows. It is by no means a 4* resort but still the prettiest one on in the bay. The mid-range option is Mountain View Resort and there is also a budget option on the island: Chill Out Bar And Bungalow.
Click here for a complete Tonsai Beach guide.
2. Railay Beach
Next door to Tonsai you will find the popular Railay Beach. They are connected by an adventurous but easy little jungle walk. Getting from one beach to the other will only take about 15 minutes. It is such an easy walk that some tourists do it on bare foot, though I would advise you to wear flip-flops.
Railay Beach is also cut off from the mainland by huge limestone cliffs but nothing like its little brother Tonsai Beach. Railay Beach is very touristy, but for a reason as it is utterly beautiful.
In high season Railay Beach can be very overwhelming and overrun by tourists just like the beaches in Koh Phi Phi. Boats will be lined up and it definitely takes away the charm of this beach in Krabi. So why am I still sending you here? Because if you stay here overnight, you will have this fantastic Krabi beach all for yourself at sunrise and sunset.
There are some cool things to do in Railay Beach like jungle walks, bars, restaurants, shops. Don't forget this is also a secluded bay cut off from the mainland, so there are no proper streets, just sandy pathways.
Although I love Tonsai Beach I think Railay Beach is the best beach in Krabi to stay overnight. There are simply more facilities, restaurants, a mini market, bar, and way more accommodation options to stay overnight. Railay Beach has its charm and there is some great accommodation available for people on a budget: Avatar Railay. But also the great luxury hotel Rayavadee.
There is a hike to a viewpoint with some amazing views over the bay and the beach. Some adventure travelers don't come for the amazing beaches, but visit Railay because there is world class rock climbing. Railay Beach has in the past been rated as one of the best beaches in Thailand.
To get to Railay beach you have to take a longtail taxi boat from Ao Nang for 100 THB one way. Read here more about the things to do and how to get to Railay Beach from Ao Nang.
3. Ao Nang Beach
To be really honest Ao Nang Beach is NOT the most beautiful beach in Krabi, however it has charm! Ao Nang beach is the most bustling beach in Krabi and this is where the action is. There are a couple cool beach bars with endless ocean views and majestic karst mountains to your right. Enjoying a cocktail here watching the sunset isn't a bad way to end your day on your Thailand vacation.
Ao Nang beach is also the tourist hub for all the people that go on islands hopping tours in Krabi. When the sun set, locals come out and hang at the beach as well. So if you are in for a game of football you will always find some people to play with.
My Ao Nang accommodation tips are two different hotels I both stayed at: Ao Nang Cliff Beach Resort and the little cheaper Alisea Boutique Hotel. Ao Nang Cliff Beach has an amazing infinity pool with ocean views. Alisea Boutique Hotel has a bath tub on the balcony.
These are the 3 most popular beaches in Krabi but as you have read they are all different. Tonsai Beach, Railay Beach and Ao Nang Beach are the places you will see on postcards from Krabi. Their unique setting surrounded by sky high limestone cliffs make these Krabi beaches extremely popular for photography. A traditional Thai longtail boat will make the perfect picture complete. But there is more...
4. Koh Poda
A very characteristic island and beach displayed on many postcards from Thailand. A big lone limestone rock sticks out of the water just in front of the main beach in Koh Poda. To get to Poda island you will either have to join a group tour or arrange a taxi boat yourself from Ao Nang beach. A private shuttle is expensive and you will pay around 1,000 THB one-way.
Koh Poda is part of an island group about 8 kilometers from Ao Nang. Secluded, pristine and utterly stunning, Koh Poda beach is one of the prettiest beaches in Krabi, may be even Thailand.
On the way back you should be able to hop on the boats of one of the tour companies if you pay them a little fee. But you actually wanna stay here a little bit longer and have the beach all for yourself when the tour groups leave. However make sure to arrange how to get off Koh Poda, because there are almost no facilities.
There used to be a place to stay on Koh Poda named the Poda Island Resort, but their website is down and their Facebook Page is not updated in years either, so I guess that is a NO when looking for Koh Poda hotels.
5. Hong Island
Another popular island trip is to Hong Island. Find picture perfect beaches on this off the beaten path place to visit in Krabi. The beaches in Hong Island are unspoilt and untouches. The best way to get here is by day trip from Ao Nang. The islands of Koh Hong is a little more adventurous than the small islands of Koh Poda. There is a little walk to get to the Koh Hong viewpoint, there is a bar/restaurant and on the other side of the island there is a little lagoon.
The crystal clear waters around Koh Hong are perfect for snorkeling and make this is one of the best beaches to visit in Krabi.
There is an entrance fee of 300 THB if you want to visit Koh Hong. The island is part of the Than Bok Karani National Park. There are NO hotels on Koh Hong and you can NOT stay here overnight unless you bring a tent and camp on the beach. That is no joke!
6. Tubkaek and Silanto Beach
These two beaches are away from the mass tourism in Krabi. It can be found about 30 minutes northeast of Krabi and Ao Nang. These vast beaches see very little tourist compared to the beaches in and around Ao Nang. Come here to unwind and find a little more privacy. No one is trying to sell you coconuts, tours or souvenirs here on this hidden gem in Krabi.
Tubkaek and Silanta Beach are faced West and have the prettiest sunsets with the silhouettes of Hong Island and Koh Lao Lading on the horizon. For people traveling to Thailand on a budget I would recommend The Elements Krabi Resort and for those looking to splurge the Phulay Bay, a Ritz Carlton Reserve.
Staying overnight at Tubkaek or Silanto Beach makes it easy to do the Tab Kak Hang Nak nature trail, one of the best hikes in Thailand. I went there for sunrise from Ao Nang, a 45 minute drive on a motorbike. But from Tubkaek it is only 5 minutes away.
Do you have enough time to travel to travel to Thailand for 2 weeks then check out my 4 different itineraries suggestions that make you visit all the highlights of Thailand.
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Why Tonsai is my favorite beach in Krabi
It can be really hard to get away from the crowds when traveling in Thailand, especially on the backpacking trail and island hopping in Thailand. Krabi is a famous tourist destination in Thailand. Tonsai Beach is somehow still one of the most quiet places I have come along and to me therefore one of the best beaches in Krabi. It is totally forgotten by tourists who all flock to the more bustling Railay Beach next door.
As I arrived in Ton Sai I only saw a handful people on the beach. Most of them clustered below a massive tree, reading or sleeping in the shadow. The beach was deserted for a couple hundred meters and the only bar there is was empty. If you are looking for an islandlife destination this is your spot. But fair enough when the sun goes down there is nothing to do. You can always walk to Railay Beach, a 15 minute walk through the bushes. Bring a flashlight!
I ordered an ice-cold beer and plunged in a bean bag. The vibe in Tonsai bay is so amazingly laid-back that it is hard to leave! From what I could see this place was definitely a place for hippies mixed with some very well trained rock climbers.
Krabi is famous for its limestone cliffs and apparently here in Tonsai Beach they are perfect for rock climbing. As it seems one of the best things to do in Krabi I will put it on my bucketlist for next time! :)
How to get to Krabi?
Finding out about 12Go Asia was a game changer for me as it made traveling around Thailand much easier. Their transportation search engine will find you the best way to travel from A to B as they compare flights, boats, bus and trains. Prices are fixed and you can book your seat in just a couple clicks. No need to hassle with street vendors and local travel agencies.
I have been around the country many times and can tell you all about my favorite beaches in Thailand, but all of them have their own charm. Since I have spent a lot of time in Koh Tao, there are definitely a couple Koh Tao beaches that make it to my top 10. Check out my article about the best things to do in Koh Tao and you know what I mean.
Backpacking routes for Thailand
Of course is Krabi one of the main destinations in my recommended backpacking Thailand routes. Sincerely one of my favorite places to visit in Thailand. Personally I rank Krabi higher than Phuket. Another great idea for island hopping from Krabi is the nearby Bamboo Island. Go camping on this protected island.
Thailand stole my heart the first time I arrived here in 2008. Ever since I been 17 times and there are a lot of things I miss about Thailand when I am abroad. If you need any help planning your trip to Thailand, worried about the safety issues in Thailand or need some island hopping Thailand tips, click on the links to read my articles.
Considering Philippines to be your next destination? Smart choice! I compared Philippines vs. Thailand in terms of traveling for you. For some serious wanderlust inspiration check my article El Nido Island Hopping and let the stunning drone footage blow your mind.
Thailand Island hopping itineraries are amazing but these places come just a little closer to my definition of paradise. Island hopping is my favorite thing to do and therefore I made this list of the Most Beautiful Tropical Islands with some hidden gems on the list, including of course some places in Thailand.
For cheap domestic flights in Thailand don't forget to read my latest Thailand blog post. And when booking your Thailand transportation go to 12Go Asia: simple, fast, easy and reliable! Book your boat, bus, and train tickets online.
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Enjoy your trip to Krabi!