- Secluded Thai Island Beaches
- Hidden Beach Hotspots in Krabi
- The BEST Beach in Krabi
Thailand turns beach bumming a professional sport with its plethora of epic beaches. But nowhere in Thailand has the world-class selection of beaches that you’ll find in the southern province of Krabi. Krabi’s beaches and islands are second to none and in this post I’ll go over the best beaches in Krabi and even point out what I feel is the single best beach in Krabi to spend your precious vacation at.
This area of Thailand’s southwest coast is best known for its craggy, towering limestone karst cliffs, lush coastal mangrove forests, and over 100 small islands dotted around the Andaman Sea. Some of its most popular beach destinations include the Phi Phi Islands, which jut from the sea like giant jungled boulders, and Railay Beach, accessible only by boat and a world renown rock-climbing destination. Read on to get all the juicy details…
Krabi Beaches Map
The beaches of Krabi we’re covering are spread out along the province’s rugged coastline. To better help you locate them we put together this awesome little Krabi beaches map.
Beaches in Krabi
Krabi was once a low-key, off the beaten track destination in southern Thailand. Over the past decade however word got out about Krabi’s beautiful white beaches and the area became a top destination for travellers in Thailand. With its pristine white & golden beaches and starkly beautiful karst peaks it is one of the most picturesque places on the globe. It’s no wonder then, that the beaches of Krabi often make top international beach & vacation roundups.
Offering a beach for every traveler—Families, backpackers, luxury seekers, resort fiends and even climbers— Krabi becomes an attractive destination for many. No matter your travel style there’s a Krabi beach that can cater to it!
Mainland Beaches in Krabi
The best beach in Krabi could be one of the any of the beautiful examples on the provinces mainland. More easily accessible than the Krabi beaches that are island bound off the coast these beaches are well worth a visit while you’re in the area!
Ao Nang Beach
Ao Nang is one of the best known beaches in Krabi only a short drive from the province’s capital Krabi Town. Ao Nang village is the center of the tourist scene on the Krabi mainland. It’s definitely the most westernized and developed beach in the area and very popular with European tourists. There’s a lot of hustle and bustle near the main beachfront road and its quite a family friendly (if touristy) spot.
Ao Nang Beach (and its neighbor Noppharat Thara Beach) act as the area’s main hopping off point for long-tail boats, ocean going day tours and ferry transfers to the islands and Phuket. Because of this, the beach is always congested. Unfortunately this ruins much of Ao Nang beach for me, but never fear, you can still enjoy it!
The best spot for enjoying the sun, sand and waves at Ao Nang is on the far south end of the beach near the limestone cliffs where the boat traffic drops off. Follow the beach to the headlands and then follow the “monkey trail” for 10-15 minutes to find this area of Ao Nang. Keep your valuables secure around the south end of the beach, its not thieves but the local monkeys you need to worry about.
Read More: Climbing Krabi’s Tiger Cave Temple
Ton Sai Beach
Just around the headlands south of Ao Nang beach Ton Sai Beach is a whole different world. While the seafloor here is rocky and full of coral limiting its swim-ability the beach has a great laid back atmosphere for relaxing and soaking up the sun and tons of world class rock climbing to keep you busy! It’s not the best beach in Krabi but still worth a visit during your stay!
You might be shocked if you dont do your research. Tonsai is like the undeveloped hippie version of Railay Beach. Its cheaper and more laid back but you’ll also find a distinct lack of WIFI and daytime electricity. It’s a great escape from our connected world!
Railay Beach is the postcard you think of when talking about the best beach in Krabi. Surrounded by soaring limestone karsts its no wonder this Krabi Beach is a favorite among rock climbers & sun seekers from all around the world.
Located on the Railay Peninsula jutting into the ocean from the Krabi mainland this beach cant be reached by road. Accessible only by boat this Krabi beach has a more laid back island vibe with no vehicles, a reduced number of tourists and less of the blatant commercialism that can be a blight on some other Krabi Beaches.
The tall limestone walls surrounding the beach offer world class rock climbing. Climbers from around the globe flock to Krabi Province to hone their skills on the more than 700 bolted climbing routes around Railay Beach. There’s something for every skill set from beginner 5.6 climbs to expert overhanging roofs. Though I didn’t have a chance to climb at Railay beach during my visit its at the top of my list when (not if) I return.
As with any day-trip destination, to truly experience the magic that is Railay Beach you’ll need to see it after the crowds have gone. Staying at Railay beach is the best way to make this happen and there are numerous small accommodation and food establishments to serve any price range.
Tham Phra Nang Beach
Just south of beautiful Railay Beach this quieter and calmer beach in Krabi is a real hit among the tourists who find it. Gorgeous views to Poda, Tub & Chicken Islands greet you from any spot you’d choose on the beautiful white sands. Closer to shore, “Happy Island” is a great spot to snorkel and can even be walked to at low tide.
Phra Nang is sometimes known locally as Princess Cave Beach or Phranang Cave Beach due to the tall limestone cliff that contains a cave, said to be the home of a mythical sea princess. For beach goers up for a little extra adventure a hike into the side of the mountain reveals a hidden lagoon known as Sa Phra Nang or Holy Princess Pool. While the climb is a bit challenging it’s well worth the effort to explore this additional Krabi beach.
Even if you dont manage to dedicate a day to visiting Phra Nang Beach you can still stop in as part of the standard 4-Island Tour run by every tour operator in the area.
Had Yao Beach
Had Yao (otherwise know as long beach), located south of Krabi Town is a seemingly endless stretch of golden sand lapped by gentle waves and backed by palm groves. The vibe here is laid back and slow, much more local, seemingly as if you were on island time. Had Yao is a great spot to escape the tourist hoards and enjoy a few days on the beach with a good book.
Off the beaten track, half an hour north of Ao Nang, this Krabi Beach receives very few outsiders and even fewer tourists. The beaches here might as well be private for the use of resort guests only as you’ll never find them crowded. Being free from the ever-present longtail boats of Railay and Ao Nang this Krabi Beach is notably more peaceful.
Being isolated the hotel and dining options are limited, but you’re also not inundated with noise, hawkers or garbage. All of which is perfect for people who want a quiet, luxury break or an escape from the usual holiday crowd.
The end of this beach abuts the National Park. From here, adventurous travellers can undertake a 4KM hike to the peak of Ngon Nak (Dragons Crest), a rugged mountain with spectacular views over Phrag Nga Bay and a few epic photo locations. Although short this trek should only be undertaken with enough time and water, its a tough one.
Island Beaches in Krabi
As much fun as the mainland beaches can be we all have an image in our heads about what southern Thailand is. For most of us that image is the beaches of the Thai islands. Its quite possible that one of these exotic islands could hold the best beach in Krabi!
Beaches of Koh Hong Island
Koh Hong Island is an amazing way to get away from the craziness of the more popular beaches in Krabi. Spending a day doing nothing but relaxing on virgin white sands of what could be the best beach in Krabi should be high on your list of priorities!
This stunning horseshoe shaped rock, whose name literally translates to “Hollow Island”, with its rocky shores, doesn’t look like much from the outside. Once your boat navigates around it and through a narrow 10M gap to its inner lagoon you’ll instantly understand why this spot makes it onto a search for the best beach in Krabi!
The island offers mind-blowing scenery, soft white-sand beaches, coral reefs teaming with life and a beautiful shallow, sheltered lagoon perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Like Koh Poda (below) Koh Hong is part of the Phi Phi National Park so luckily you wont find any built up tourist amenities. Instead you’ll get to enjoy the island in its full unadulterated glory!
The downside to Koh Hong, and something that could keep it from being the best beach in Krabi is the fact that there is no scheduled services to the island. This is a double edged sword, on one side, it keeps the island quiet, calm and peaceful. On the other, however, it means that getting to Koh Hong can be quite expensive (for Thailand anyways). A long tail boat, good for 6-8 people can be chartered from Krabi, Railay or Ao Nang for ~2500 baht round trip.
Koh Poda Beach
Koh Poda sits off the coast of the Railay beach peninsula and is one of the last great beaches in Krabi. As part of the Hat Noppharat Thara–Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park—say that three times fast—the island and its stunning beaches are protected and uninhabited.
Although Koh Poda is part of almost all of the “Island Tours” run out of Krabi and Ao Nang and therefore busy by default, simply heading down the beach away from the longtail boats provides a welcome reprieve from the throngs of sun seekers. Here, the fine white beach is yours, and yours along to enjoy.
A private boat to the island can be hired for only a few thousand baht. Spending a day lazing about on the crisp white sands and deep turquoise waters of Koh Poda make this an expense worth splurging for! This could be the best beach in Krabi!
Kantiang Bay (Koh Lanta)
Kantiang Bay is often called the best of the beaches on Koh Lanta. Perched on the south end of Koh Lanta’s main island this golden crescent of sand is protected by a large rocky headland and backed by rugged Thai forests. Through the heat of the day the beach side trees provide some welcome shade to visitors and vendors alike. With clear waters, clean sands and negligible currents the swimming at Kantiang Bay is some of the best around!
Somewhat secluded this beach is almost never packed and offers a relaxing, peaceful atmosphere in which you can laze around, enjoy a good book or take jealousy inducing selfies for your friends back home!
Phi Phi Islands
How could we talk about the beaches in Krabi without mentioning the world-famous Phi Phi Islands. Located just off the coast like emeralds in the sparkling sapphire blue of the Andaman Sea the Phi Phi islands (Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don) could be argued to have the best beach in Krabi.
Many would argue that Koh Phi Phi is the epitome of “over-crowded”, “over-commercialized” or indeed “inauthentic” when it comes to Thai islands. Few however would argue that the beaches here, amongst the lush greens and azure blues, were anything but the best that the province of Krabi has to offer.
From the crowded central beaches of Tonsai & Loh Dalum Bays to the ever popular (perhaps too popular for its own good) Maya Beach famously used as the location for the Hollywood movie and book “The Beach” Phi Phi has something for everyone!
At low tide rent a kayak and take a paddle over to monkey beach where, as the name suggests, you’ll be greeted by an expectant colony of monkeys. The uncrowded stretches of sand found here might be the best beach in Krabi, or at least one of the top beaches on Koh Phi Phi.
Read More: 11 Amazing Things to Do on Koh Samui
The Best Beach in Krabi
With so many amazing beaches to choose from it’s hard to pick just one. Picking the best Beach in Krabi took a lot of time and consideration. That said, what I think is the best beach in Krabi may not be your choice of the Krabi beaches. To each their own!
That said, my favorite and arguably the best beach in Krabi is…
The Uninhabited & Unspoiled beaches of Koh Hong Island. These special beaches may be off the beaten track but they’re better because of it! Whether you visit the stunning central lagoon or one of the island’s outer beaches you’ll find your own slice of paradise to enjoy.
Krabi Beaches Video
Don’t miss out on these epic, world-class beaches! If you visit Thailand without seeing the beaches of Krabi did you ever really visit Thailand in the first place??
The Take Away
Its time to grab your rolling luggage, pack your travel backpack, book some cheap airfare and get out there to Explore, Create & Educate! Honestly you cant go wrong when choosing between these amazing Krabi beaches. No matter which you choose to visit you’ll enjoy your experience! Have you been to a beach in Krabi that should be on this list?? We’d love to hear about it!!