One of the most popular locations in South Thailand for an active traveler, Krabi has a well-developed tourist infrastructure. Different levels of adventure are available, from extreme rock climbing to gentle boat tours. There are still plenty of attractions relatively undiscovered by the tourist crowd, but reaching those would require experience or at least decisiveness. For those who would rather take it easy, there is a number of less unusual but still exciting day trips.
Just a short boat ride away from Krabi town, Railay is a cluster of beaches on an isolated cape, cut off from the mainland by towering karst cliffs. It is usually full of visitors, but beautiful nonetheless, with long strips of sand framed by limestone pinnacles. There are also some nice walks in the area, leading to caves, viewpoints, and even a hidden lagoon - although this last one involves scaling a sheer wall.
Travel agents around Krabi offer a number of boat tours, the most exciting of which is probably the one to Hong Island. "Hong" literally translates as "room", and in this case refers to a large doline inside a karst islet. Tireless waves carved caves in the soft limestone for millennia, until the island got hollowed out, and the roof collapsed under its own weight. This created a lagoon surrounded by vertical walls, only accessible at low tide through an underground channel. There is a tiny crescent of a beach inside this hong, and the setting for a swim is perfect. The tour will also visit a few other islands, all with beaches and good snorkeling opportunities. There are other options, most of them centered on uninhabited islets, wild beaches, and weirdly shaped rocks. Some tours advertise swimming with luminescent plankton, but this is a matter of rare luck – do not hold your hopes high.
A nice way to spend an afternoon is boat tour upriver from Krabi town. Boats depart from Chaofah jetty, visiting a couple of minor natural attractions, such as the twin karst pinnacles promoted as the symbol of Krabi, before arriving at Khao Khanab Nam caves. Two caverns hide a bunch of human bones - prehistoric, if you believe the official explanation. However, rumors suggest those may have been local fishermen stranded and killed during a major flood.
Combining a Buddhist monastery with one of the best viewpoints in the area, Tiger Cave Temple is located further inland and requires land transportation to reach. If you prefer the easy way, travel agents offer day trips from Krabi by minivan, or you could do it yourself by taking a sequence of songtaews (passenger pickup trucks). The latter option will take most of the day. The temple itself is rather typical, with a sacred cave and a small army of Buddha statues, the biggest one overlooking the province from the top level of a karst mountain. The views from up there are beautiful, but you would need your own wheels if you wish to stay for the sunset.
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