My Top 5 destinations in South East Asia No. 3

3. Krabi town, Thailand

Of all the destinations on this list, Krabi town is by far my most visited.
Being only an hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, this is my favorite getaway.
After visiting this area a dozen times it starts to feel like my second home in South East Asia.

Most visitors will only know Krabi because it is the hub to touristy places like Ao Nang, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta or any of the surrounding islands and beaches, but Krabi town is a perfect base for daytripping and exploring the area.

This is one of them: Tonsai beach on the Railay peninsula, just half an hour longtail boat from Krabi town. This peninsula with beautiful beaches feels like an island, because it is totally cut off by jungle mountains and only reachable by boat.

the-limestone-cliffs-of-railay-near-krabi-town

(taken with my Huawei P6)

Despite Krabi town being a gateway it is very ´Thai´ with only a couple of overnight tourists ready to move on…

I went to most of the popular places and islands around, mainly in rainy season, because it´s more quiet and only means an afternoon downpour or thunderstorm, but they were still too busy, noisy or unfriendly for me.

On the other hand if you go ´off the beaten track´ there are so many daytrips to be made from Krabi town. Most I did on my rental scooter and I even put it on a local boat to the island of Koh Yao Noi, which is surrounded by these limestone mountains rising from the sea, like a quiet Ha Long Bay in Vietnam.

the-limestone-mountains-bursting-from-the-sea-make-the-phang-nga-area-into-a-small-ha-long-bay

(1/320, F5, ISO400, 109mm)

Koh Yao Noi is hardly visited and most of the 4000 muslim inhabitants live from fishing, rice and rubber farming and are some of the friendliest people I´ve met.

The reason why I love this area so much is that even after all these visits there is still a lot to see and do in the proximity of Krabi town.
Or just exploring the backroads on scooter can be breathtaking.

exploring-the-green-backroads-around-krabi-on-scooter

(taken with Xiaomi Rednote 3)

Last visit I drove to a natural park (30 min. North), where a river flows into the mangrove forest and mixes with the salt water to make these beautiful clear emerald waters.

a-river-runs-into-the-wetlands-making-its-clear-water-in-phang-nga-np-thailand
(1/80, f8, iso400, 10mm)

Krabi town itself doesn´t have any beaches, but is located next to a river facing extensive mangrove wetlands, which is another worthwhile (boat)trip.

The famous landstone cliffs where the river runs into the town of Krabi
(taken with Huawei P6)

It is mainly a market town and I´ve never seen a place buzzing with so many markets where the locals sell off their craftwork (at the weekend night market), seafood, meat, vegetables and fruit.
These photos are made around several wet markets.

local-muslim-women-selling-their-goods-at-a-market-in-southern-thailand-ii
(1/200, f5.6, iso800, 154mm)

Even the younger family members help out.

even-the-young-help-out-on-this-market-in-krabi
(1/200, f5.6, iso800, 171mm)

Most days I start with a coffee opposite the small but busy daily market in the center of town…

daily-coffee-with-a-view-of-the-wet-market-in-krabi-thailand
(taken with my Xiaomi Redmi note 3)

And then head out by scooter to explore some remote waterfall, beach, mountains (etc.) or maybe visit some of the familiar faces around the area in their (reggae/ beach)-bars, restaurants or shops. The nice thing about this place is there are many like-minded expats, (some)tourists and locals that prefer to stay here instead of the crowded areas nearby and getting to know them is always interesting.

But whatever made my day I will always end up at the night food market next to the river, where they cook up some of the best (and cheap) Thai dishes I´ve had in Thailand.
This is just after they start up at around 5pm.

my-favorite-nightmarket-and-food-in-thailand-in-krabi-town

(1/100, f2.8, iso200, 58mm)

And this was taken from a bar opposite the market around closing time (around 1am).

local-nightmarket-on-the-river-of-krabi

(1/1250, f3.1, iso200, 29mm)

I guess I (again) surpassed my longest post ever, but this place has so much to offer and always received me with open arms, that it was hard to contain my enthousiasm.

So for anyone that ever comes through Krabi (town), make sure to enjoy real Thai life and not head to the spoilt places.

36 thoughts on “My Top 5 destinations in South East Asia No. 3

  1. Pingback: My favorite destination in South East Asia | El Bueno, El Feo y El Malo

  2. Pingback: My favorite destination in South East Asia | El Bueno, El Feo y El Malo

  3. Tonsai beach is very popular with climbers. It’s thrilling to watch them “send” routes like “sex power” (I think that’s what my favourite one was called), where they have to do dynamic moves that have them leap from the cliff wall to the gigantic stalactite that drops off the wall. Spectacular setting. And it has monkeys too!

    • Oh yeah, Tonsai was really nice, loved the atmosphere among climbers there, although I´m not one myself, great to watch! There has been some changes with a new development taking up the whole beach and the chill reggaebars had to move back into the jungle, still good vibe, but not on the beach any more😦
      Monkeys there were pretty good in stealing there dinner from the tourists, although everybody was well aware of the threat!
      Have a great week,
      Ron

    • Always worth it going back to SE Asia and the food is unbeatable imo, actually going back to Krabi next week, and although I cannot complain about food in KL, still looking forward to the nightmarket stuff in Thailand😉
      Thanks, Jane, have a great week!

  4. Ron, thank you for this tour of Krabi Town. What a gorgeous place in terms of natural rescources. The food and culture sound so interesting. I doubt I will ever get there (although you never know!) so I’m appreciative of this post.

    • You´re very welcome, so nice to hear you took the trip with me here, such an interesting place andI´m always intrigued that it´s in the middle of all this spoilt tourism but this town feels relatively untouched! Have a great day and thank for your enthusiasm!
      Greetings, Ron

    • Good morning, Paula, thanks, great place, actually going back there next week😉
      Definitely true about more humans appearing, but these are all aprt of the travel story, don´t think they would have made my ´photography´ standards otherwise!
      Enjoy your day and weekend ahead,
      Ron

    • Thanks very much, YC, the mangrove forest with its clear water was so intrigueing to see what happens with all these tangling roots! Will be back here next week and to be honest the food on the night market is what I´m looking forward to most😉
      My best regards, Ron

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