As well as hosting gorgeous powder-white beaches, towering limestone cliffs and a picture-perfect coastline, Krabi also offers several must-see sightseeing attractions that often involve adventure activities – perfect for active couples.
Paddle a kayak among the soaring limestone outcrops that lie scattered along the shoreline, venture inside collapsed caverns, known locally as hongs (rooms) and whitewater raft the fast flowing rapids of the Songpak River.
Take an elephant safari through tropical rainforest looking out for native wildlife, hop on a water taxi and visit neighbouring beaches, or snorkel coral reefs and offshore islets.
The best attractions include the following…
Stretching along the Krabi coastline and extending into the Andaman Sea, Hat Noppharat Thara National Park is one of southern Thailand’s largest national parks.
Hat Noppharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park (to use its full name) covers an area of 390 square kilometres taking in around 80 offshore islands, including the Phi Phi islands.
Spot wildlife on an elephant safari or explore the park on foot along trails fringing the park’s coastal reaches from both Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara beaches.
For panoramic views, climb Khao Hang Nak, the highest elevation at 498m-high.
Along the way, don’t miss the amazing ‘Seashell Cemetery’ at Fossil Shell Beach (or Su-san Hoi). Here you can examine thousands of tiny, perfectly preserved 40-million-year-old fossil shells embedded in great concrete-like slabs that lie along the shoreline. The fossils date back to an age when the area was a large freshwater swamp.
Fossil Shell Beach is one of only three similar sites in the world – the other two are in the US and Japan. There's a small visitors centre, with geological displays and various stalls selling snacks.
Su-san Hoi is located on Cape Laem Poh facing the Chicken and Poda islands, around 7km west of Ao Nang.
Location: Shell Cemetery – Around 7km west of Ao Nang; Admission: 50 Baht; Hours: Visitors Centre 8.30am-4.30pm.
With its stunning location amid limestone cliffs surrounded by a dense tropical forest, Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple) is home to one of southern Thailand’s most famous meditation centres and offers spectacular panoramic vistas.
Beyond the main temple buildings lies a small valley. From here, take a few deep breaths and prepare yourself for a challenging 40-minute climb up the steep 1272-step stone stairway to the summit of a 600m-high limestone pinnacle. You’ll be rewarded with stunning 360-degree views over the rugged Andaman coastline.
Admire the large seated Buddha, a gilded stupa and a small temple built inside a long, shallow limestone cave lined in places by kùtì (meditation cells). The temple is said to be home to around 250 monks and nuns.
A second stairway, next to a large statue of Kuan Yin (the Mahayana Buddhist Goddess of Mercy), leads into a valley of tall trees and limestone caves. Continue along the path past dozens of kùtì (meditation cells) and you’ll eventually find yourself back where you began, at the foot of the staircase.
Look out for human skulls and skeletons dotted around the compound and close-up photos of human entrails and internal organs in the large main cave temple – all reminders of the impermanence of the body, a fundamental tenet of Buddhist philosophy.
Watch monks in silent meditation and later enjoy a friendly chat with them; the abbot speaks English and welcomes foreign students of meditation.
The best time to visit Wat Tham Seua is either in the early morning or the late afternoon to avoid the tropical heat.
Note: Be wary of the many over-friendly monkeys. Remember to dress modestly if you plan to visit the temple.
Location: Around 8km from of Krabi town; Cost: Private taxi from Krabi – 250 Baht.
Choose from numerous hiking trails to explore this densely forested park packed with picturesque waterfalls and caves.
Check out the large shimmering stalactites and stalagmite formations inside Tham Khao Ping cave and admire the plunging cascades at Namtok Huai Sade, Namtok Klong Hang and the three-tier Namtok Huay Toh waterfall; the latter is just a 350m walk from the park headquarters.
The park is home to abundant wildlife including the Asian tapir, Sumatran serow and the Asiatic black bear, but only the monkeys are commonly seen.
Try to spot some of the extensive birdlife including white-crowned and helmeted hornbills, argus pheasants and the extremely rare Gurney's pitta.
Khao Phanom Bencha National Park covers an area of 50 square kilometres ranging along the spine of 1350m-high Khao Phanom Bencha.
Adventurous couple may wish to take on the challenging three- four-day hike to the peak of Khao Phanom Bencha – two routes are available with overnight stops at Khuan Namkhang.
Accommodation can be found at the Phanom Bencha Mountain Resort (www.phanombenchamountainresort.com).
Location: Around 20km north of Krabi; Admission: 200 Baht; Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm.
Explore on foot or by elephant the last region of lowland tropical rainforest left in Thailand, which is all pleasantly bisected with streams and tumbling cascades.
Along the way try to spot some of the more than 300 species of birds that flitter through the trees, including the rare Gurney’s pitta, green broadbill, black-breasted pitta, chestnut-collared kingfishers, black hornbills and crestwood partridges.
Khao Nor Chuchi covers around 30,000 hectares and is one the last places in the world where it’s still possible to see the rare Gurney’s pitta, a colourful ground-living bird.
Admire native plants from the shaded 2.7km-long Thung Teao Trail that leads to a freshwater pool known as the ‘crystal pool’ and the Thung Teao waterfall where you can stop and swim, or continue on to bathe in the nearby hot springs.
Now surrounded by commercial rubber plantations and oil palm plantations, Khao Nor Chuchi‘s remaining lowland jungle is a glimpse into how Southern Thailand once looked.
Accommodation can be found at the nearby Morakot Resort, 15 Moo 2 Klongtom-Bangtyo Rd., Tumbon Khlong Thom Nua, Amphoe Khlong Thom, Changwat, Krabi 81120.
Location: Around 20km north of Krabi; Cost: Park admission 200 Baht; Hours: 8.30am-4.30pm.
Latest update: Krabi Sights & Attractions: 11 June, 2022