Krabi Town is a functioning Thai town that's been around long before international tourists started to visit Krabi. It's charming, laid back, and as much as the word is overused, it's very local. Tourism has arrived, but Krabi Town doesn't jump through hoops to bring in foreigners; as the main commercial and transit point for the province, it doesn't need to. Its unique personality is a welcome contrast to the surrounding beach areas.
Kao Kanab Nam
These two hills, roughly 100 meters high, flank the Krabi River running between them to form a distinctive vista and the town's most prominent landmark.
To visit them, take a long-tail boat from Chao Fa Pier; travel time is just 15 minutes. From there take stairs leading up to caves with stalactites and stalagmites.
A large number of human skeletons have been found here. It is theorized that they and the remains of people who came and established a home at Kanab Nam, but were cut off by an inundation and quickly perished.
NOPPARAT Thara is a long beach (around 5km), split into two halves by a river. The side closest to Ao Nang is the most developed as it is bordered by the main road; access to the other side is by boat only, or by a dirt track from the road to Klong Muang. The beach is known locally as Klong Haeng or 'dry river', a reference to the distance the water retreats at low tide, often so far that you can walk out to the small islands in front of it! Klong Haeng is also the name of the village closest to the beach, some 700m away.
The name Nopparat Thara is that of the local National Park to which most of the beachfront land supposedly belongs; however in the last 2-3 years most of the trees have been felled and hotels and shopping plazas put up in their place. Even the National Park itself is building more bungalows to accommodate the Ao Nang 'overspill' and has also created a large car park and camping ground for the Thai daytrippers and school groups who come to picnic here.
All this activity now means Nopparat justifies a page of its own (although much of the information we provide about neighbouring Ao Nang also applies here).
As befits a place that has been developed higgeldy-piggedly, there is a stark range of accommodation along the recently widened beach road. There is one huge five-star complex in the style of a Thai palace (Ayodhoya Suites - still under construction); several 3-star hotels; a family resort; smart new guesthouses; and a whole host of locally-run budget bungalows, set further back from the beach, along the dirt road to the boxing stadium. As development is on-going, it is possible that you find yourself staying next to a construction site; please check for up-to-date information in our Krabi forum.
Many people who stay here catch a tuk-tuk (20B per person) to Ao Nang to eat and drink, although there are a growing number of decent restaurants and small bars along the centre of the strip near Deang Plaza, as well as around Luna Bar at the corner nearest to Ao Nang and at the far end of the beach near the river.
On the other side of the river the beach continues and it is also possible to stay here, if you are looking for real seclusion - it is only accessible by (irregular) boat - and don't mind the sandflies which can plague sunbathers.
The main beach area is more pleasant and open than Ao Nang, especially now with the new benches, pavilions and off-road walkways along its length. It also attracts more of a mixed crowd, including at the weekend many Thai people, who like to splash about in the shallow water. In general the scene is more 'backpacker' than Ao Nang but also includes those of all ages who want the convenience of staying near Ao Nang (access to tours, transport etc.), without the Ao Nang crowds and prices. Nopparat certainly offers better value for money if you take proximity to a beach as the measure.
Susan Hoi or Fossils Shell Beach Situated at Ban Laem Pho, 17 kilometres from town. The area was once a large freshwater swamp, home to a kind of snail. Over eons dating from the Tertiary Age, about 40 million years ago, these snails lived and died by the million. Eventually, weather changes caused the swamp's disappearance, but by then the layer of fossilised snail shells was forty centimeters thick, resting on ten centimeters of lignite below which is the subsoil. Because of geographic upheaval, the fossilised shells are now distributed in great broken sheets of impressive magnitude on the seashore at Laem Pho.
Wat Tham Suea, which literally means tiger cave temple, is located in the Khiriwong Valley amidst lush forests and mountains with large trees over a hundred years old approximately 9 kilometers northeast of Krabi Town. Aside from being the site of a meditation center, the compound is also a place of archaeological and historical interest as excavations have uncovered stone tools, pottery remains and Buddha footprint crafting molds. In addition, a cave in the compound has what appears to be tiger paw prints in the stone.
Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam
It is located at Ban Nong Chik, Mu 2, Tambon Khao Khram, a distance of 34 kilometres from the provincial town of Krabi. To get there, proceed along Highway No. 4 (Krabi - Ao Luek route) onto Km. 126 and take a left turn for another 5 kilometres. Pa Phru or peat swamp forest of the canal of Tha Pom features a number of water sources, which originate from the Chong Phra Kaeo pool. Tha Pom is called Khlong Song Nam by the locals, which in Thai literally means "two water canal", because of its special feature location where crystal clear freshwater, which the pool’s floor and the roots of Lumphi palm (Eleiodoxa conferta) are virtually visible, meets seawater from the mangrove forest. Tha Pom features a natural trail made of lath. Wooden chairs are located at certain points for nature lovers to conveniently admire the view of the place.