Krabi is a small city with a population of around 360,000. Located just upriver from the coast, it has no beaches and most visitors make a beeline for Had Yao, Ao Nang or Rai Leh (Railay). Nevertheless, Krabi is a relaxed place which is pleasant enough for travellers to spend a night or two and one can certainly better experience Thailand here than in Ao Nang or the other beach resorts.
It is actually pronounced "Grabee"
Direct connections are by air, road and sea from other parts of Thailand.
Krabi International Airport (KBV) is about 10 km from the city limits, 15km from city centre. It is 40km from Ao Nang and 23km from Had Yao. The international departure tax surcharge is 700 baht but is included in most tickets now; domestic departure tax is included in the price of the flight.
Getting to/from airport: An airconditioned airport bus service links the airport with Krabi Town, Ao Nang and Noppharat Thara Beach. Fares are 90baht to Krabi and 150 baht to Ao Nang/Noppharat Thara. Buses meet all flight arrivals. For times to the airport, see Ao Nang page.
Songthaews run from Krabi Town to the airport and cost 30-50 baht, depending how much they overcharge you. Going to the airport, they will drop you at the departure terminal. From the airport, you will have to walk out and catch them along the main road to Krabi, a distance of about 400m.
Krabi does not have a railway station. Most travellers head to Surat Thani and Hat Yai and transfer onto buses to Krabi from there. See the Surat Thani and Hat Yai page for train times. See also "By Bus" section below for bus connections.
To/from Bangkok: Buses to/from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (tel. +66-24351199) take about 12 hours and depart as follows:
Please note: Prices change, this information is quite old, expect about 100-200B increase. As of November, 2014, prices were 643 baht for a second class ticket.
One of the private bus companies is Lignite which can be booked in advance online and goes from the Southern Terminal. Advance booking is advisable because this type of long distance bus service has limited schedule daily. Most of the departure schedules are in the evening and are overnight bus. This is the trick to travel from Bangkok to Krabi, so that passengers arrive in Krabi is next morning. The actual schedule as checked online as of Sept 2016 is 0700, 1730, 1920, 1930 and 2040. The fares are around B650 except for the 1920 VIP bus which is about B950.
In Krabi, buses arrive/depart from the bus terminal at Taladkao, about 5km north of town and about 20km from Ao Nang, the reputable tourist beach resort. There is city bus which connects Krabi Taladkao bus terminal and Ao Nang at high frequency departures during the day.
To/from Surat Thani: Public buses run from Krabi's bus station Talat Kao. These airconditioned public buses are run by Phantip and cost 150 bahts. They leave Krabi at the following times (correct in November 2012): 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 11:00, 12:30, 13:30, 15:00 & 16:30. Tickets can be bought at the bus station or on the bus.
Make sure to buy the ticket at the bus station ticket office or on the bus and not from a travel agent. The trip should take no more than three hours, but some travellers have endured ridiculous ten hour rides on private buses (giving thieves ample time to go through the bags underneath the bus) which included extensive "repair stops" right in front of restaurants coincidentally affiliated with the bus company.
To/from Phuket: Shuttle buses run between Krabi airport or Krabi Town and Phuket airport several times a day. There are also mini-buses that make the 2 hour run (more likely to be 3 hours). They depart every hour from Phuket bus station for 120 baht.
To/from Hat Yai: More spacious government aircond Bus/Coach departs from Hat Yai Bus Station to Krabi Bus station. Cost around 220-250 bhts. It takes from 4-5 hours to reach Krabi. Buy ticket from counters at the center of bus station depart at 06:30, 07:30, 08:50, 10:45(peak hours), 12:30, 13:30, 13:45(peak hours), 14:40, 17:20, 18:45(peak hours) and 20:30. Normal price at 186 baht and peak hour at 239 baht. This bus will drop at Trang before reach Krabi and last destination at Phuket (Trang - Krabi - Phang Nga - Kok Kloy - Phuket)
By mini van
To/from Hat Yai: Mini-Vans (may be very campy for Caucasians because of limited space in van) take just over 4-5 hours, and cost around 250 Bt, and pick up / drop off at Krabi Town, you will need to top up extra 100-200 baht per person to the driver to get them to drop you at your Ao Nang hotel. Direct service between Hatyai hotel and Ao Nang hotel is especially good for those who have luggage and have trouble to transfer bus between Krabi town and Ao Nang. Advance online booking is available for the mini van service between Hatyai hotel and Ao Nang hotel at BusOnlineTicket 
Please take note the mini vans often go around different hotels in Hat Yai to pick up other customers before departing from Hat Yai and may take as long as 1 hour during low seasons period.
Ferries run from/to Ko Phi Phi, Ko Jum and Ko Lanta daily. Most depart in the morning. Tickets can be purchased at the dock or from tourist offices and most local guesthouses and hotels. The normal passenger ferry does not start from the centre of town anymore, but from a new passenger port about 4 km outside Krabi (Klong Jilad). Free taxi transfer to the pier should be included in the price of your ticket. If your boat starts from the old piers in the center of town (Chao Fah pier or Phi Phi pier), you are most likely on a more expensive and longer tourist boat ride. Also, make sure that when you arrive at the airport the taxi driver takes you to the correct pier. Many times they'll take you to a travel agent near the old pier and sell you additional accommodations or services. Only ever buy the ticket you need. Prices will often get cheaper the closer you get to your next destination.
There is one ferry a day from Krabi town to Ko Yao Noi at 11 am. Frequent speedboats and longtail boats run from Krabi Thalen Pier which is about 27 km West of Krabi town. Speedboat costs 150 bahts and longtail boat costs 120 bahts.
Ferry tickets to Ko Phi Phi are 300 baht as of September 2012, including pickup and transport to the pier outside town. High season price is 100 baht more (signs may list 400 bath, but the low season price is only 300). In fact, two of the four daily boats actually run for 250 bath, but you may have a hard time finding someone to sell for this price (this is easier when buying your return ticket on Ko Phi Phi).
The large displayed time-tables in the many travel agencies are just for show and the times are often not to be taken literally. Ask. As of September 2012, there were four ferries a day from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi a day, including: 9am and 2:30pm. They may add additional ferries during high-season.
The pier at Klong Jilad, for ferries to and from Ko Phi Phi has a taxi desk with posted prices: 150 baht to Krabi town, and 350 baht to the airport.
To/from Ao Nang: White-coloured songthaews run from Krabi Bus station to Krabi Town to Ao Nang via Klong Jilard, Sai Thai, Ao Nang Junction Village and Noppharat Thara Beach. Fares 50-60 baht during the day until 18:00, 60-100 baht between 18:00 and 22:00. They run every ten minutes during the day and every 30 minutes after 18:00. In Krabi Town, songthaews depart 100 metres from the 7-Eleven on Thanon Maharat (Vogue Shopping Centre), just to the side of Soi 8.
You can use either the songthaew or a taxi. From the bus station a taxi will cost B100 as it is about a 4Km trip.
Songteows have changed as at April 2015. As you come out of the bus station, there should be dark brown songteows nearby on the right, and white ones to the left. Ask if they are going into town (they should be) The brown ones leave the bus station and turn left, then shortly later, left again. They then go a few hundred metres and do a U turn, before turning right into the city road (on the other side of where they left the bus terminal. they then continue along the river road some 4km to the city, and turn right into the road where the night market is on the right, and the City hotel on the left. The next intersection you will come to is the one where the male prehistoric statues hold up the traffic lights.
The white ones go to the left of the Terminal, and head into the City on the main road away from the river. They stop in the city centre, close to Soi 8 and about 100 metres from the Vogue shopping centre, and continue on to Ao Nang.
Cost is now B20 unless you use them as a private hire. Usually they just do the round trip collecting locals on the way to and from.
From the bus station: To the right as you look out is a road past the market to the main road into town, a couple of hundred metres distant. (on the right of this road, about 4Km -but you cannot turn right into it, see above). Brown and white songteows wait at the bus station (see above for route). To the left of this road, about 100 metres is a three way intersection - to the left is to Phuket, and the right to Surat. As you go to the right you will pass the Big C a couple of Km out on the left. To the left of this a couple of hundred metres is the road to the Tiger Temple and is about one Km walk. Continuing, is Tesco Lotus on the left, followed a couple of Km also on the left is the road to the airport.
To the Tiger Temple from town, pay B200 in a taxi. With a songteow - opposite and a couple of hundred metres up from from the pier (opposite the police station)is a songteow stop at Maharaj Soi 7. Blue ones go to Tesco Lotus and other out of town places (this is on the way to the airport and Tiger Temple) Brown ones go to the bus station and charge B20 as at April 2015. Blue with white/yellow/red stripe (variable) go to the airport.
To get to and from Ao Nang - in the centre of town on Maharaj Rd (main road) near the traffic lights where male statues hold them up (you will know once you see this!) is a Vogue shopping complex. A white songteow goes from 100 metres further along from here, away from the traffic lights, and next to Soi 8, to Ao Nang and costs B60. It will come into Ao Nang along the beach road.
With the songteow, push the button to stop where you want to get off, then go and pay the driver.
If you want to be more adventurous and hire a car, then Krabi Friendly Car Rental, krabicarhire.com (ph 075 612558, 081 6071494)will do it for you. The Writer hired a car for a day as at May 2012, and the rental is for 24 hours- the hire was at 1pm, and returned at 1pm the next day. You must post a "bond" (by credit card)in case someone who is uninsured runs into you or you are at fault. This is B10,000(and is returned to you at the end of the hire if no problems). At the point of hire,the company checked all damage on the car and recorded it so when the Writer returned,there was no problem. The lady who delivered the car spoke reasonable English.Hire is B1300 per day of 24 hours, plus refill of petrol. The writer did a fair bit of driving and the refill was B700,costing B2000 for the 24 hours.
Go get a relaxing but powerful (and wildly inexpensive) massage, or couples massage, at Dhara Massage and Spa. The two women working there must have real certifications and training, and they are very focused in their work. Just off Thanon Issara on the small street near Soi Ruamjit. If you're walking away from the water on Issara, pass major street Th. Ma Ha Rat on your right, then take your first left and it will be on your left.
There is very nice yoga studio accross the street of Smile Guest house. It is on second floor, while on the first floor is handicraft and souveniers shop. It is called Green Yoga. The instructor, Mai, is super nice Thai lady. Twice a day, morning 9am and evening 6pm. They have different program for each class including hatha, vinyasa, blind yoga and yoga nindra. There is laughing yoga for free every friday at 6pm(updated feb 2016)
Krabi Town is far cheaper than any of the tourist resorts - this is reflected in the price of food and drinks especially. There are markets selling both food and crafts (see 'Eat' below). Also there is a Vogue department store where real items can be found cheaper than in Ao Nang. Do check out the Tesco Lotus Shopping Mall and Big C which are near the airport. Prices are cheap and there are lots of eateries available there. There are a few art gallery offering affordable pop art pieces.
At night there is a night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Some say the food is good and cheap, whilst others argue that it is actually sub-standard. The night market is a tourist attraction, as such food and hygiene is not to local standards. It's advisable to eat where you see locals eating. From time to time the town organizes shows on a small stage next to the market.
An even better market can be found on Maharat Soi (Lane) 10 in the center of town. This market has plenty of fresh fruit and lots of authentic cooked food. Only a few places have menus, otherwise point and enjoy. This market does not sell alcohol. There is also the new 'Walking Street' night market, between Vogue Department store and ViengThong Hotel, Fri-Sun, 5-10pm which sells food and general items such as clothes and handicrafts etc, and there is a largish seating area.
Not to be missed is the covered morning market (the biggest in South Thailand) on Maharaj Soi 9 (behind the Shell station). For early birds only. After 8am all the action is subsiding. Exactly at that time you can watch a show of national pride: the national anthem is playing and almost everyone comes to a standstill for a minute. The best place to get all kinds of fresh fruit and vegetable, khao njao (sticky rice), PatongKhoo, ChaRaawn (sweetened Thai-Tea) or fresh hot soymilk. The section of fresh fish and meat sellers is for hardened stomachs only.
There are also night street eats opposite the Vogue shopping complex, and they have menus in English. A good feed of Thai food will cost about 50 Baht, and there are tables and chairs out back, with cutlery, cups etc. If you want drinks other than water, go to the 711 across the road and buy them there - they will open beer if you ask them.
There are several Italian restaurants of varying degrees of authenticity. Viva has Italian management.
Since August 2010 Tamarind restaurant in ChaoFaa road is a good option too with amazingly good Pizza from 150-190TB, thin and crispy; french fries are terribly soft though, and the pricey Tuna-salad wins a prize for lack of creativity.
Fantastic Thai food available from 31 kitchen next to Fubar.
The Sin-O-Cha bakery next to Vogue department store does meals and is a good place for breakfast or to have coffee and cake. At night the pavement pancake stall outside the bakery is always packed with locals, the pancakes are larger than those at other stalls.
Angeli restaurant, about 2km from the center on Marharat road, next to a (small) Tesco, has very nice atmosphere and very good local dishes from 120 TB. Open every day but closing between 3 and 5pm.
You can get great western and thai breakfast (and maybe even the best coffee) at Relax Coffee near the pier.
There's a great homey little tea shop called The Art of Tea across from Chaofah Park between Maharaj 6 and Maharaj 10. A range of different teas as well as breakfast items at reasonable prices, and miss Mae makes great iced masala chai. The french toast with honey is scrumptious and lighter than expected. Don't come if you're in a rush though, each food and drink item is made to order and they're not about rushing the process (Thai Style).
Arun is a good breakfast place too (same roadside as Relax, more colourful atmosphere, here it is better go for the fresh Thai-coffee version: a large, very strong coffee. closed during low season.
During low season are very few restaurants open at all! The floating restaurant (RuenPae) was open as well as a couple near the tourist area towards the pier, but in the town very little at all.
The floating restaurant near the police station at the river has a brilliant position overviewing the Mangrove-river and the landmark-rocks, but the food is very mediocre. It provides mosquito coils to keep these pests away from your legs. As at March 2013, a good fish dinner for two, beer included, was B400.
There are a number of bars and cafe bars in Krabi town centre that cater to tourists, expats and natives. A few of them will have live bands at the weekend belting out cover songs, though Rocky Bar has live music every night. Stick to the main areas and it is most unlikely you will have anything but a pleasant time.
The Roof Top Bar above KR Mansion next to the 7 eleven on Chao Fa Road is an option. Its a good place to watch the sunset and have a cocktail.The friendly British girl who runs it is a great source of information on the locality. Writer noticed that bar is closed and abandoned march 11th 2014) Old West bar in Krabi town run by Charlie and his wife offer the best meeting place in Krabi Town for travellers. Playing old school rock music every night, good priced local beers, and most of all Charlie offers a fantastic range of cocktails which are hand blended are poured out in front of you. The bar was recently renovated and opens early offering a one stop breakfast, dinner and food venue after travelling from Ao Nang before and after the beach on the 40 minute ride on a white song thaw.
The Baan Sabai Bar, in Uttarakit Road is also a good option if you like to listen to Hip Hop tunes and have a cold beer or a cocktail. It also transmits Live Football and its open until late everyday, where you can play pool or darts and meet other travelers or local people. It also has snacks and the kitchen is open until late night.
FUBAR II is a cool reggae bar tucked in an alleyway on Chao Fa Road. Find it hidden in between 31 Restaurant and Bamboo Tattoo. Made of driftwood and with a certain chilled out vibe, it's hard to believe that this place is in town and not on the beach. Fubar II plays great music and serves ice-cold beer and a range of cocktails and has a pool table and other games like Jenga. They have live bands on Saturdays and sometimes during the week. Open till late.
Most of the budget hotels are on Chao Faa Road. This is a couple of streets further along the river road from where the brown bus station songteow turns into the city and part way up a hill. The road is on the right hand side, and curves to the left after about 100 metres.
The central town area is flooded with a variety of guesthouses. Most have wifi and can arrange tours, tickets and trips to the islands. In the low season, you can get a room from 100 baht.
Nationwide television, cable TVs and local cable TV channels are available. International newspapers and magazines are available at some bookstores.
Landline telephones, satellite phones, all mobile phone systems, high-speed internet (ADSL) are available.
There is also a main post office on Uttrakit Rd. about a block south of Chao Fa Rd. with parcel services.
Getting to the bus station will cost you 20 baht each (as at 2014) in the red/brown songthaews that go through the town centre, and also the white ones returning from Ao Nang.
Note there are both buses and more expensive minivans.
A bus or minibus which goes towards Phang Nga will get you there quite cheaply.
For Trang the government bus fare from the bus station is 125 baht and for minivan with hotel pickup a quote was 350 baht.