Difference between revisions of "Krabi Town"
Revision as of 03:07, 14 November 2011
Krabi is a small city with a population of around 25,000. 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.
Direct connections are by air, road and sea from other parts of Thailand.
To/from Ko Samui
To/from outside Thailand
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.
National Car Rental has a branch at the airport; motorcycle taxi rides are available outside the terminal. Krabi Limousine (tel. +66-75692073) has a desk inside the terminal and provides "limousine taxi" (using large air-conditioned sedans) transport to Krabi for 500 baht; Ao Nang for 800 baht; Phuket for 2500 baht. travelkrabi.com offers taxi and minibus (minivans) for less however travellers have to make deposit payment of 200 baht online via credit card.
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 transfer onto buses to Krabi from there. See the Surat Thani page for train times and the "By Bus" section below for bus connections between Krabi and Surat Thani.
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 In Krabi, buses arrive/depart from the bus terminal at Taladkao, about 5km north of town.
To/from Surat Thani: Buses run from Krabi's bus terminal at Taladkao. Buses connect Krabi with Surat Thani with connections to ferries to Ko Samui and the other islands). Choose your ticket carefully - the trip should take no more than three hours, but some travellers have endured ridiculous ten hour rides (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... such hassles can be avoided by using state/government-run BKS buses (fare 140 baht) instead of dodgy private operators.
To/from Phuket: Shuttle buses run between Krabi airport 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 busstation for 120 baht.
To/from Hat Yai: Vans take just over 4 hours, and cost around 250 Bt, and pick up / drop off generally where you want.
To/from Ao Nang: White-coloured songthaews run from Krabi Town to Ao Nang via Klong Jilard, Sai Thai, Ao Nang Junction Village and Noppharat Thara Beach. Fares 50 baht during the day until 18:00, 60 baht between 18:00 and 22:00. They run every ten minutes during the day and every 30 minutes after 18:00. In Krabi, songthaews depart from in front of the 7-Eleven on Thanon Maharat.
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 3 km outside Krabi. 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.
Ferry tickets to Ko Phi Phi are 450 baht when purchased from a travel agent.
The large displayed time-tables in the many travel agencies are just for show and the times are not to be taken literally. Ask. As of July 2007, there were two ferries a day from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi a day: 9am and 2:30pm. They 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.
You can use either the songteow or a taxi. From the bus station a taxi will cost B100 as it is about a 4Km trip. 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 B30. 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 here to Ao Nang and costs B50. It will come into Ao Nang along the beach road. Many of these white ones were also seen at the bus terminal but the writer did not go to Ao Nang from here, but only returned. It went through Krabi and arrived at the terminal for a cost of B80 from Ao Nang. With the songteow, push the button to stop where you want to get off, then go and pay the driver.
To get here is just a few Km out of town and a couple from the bus station. Should cost no more than B200 in a taxi.
As you walk in, you will see a huge Stupa on the right with steps leading up inside. Entrance fee is B199, but this is NOT the Tiger Temple!!!!
This is up the top of a near vertical mountain some 300 metres (about 900 feet)skyward further along the path!
If you continue walking past the shop on the left, apparently run by the Temple, which advertises bananas to feed the monkeys (and then there are many notices which advise against feeding them because they are a pest - and they are, sometimes trying to steal shiny objects like cameras). Shortly on the left you will see the steps upward (there is no cost for this but you can leave a donation at the top if you make it). Many of the steps are quite steep, there are more than 1200 of them. If you have health problems, please think about this! The view from the top, and from other places as you walk up, is phenomenal. There is a toilet about half way up.
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.
Krabi town is far cheaper than any of the tourist resorts - this is reflected in the price of food and drinks especially. There are two night markets in Krabi town that are worth a look, and at weekends there is the 'Walking Street" market from 5-10pm. 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 charming night market close to the promenade next to the piers. Food is good and cheap, with Muslim influences. 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 centre 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 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.
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.
RuenMai restaurant, about 2km from the center on Marharat road, has very nice atmosphere and very good local dishes from 100 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.
Arun is a good breakfast place too (same roadside as Relax, more colourful atmosphere here, just what they call Cappuccino doesn't deserve this name, 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 does brilliant seafood at a reasonable price as well as provides mosquito coils to keep these pests away from your legs.
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.
Nationwide television, cable TVs and local cable TV channels are available on Ko Lanta. 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.