Thailand is absolutely littered with gorgeous beaches, and you’ll find some of the best ones along the southern shores in Krabi Province. From postcard-perfect coastlines fringed with swaying palms, limestone carts, and the bluest waters to offshore islands home to pristine sandy shores – the beaches in Krabi are simply out of this world!
Here are the prettiest Krabi beaches to add to your Thailand bucket list!
Before You Go to Krabi
Krabi Province is revered for its pristine beaches and loads of amazing things to do. Before you head out, here are a few guides to help you plan the perfect Krabi beach vacay:
The Absolute Best Beaches in Krabi
Ao Nang Beach
The town of Ao Nang might be better known as the main gateway to the Krabi’s, but it’s also home to one of the region’s most popular beaches – Ao Nang Beach.
Here you’ll find a long strip of soft golden sand, with loads of room to dip your toes in the sand, play in the water or laze around. While Ao Nang Beach is an amazing beach, it’s not the quietest beach in Krabi. It’s often packed with tourists and long-tail boats. The reason for this is that the beach is the main starting point for many of Krabi’s most popular day trips to neighboring Railay Bay or Koh Poda. So, if you’re looking for a quiet spot, this might not be the best Krabi beach for you. With that said, a short stroll away from the main touristy area, you’re guaranteed to find a quiet spot with unobstructed ocean views!
If you can, stick around until sunset because Ao Nang’s sunsets are simply out of this world! There’s also a good mix of restaurants and bars running along the promenade. Don’t miss happy hour! That way, you can watch an epic sunset with a boozy cocktail in hand!
Nopparat Thara Beach
One of Ao Nang’s most popular beaches is dreamy Nopparat Thara Beach. Located roughly a 15-minute walk from touristy Ao Nang Beach, Nopparat Thara is the perfect haven for those looking for a quiet and less crowded beach.
While the sand might not be as soft as elsewhere in Krabi, Nopparat Thara Beach is the perfect place to kick back, sunbathe, swim or just enjoy the scenery. What’s more, with a 4km stretch of sand, there’s plenty of room to find a secluded patch just for yourself. If you’re feeling adventurous, grab your snorkeling gear and explore the nooks and crannies near the shore.
Besides the scenery and cool vibes, perhaps the best part about this beach is the strip of restaurants and bars running adjacent to it. Here you’ll find everything from posh seafood eateries to local mom-and-pop shops to rustic beach bars where it’s easy to find an ice-cold beer or a freshly cracked coconut! Try the little beach shack if you’re looking for a cool spot to enjoy a Singha while watching the sun dwindle under the waves.
West Railay Beach
Krabi’s coastline is home to so many beautiful beaches that it’s hard to keep track of them all. But if you’re looking for a stunning strip of soft ivory sand accompanied by incredible karst backdrops and warm turquoise-colored water, then Railay Beach is the place for you.
West Railay Beach, in particular, is hands down one of the best beaches in Krabi. Completely cut-off from the mainland, this tropical paradise is only accessible by long-tail boat from neighboring Ao Nang or Ao Nammao Pier. Best known for its spectacular scenery, great swimming conditions, and various adventure activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and snorkeling, you’ll never be bored in Railay Bay. There’s loads of room to bake in the sun and chill on the beach too!
If your stomach starts to rumble, you’ll find dozens of cool beach bars and restaurants along the Walking Street. Alternatively, grab a dirt-cheap bowl of Pad Thai and an ice-cold beer from one of the boat vendors docked beachside along Phra Nang Beach.
The beach is super popular, and it’s usually packed between 10 am and 2 pm with day-trippers and island hoppers. Therefore, if you don’t like crowds, it’s best to time your visit here. Whatever you do, definitely come back at sunset to catch the magical changing skies!
Hong Island Beach
Hong Island Beach is a gorgeous white sand beach located in the Than Bok Khorani National Park on Krabi’s most beautiful island, Koh Hong.
Since the island is only accessible by boat, getting here requires a bit of planning. Luckily there are dozens of Hong Island day tours, but if you value your freedom, you can also charter a long-tail boat in Ao Nang or Railay to explore the island at your own pace. If you choose to do the latter, bring extra cash. You’ll need to pay a small conservation fee (300 Baht) to access the island.
While Koh Hong Beach is not the easiest Krabi beach to access, the effort will be more than worth it! What really sets this beach apart from others is its incredible scenery. Soft ivory white sand, crystal clear water, a lush jungle interior, and limestone cliffs as a backdrop create the most stunning setting imaginable. What’s more, the water is full of colorful fish, and you don’t even need snorkeling gear to see them! Just stand in the gentle waves, and you’re bound to spot several schools.
If you get sick of lounging on the beach, there’s a low-key trail through the island’s jungle interior. The trail is easily walked in less than 30 minutes. And if you’re lucky, you might even spot a couple of white-faced gibbons and water monitors along the way! Alternatively, grab a kayak (300 Baht) and paddle to the island’s very own secret lagoon!
Koh Poda Beach
Yet another dreamy Krabi beach you don’t want to miss is Koh Poda Beach. Located 6km offshore from Krabi’s mainland, Koh Poda Island forms part of the Haad Noppharat Thara-Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park and is one of the most beautiful oases in the Andaman Sea.
Here turquoise waters, soft white sand, swaying palm trees, and limestone karts jutting out of the ocean await you. The scenery on Koh Poda is simply breathtaking, and you’d be doing yourself an injustice if you didn’t see it for yourself!
Koh Poda is not very big, measuring only about 1 km in diameter. Therefore, you can literally walk around the whole island in a matter of minutes! The only downside of hanging out at this beach is that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the swarms of tourists. Thankfully, most people stick to the main area close to the restrooms and eateries. So if you can, try to wander away from the boat landing. You’re likely to find a patch of velvety soft sand all for yourself further afield!
The island is easily accessible by long-tail boat or on a Krabi 4 islands day tour from Krabi Town, Ao Nang, or Railay. But if you want to have this paradise all to yourself, book yourself into the Poda Island Resort. It’s a no-frills joint, but you’ll get to spend a night in tropical bliss!
Koh Tup/ Koh Mor Beach
Koh Tup and Koh Mor might be two of the tiniest offshore islands in the Krabi’s but are revered as absolute staples on any Krabi day trips list. What really makes these two islands such must-visit spots, besides the obvious dreamy location, are their beaches.
You can walk from one island to another during low tide when a stunning soft ivory sandbar emerges from the crystal clear water. The islands are only a few hundred meters apart, and if you don’t feel like walking over the sandbar, you can swim from one to another! The visibility here is incredible, and it’s a great snorkeling spot if you’re into that. If not, it’s pretty easy to find a secluded patch of sand where you can while away the time. Tides permitting, you can also walk to Chicken Island (Koh Kai) – another famous Krabi gem, only a few 100m away.
For the more adventurous, bring a couple of extra Baht along so that you can gain access to each island’s summit. It’s a quick hike up, and the views are even better than what you imagine!
Koh Tub and Koh Mor often form part of a Krabi 4 Islands day tour. Similar to other nearby Krabi islands, you can also get here by chartering a long-tail boat.
Next up on our Krabi beach bucket list is Tonsai Beach. Tonsai is Railay’s hip neighbor and a mecca for backpackers and those seeking unspoiled scenery.
Tonsai Beach is located near the western edge of Railay Beach and wedged between two towering limestone cliffs. Due to its unique location, this beach is a little more tricky to access and remains somewhat of a hidden gem. If you’re visiting both Railay and Tonsai beaches in one day, you can either walk along the bay during low tide, follow the 10-minute bush trail, or kayak from West Railay Beach to get there. If you want to save the sweat, rent a long-tail boat to get here.
People don’t really visit Tonsai Beach for the swimming conditions. In fact, the currents here are quite strong, so it might not be the best swimming spot if you are a novice in the water. With that said, Tonsai Beach is a really cool spot for sea kayaking, and you’ll be able to get an entirely different view of this gorgeous landscape from the water. Besides baking in the sun and kayaking, other popular things to do include rock climbing, chilling at its laidback beach bars, and diving.
Phra Nang Beach
One of the most peculiar beaches of Krabi is Phra Nang Beach. Located between West Railay Beach and East Railay Beach, Phra Nang Beach is a beautiful cove boasting soft sand, epic beach vibes, and plenty of rock climbing opportunities. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this beach is its Princess Cave – a giant cave shaped by years of erosion full of wooden phalluses in all shapes and sizes. It’s one of Thailand’s most famous fertility shrines and quite a cool thing to see.
To get to Princess Cave Beach, follow the path leading from East Railay Bay Beach, past the Railay Viewpoint trailhead. There are several cool caves to explore here, so take your time getting to the beach. Just keep an eye out for the water monitors and monkeys along the way!
Phra Nang Beach is often overcrowded. So if you’re after a relaxing beach day, this might not be the best spot for you. Come before 10 am or after 2 pm so that you can miss most of the day trip crowds. Alternatively, book yourself into the dreamy Rayavadee Hotel so that you can have direct access to the beach no matter the time of day!
Railay Great View Resort Beach
Another stunning beach in Krabi is located right behind the dreamy Railay Great View Resort. The beach sits right at the edge of eastern Railay. Since it’s away from the hipsters and day-trippers, it makes for the perfect secluded spot. The cove is surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and lush jungle, creating a picture-perfect setting. What’s more, the turquoise waters are calm and the ideal temperature year-round to take a dip! If you get sick of lounging on the beach, splashing around in the water, hop on the cool beach swing that goes right over the water during high tide.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to be a guest to gain access to this private beach, but you won’t be disappointed! The resort is absolutely gorgeous, and the dreamy private beach is just an added bonus! Check rates and availability here.
Maya Bay Beach
A strong contender for the world’s most beautiful beach, Maya Bay is perhaps one of Krabi’s most prized beach gems.
Located a short boat ride from the gorgeous shores of Koh Phi Phi Island in the Hat Nappharat Thara-Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park, Maya Bay is the stuff of postcards! Here crystal clear waters full of coral gardens, huge towering cliffs, and a rugged interior filled with lush plant life await you. While one could easily spend hours kicking back on the soft sand beach, this secluded cove’s true beauty actually lies beneath its waters. Get ready to spot all kinds of colorful fish, bright coral reefs, and perhaps even blacktip reef sharks (if you’re lucky)!
Maya Bay is a protected area and is currently not open to visitors. But once the island opens back up, you should definitely go! It’s one of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see!
Paradise Island Beach
More locally known as Lading Island, Paradise Island is a tiny island boasting towering palm trees, rugged limestone cliffs, and the softest sand along its rocky shores. While it might not be the biggest Krabi beach, it sure is one of the prettiest. The beach is split into two parts, with long-tail boats on one side and a swimming spot on the other. Since the cove is tiny, it gets crowded quickly.
A trip to Lading Island is usually coupled with a day excursion to Hong Island. Alternatively, hire a long-tail boat so that you can visit outside the peak tourist hours and have the beach practically all to yourself! The easiest place to rent a private long-tail boat is at the Ao Nang Longtail Boat Club. The ticket booth is near Ao Nang Beach.
Pakbia Island Beach
The beaches of Krabi’s Pakbia Island are truly magnificent. Surrounded by limestone cliffs covered in verdant greenery and stunningly emerald water, Pakbia Island is a beautiful spot ideal for exploring, beach-bumming and snorkeling. There’s even a swing if you want to reconnect with your inner child or snap a selfie with a picture-perfect backdrop!
While it’s definitely one of the smaller islands of the Koh Hong archipelago, Koh Pak Bia (also spelled Phak Bia) is a great spot to hang out. Besides the cool scenery, the sand here is unique too. You won’t find any of the powdery white sand like at Koh Poda here. Instead, you’ll find a stretch of golden sand that’s slightly rougher than elsewhere. There are loads of spots to snorkel and swim, and it’s not hard to find a local vendor selling fresh fruit or a cold drink.
Joining a Hong Island speedboat tour is perhaps the easiest way to get to this beach. But you could also hire a long-tail boat to take you around the archipelago at your own pace. You can hire a boat at Ao Nang Beach or Nopparat Thara Pier.
Krabi Beach Bag Essentials
Whether you’re spending a day at the beach or coming for a quick dip, there are a few things you’ll need for a seamless beach day. Along with the items on this Thailand packing list, here are my favorite beach essentials.
- Eco-friendly sunscreen: Pack a reef-safe sunscreen so that you can help safeguard the environment.
- Microfibre towel: Unless you’re staying at a swanky beach resort that provides beach towels, bring a towel. I love the Dock & Bay ones because they dry super fast and come in dozens of colors.
- Waterproof cellphone case & drybag: Since you’re going to spend lots of time near the water, don’t forget to pack a decent waterproof cellphone case and a dry bag to keep your belongings dry.
- Snorkeling gear: Unless you’re going on an organized tour, getting your hands on decent snorkeling gear might not be as easy as you think. Bring your own snorkeling gear to save the hassle.
- Camera: Krabi is really beautiful, and you’ll definitely want to capture all your favorite bits! I always travel with my Olympus Mirrorless Camera. But if you’re into action photography, don’t forget your Go Pro.
- Travel drone: If you’re traveling with a drone (like this awesome DJI mini drone), you might run into some issues. I saw several people being accosted by local authorities trying to launch drones on the islands.
- Mosquito repellant: Mosquitoes are no joke in Thailand. Pack a good DEET-free bug repellant to steer clear of any pesky insects!
- Dramamine: If you’re going island hopping and prone to seasickness, it’s a good idea to pack non-drowsy seasickness tablets. Don’t like popping pills? Grab a wristband instead.
- Water Bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated in Krabi’s hot and humid weather. Don’t forget to bring a refillable water bottle.
- Beach umbrella: Not all of these beaches have ample shade. This lightweight pop-up beach tent can help protect you from the sun.
Best Krabi Beaches in Conclusion
Whether you’re visiting Krabi to work on your tan, explore the diverse underwater world or do something more adventurous, you’re going to have an amazing time! While there are way more than 12 beaches in Krabi to add to your Thailand beach list, these are a great starting point!
Well, that wraps up my top picks for stunning Krabi beaches! Which one is your favorite? If you think I’ve overlooked a must-visit spot, let me know in the comments below!
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