Located at the mouth of the river, it is a small, typically Thai, bustling market town. The river and sea used to provide Krabi with its main industry, fishing, but now commerce and services play a larger role.
While it is possible to visit Krabi on a day-trip from Ao Nang or Klong Muang, some people do choose to stay here one or two nights before moving on to the coast or the islands. If you are after an ‘authentic’ Thai experience, this is where you’ll find it.
As the seat of government, banks and the province’s only centrally located supermarket and department store, the town is busy throughout the day; night-time sees a young, local crowd out and about at the many cheap pavement eateries, karaoke bars and live music clubs.
Krabi has its own attractions on the river:
kayaking in the mangrove forest and visiting local fishing communities in the backwaters are popular options.
The caves in Krabi’s most famous landmark: Khao Kanab Nam, the two ‘dog-ear’-shaped rocks, visible from Utarakit Road, are also worth a visit. Longtail boats can be chartered from along the river bank for around 500 Baht/hour which will take you here, and for a cruise through some of the protected mangrove forest.
The recently completed Wat Kaew Govaram temple is worth a visit – it is one of the few Thai temples designed in the modern style, with a plain white exterior. The grounds have an interesting garden with kitsch animal sculptures. Access is from Maharat or Issara Road.
Shopping can be better in town than in the beach areas, offering a wider range of goods, often at lower prices.
The weekend “Walking Street” night market, with its handicrafts, clothing and souvenir stalls, as well as a great selection of street food, is a popular evening out for both tourists and locals, while food can be bought at both the morning and night markets, on Maharat Soi 5 and Soi 10 respectively.