Krabi is not a huge backpacker destination, but it’s a hub for transport to the islands or to the rock climbing paradise of Railay. We spent a night here in the Pak-Up Hostel, a new build with big, clean rooms for a very good price, with air conditioning and even a duvet, a rare luxury in South East Asia.
There is a great night market with cheap and delicious food to snack on and the city center has everything you could need whether it’s buying a new camera because drunk you lost the last one or catching up with life back home at a cheap internet cafe.
Take a walk down to the river and you can catch a boat to Lang Rongrien Cave, a cave system you can explore full of strange cavemen mannequins and mysterious bones, before heading back up river to where you started.
When you’re ready to leave Krabi you can either hop on a longtail boat to the beaches of Railay, a fast boat to one of the islands, or on buses going all over the country, including the super fancy VIP buses which include reclining chairs, movies and snacks.
Railay is only accessible by boat due to the high limestone cliffs that surround it, which coincidentally make it a rock climbers paradise. With over 700 routes ranging from beginner to extreme, it will certainly challenge you and keep you occupied. Check out Real Rocks Climbing School who offer courses from as cheap as 1000฿ (£18) for a half day introductory course to a full 3 day course to really teach you advanced techniques for 6000฿ (£110).
There are some incredible places to stay, whether you choose the backpacker friendly Railay East or the upmarket Railay West. I would definitely recommend the tree-house style Ya Ya Resort in Railay East, it’s quiet and the air-conditioned rooms are lovely.
If you’re not rock climbing there are plenty of beaches and caves to explore, make sure you visit the breathtaking Phranang Beach and it’s Princess Cave, a fertility shrine named after a beautiful princess who died here. It is also full of hundreds of colourful wooden penises of all shapes and sizes.
You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a spot for dinner. From the luxury resorts to the laid back cafes, great cocktail bars and some good live music. My favourite place was The Last Bar, with the gorgeous bar man/fire dancer/guitar player to keep us entertained!
When you’re finally ready to leave this little slice of paradise just hop on a longtail boat to Krabi and go from there.
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