Krabi Thailand

November 14, 2015


Archival museum grade inkjet print, photographed, signed, and numbered by photographer Dylan Ozanich.

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This article is about Krabi Town. See Krabi Province for attractions elsewhere, including Krabi’s famous beaches.

Krabi (กระบี่) is the capital of Krabi Province, Thailand.


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.

Get in

Direct connections are by air, road and sea from other parts of Thailand.

By plane

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.

To/From Bangkok: Thai Airways [1], Air Asia [2] and Nok air [3] operate daily direct flights to/from Bangkok.

To/From Ko Samui: Bangkok Airways [4], operate flights to Koh Samui.

To/from outside Thailand: Air Asia [5] has daily flights to/from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Tiger Airways [6] flies to/from Singapore 4 times a week.

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.

  • 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 Airport for 2500 baht.

By train

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.

By bus

To/from Bangkok: Buses to/from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (tel. +66-24351199) take about 12 hours and depart as follows:

  • VIP bus at 07:20 (710 baht)
  • First class bus at 19:00 (486 baht)
  • Second class bus – 07:30, 19:00, 19:30, 20:00 – 378 baht

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 famous private bus companies is Lignite [7] which can be booked in advance online at BusOnlineTicket [8]. 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.

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 [9]

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.

By car

Krabi is located just off Highway 4. It is 946km south of Bangkok, 180km by road to Phuket, and 70km to Phang Nga.

By boat

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.

By songthaew

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.

Get around

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, (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.

Krabi Thailand
Krabi Thailand
Krabi Thailand Krabi Thailand
Krabi Thailand
Krabi Thailand

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