When we decided to go to Southeast Asia for our honeymoon, we knew that we wanted to check out the beautiful beaches of Thailand. After doing some research, I had narrowed it to the west side as the east side of Thailand didn’t have great weather in November. I then narrowed it further to Krabi and Phuket. After doing some research, we decided to go to Krabi. We liked that it was less touristy and more laid back with an older demographic than the party town of Phuket.
Arriving in Krabi
We arrived into Krabi early in the morning and went to get ground transportation to Ao Nang. We noticed that in addition to taxis, there was an option to take a shared shuttle bus into town. Since we wanted to save some money, we spent 150 baht or $4.50 each instead of 600 baht or $18 for a taxi.
You buy your ticket for the shared shuttle bus inside the airport, take your ticket and board the shuttle. Luggage is all loaded in the front of the shuttle which is nice since you can easily keep your eye on it. Once the shuttle is full, the driver leaves for town dropping off people at their hotels in the most efficient order. Since we were staying off the beach we were dropped off earlier than most of the people on the shuttle.
While the shuttle takes longer than a taxi would, for the price you can’t really beat it. We liked the discounted pricing so much we used a shuttle service to get us back to the airport when we flew out of Krabi.
Our Hotels in Krabi
For the first night, we decided to save a little bit of money and stay at the Aonang Cliff Beach Resort. Since the hotel is about a 10 minute walk from the beach, it was less expensive than comparative hotels that were located on the waterfront.
For the rest of our stay in Krabi we splurged and stayed in a ocean view spa room at the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas. This was our only real hotel splurge during our honeymoon, something that we were looking forward to. The hotel is extremely secluded, the only way to reach it being boat or taking the monkey trail from town.
Scuba Diving in Krabi
I had gotten scuba certified when I was in college and have been diving several times. Andy decided that he wanted to get certified so when we travel together we can go diving together. Shortly before our trip, Andy completed his scuba certification. The dive in Thailand was his first real open water dive since his open water dive in a quarry wasn’t as exciting.
We booked a 2 tank dive with Kon-Tiki Diving & Snorkeling Center through our hotel, the Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas. The best part of booking our diving through our hotel is that we were picked up at the hotel dock by a long-tail boat, so there was no need to find our own transportation to town.
Once we arrived at the dive boat, we were partnered up with an instructor and were happy that we were the only 2 grouped with him. As is standard with all reputable dive charters, we went over the basics of our dive and checked our gear.
Before we got in the water, we docked at Phi Phi island and were given an hour to explore. We were really happy that we had docked there as we wanted to see the Phi Phi Lookout Point. Unfortunately we weren’t able to find it, but did have a fun time walking around the beaches and even saw Maya Beach where the movie The Beach was filmed.
Shortly after we left Phi Phi Island, we arrived at our first dive site. The first thing that I noticed as I descended was the amount of broken and dead coral in the surrounding area. I’m not sure if it is because of the number of amateur divers touching the reef or if it is from boats dropping anchor, but it made me sad and a little angry. One of the first things that I learned in my scuba class was how important coral is to the ocean’s ecosystem and how slowly it grows. As we swam further, the coral reefs got better but were still not on the level of the reefs in Cancun, Mexico.
Our dives were nice and we saw fish as well as an eel. I wish that we had seen a turtle or shark during our dive, but that just gives Andy something to look forward to as we continue to dive when we travel.
Since Andy had just gotten his certification, he was very comfortable in the water. It had been over a year since I had been diving and it took me a little while to get comfortable again. By the second dive I had a much better time, feeling comfortable enough to take the GoPro and record footage of our dive.
Kayaking in Krabi
Our hotel, the Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas had complimentary kayaks for hotel guests. After an hour you had to pay, but we figured that we would probably be ready to head back before the hour was up.
We kayaked from the beach by our hotel up to some of the limestone cliffs nearby. While it was fun, the entire time that we were kayaking I was worried about tipping over. We had seen a few small jellyfish in the water and I was nervous that I would get stung if I went into the water.
Railay & Phra Nang Beaches
I think our favorite activity that we did was taking a long-tail boat to a beautiful Thai beach to spend the day. We started out at Railay beach and walked over to Phra Nang beach as the 2 beaches are located in the same area.
To get from Railay beach over to Phra Nang beach you need to follow the signs on Railay beach to a path that leads over to Phra Nang beach. Along that path there are some cool rock formations in the cliffside that you can check out and take pictures around. Once you actually get over to Phra Nang beach you can go to the right and head over to the actual beach area or you can go left and explore some of the caves. In order to get to the caves you have to walk through some shallow water. We were fortunate that we went during low tide when the water was mid-shin. On our way back from exploring the caves (just 30 minutes later), the water was up to our knees and later that day, we noticed it was at waist level.
On our way to check out the caves, we also we stumbled upon a phallus shrine. It made me laugh as ironically it was one of the places that I wanted to see when we were in Thailand but didn’t really know where to find it. Either way we had a good time taking a few pictures with all of the penis statues.
After checking out the caves and penis statues, we headed over to the actual beach. Phra Nang beach was absolute paradise. The water was the absolute perfect temperature, the sand was soft and it was completely undeveloped. The only issue that I had was was the lack of shade on the beach, leaving us essentially directly in the sun the entire time that we were there. I also wish that there was some sort of lockers that you could rent for the day – this would make it easier to lock up your valuables so you could enjoy your time in the water.
One of my favorite things was that the only food options were long tail boats that cooked up local Thai food. Since we were at the beach during Thanksgiving we feasted on Pad Thai instead of the traditional turkey and fixins. It was definitely a unique and memorable Thanksgiving that we will remember for many years to come.
By late afternoon we were both getting pretty sunburnt and wanted to get back to the hotel. There was a line of long-tail boats and I asked the driver how much to get us to the hotel, he started at 100 baht or $3 but told us we had to wait till the boat was filled up. That didn’t work for us as it may have been hours before the boat would be full. I asked how much for the 2 of us to go alone and he replied with 1,000 baht or $30. I laughed at this since it was a short ride and knew that he was trying to get us to pay westerner prices. After going down the line and talking to different drivers, we found one that was willing to take us back for 400 baht or $12. This seemed more reasonable and we hopped in. It was actually pretty fun and somewhat luxurious to have the whole boat to ourselves.
What to Expect in Krabi
There are pretty much 2 main roads in the Ao Nang part of Krabi. All of the restaurants and shops are located off these main roads. Restaurants range from very nice restaurants to cheap food and everything in between. On average we spent about $5 per entree for dinner dining in the mid-range restaurants with beers coming in at $2-3 each.
As with most of Southeast Asia, you can get around extremely easily speaking English. Cash is king so don’t expect to be able to use your credit card much.
If you are shopping or taking any transportation, make sure that you negotiate a good price. Most of the pricing for westerners is extremely high and with some negotiation you can get just about anything for half the originally quoted price.
Krabi was one of our favorite cities that we visited on our honeymoon. We had an amazing time enjoying a slower pace of life after cramming so much into the first part of our honeymoon.
Bring sunscreen with you as the shops that sell sunscreen are extremely expensive – $10 for a small bottle. You’ll go through quite a bit of sunscreen as Krabi is very close to the equator making the sun’s rays extremely strong. You’ll also sweat a lot so make sure that you keep hydrated. The convenience stores around town offer very cold and extremely cheap water.
Make sure that you take a long-tail boat to the amazing Thai beaches if you’re in town. It is something that is absolutely worth the money and more beautiful than the pictures even make it out to be.