Dramatic limestone cliffs. Check. Glorious palm-fringed beaches and shallow, crystal clear waters. Check. Peat swamp forests. Check. Tropical paradise islands. Check. Interesting caves and culturally significant temples. Check. We love holidays in Krabi for their absolute diversity. Take a long-tail boat to the uninhabited offshore islands and see strange rock formations. Or explore the Walking Street Market in Krabi for handicrafts, sumptuous Thai food, and nightly entertainment.
These peculiar limestone rocks are the symbol of Krabi, jutting out from the water at interesting angles. Take the 15-minute long-tail boat journey from Old Chaofa Pier to Khao Kanab Nam and climb the stairs to the top for a spectacular view of the town and surrounding area.
Krabi is surrounded by numerous limestone islands, jutting out from the water like breaching whales. Cham Island and Poo Island are easily reached from Jao Fah Pier in Krabi town and offer an insight into the regional culture, with locals cultivating rubber wood, weaving cloth, and fishing. Phra Nang Cave, Chicken Island, and Poda Island are excellent places for swimming and sunbathing on the coconut-lined, powdery sand beaches, and snorkelling amidst the colourful coral and tropical fish.
Krabi is well known for rock climbing, challenging climbers from all levels to test their limits on the soaring cliffs. The spectacular limestone crags of Thailand's Phra Nang Peninsula protect the coastline, forming a striking contrast to the golden sandy shores towering over Krabi River. Climb magnificent coastal cliffs dripping in stalactite karst cathedrals and explore the beautiful peninsulas of Railay or Tonsai.
Situated in Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island is more of a landmark than an island. It became popular after starring in the James Bond Movie The Man with the Golden Gun due to its distinctive features: narrow and thin at the bottom and wide at the top. View the island by boat or from the small beach on Koh Ping Ghan.
Named for the plethora of monkeys hanging around outside, these caves are situated in Phang Nga Bay and accessible by boat. Inside the main cave is the dominant figure of a large reclining Buddha. A number of steps are situated behind it, leading to a couple of small shrines where you can light incense and pray.
There are a number of carriers offering flights to Thailand from the UK.
Direct Carriers: Thai Airways, Eva Air and British Airways offer a direct service from the UK.
Indirect Carriers: Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Qantas and Etihad all offer indirect services from the UK.
Departure Taxes: Since 2007 international departure taxes have been included in the price of flight tickets, helping to take the hassle out of organising holidays to Thailand.
British Passport holders are not required a visa to enter Thailand for tourist stays up to 30 days only, more than sufficient for most holidays to Thailand. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay in Thailand. Please contact the Thai Embassy for up to date country and visa information on 0207 589 2944.
You can exchange your UK Pounds for the Thai Baht (pronounced Baaht) prior to leaving the UK, but you will generally save a few Baht if you wait and do it upon arrival. There are several currency exchanges at Bangkok's international airport. FOREX booths are sprinkled throughout the larger cities and post their daily exchange rates on electronic notice boards.
Cash exchanges incur no commissions or fees, so cash is the easiest, and in most cases the cheapest way to go. However, this has obvious risks associated with it, so do be careful carrying excessive amounts. Traveller’s cheques are generally only accepted at banks or foreign exchange shops and you will incur a commission fee. Cash machines are plentiful throughout Thailand. Major credit cards are accepted by most hotels and restaurants. Smaller merchants may not accept cards or will add a fee.
THB - Thai Baht
While some people may leave the small change from a large note, tipping isn’t generally expected and is in no way mandatory in Thailand. Many hotels and restaurants include a 10 percent service charge, but if you receive exceptional service then an additional gratuity would be appreciated. In taxis it is customary to just ‘round up’.
April-June and September-October
Hepatitis A, Polio and Typhoid immunisations and malaria tablets are recommended. All travellers should be up to date on routine immunisations. Yellow fever immunisation is required if arriving from an infected country or area. For full details, please contact your GP.
Packing for your holiday to Thailand is mostly a matter of common sense. It also depends on which season you are travelling in. Although the weather in Thailand is marked by three seasons - rainy (July-October), hot (March-June), and cool (November-February - it is generally hot and humid throughout much of the year. As such, you should pack clothing for hot, tropical weather, including:
If you want to be surrounded by perfect tropical scenery while you eat delicious food, then Krabi’s cuisine is for you. Its location on the coast means that there will be plenty of freshly caught fish on the menu of whichever restaurant you choose.
You won’t have to venture far to find crab, lobster, prawns and fish, either in a traditional southern Thai style or with an Italian or Chinese twist. Stare out at the sunset as you wash down your prawn curry with a cold Singha beer, or take in the surrounding limestone cliffs and jungle with a fresh papaya salad.
Ao Nang seafront road
The main road along Ao Nang beach is a hotbed for locally caught fish dishes. Eating delights such as oysters, mud crabs and grilled kingfish in a spicy salad or curry along this lovely stretch of beach may not be the cheapest meal you eat in Thailand, but it will be one of the most memorable.
The Grotto, Rayavadee
This is quite possibly the most romantic dining location in Thailand. The restaurant is nestled under a huge limestone cliff on Phranang Beach and its speciality is seafood barbeque. Get here either by boat from Krabi Town or staying at the five-star Rayavadee.
Khonh Kha Pier night market
Come here when you need filling up but haven’t yet decided what you fancy to eat. The market is spread along the waterfront and is visited by both locals and tourists; it’s busy at times but it’s a great example of the real Krabi. Keep eyes and tastebuds peeled for dom yang gung (prawn and lemongrass soup), fried noodles with any combination of meat and veg, and an excellent vendor serving fresh fruit shakes.
Street stalls are dotted throughout Thailand’s streets, in every city and town. You won’t be able to go a block without seeing at least one portable eatery. Eating from street stalls is cheaper, and often tastier, than going to restaurants. Be careful to only order street food from vendors whose food is clean, fresh, and cooked right in front of you.
The most famous of all Thai street stall dishes, som tom, is made from unripe papaya mixed with shrimp paste, peanuts, tomatoes, and green beans. A few chillies are thrown in to spice it up, but you can ask for it to be mai pet (not spicy).
Salapao are tasty dumplings, similar to Chinese steamed dumplings, filled with pork, red beans, and custard. They are extremely popular in Thailand and are eaten for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Prices in Thailand are fairly inexpensive, particularly compared to what you are used to at home. A plate of Thai food, some noodles, and a soft drink might cost between 40 to 70 Thai Baht, grilled chicken with sticky rice from a street vendor might cost about 20 Thai Baht, one litre of bottled water from a store might cost seven to 12 Thai Baht, a bottle of wine from a supermarket might cost about 450 Thai Baht, and a small Singha beer from a bar might cost 60 to150 Thai Baht.
Most Thai's wear clothes similar to Westerners: suits to work, uniforms to school, jeans and T-shirts at the weekend. This is especially true in cities and tourist areas such as Bangkok. In some rural areas and for special occasions you might find people wearing traditional Thai dress. Chut Thai phra ratcha niyom (Thai dress of royal endorsement) includes several sets of clothing, typically made of silk, used on formal occasions and holidays.
Thai people are shy, polite, and sensitive by nature. Their culture is conservative and ruled by the family structure and the Buddhist religion. Young people respect their elders, teachers, and Buddhist monks, and behaviour is tightly controlled. This is a country where where the rules of saving face apply and explosive displays of emotion are frowned upon.
While parts of Thailand have been westernised in some ways, it is still a traditional Buddhist country, where certain cultures and traditions are revered, including:
Due to Thailand's unique and diverse geography the country is home to a rich and varied array of animal species. There are more than 100 national parks in Thailand, with over 20 marine parks. Larger mammals include tigers, Sambar deer, otters, leopards, and Civet Cats. Monkeys, sheep, and wild hogs are prevalent, as are crocodiles, lizards, and turtles. There are more than 900 bird species either indigenous to Thailand or that migrate to Thailand.
The most iconic, and certainly the most famous animal in Thailand is the elephant, of which approximately 1,000 remain in the wild or in Thailand’s national parks. There are many conservation centres, farms, and nature parks that allow you to interact with these majestic creatures for a truly unforgettable holiday experience.
Whether you want to take an organised tour or just wander on your own with a pair of binoculars, Thailand is home to nearly 1,000 species of exotic birds. Thailand retains a large number of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to protect diverse habitats, including rainforest and wetlands, where you can view colourful, unusual birds.