Krabi is a major tourist destination in Thailand, with its limestone crag-strewn beaches being the main draw. As a consequence, a large number of beach hotels have sprung up along Krabi’s coastline and islands. Main areas with beach hotels in Krabi are Ao Nang – the main resort– nearby, secluded Rai Leh and the island of Ko Lanta.
All of these areas are well set up for the tourist, with eating, entertainment and transport. Rai Leh is more remote, however, being only accessible by long-tail boat, though it is renowned for its stunning beaches, high class accommodation and resort facilities. This is the area flanked by craggy limestone karsts and with back-to-back beaches, also noted for rock climbing and caving.
Ao Nang is certainly the most touristed spot, although, apart from the southern end of the beach, doesn’t actually feature all that many beach-facing hotels. The reason for this is that the strip is mostly populated by shops, eateries and bars, though it has retained a very laidback vibe despite years of development. You can walk about this area from your beach hotel and also organise all sorts of daytrips to Krabi islands and national parks.
Nearby Nopparat Thara Beach has more high-end beach hotels than Ao Nang, with places like the Holiday Inn. The beach isn’t as picturesque as that of Ao Nang, but it is quieter and actually within national park boundaries. Walks to offshore islets during low tide are possible here.
Compared with years gone by when the whole Ao Nang area was firmly in line with backpacker requirements, it has had a massive makeover today, such that it vies with Ao Nang on services and certainly cleanliness. Farther north is the also up and coming Klong Muang Beach, home to the likes of the amazing beachfront Sofitel.
Ko Lanta houses numerous beach hotels in Krabi, many in the popular beachside town of Saladan. This beautiful island tends to be more in tune with the discerning visitor and is less commercialised than any area on the mainland, though its beach hotels still offer full facilities.