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Krabi Province is picture-perfect Thailand. Many of the photos you’ll see of towering limestone karsts dramatically shooting up into the sky from bright turquoise seas will have been taken in Krabi. The scenery is truly spectacular. Located on the west coast of Thailand, bordering the Andaman Sea, Krabi province is one of the most well-known provinces of the south, but has a gentler, less commercial feel than much of Phuket. Covering both the mainland and outer-lying islands, the province undoubtedly attracts the majority of its visitors to the coastal areas.

Mainland Krabi is home to the Railey Peninsula, where strange rock formations tower upwards out of the clear turquoise waters, attracting rock-climbers from all over the world. Jungle clad walkways teem with wild macaques, who play happily amongst the trees. The Rayavadee on breathtakingly beautiful Phra Nang Beach offers stunning villa accommodation set in lush tropical gardens.

Krabi’s islands are numerous. Koh Lanta is a large island, very close to the mainland with a short shuttle ferry connection, that has a rugged jungle-clad interior and long, sweeping beaches. The island is home to local villages to explore and plenty of opportunities for hiking in the jungle-clad interior. Off the island are smaller islands with delicate reefs beneath the bright jade-coloured water, perfect for snorkelling. There are numerous small, low-key resorts, such as the boutique and charming Layana.

The Phi Phi islands, made famous by Danny Boyle’s 2000 film The Beach, are stunningly picturesque. Consisting of two main islands, Koh Phi Phi Ley – an uninhabited national park - and Koh Phi Phi Don – an inhabited island with resorts and a village with numerous shops, restaurants, and bars catering to locals and visitors alike. The main village is busy with tourists, so to take in the beauty of the Phi Phi Islands we’d only recommend the north of Koh Phi Phi Don for tranquillity, where there are a handful of small and charming boutique resorts.

There are many other islands in the province that we would recommend visiting on day trips – travelling on an elegant traditional Thai long tail boat is an exhilarating way to explore the coast with its towering limestone rock formations and vivid seas.

Most visitors to Krabi Province will fly into Krabi airport, but perhaps only a small proportion will visit Krabi Town, a charming southern Thai town that is very traditional in many ways, and has wonderfully interesting markets to explore. Nearby are vast areas of mangrove, ecologically important and supporting a plethora of wildlife, and can be explored by boat.

A stay in Krabi can be easily incorporated into a tailor-made luxury holiday to Thailand. The weather should be at its best between November and April, however visiting outside of these times is also possible, when one should expect fewer tourists.

Features in the following itineraries

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I can't think of anything that excites a greater sense of childlike wonder than to be in a country where you are ignorant of almost everything.
Bill Bryson

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