With many flights arriving into Krabi late morning or early afternoon, we are often asked what can be done on the first day of a holiday, as most organised tours and excursions depart early in the day.
If you have limited time, there is certainly no need to spend your afternoon “settling in” – even Ao Nang (the biggest mainland destination) is essentially just one road so it’s not very hard to get your bearings.
For those who don’t fancy sitting by the pool with a beer after the bags are unpacked, below we offer some ideas for a first afternoon or evening: for many (the group tours) it will be necessary to book in advance as it will be too late to join on arrival in Krabi.
Sunset cruises, snorkeling and kayaking
A number of companies offer “sunset cruises” around the islands. These offer the opportunity to view a spectacular sunset either on a traditional longtail or on board a more comfortable sail or motor boat. All also offer a snorkelling stop or two, which allow you to see marine life not visible during the hottest part of the day – and in almost perfect conditions (without 10 other tour boats in the same spot). Flocks of birds and bats can regularly be spotted at dusk; and those game for swimming or snorkelling after dark might be illuminated by phosphorescent plankton in the water.
Note that the sunset is usually the culmination of the trip: almost all depart around lunchtime from Railay or Ao Nang, so in fact the majority of the cruise is done in the afternoon.
There is also a great sunset kayaking trip, which takes you to the beautiful canyons of Ao Thalane at a time when the light is perfect, the daytime tours have gone and the temperature is much cooler for paddling. This leaves at 3.30pm and brings you back at 8pm after a simple BBQ dinner on the beach. A perfect way to start your holiday.
Sample itineraries and guide prices can be seen below:
Krabi Town: night markets
The weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) “Walking Street” market in Krabi Town is a great way to immerse yourself in the laidback Krabi lifestyle: street food, shopping, entertainment all in one place. Take a taxi, or a join-in minivan from Ao Nang. The market runs from around 5.30pm until 9pm. On other days of the week, you may wish to do a late afternoon trip to town, to visit the riverside and temple, and then head to the regular night market (food only) for some great hawker stalls.
Thai massage and spas
If activity seems a bit much as soon as you touch down, get yourself in the holiday mood instead with a trip to a spa for an exotic Thai massage (or other treatment) that will make all traces of city stress disappear. Spend the rest of your holiday perfectly relaxed and blissed out.
Longtail boat charter
If you arrive by lunchtime, you can still do a private daytime island tour by chartering your own longtail boat, which requires no advance booking. A good half day (4 hour) excursion would be the 4 islands, or the Hong Islands if departing from Klong Muang or Tubkaek.
Plan for a departure around 1 – 2 pm, though it is still possible to go later and reduce the time spend on the islands – but the longtail drivers will need to be back at 6.30pm at the latest.
An alternative trip from Ao Nang would be to head over to Railay, which is a short 15 minute, 100 baht boat ride away. You could easily spend a couple of hours, or the whole afternoon on the beaches here before returning as the sun goes down, just after 6 pm. If you want to stay for longer, there are boats during the hours of darkness but they become infrequent and expensive.
More afternoon activities
There are lots of other activities that can be booked for an afternoon arrival in Krabi: how about an hour’s elephant trek or ATV ride (available until around 4pm)? Or the afternoon session at a Thai Cookery School? Other short activities include horse riding, zipline parks or kayaking. A car and driver can be organised at any time to visit Tiger Cave Temple or the Hot Springs (both of which could be done in an afternoon).
Do note however that it gets dark in Krabi between 6.15 and 6.45pm throughout the year; and most outdoor attractions and activities will stop / close towards dusk.