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What to do in Krabi in the afternoon & evening

Sunset over the Krabi islands
A different view of the Krabi islands

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, when most tours and excursions depart early in the day.

If you are in Krabi for the weekend and you have limited time, there is 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: most of these activities we would recommend booking in advance as it may be too late to organise on arrival in Krabi.

Sunset cruises, snorkeling and kayaking

In recent years a number of companies have started offering “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 boat (the vessels used are usually the same ones taken out by dive schools during the day). 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 snorkeling after dark might be illuminated by phosphorescent plankton in the water. The trips are offered from Railay Beach and Ao Nang only and depart around lunchtime (so in fact the majority of the trip is done in the afternoon).

We’ve also discovered 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 BBQ dinner on the beach. A perfect way to start your holiday.

Krabi Town: night markets or a show

The weekend (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) “Walking Street” market in Krabi Town is a great way to immerse yourself in the Krabi lifestyle: street food, shopping, entertainment all in one place. Take a taxi, or a join-in minivan from Ao Nang. On other days of the week, you may wish to do a late afternoon trip to town, to visit the riverside and then head to the regular night market (food only) for some great hawker stalls.
If you fancy a proper night out, the Paka Showpark is an impressive light and sound show that can be enjoyed with or without a Thai buffet dinner – it runs daily, so can be booked on any night of the week.

Thai massage and spas

Get yourself in the holiday mood as soon as you touch down 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 before 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 – the longtail drivers will need to be back at 6.30pm at the latest. An alternative trip from Ao Nang would be to the Railay beaches, which are a short 15 minute, 100 baht boat ride away. You could easily spend a couple of hours, or the whole afternoon here before returning at 5 – 6 pm.

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 the afternoon session at a Thai Cookery School? 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).

Last updated: October 24, 2016