Feeling hot? March and April are the hottest and driest months of the year here in Krabi, with temperatures soaring up to 37C in the shade, and a “feels like” temperature in the low 40s. In fact, all year round, the heat and humidity can take many people by surprise. And, unlike most big cities in Asia, Krabi is not a place where you can hop from one air-conditioned place to another: outside of your hotel, only a handful of restaurants and shops will have a/c.
If you can’t face another day frying at the beach, there’s no need to hide in your room with the air con on maximum: follow our advice below to get out, escape the heat and cool off.
Natural cool can be found in shaded, leafy areas nearby water. Conveniently, these places are also popular spots for restaurants. Try Sabai Ba-Bar in the Jungle, on the Klong Son – Nateen Rd, just out of Ao Nang. The treehouse kitchen, next to the river never feels too warm. The Last Cafe, at the far end of Ao Nang Beach is another cool place to hang out, with shade and sea breezes keeping the heat at bay.
National parks are another great spot to cool off. Most have waterfalls, or small pools to splash in, as well as towering ancient trees to protect you from the sun’s rays. Visit Tharnbok Khorani National Park in Ao Luk, with its network of small pools and waterfalls, or Huay Toh waterfall, which is closer by and offers a shady forest walk. A refreshing dip can be had at the Tha Pom mangrove forest to the north of Ao Nang, where the fast flowing water feels icy cold year round.
Submersing yourself in water is an excellent antidote to the heat and Krabi offers plenty of ocean-based activities to help you chill out. Scuba diving gets you out of the sun and into a cool aquatic world of colourful fish and corals, while snorkelling allows you to observe the same marine life from a distance – but remember to protect your head and back from the strong sun while in the water. Kayaking is yet another way to cool off. Although paddling can be hard work, the shade of the mangrove-lined rivers and the constant splashing of water ensure you never overheat.
If you have kids that are tired of the hotel pool, head to Heaven-7 water park in Ao Nam Mao – the super kitsch playground will keep them occupied for at least a couple of hours – again, make sure the sun cream is topped up regularly.
Life’s a breeze
Sitting on a stifling beach waiting for a gust of warm air to come your way is not an ideal way to spend an afternoon. Instead take to the sea, or to the road and harness the power of a fresh breeze to cool you down. The deck of a boat, or the seat of a motorbike is an ideal location to see the scenery without the heat – though again be very careful of the sun, as you won’t feel its strength with the wind on your face.
If outdoors is still proving too much, you can also retreat into lovely air conditioned spaces. Take an hour for a massage in one of the a/c cooled boutiques along the beach road in Ao Nang, or in town; chill out with a cold beer in TJs Bar and Grill; or buy an ice cream to eat-in in the fresh interior of Haagen Dazs gelateria on the beach road. Perhaps hit the shopping malls – Tesco, Outlet Village, Big C and Makro have their cooling systems turned up high all day.
Healthwise, do ensure you drink plenty of water periodically throughout the day – adults will need 2.5 – 3 litres to stay fully hydrated! Sun hats should be worn at all times and appropriate factor sun cream applied: it is possible to burn in the space of minutes at the peak of hot season.