So many of Krabi’s attractions are outdoors, it can make doing things a little difficult when the weather is bad. Below is a list of our top ten rainy day activities: most are short trips that can be done during a break in the weather, or things that will not be spoiled by the odd shower. If you are travelling in the monsoon season, always bring a raincoat so you can brave the elements if necessary – if you can stay dry, it is almost never cold here.
1. Wat Tham Seua (Tiger Cave Temple) with its mountain top shrine makes an excellent afternoon excursion. A shower may even seem welcome during the gruelling hike to the summit. Non slip shoes required.
2. Kayaking in Bor Thor – on rainy days you will experience a magical atmosphere with the mist in the mangroves and the call of the birds. The whole of this route is along inland waters so strong currents and waves that affect other kayaking sites in bad weather will not be a problem here.
3. Take a class indoors. Try your hand at Thai cookery – half and one day classes are available to teach you how to reproduce the fabulous flavours of Thai cuisine back home; chill out at a drop-in yoga session; make some jewellery; or learn some Thai language and culture at one of the many language schools in the area.
4. Aim high: assuming you are on, or can get to the peninsula, the overhangs of Railay’s towering cliffs provide sheltered spots for rock climbing in all but the heaviest rain – courses at all levels are available. Remember to bring a dry change of clothes for afterwards.
5. Check out Krabi’s cafe culture: the growth of hip coffee houses in recent years mean there is no shortage of cosy spots to take shelter with a hot drink, cake and good wifi. Most are also frequented by locals, which is great for people watching.
6. Scuba diving is an (almost) all-weather activity: while visibility does go down in the monsoon months, your chance of seeing rarer fish increases dramatically with the lack of boat traffic. Note: in periods of high waves or strong currents, diving may be restricted to local islands only for safety reasons, or even cancelled outright.
7. Treat yourself to a spa package: the perfect rainy day activity. Krabi’s many spas are usually part of a hotel complex, but are all open to outside guests; many massage parlours also offer beauty treatments. Book yourself in for a massage, facial or scrub at a fraction of western prices.
8. Shop till you drop: while Ao Nang and Krabi Town are not retail Meccas, there are still plenty of bargains to be had, especially on (silk) fabric and handicrafts. Or head to one of the out of town malls, for cheap brand name clothing at Outlet Village and household goods at Tesco or Homepro.
9. Can’t go out to sea? Visit the “outdoor aquarium” at Ao Nam Mao. This government conservation centre breeds all kinds of tropical fish, from tiny clownfish (think Nemo) and seahorses to rays and turtles. Admission is free. On the way, get your frustration out at the Krabi Shooting Range, which also offers archery for those not so keen on guns.
10. Finally, if you are running out of ideas and / or the kids are going stir crazy, hire a car or taxi and get out of Krabi altogether! Phuket (around 2.5 hours’ careful drive) will seem like a breath of fresh air with its wealth of indoor activities from bowling, to soft play and trampolining, English language cinemas, and tons of shopping and bars for the adults.