Backpacking Krabi: Ultimate Budget Travel Guide 2024

Planning a trip backpacking Krabi on a budget?

You’ve come to the right article as I’m about to provide a complete guide to backpacking Krabi.

Krabi is a popular stop for travellers in Thailand and once you visit for yourself, you’ll understand why

But before travelling to Krabi, it’s normal to have a lot of questions. It can be confusing to differentiate the province of Krabi and the town of Krabi, for example.

Backpacking Krabi should be a relaxing experience, not a stressful one.

It’s one of my favourite spots in all of Southeast Asia and I’d recommend visiting Krabi to anyone.

So to help you out, I’ve created an ultimate guide to backpacking Krabi.

Let’s get straight into it!

Where is Krabi?

Before getting into the nitty gritty of it, it’s important to establish where Krabi actually is. The reason for this is because the name “Krabi” is used very loosely by people, and it can make things pretty confusing.

Krabi is a province of Thailand located on the west coast of Southern Thailand. When most people say “Krabi”, they usually mean staying in and around Krabi Town, and making day trips to the rest of the province and beyond.

You’ll also want to learn how to pronounce Krabi, because it’s probably not as you expect. It’s pronounced “gra-bee”.

The town of Krabi is further south than Phang-Nga, it’s a common stop along the Banana Pancake Trail. If you’re backpacking Thailand, Krabi is a must-visit stop.

A picture of a market street in Krabi surrounded by gorgeous rocky mountains covered in greenery

Why should I visit Krabi?

Krabi is a beautiful seaside resort on Thailand’s coast. This makes for a well-deserved rest from backpacking Thailand, which can get pretty full-on. Visiting Krabi gives you a few days to rest and recharge.

Not to mention how beautiful it is! The beaches, cliffs, greenery, snorkelling opportunities, hikes, wow. They’re all amazing.

Krabi really has it all, and there are 101 reasons you should consider backpacking Krabi. Thailand is worth visiting for Krabi alone. It’s one of my favourite parts of the country.

If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I would say: Krabi is a tropical paradise.

An aerial shot of a beach in Krabi with white sand and turqoise-blue water. After the beach is lush green trees. One of reasons backpacking Krabi is so great is because of the beaches.

How to Get to Krabi

In terms of getting to Krabi, if you’re already in Thailand, you are probably going to come from Phang-Nga or Phuket, or at least that’s what would make the most sense.

Unfortunately, Thailand doesn’t have Uber, so you’ll need to use public transport to make your way to Krabi.

But the good news is, there’s an abundance of options to get around Thailand.

Below is an overview of how you can travel for cheap, as you are backpacking Krabi, you want to save as much money as possible and make use of your ability to budget travel.

From Phang-Nga:

Method of TransportApproximate CostApproximate Time
Taxi$601 hour
Minivan$91 ¾ hour
Bus$41 hour

So if you are coming from Phang-Nga, the cheapest and most time-efficient way of making it to Krabi is by taking the bus.

From Phuket:

Method of TransportApproximate CostApproximate Time
Taxi$851 ¾ hour
Ferry$222 ½ hours
Bus$42 ½ hours

As you can see from both tables, the most cost-effective way to get to Krabi is via bus. The journey times are relatively short too, so you can get to Krabi easily, quickly and cheaply. There truly is no reason not to backpack Krabi.

By the way, whenever you’re booking anything in Thailand, if you’re booking online then use a Revolut card but if you’re withdrawing cash, Revolut is also the best option in Thailand.

A picture of a red-orange bus which takes you to Krabi from Phuket.

Krabi is also a really popular stop amongst most group backpacking tours of Thailand, and taking one of these tours makes it really easy to get around Thailand stress-free.

How many days in Krabi?

A question people always have when travelling is “How many days should I spend in XYZ?”. And the answer is, there is no answer.

This is because the answer to the question depends on you and how you like to backpack.

Krabi is a relaxing retreat that may be a welcomed break from backpacking in Bangkok or any of the other cities. So really, you can stay here as long as you like. It’s a good place to unwind and reset because backpacking can get pretty tiring.

Or on the other hand, if you only want to see and do the main attractions in Krabi, 3-4 days is enough for backpacking Krabi.

It’s one of my favourite spots in Thailand, so I personally would recommend spending at least 6-7 days in Krabi.

Best Places to Stay While Backpacking Krabi

One of the best tips for beginner backpackers is to stay in a hostel. You’ll save a lot of money, and meet a lot of great people.

Krabi is a large province, so it would be impossible to cover the whole region without a dedicated post on places to stay in Krabi.

So here is a list of the 3 best hostels that I have found in Krabi Town. As I said earlier, this is where most people are referring to when they say they’re visiting Krabi.

All of these options are hostels because you’re going to want to stay in hostels while backpacking Krabi to save money after all!

  • Kbunk Hostel

Kbunk Hostel is only a 1.5km walk away from the beach! Located in Krabi Ao Nang, you have access to everything. Nice restaurants, cheap bars, everything! It’s also great for backpacking Krabi as it is only $7 a night! There’s no doubt it’s definitely worth booking Kbunk Hostel.

  • Chill Out Bar and Bungalows

The clue is in the name of this hostel! Located in Krabi’s jungle, but only a 5-minute walk from the beach, these Thai-style bungalows make for the perfect relaxing retreat while in Krabi. You’re guaranteed an amazing stay if you book Chill Out Bar and Bungalows.

  • Into the Town

Rated the best hostel in Krabi Town, you are bound to spend a night here while backpacking Krabi. At only $12 a night, it’s also an absolute bargain! It’s rated a whopping 10/10 on Hostelworld, so you know you are in for a good stay! Complete your Krabi experience by booking your stay at Into the Town.

Things to Do While Backpacking Krabi

Now that we’ve gotten through all of the finer details about backpacking Krabi, let’s get into the best part…what you can actually do in Krabi.

After all, that’s why you visit, right?

As it’s by the sea, most of Krabi’s activities involve the sea in one way or another. So if you’re a fan of the sea like I am, you’ll love Krabi just as much as I do.

Again, it would be impossible to list everything there is to do, so I’ve condensed it down into 5 must-do things in Krabi that are impossible to skip.

1. Go Island-Hopping

Island hopping is one of the best things you can do in Krabi.

There are lots of tours to choose from, most are either 4 island tours or 7 island tours. All of the islands off the coast of Krabi are absolutely stunning, and it would be a sin to visit Krabi without visiting some of them.

Just be careful when you are in the waters as there are sharks in Krabi, but attacks are rare.

If you ask me, the best option is to do a sunset tour which will last from midday to after sunset. You go snorkelling, see some amazing viewpoints and of course, catch an amazing sunset.

Krabi is sunset central – it’s as close to perfection as perfection can be – you’ll truly feel like you’re in paradise.

A picture of Krabi's islands. One of the best things to do whilst backpacking Krabi

2. Hike up to Tiger Cave Temple (Wat Tham Suea)

This hike is a little challenging, it will take about 30 minutes to reach the top, climbing over 1200 stairs. Please note that this is quite physically taxing. The viewpoint is amazing though. It makes Krabi look like Pandora, if there’s one reason to go backpacking in Krabi, it’s maybe this.

3. Go Paddleboarding in Railay Beach

Railay Beach is another hotspot when backpacking Krabi. And there’s no better way to spend time here than to go paddleboarding. It’s so relaxing and a great way to take your mind off things and just appreciate the moment. I would recommend it to anyone!

A picture of Railay beach's beautiful sand with a boat docked at the beach

4. Visit Mu Ko Lanta National Park

Mu Ko Lanta is an amazing place to go jungle trekking. You can see lots of wild monkeys! There is also a beautiful lighthouse and lots of small details like a swing on the beach. It only costs 200 BHT (roughly $5 USD) so you more than get your money’s worth! Which is what you want to do when backpacking Krabi of course.

A picture of Mu Ko Lanta National Park.

5. See the waterfalls at Parc National de Than Bok Khorani

Another national park, but another one definitely worth the trip! This is home to some of the most attractive waterfalls in all of Thailand. The water is beautiful! Not to mention, it’s also a rainforest! There are so many opportunities to see wildlife and experience nature. It’s also not as touristy as the rest of Krabi. Which is great if you like to backpack off the beaten path!

A picture of the waterfalls at Parc National de Than Bok Khorani

Backpacking Krabi: FAQ

Below are some commonly asked questions related to backpacking Krabi along with my answers to each question.

Is Krabi good for backpackers?

Yes, Krabi is the perfect location for backpackers. It’s one of the most common destinations in Thailand for travelling on a budget thanks to its beautiful beaches and cheap hostels.

Is Krabi nicer than Phuket?

Both destinations are worth visiting, it’s personal preference which is better between Krabi and Phuket. Both offer similar experiences: beach life.

Backpacking Krabi: The Wrap Up

Well, there you have it. A complete guide to backpacking Krabi.

Should you visit? Absolutely!

It’s such a unique part of Thailand and is a must-stop when backpacking South East Asia.

There are endless things to do, and you could easily spend a lifetime exploring Krabi.

So get out there and explore Krabi. I promise you, you won’t regret it 🙂

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