Krabi's got a long coastline of the sort of soft, white sand that tropical dreams are made of. Plus, giant limestone karst formations tower over the water, so you get impressive views all around. Party on the sand from dusk 'til dawn on the island of Koh Phi Phi Don, a ferry or private speedboat ride away.
Ao Nang Beach is what first put Krabi on the Asia travel map, thanks to its striking limestone cliffs and wide sweep of sandy shores. The mish-mash of hotels may not be the prettiest to look at, but there are long-tail boats and speedboats to whisk you away to less touristy waters.
You might remember seeing Leonardo DiCaprio splashing around Maya Bay in the film, The Beach. The turquoise cove's been closed off to the public for now, so we recommend motorboating straight to Ko Pu instead. Here, fishing docks and a rustic, slow-it-down feel put you a world away from the usual hubbub.
Krabi Town's night market springs to life on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays along Thanon Khon Dern – or 'Krabi Town Walking Street'. Work up an appetite haggling for everything from handmade jewellery to souvenir t-shirts, beaded purses and carved wood kitchen utensils. Then it's full speed to the food market near Khong Kha Road for a fresh-pressed juice and a spicy street-food something.
You don't have to stray far from the beach to find mementos of your trip – behind just about every sandy shore are souvenir kiosks and shops. After lounging about on the sands of peaceful Koh Lanta island– reached via ferry from the Krabi mainland – you could even pick up a colourful hammock made by Thai tribespeople.
The best upmarket buys hang out around Ao Nang. Find unique pieces of jewellery along Noppharat Beach Road, or hand-painted silk scarves and fine gold bracelets and earrings in the shops on Beach Road.
It doesn't get more low-key than East Railay for sundowners. Plop down on a lounge cushion at an open-air bar on the waterfront, and chill out with an al fresco cocktail or a cold beer. For the best view of the setting sun, stake out a spot on the sand on West Railay beach.
If happy-hour drinks and thumping dance beats are what you crave, make your way to Krabi Town. Open-air parties rage in Ao Nang's Centre Point complex, where you can also catch live bands and cabaret shows. Beaches become nightclubs on Koh Phi Phi Don, especially during the full moon.
In this coastal province, the super-fresh catch of the day can be clams, prawns, squid or bright-eyed fish. 'Gaeng som plaa', or barramundi in a tart red curry, is a classic – it's served in a flavour-bursting mix of shredded green papaya or hunks of not-quite-ripe pineapple.
There's no better way to beat the heat than with a scoop or two of local coconut milk ice-cream. Served in a scraped-out coconut shell and topped with crushed peanuts, it's a tropical party in your mouth.
One of Thailand's most famous culinary exports, this fried noodle dish is best at a roadside stall. Flat, chewy rice noodles are tossed in a smoking hot wok with egg, dried prawns, palm sugar and bean sprouts. Douse it in tamarind-laced fish sauce and top with lime wedges and crushed peanuts.
Get one of these taco-like sweet pancakes straight off the grill at the night market. Crispy on the outside and eggy soft on the inside, they're made with a rice-flour batter, filled with cream or sweet meringue, then topped with shredded egg or dried shrimp.
Great for a rainy day, this aromatic hot-and-sour broth's made with lemongrass, lime, potent little chillis and fat handfuls of fresh prawns or mussels. Add a dash of fish sauce and you're good to go.
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