The Best Ways to Get to Krabi
Krabi is one of our favorite spots in all of Thailand! There’s a reason it’s home to the original Slumber Party, and it will always have a place in our hearts (and livers). Heading southwest, the province is roughly 800km from Bangkok and 170km from Phuket. Here, you’ll find just about everything—parties on Koh Phi Phi, pub crawls in Ao Nang, relaxation on Railay, and cultural overload in Krabi Town.
Luckily, our not-so-hidden paradise is easy to get to! If you want to immerse yourself in Krabi’s gorgeous nature and crazy nightlife, you’re in luck. You can reach the province from just about anywhere in Thailand. You can hop on a train, boat, bus, or plane to reach us. Transportation in Thailand isn’t too complex once you make a decision on how you want to travel. Just make sure you get here before the sun goes down, because that’s when the heavy drinking starts.
Booking a Flight to Krabi
If you’re heading to Southern Thailand, flying into Krabi is the quickest and easiest way to do so. The Krabi Airport (KBV) is extremely small, meaning you won’t be dealing with long lines or busy immigration officials. In fact, you can be in and out in just minutes. Better yet, the airport is located just a few kilometers outside of Krabi Town. From there, you can reach just about anywhere in the province in just a few hours—if not a few minutes.
Krabi is a great place to fly into from outside of Thailand. Compared to Bangkok or a land border, our immigration officials work at lighting speeds. It’s the major perk of flying into smaller airports. Right now, direct international flights arrive daily from Malaysia, Singapore, and China. And if you’re outside of those countries, it’s easy to catch a connecting flight through any major city.
For those of you already in Thailand, you can fly direct from Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Koh Samui. And if you’re in another city, connecting flights through one of those cities are usually cheap as well. In fact, flights are cheaper than bus rides and trains from time to time!
After arriving in Krabi, your best bet will be to start off your journey in Ao Nang. Just thirty minutes away from Krabi Town, you can take the hourly airport minivan service for 150 baht. The tickets are easy to buy in the arrival hall and one of the best deals you’ll find. You also have the option of taking a taxi (if they’re available) but they often operate on a fixed rate of 500 baht—meaning it’s only a good deal if you’re a group of at least four.
If you’re flying through Bangkok on a connecting flight, be sure to check your tickets! Bangkok has two major airports which are on opposite ends of the cities. Saving a few baht is usually not worth having to exit one airport, trek across a busy city, and go through security at another.
Catching a Boat to Krabi
Your options when it comes to arriving by boat are rather limited. Krabi is on the mainland, meaning the most common methods of transportation are trains, buses, and planes. However, you can book direct boats from several locations. In addition, you’ll have to take a boat to the mainland prior to boarding a bus if you’re on any of the Thai islands.
From Phuket, you can take a ferry directly to Ao Nang depending on the season. Most often, the ferries only run from November through April. If you happen to be on Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta, there are cheap ferries running year round.
For anyone on the Thai islands—namely Koh Phangan, Koh Samui, and Koh Tao—your transfer to Krabi will most often include a ferry trip. You pay a set price on the island to receive both ferry tickets and bus tickets to Krabi. While the transfer may sound stressful, it’s actually nice to have a break in the travel time!
It’s almost a guarantee that you’ll have to take a boat to Krabi from anywhere else in Southern Thailand. At least part of the way! However, don’t be shocked if buses are the primary option—even from islands like Koh Lanta and Phuket. The ferries are seasonal, and buses can be more frequent and less expensive depending on the day. Bridges have turned out to budget-savers.
Riding the Bus or Minivan to Krabi
You can catch a bus to Krabi from anywhere in Thailand. And we mean absolutely anywhere! Thailand has an amazing bus network with direct service to Krabi from major cities like Bangkok, Phuket, and Surat Thani. You can even bus across the border from neighboring countries like Malaysia and Laos. If you’re further away, however, expect a transfer in Bangkok or another major pitstop.
If you’re nearby, minions are your most likely option. They’re quick and fast, although a bit cramped. If you’re taking a longer journey, you can expect a coach bus instead. The larger buses are definitely the most comfortable options, with personal air con vents and reclining seats.
Almost all buses and minivans will arrive in Krabi Town, with the exception of the handful that deliver you directly to your hostel. But that’s not a problem—getting to Ao Nang from Krabi Town is a breeze. You can hail a local songthaew or motorbike driver from wherever you’re dropped off.
For a songthaew, anywhere from fifty to one-hundred baht is a good deal, but feel free to haggle the fare. Motorbikes will be your more expensive option, but are a lot quicker. You should expect to pay anywhere from one-hundred-and-fifty to three-hundred baht. Again, feel free to bargain.
Be sure you know what kind of bus/minivan you’re booking. There’s nothing worse than boarding a bus for a twelve hour journey only to realize what you thought was a sleeping bus has bright, never-ending fluorescent lights. It’s equally upsetting to accidentally pay extra for a sleeper bus when you’re only taking a short journey!
Taking the Train to Krabi
This one is a bit of a trick question! There isn’t a train station in the Krabi province, so you actually can’t take the train to our beautiful coasts. But if you really want the Thai train-riding experience, you can still fit it in on your way to Krabi. Surat Thani boasts a major train station, and from there you can take a variety of buses to reach Krabi. You can also take a train to Trang, but that’s a bit less common because it’s further south than Krabi.
Trains are one of Thailand’s cooler modes of transport. More often than not, you’ll take them overnight. That means you can spend the first few hours of your journey enjoying cityscapes transforming to countryside. Then, you can sleep through the night. Just wake up in time for sunrise and the great views as you move through Southern Thailand.
It’s understandable to think the train is the cheapest form of transport—it takes a long time, can be pretty inconvenient, and essentially drops you of in the least touristic city in all of Thailand. However, train tickets can be expensive! Compare prices to flights and buses to be sure it’s worth it. And even if it isn’t the cheapest option, we still recommend the experience.