30 May Perfect family holiday in Krabi
Krabi is one of those destinations in Thailand that you always want to come back. Not only because tropical beaches and nice weather but mostly because amazing landscapes that bring some special peace to your mind and soul. The beauty of Krabi’s beaches and islands is truly inspiring. Wherever you turn your eyes you will see a beautiful contrast of turquoise sea, beautiful sandy shores and tropical limestones. Some smaller islands around Krabi look heavenly, and if you are lucky enough to come before most daily tourist boats come you can experience an outstanding mixture of sky, sea, rocks and beaches as you are somewhere out of this world.
Rather chose little clouds than massive crowds
The first and most important to say, if you are planning to travel to Krabi avoid the peak season between December and March if possible in any way. As we had the opportunity to visit Krabi in October and also in March, I would always choose October first. No crowds on the beaches, no promenades of tourist on the streets; everything is calmer and looks more beautiful. Even the landscapes look nicer and more peaceful. If you choose October or April the chances for bad weather are small, and you will get more chance to rest without hundreds of tourist around you all the time.
Before coming to Krabi you have to decide how you want your holiday days to look like. There is not many truly beachfront hotels in Krabi, and you have to be careful when choosing the one as many of them don’t explain the position quite good, and it is advisable to check it on the good map. As the most famous part of Krabi – Ao Nang is too crowded and has the beach that doesn’t meet our expectations of truly tropical beach, we decided to go more north and get to know Klong Muang, a place that is still not commercial and didn’t meet a massive tourism.
Klong Muang – place where you can still find a truly Thai way of life
Klong Muang is a pretty beach area located to the north of Ao Nang, with spectacular views over the Andaman Sea, and the closest coastal access to the Ko Hong island group, a protected marine park of astonishing beauty. There are three beaches here: Ao Siew, whose most southerly point, Hang Nak cape, was chosen by the Thai royal family as the cliff top location for one of their summer palaces; Klong Muang, which has two sides – a wide sandy stretch to the south, and a narrow strip of sand curving round to the north, and even further north, the wildly beautiful Tupkaek Beach. In Klong Muang you will find a typically Thai tourist village with small restaurants, massage huts, bohemian beach bars and small shops. Although you are not staying in central Ao Nang you can still easily go to daily trips and do other activities like kayaking, diving and snorkeling that can be organized by your hotel tour counter or any of the agencies near the hotel. Also you can always do it online wherever you stay.
Klong Muang has only recently shown up on the tourism map. Shopping, dining and nightlife here are modest but that’s the very charm of the place. If you are looking for touristy places, and can live without glossy restaurants, bars and clubs you rather choose Ao Nang. We chose Klong Muang to enjoy during the day by the beautiful infinity pool in Beyond hotel and its wonderful beach, and then In the evening experienced some truly traditional beach bars on the beach, and the life in a small village where people still live simple and enjoy small things in the life.
I’m aware that it will soon all be changed, and that Klong Muang will soon become another Ao Nang, but if you thinking of Krabi think of Kloung Muang, as here you stil have the opportunity to see traditional Thai life, and community that is not over planned with touristy behavior.
Also, don’ t miss the sunsets in Klong Muang, they are one of the most beautiful in Krabi, especially if you happen to watch them from the little beach bars such as Sunset Bar by Rose and Rinda or Sabai Ba bar.
Not so far from Ao Nang, centre of night life and entertainment
Some day when we just wanted to have more louder nights we headed to Ao Nang that is 20 minutes away by tuk tuk or 10 minutes away by car. It is not difficult to find the transfer option, just look around at the main street and you will always find somebody willing to take you to the Ao Nang, day or night. Return price is approximately 10 Euro but it can be even cheaper if you agree on a few day package with the same driver. After experiencing peace and authenticity of Klong Muang it would be hard to stay in Ao Nang again. It is a place that you would like to avoid, and only stay at if you are a person that likes to be surrounded with crowds, lights, noise and lady boys, shop vendors, excursion sellers, and all sorts of annoyances that will take your peace away in a minute. 20 minutes tuk tuk ride from Klong Muang is worth of not staying in the centre of entertainment Ao Nang, no matter how much you like to have fun.
Ao Nang is Krabi’s central beach and major transport hub through which most visitors pass at sometime. Its role as a food and shopping centre, plus transport hub serving other beaches and islands. This is the ideal jumping off point for those who wish to see more of Krabi’s attractions, and plan to make day-trips or overnight journeys by boat and road. But anyone looking for a true on-the-beach, chill-out vacation needs to head out of the Ao Nang where the coastline is more beautiful and peaceful.
Beyond Resort – truly beachfront hotel with spectacular panorama
We stayed in Beyond Resort Krabi in Klong Muang, 45 minutes’ drive away from Krabi Airport. It is private, luxurious and truly beach resort. It offers everything for a perfect leisure holiday, and there is no real reason to go outside the hotel, only if you are in search for some adventure or tradition. It is perfect for people who want quiet, luxury break or an escape from the usual holiday crowd. It is suitable for families and also honeymooners. From here you can still easily explore the islands and inland of Krabi region.
Beautifully designed hotel is a part of Phuket’s well-known Kata Group that is celebrating 36 years, and offers accommodations in a small hotel block that is surrounded by more individual villas. It enjoys a prime spot overlooking an excellent part of Klong Muang Beach; 80 meters of excellent beachfront with nice locally owned beach bar and beach massage spot.
Lobby with a view
From your first step in the hotel you will be amazed with a great view, as the lobby of the hotel is on 5th floor, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy a great panorama of Andaman sea and beautiful infinity pool with lush greenery all around it.
There is a colorful lounge next to the lobby where you can enjoy your drink with a breathtaking view. The hotel restaurant is next to the beach and pool, serving Thai and international cuisines, buffet breakfast with lots of choices. When you step out of the hotel you will find yourself on the main street that is still very simple, and village like with small houses and people living true traditional life. Here you can still feel like time had stopped and worries have gone to some other places.
Infinity pool overlooking the little island and private beach
What’s really amazing in Beyond hotel Krabi is that the infinity pool is just next to the beach, it is divided in two parts, one large part suitable for babies and smaller kids, and other where you can have a nice swim. In the pool that is surrounded with beautiful tropical greenery and flowers you can enjoy in the few whirlpools which make the day near the pool even nicer. A beautiful stretch of the beach with a soft, more whiter sand than in Ao Nang is at the front. Here you will also see some boats and skippers which can take you to other small islands. A great part of the view is also a small island 200-300 metres away from the beach, you can walk to it and take an adventure at low tide, but you need to be careful and avoid the shells on the rocks.
We stayed in a garden villa with a spacious terrace and lush greenery of its gardens. Having been here and not overlooking the sea gave us the opportunity to enjoy true tropical garden feeling with just a step away from pool and sandy beach. It is great place as children could find a lots of places to play hide and seek, and to enjoy in the garden while you relax on the terrace. Villa Garden View Room has 48 sqm, and is inspired by the honeycomb of bees, with spacious bathroom that gives you a feeling of showering in the cave.
Take some time for half-day and day trips
When you travel with small kids as we have travelled than you have to be sure that you plan enough different activities that will amuse your children, and at the same time they shouldn’t be too demanding. When you plan to travel to Krabi you will for sure hear about Phi Phi islands and their unbelievable beauty. That is true if you coming to stay here for more days but if you visiting them just during a day trip you will be a little disappointed as the trip boat will take you to the centre point where you will see nothing but apartments in the process of building, too many boats and not so beautiful strech of the beach. Nothing like you will see on the postcards, If you want to feel the true Phi Phi you better stay here for a few days and out of the central part where the boats arrive.
If you choose to stay in continental part of Krabi and just do the daily or half a day trips it is better to choose four island tour that includes some smaller islands off the Ao Nang coast. And if you really want to enjoy perfect beach day just choose the day at famous Railay beach and Phra Nang beach, 15 minutes away from Ao Nang by long tail boat. Here the sea is pristine, sand white and soft, rocky landscapes over the sea just perfect and everything looks like you are on some dream place. If you come here out of the main season, or at least before 10 am when the most boats are coming you will not believe that places like these really exist. Outstanding experience.
Another beautiful place worth going for a daily trip is Hong Islands National park. The half-circular shape means that inside is a ‘secret’ lagoon with emerald-green waters surrounded by limestone cliffs towering out of the water. Here you will see only a fine, white-sand beaches, tropical fish world and memorable sights.
Children are really amazed with elephants, so when you travel with kids you will not want to miss elephant riding and baby elephant show. No matter how controversial these trips are, and animal lovers don’t recommend them due to bad behavior against the elephants, as always it is difficult to understand something you don’t see just hear. We didn’t want to think that something bad is happening to the elephants that we saw, they looked well cared and people who take care of them didn’t make us feel unpleasant. They treated elephants like we are treating our pats, nothing aggressive happened here and the conditions don’t look a lot different from their jungle home, as during these trip you step into the true jungle parts.
More adventure close to to Klong Muang
If you are looking for a real nature adventure then you have to head to Tubkaek Beach. From here, there is a nice woodland walk past a river to a waterfall, and if you continue to walk you will have the opportunity to come to to the peak of Ngon Nak (also known as Hon Nak, meaning Dragon’s Crest), a mountain with spectacular views over Phang Nga Bay. Although only around 4km in distance, the trek takes 2–3 hours and should be planned only if your body is used to activity with lots of water along way.
Also, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy Tubkakek beach, one of the most beautiful and secluded beach in Krabi with especially fine sand, and clear sea with not so many people around you.
Photo Credits: magic4.club