Planning a Trip
There are daily bus and minibus connections between Krabi-Phuket and Krabi-Surat Thani, for the east coast islands (Samui, Koh Pha Ngan). A ferry also leaves daily connecting Phuket (dep. 8am) and Ao Nang (dep. 3pm); check ahead for weather reports. Tickets are available from the Ao Nang Tourist Office (tel. 07563-7730) or Phuket Pier in Phuket Town (tel. 07623-2040); the trip takes 2 hours and costs 350B (US$10/£5.40).
By Plane -- Tiger Airways (tel. 02351-8333 in Bangkok; www.tigerairways.com) has direct flights from Singapore. Thai AirAsia (tel. 02515-9999; www.airasia.com) and One-Two-GO Airlines (tel. 1126 in Bangkok or 1141; www.fly12go.com) fly from Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Nok Air (tel. 1318; www.nokair.com) and Thai Airways (tel. 02545-3690; www.thaiair.com) fly from both Bangkok's former airport, Don Mueang, and Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Do check which venue you are flying from or to, and allow 90 to 100 minutes minimum travel times between the two Bangkok airports, in case of traffic.
From Krabi airport, you can catch a minivan to town for 100B (US$3/£1.55), more for farther beaches. Taxis start at 300B (US$9/£4.60).
By Boat -- Thrice-daily trips leave from Koh Phi Phi to Krabi (trip time: 2 hr.; 300B/US$8.60/£4.60). There are two daily boats from Koh Lanta to Krabi in the high season (trip time: 2 1/2 hr.; 250B/US$7.10/£3.85). Visit www.krabi.com for more details.
By Bus -- Two air-conditioned VIP 24-seater buses leave daily from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (tel. 02435-1199; trip time: 12 hr.; 800B/US$23/£12) to Krabi Town. Frequently scheduled air-conditioned minibuses leave daily from Surat Thani to Krabi (trip time: 2 3/4 hr.; 250B/US$7.10/£3.85). Three air-conditioned minibuses leave daily from Phuket Town to Krabi (trip time: 3 1/2 hr.; 300B/US$9/£4.60).
Most services in Krabi town are on Utarakit Road, paralleling the waterfront (to the right as you alight the ferry). Here you'll find the TAT Office (tel. 07562-2163) and a number of banks with ATM service. The post office and police station (tel. 07563-7208) are located south on Utarakit Road, to the left as you leave the pier. There are also banks in Ao Nang, near the Phra Nang Inn, but nothing at Railay.
Check the small shops around town for a copy of the local free map of the resort area, town, and surrounding islands.
Krabi Town is the commercial hub in the area, but few bother to stay. There is frequent songtaew (pickup truck) service between Krabi Town and Ao Nang Beach; just flag down a white pickup (the trip takes 30 min. and costs 20B/57¢/30p).
Railay Beach and the resorts on the surrounding beaches are cut off by a ridge of cliffs from the mainland and are therefore accessed by boat. From the pier in Krabi Town, you'll pay anything from 100B (US$3/£1.55; trip time: 45 min.). From the beach at Ao Nang (at the small pavilion across from the Phra Nang Inn), the trip takes just 20 minutes and costs 80B (US$2.30/£1.25).
Khlong Muang beach is some 25km (16 miles) northwest of Krabi Town. Expect to pay at least 300B (US$8.60/£4.60) for a taxi.
The limestone formations around the coastline here are not only gorgeous visually, but are also great spots to explore by small boat. Some, such as the famous Koh Hong, are almost entirely enclosed -- with brilliant blue lagoons at their heart. Boats slip inside them at low tide via almost invisible, narrow chasms; visit www.krabi.com for info on boat tours.
If you're checking in at any resort, ask about transportation arrangements (which are often included) and prevailing weather conditions.