Here’s the thing about international travel: once a place becomes popular for its keystone attractions, tourists often flock there in droves. If you are the type of traveller who wanted to get away from the noise and the crowds of your home town, seeking an exclusive and one-of-a-kind experience, your fellow tourists will be your worst enemies.
Naturally, a popular destination such as Krabi in Southwestern Thailand is not immune to such troubles. For years, tourists have been gathering in well-trodden Krabi locations such as Phi Phi Island, Railay Beach, Ao Nang Beach, Maya Bay, and the Emerald Pool in ways that’ll make you worry about having not having enough elbow room.
But fear not, as Krabi still has a lot to offer travellers who choose to veer away from the beaten path. There are several other locations in this highly popular Thai island province that fit the bill of “hidden gem”—a place that is not as likely to be packed with other people. Go beyond a tourist’s usual itinerary, and see if you can visit these five hidden treasures the next time you book a Krabi tour package!
The Blue Lagoon
Like the neighbouring Emerald Pool, where many tourists come to bathe, the Blue Lagoon is an attraction of Krabi that requires a two-hour drive from Ao Nang. But a hidden gem it truly is, nestled so deeply in a virgin jungle that not a lot people venture out of the way to see it.
Even if you are not permitted to swim in the Blue Lagoon’s crystal-clear turquoise waters, it is still a nice place to sit in, take in some fresh air, and snap photos alone or with your group—all without fear of strangers photo-bombing you from behind.
Mangrove Boardwalk at Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song Nam
Pa Phru Tha Pom Khlong Song sports one of Krabi’s most stunning mangrove areas. An incredible amount of biodiversity can be seen here, at the point where freshwater and saltwater mingle. You won’t have a lot of competition while you’re strolling down the boardwalk, either, so you can walk at a slow pace and take your time spotting Krabi’s indigenous wildlife species, whether by the river or up on the trees.
Ao Thalane is a sub-district of Krabi that affords just the right amount of tourist infrastructure—cozy accommodations both for the thriftier and more extravagant spenders, adequate dining options, and some much-needed seclusion from the noisier public spaces of Krabi. This natural and secluded location is the perfect setting for island hopping, trekking, or kayaking at your leisure.
Ngon Nak Nature Trail
Going on the Ngon Nak nature trail should be on your bucket list if you enjoy hiking and being miles away from city-goers. The trail will afford you a peaceful four to six hours alone with Krabi’s greenery, free from the chokehold of less adventurous tourists.
Sra Kaew Cave
The Sra Kaew Cave is famous in the international caving community as it is one of the deepest caves in Southeast Asia. Some of the hidden treasures in Sra Kaew’s caving system include ethereal spring pools (one of which is 200 metres deep) and some interesting rock formations. It may not be listed in the map of Krabi that you have, so be sure to ask a knowledgeable local about how to get there.
Here is one last reminder for the crowd-avoidant tourist: having a good time in Krabi involves not only choosing where to go, but when. If you really want room to breathe while you are travelling to the island, be strategic about the timing of your excursions—refrain from booking during peak seasons, and plan your visit to each attraction during the quieter, less busy times of day.
With that in mind, your trip to Krabi should prove fun, enriching, and above all, peaceful—just the way you like it!