Home DestinationsAsia Skip Phuket, Go to Krabi
Skip Phuket, Go to Krabi

Skip Phuket, Go to Krabi

written by The Travel Captain February 10, 2016

Skip Phuket

If you’re over the age of 25 and not looking for a seedy bachelor/bachelorette getaway, Skip Phuket and Go to Krabi.  The Phuket vs. Krabi debate is long standing but any doubts I had before on which is a superior locale were squashed after last month’s trip.  The truth is I went to both but found it completely unnecessary.  I know it’ll be tough to skip Phuket, especially if you’re a first time visitor to Thailand.  Here are the reasons why you should:

1. Krabi is more naturally beautiful.  Look at the difference between the public beaches.

You’re resort in Phuket may have its own private beach.  But it comes at a hefty price.

Railay Beach, Krabi

Skip Phuket, Go to Krabi

Railay Beach, Krabi

And Phra Nang Cave Beach, Krabi

Skip Phuket, Go To Krabi

Phra Nang Cave Beach, Krabi

 

Versus

Patong Beach, Phuket

Skip Phuket

Phuket’s celebrated Patong Beach pales in comparison

2. Krabi is less expensive

Phuket’s peak travel season is December thru March whereas Krabi’s is October thru April.  Both destinations experience a significant uptick in accommodation prices for the holiday season, specifically post December 17th until the first week of January.   Much better deals are found in Krabi year round. Both have airports you can fly into but Krabi is also accessible by road.

Skip Phuket3. Krabi has the same or better activities

While in Phuket, many take day excursions to the incredible Ko Phi Phi Islands where scenes from the movie, The Beach, were shot.  The islands offer snorkeling in crystal clear waters as well as beautiful beaches.  To be frank, skipping Phi Phi wouldn’t be terrible.  It’s different from when I visited it years ago and is overrun with drunk backpackers who think they’re the first ones to have discovered it.  If you must go, do a day trip at the earliest possible.  After 9am, its a tourist nightmare and speedboats nearly collide as they try to find a place to dock on the stretches of beach.  If you look at the map to the right, you’ll see that the Phi Phi Islands are equidistant if not closer to Krabi.

The same can be said for canoe trips to Hong Island and Phang Nga Bay, both are closer to Krabi.  In addition, Krabi has elephant trekking, treetop adventures at Ao Luek, caving, mountain climbing, quad biking, fishing, go karting and bungee jumping.  Visit the Khlong Thom Hot Springs, Khao Lak Nature Safari (a short ride away) and Thung Teao Forest National Park.  Don’t forget, Krabi is attached to the mainland whereby Phuket is an island so excursions from Krabi are easier.  Krabi also is great for karaoke bars and all night beach parties.  Speed boat or long tail boat trips to remote islands off Krabi’s coast are incredible and much less crowded compared to those off the coast of Phuket and the Phi Phi Islands.

What You’ll be Missing in Phuket

The only thing you’ll be missing in Phuket is the Phuket Aquarium, Flying Hanuman and  Tiger Kingdom, all horrendously commercial and geared for tourists.  The Tiger Kingdom is not worth it in my opinion.  The tigers are caged, look anxious and the site is very very crowded.

4. Phuket is Full of Crowds

By all means, stay in your resort for the entire duration of your stay.  But if you get a bit stir-crazy and want to venture out…. then Krabi is a much better bet for families, couples and singles.  The attractions are less crowded in Krabi and Phuket main town is sleazy.  You’ll get hassled nine times out of ten for cheap goods, “massage” and whatever else.

 

5. Phuket doesn’t embody Thailand

It may come off that I’m speaking ill of Phuket.  It’s not a bad destination.  Its just that Krabi is much nicer for the reasons above.  There is a better sense of Thailand in Krabi.  The resorts are less manufactured.  It’s not filled with chain hotels and overly manicured grounds.

We stayed in a villa at the Tubkaak Boutique Resort in Krabi.  Its natural setting and beach were unrivaled.  Also, local fisherman are easily spotted in Krabi whereas, in Phuket, non natives are seen trying to make a quick buck via street side carts and stalls.  And, the seafood is way better in Krabi 🙂  Trust me, you won’t regret it.

Let me know if you decided to Skip Phuket !

 

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  • Phuket is also accessible by road. There is a bridge connecting Phuket to the mainland. It’s very easy to drive from Krabi to Phuket via Phang Nga. We do it all the time 🙂

    • Good to know! Thanks. But I still prefer Krabi over Phuket any time! 🙂

  • stephaniestraveldiary

    I have been to Thailand twice but never went to Phuket of Krabi.
    However I would like to go there…so maybe I will go to Krabi next time 🙂
    x

    • Am very curious to know where you went in Thailand. So many first time visitors have Phuket included in their itinerary. If not the first, then definitely the second time! 🙂 As I’m sure you’ve guess by now, definitely recommend giving Krabi a chance for your third visit

  • Nam Cheah

    Thank you so much for this post! I’m super excited about heading to Krabi and I must admit, I didn’t know it existed or what is there to do 🙂
    I have wanted to stay at Koh Phi Phi but now that I’ve read your post, I know that it’s fine if I don’t and what I should expect. Since I am going in December, I am keeping my fingers crossed about how crowded it’d be.

    • Im glad it was of some help 🙂 Enjoy your trip and for sure, Krabi will be less crowded than Phuket!

  • Such a good post. I’ve avoided going to Thailand actually because of all those negative backpacker things you mentioned haha. It honestly looks SO beautiful and amazing but I would hate to be surrounding by obnoxious drunk people all day long… gosh, am I getting old?! Anyways – you’ve really offered awesome insight and advice for when I do eventually go. it’s such a shame that most people do the exact same tourist route in Thailand, when there’s really a lot more to be explored. You nailed this one!! 🙂 great job.

    • Hi there, thanks for all the love. Oh man, I hope it didn’t sound like I was speaking bad about backpackers. Don’t have an issue with them just sloppy drunkards 🙂 I definitely think Im getting old 🙂 haha. Thailand is certainly magical, I wouldn’t skip going but planning a less touristy route is key to enjoyment. If possible, heading there shoulder season will really help too. As you said, so many places to explore ….the natural beauty is pretty breathtaking.

  • Izzy

    Hi there, I’m planning on going to Thailand for the first time in June but am undersided as to where to go. Im over in Hong Kong for work and want to take a relaxing trip for a week away in Thailand. I’m 20, going along and want a chilled holiday which offers the best of both worlds. Ideally somewhere i can sit on a beach if i want too but also have the opportunity to do activities and keep myself busy. Where would you recommend going? I’ve looked at Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui and Phang Nga bay. They’re all similar but also different so im finding it hard to make a decision. Any recommendations?

  • Izzy

    Hi there, I’m planning on going to Thailand for the first time in June but am undersided as to where to go. Im over in Hong Kong for work and want to take a relaxing trip for a week away in Thailand. I’m 20, going along and want a chilled holiday which offers the best of both worlds. Ideally somewhere i can sit on a beach if i want too but also have the opportunity to do activities and keep myself busy. Where would you recommend going? I’ve looked at Phuket, Krabi, Koh Samui and Phang Nga bay. They’re all similar but also different so im finding it hard to make a decision. Any recommendations?

    • I would totally recommend Krabi. There are plenty of young people and beach parties in addition to all the activities I mentioned above (mountain climbing, rainforest, canoeing, etc). It’s not seedy like Phuket and the vibe is very very relaxed! Phang nga bay easily accessible from Krabi as well. I’ve heard koh Samui is overcrowded…

  • Pingback: Tubkaak Krabi Boutique Resort in Thailand()

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