Krabi, a coastal province, abounds with countless natural attractions that never fail to impress tourists. Such attractions include white sandy beaches, crystal clear water, fascinating coral reefs, caves and waterfalls, as well as numerous islands.
The distinguishing feature of both Krabi and neighboring Phang Nga is the massive limestone karsts, rising vertiginously out of the flat rice paddies on land and as islands from the sea. Add in some gorgeous beaches, excellent scuba diving, and rock climbing, and it's little wonder that tourism in the area has been booming.
While less commercialized than neighboring Phuket, Krabi Province cannot be described as undiscovered: it receives two million visitors a year, and the major tourist areas cater to foreigners. The upside of Krabi, when compared to Phuket, is that many of the most beautiful beaches can only be accessed by boat, such that their coastal villages are far less urbanised and more laid back, a relief for those who do not want to see McDonalds / Starbucks and open air prostitution. The downside is the massive traffic of boats to these beaches, especially in high season, affecting both the environment and the tranquility, to the point that it sometimes may be hard to find a spot in the beach to swim.
From archaeological discoveries, it is believed that Krabi was one of the oldest communities in Thailand dating back to the prehistoric period. It is believed that this town may have taken its name after the meaning of Krabi, which means "sword". This may have stemmed from a legend that an ancient sword was unearthed prior to the city’s founding.
Krabi Province was badly hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004. Now, several years on, signs of the damage are hard to find.
The best time to visit Krabi is between the months Nov-Apr when the area's climate is cooler. During this period the island gets a lot of dry northeasterly winds, delivering blue skies and starry nights. Down on the beaches one can enjoy nice sea breezes. From Jun-Nov the area gets a lot of rainfall, more on average than the rest of the country. During this period the island gets a lot of moist southwesterly winds, resulting in a mix of dry and wet days. The sea stays at a warm 29°C all year round. Off-setting the less favourable weather, visitors during this period will find it cheaper.
Bordering the Andaman Sea, Krabi is 814 km south of Bangkok and covers an area of 4,708 square kilometres. Its mountainous physical geography is broken by highlands and plains, covering more than 130 large and small islands, and abounding with mangrove forests. The Krabi River flows 5 km through the town and into the Andaman Sea at Tambon Pak Nam. There are also klongs (canals) such as Klong Pakasai, Klong Krabi Yai, and Klong Krabi Noi, which all originate from Krabi's highest mountain, Mount Phanom Bencha.