Krabi has a wide range of activities and sports to suit every age and lifestyle. Most of them are outdoor pursuits, including diving, rock climbing, swimming, snorkelling, sea-kayaking and golf. You can also explore the region on a jungle trek, a bicycle tour or on the back of an elephant. You’ll also find spectator sports like Thai boxing and takraw, a traditional game that involves keeping a wicker ball up in the air – it’s actually harder, and more painful, than it sounds!
Rock climbing is the one activity that has made Krabi world famous and there are more than a dozen schools offering beginner to advanced courses. The limestone cliffs and faces on the many karst formations in the area are covered in first class routes, with more than 600 identified and ‘bolted’ so far that range from beginner 5a to extreme 8c. Getting started isn’t difficult and it can be enjoyed by all regardless of whether you have climbed before or not.
Diving is another extremely popular sport in Krabi, especially in world famous Koh Phi Phi which offers some spectacular reef diving and snorkelling. There are several dive centres in Ao Nang that offer Open Water 1 PADI courses, as well as advanced courses. All of them meet international standards for safety.
Big game fishing is another popular activity in Krabi. Your guides will be local villagers, who know the best places to find the fish, so a catch is guaranteed. Day excursions are the norm, but you can also charter a boat to go out before dawn, or at night.
Sea kayaking is the best way to explore the many small karst islands and visit lagoons hidden within them. Often, kayaks can go where other boats can’t, allowing you to get up close to the area’s abounding nature. Sailing is also a relaxing and fun way to experience the striking Andaman coast. Dragon Heart is an impressive 63ft Pinisi-style boat that tours the Phi Phi islands and boasts of a quality experience at affordable prices. Read, sunbathe or relax with a cool drink and sample delicious Thai food prepared onboard.
Golf can be played at Pakasai Country Club, located around 35kms from Ao Nang and 10kms from the airport, in Neua Klong District. A few companies offer golf package tours, often with a few stops at other places of interest, such as the driving range outside Krabi Town along the way. For serious golfers, the world-class greens of Phuket are a short, two-hour drive away.
Walkers will find Krabi’s National Park at Huay Toh has some particularly good trails, leading through the forest and up to a seven-tiered waterfall. There are also nature trails at Khao Phra-Bang Khram nature reserve, Tharnbok Khoranee National Park and along Tha Pom mangrove river. All of these park areas have clean pools, so you can take a refreshing dip after your exercise. If you’re a fitness fanatic, there are a few hotels in Krabi with their own gym and tennis courts.
If you’ve fallen in love with Thai cuisine, why not learn how to prepare it at home with one of the many hands-on cookery courses. Most will be able to answer questions about ingredient substitution and offer helpful advice on how to ‘translate’ the dishes to a Western setting. Other cultural activities include learning the Thai language, and one of the best passive activities in Krabi is indulging in a Thai massage or treatment at one of the many spas.