8 great reasons to visit Krabi in Thailand with kids
The brutally honest foreword: Thailand has never been on my bucket list. EVER. Here, I said that. There were three major reasons or maybe just my personal perceptions:
- the unsafe destination for a family with a fair-skinned child
- unclean beaches
- poorly looked after or exploited animals
Despite glamorous imagines in travel magazines, occasional friends photos, and even culinary showcases — yes, even the idea of a glorious food would not make me change my mind. Then, at some point somewhere in the process of planning another SE Asian trip, something in my mind shifted. I guess we just got curious and decided why do one country on one trip we could do two? That’s how Thailand was added to our Vietnam plans.
The next question was which place in Thailand was SAFE to visit?
We wanted proximity to water so Chiang Mai wasn’t an option. We wanted cruises to islands but Phuket or Pattaya didn’t agree with the family values. I then started to look deeper into the possibility of staying down the south around islands. The famous Phi Phi islands in the precinct of Ao Nang area in Krabi.
Would it be a good idea to visit Krabi with kids? I couldn’t answer at that time because it was purely a gut feeling but Krabi seemed like a safe and welcoming place. Oh my, we were not wrong!
On the arrival, driving down from the airport, peeking through the windows of a shuttle bus at not very attractive streets, countless homeless dogs, people on bikes with no helmets, the only thought going through my head was: Oh God, I hope the hotel will be nice! Haha, I was preparing for the worst. But as the main street turned into somewhat a very narrow windy alley stretching along bushie plantations, I realized: This tiny road leads to something awesome!
Then it happened…The VIEW!
I was not ready to see THIS. I expected the third country type of beach. But this.. this blew me away. That was love at first sight. The views I got to enjoy thoroughly for the four days of our stay. The views that made me feel sad leaving. Krabi became my new found love. I was happy. And comfortable. We all were. Isn’t that important?
8 really good reasons why you should visit Krabi with kids
So what makes Krabi so likable and family oriented?
- The size. Very compact, located away from the center, in a little village-like township. Only 45 minutes from the airport, Ao Nang Beach area offers nothing but the tranquillity and remoteness. The season starts in April so we went at the end of March, caught a lovely weather and less crowded streets.
- Low prices. And who wouldn’t? If you pay AU$8 per hour for a divine Thai massage, there is hardly anything wrong with that.
- The availability of western food cafes. Prepare to pay more. Smaller portions with a slightly bigger price tag. Here is the difference though. The traditional food costs less, although portions are a lot smaller. Westerners are big eaters so it can be tricky. The best part is there are always local stalls available, with a variety of products to please any taste. Fresh fruits, juices (they blend them in front of you), my new favorite Thai style pancakes, seafood, and slowly grilled meats.
- The variety of daily cruises. There is No need to pre-book tours, honestly. Walking down a street no matter how big or small, there are stalls and stalls with tourist agencies, all competing to get more clients, therefore half the price is guaranteed! Negotiate if you must but be mindful, they are people too, they need to make ends meet.
- An array of privately own shops selling cheap clothing, daily necessities, gifts. Pretty much everything anyone would need on holidays. So my suggestion – travel light, you can get all things big and small at the destination, for a LOT CHEAPER price.
- A variety of stay options: hotels, hostels, boarding rooms. Very very cheap with free WiFi. With breakfast included is very common.
- Cleanness. Thai are very particular about their hygiene. Every space we entered, be it a massage salon or a hotel room, we were encouraged to leave shoes at the door. Loved that. This resonated with my own upbringing and actually helped develop a deeper trust in the country.
- WiFi. It deserves a STANDING APPLAUSE. 100 out of 100. We purchased Thai Sims for our phones at a local 7/11. They came with an UNLIMITED Internet for a week. Very affordable. Not a glitch. The registration process is a science on its own. This technology deserves a standing ovation. Everything gets done over the phone using QScan and passports. 2 minutes in total. English version guaranteed (not every country offers that).
Our ” Timber House Hotel ” was the best random online pick. I have spent hours reading hotels reviews, looking at the surroundings, searching for extra options included. Must say, we could not make a better choice! Rated at 3,5 stars it offered spacious rooms with a veranda ( Oh my!), drying clothing rack, umbrellas for a wet weather, free WiFi ( a must for us!), breakfasts for all of us ( a very good buffet by the way), a garden or a pool view of your choice ( we chose the garden, it was a tad cheaper), an amazing pool with the perfect temperature ( I am very pickish at the water temp), an impeccable location. Opposite the road, every morning locals set up their popular stalls, bustling with food and drinks. We would pick up our fresh blended juice in the afternoon or pancakes for lunch to eat at our perfect room’s veranda as there were not many sitting options available around the stalls. They also get very busy.
The activities that we enjoyed:
- Fish Spa. For less than AU $4 for 15 mins, we got an unforgetful experience. Longer you sit, cheaper you pay. An hour will cost less than AU$ 8.
2. Phe Phe Islands Cruise. This deserves its own blog. Emotions are overloaded.
3. Sunset Cruise. The best experience your family can afford ( and you really can!). Yep, a separate blog for that.
4. Massage. Yes, the genuine Thai massage with a whole package: a clean, beautifully scented room, calming music, and very experienced hands. Thai ladies love kids, they always express their natural motherly instinct. Do I have to mention that our boy got all the attention? Oh, and the price tag. Well, you guessed!
You may have noticed I have not mentioned a single thing regarding local people. Talking English was not a problem at all. What we found interesting though that in Krabi there is a mix of Thai and Indian backgrounds. That included a cuisine. A lot of places had a dual menu: Thai and Indian. We could never figure out why. Better leave at that. It is beautiful the way it is. The locals themselves are friendly enough to strike a chat, although more interested in getting tourists as clients. Girls at local 7/11 and Family Mart stores have not spoken a word of English, so every time we walked in, we were ignored. This is contrary to a hospitality in a westernized type of a cafe that we fell in love with, where no one could fully speak English, but they truly cared about making us comfortable.