Often overlooked as a place simply to pass through, Krabi Town has a great deal to offer as a place to stay in itself. It is strung along the Krabi River estuary with a view of the oddly shaped Kanab Nam limestone karst promontories standing like jagged bookends leading to Khao Panom Bencha Mountain in the distance.
Although it is near a host of wonderful beaches and islands, Krabi Town is very much a functioning provincial capital where tourism is only a small part of the picture. This makes it a far more casual and inexpensive place to stay than any of the major resort areas. There are plenty of excellent hotels and restaurants but it remains uncluttered where the pace of life is pleasantly slow.
Krabi Town has a small but vibrant nightlife scene centering around professional Thai musicians kicking back and jamming. The transport hub for the region, there are numerous ways to get to and from Krabi Town.
One of the great traditions of leisure in Thailand is generally milling about and looking at things. The Krabi Town night market is a good place to learn these mysterious arts. Formerly a wet market the area around Manutboraan intersection on Maharat Road near Vogue Department Store has, since 2009, functioned as a pedestrianised market area between 5pm and 10pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Stalls sell a variety of arts and crafts as well as clothes, CD movies, fabrics and shoes amongst many other things. There are bands playing on stage and it is very busy. The food is great but it is sometimes hard to find a place to sit down and eat it. There are over 70 food stalls selling a range of Thai standards, delicacies and seasonal fruits.
Wat Tahm Seua is a cave temple located 8km to the north of Krabi Town. It is named after the tiger because the rock outgrowth nearby resembles a tiger’s claw. It is also known as a centre for meditation. Its spectacular setting in the Ao Luk Thanu mountain ranges certainly induces a feeling of peace. The main Wiharn is inside a small limestone cave with adjoining caves serving as kutis or living quarters for the monks of whom there are about 200. There are two staircases leading out of the wiharn. The staircase close to the large statue of Kuan Im, the Chinese fertility goddess, is the less daunting of the two. After an initial small ascent of 130 steps, it takes you to more living quarters for the monks. The other staircase has over 1200 steps and is a real physical challenge. It is as daunting as it looks. The steps are uneven which makes the climb even harder. The rewards when you reach the top are worth it though and take the form of a large Buddha stature and stunning views of the surrounding rugged Andaman scenery with its jagged limestone peaks.