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Krabi & Phi Phi Island

After a couple of days photographing and exploring Phang Nga Bay, most people enjoy heading east to the deeper, crystal clear waters and long, white sandy beaches of Krabi. Three main south-west facing bays provide ample anchorages in this popular tourist area, and a seaside strip of restaurants, bars and guesthouses line the beachfront giving it a warm and welcoming feeling.

Krabi & Phi Phi Island by Elite Yachting - Phuket Yacht Charter

Ao Nang is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Krabi, packed with resorts, bungalows, shops, restaurants and nightlife. Ao Nang has a wide, shallow bay with an anchorage of about 4-5 metres, secure in the north-east season. A number of small islands, including Koh Poda and the amusingly named Chicken Island, lie just offshore and are popular day trip destinations thanks to their beautiful white beaches and good snorkelling. Dinner at a restaurant set on the beach, with a cocktail in one hand and your feet in the sand, watching some of the best sunsets in Thailand is a great way to enjoy Ao Nang.

Ao Nang by Elite Yachting - Phuket Yacht Charter   Click map image to enlarge.
Laem Nang by Elite Yachting - Phuket Yacht Charter   Click map image to enlarge.

Railay (also spelled Rai Le) Beach is a small peninsula between Ao Nang and Krabi Town, and comprises four beaches (namely East Railay, West Railay, Phra Nang and Tonsai) connected by a central inland strip. Accessible only by boat due to the high limestone cliffs which cut the area off from the mainland, Railay is as famous for its gorgeous beaches as it is for rock climbing, attracting climbers from all over the world. There is a secure anchorage in the centre of the Railay West bay, which is book-ended on either side by huge limestone cliffs. There is a range of accommodation and restaurant options on-shore, as well as a famous cave on the south end of Phra Nang beach with a colourful phallic shrine. The jungly interior is lovely for exploring, and there are a few high view points that can be reached with some scrambling. There is good snorkelling at a few points in the area.

Phi Phi Islands by Elite Yachting - Phuket Yacht Charter   Arguably Krabi's most popular destination is Phi Phi Don. Some 18 miles south of Ao Nang and Krabi Town, its waters are so clear one can see almost to the sea bed. Ton Sai Bay is the larger of the two bays, and is the most developed. It is a convenient and secure anchorage with easy access to hotels, restaurants and other on-shore amenities. However Phi Phi Don has a range of good anchorages dotted all around the island, such as Monkey beach or Lanah bay so you are catered for whether you like the hustle and bustle or a quiet spot alone.
  Click map image to enlarge.

Neighbouring island Phi Phi Leh is home to the famous Maya Bay, location for the film The Beach, and as such the island is incredibly busy with day trippers

Charts courtesy of Southeast Asia Pilot - www.southeastasiapilot.com