Getting Around Krabi
Photo: Motorcycle Taxi


Getting Around Krabi


Krabi is easy to get around.

There is a small metered taxi service in Krabi (but actually works on a negotiated price). Private taxis, usually unlicensed, can be rented, but they do not ply the streets for easy hailing. Arrangements have to be made with a tour office, hotel, or directly with the operator. (Licensed taxis — vehicles that can charge for a service to the public — have license plates with black numbers on a green or yellow background. White backgrounds are for private vehicles only.)

Air-conditioned Vans and open-air Song Teow (covered pickup trucks with sideways seats in the back), run between Krabi Town and all the major districts within Krabi.

Motorcycle taxis and motorized tricycles run from many spots in Krabi Town, Ao Nang, and Lanta. Motorcycle taxi drivers wear numbered vests (Each spot, or 'queue' has its own color & numbering system). Ao Nang has a system of small 4-wheel open-sided 'tuk-tuk'. A few are available in Krabi Town.

Private cars and motorcycles can be rented at all the tourist centers and most hotels. Insurance is a problem if the rental organization is not authorized. If you do not have the right kind of personal insurance, be very careful, or you could end up with liability and/or medical costs. The normal practice is for the rental organization to hold your passport until the vehicle is returned (except for the international car rental agencies: Hertz, Budget, National, Avis, which are considerably more expensive).

An International Driver's License is legally required to drive in Thailand, but you can rent a car with a valid country license (North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand - Other countries ??). Police can always hassle you if you don't have the International one.

Motorcycle accidents cause the most medical problems in Krabi. Even experienced motorcycle drivers can have problems. In some areas the road surfaces are not good, the road is wet, or has sharp, unmarked curves. In addition, road rules (not laws) are not the same as elsewhere. You have to be a defensive driver paying attention to everything that is going on around you. If you've never ridden a motorcycle before, go someplace with no traffic and practice.

Motorcycles do not have the same right-of-way as cars (which is different from the norm in most countries). They are expected to stay on the left side of the road, and not drive down the middle of the lane.

DO NOT RIDE WITHOUT A HELMET (BOTH DRIVER AND PASSENGER). That's just stupid, and will get you a fine in some locations. Leave bare-headed freedom to macho posers and ignorant risk takers. (The greatest number of medical treatments and deaths by tourists in Thailand is due to motorcycle accidents — be warned!)

Also note that in Thailand, driving a motorcycle requires a specific motorcycle license. A car license cannot be used. Unless your foreign license is endorsed for motorcycles also, police can always cause trouble — meaning a legal fine or a request for a more informal way of solving the problem (payment).

Getting to Lanta Island from the mainland by road requires taking two inefficient car ferries. A bridge over one water section is under construction — very, very slowly.

Krabi is a great place to cycle. The back roads are uncrowded with beautiful vistas. There are few very steep grades.


Krabi Town has a large ferry pier (Khlong Jilat/Chilat Pier) 4 kilometers from the town center. Passenger ferries go to Phi Phi Island (year-round) and Lanta Island (shut down during monsoon season).

From the Noparatthara Pier near Ao Nang, ferries run to Phuket, Phi Phi Island, and Yao Islands. Most boat ticket prices include a pickup service from a hotel or guesthouse. There is no advantage to go to the pier by yourself as the price will be the same (and you will spend extra money getting to the pier).

The old pier in Krabi Town (Khongkha Pier or sometimes known as Chao Fah Pier) is rarely used for passenger access. Boat dock at this pier overnight, but go to Khlong Jilat Pier to pick up passengers. Boat tickets, like at Noparattara, usually include pickup.

Longtail boats run from Krabi Town to Railay East; Krabi Town to Klang Island (across the Krabi River); Ao Nang to Ton Sai and Railay West Beaches; and Ao Nam Mao to Railay East. To get the regular price, you usually have to wait for 6 to 8 passengers before the boat will depart. From Krabi Town and Ao Nam Mao, the wait can be a long time. From the boat cooperative kiosks in Ao Nang the wait is usually short. Please note that these services stop between 5:00 and 6:00 afternoon.

Longtail boats can be rented from most of the tourist areas for private use. In Ao Nang these prices are listed at the boat sales kiosks.

Lots of Tuk Tuks in Ao Nang
A Few in Krabi Town

Song Taew (Two Rows) Pickup Public 'Bus' Krabi-Ao Nang
Krabi Town Looking Northwest