I wanted to go to Southern Thailand so I could visit the secret island in “The Beach” movie. Cliche, I know! but I’ve been craving to go there for the longest time. Like a lot of backpackers, it was one of the iconic movies that inspired me to travel.

Taking cue from the perfect weather on my four-day visit to Langkawi, Malaysia, I sailed to Southern Thailand and started my exploration of the Andaman coast from Krabi town.

Langkawi to Krabi

Sea and land trip from Langkawi to Satun, Thailand by ferry then local bus from Satun to Krabi.

Yes, we’re in Thailand!

First day in Krabi Town

Giant crabs at the peaceful riverside promenade in Krabi

Statuesque limestone formations along the Krabi River. The first time I saw these rock formations, I was already impressed. Krabi town was already beautiful, I expected the main tourist sites to have even grander scenery.

Thousands of cute red crabs at the riverbanks

First Pad Thai meal of the trip at Krabi’s riverside night market. Aroi mak, very delicious!

Krabi to Phi Phi Islands

Amazing wall of limestone mountain. I wanted to explore that area further but first, I want to visit the Phi Phi Islands

Ferry from Krabi to Ko Phi Phi Don

Ko Phi Phi Don

Traditional long tail boats decorated with colorful cloths at Ton Sai Bay, where the pier was located

The whole time, we (me and my new found dorm buddies) ate most of our meals at a small Pad thai / fried rice stall. It was the only cheap yet worthwhile food place we could find in the whole island.

Beautiful weather at Loh Dalum Bay, the main swimming beach at Phi Phi Don Island

Rougher waters at Long Beach. This looked like the beach where Richard (Leo) and the french couple started swimming to the secret island in “The Beach” movie. So exciting!

“The Beach” moment at Ko Phi Phi Leh

The waves were scary big on the long tail boat ride to Ko Phi Phi Leh. It was not the perfect weather conditions to go see the epicness of Maya Beach (“The Beach” beach) but we ended up getting a more memorable and very unexpected experience out of it.

Not only did we go through the crazy rough boat ride, we also had frantic boatmen shouting at us, and had to swim in rough seas from the boat to a rock cliff, then climb to the top on woven ropes, cross a forested area under cold rain and echoing thunder, then, go through the same ordeal on our way back.

Snorkeling at Ko Phi Phi Leh Lagoon

What we had to cross to get from the boat to the actual island

Maya Bay, beautiful even under cloudy skies

Late afternoon view of Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi Leh

Viewpoint overlooking the main sandy stretches of Phi Phi Don Island

Krabi Town Revisited

I was hoping the rain would stop so I could go rock climbing in Railay Beach, I was drooling over the brochure pictures of other tourists doing “super human” spiderman poses while scaling the scenic cliffs of Railay. Amazing!

The rain persisted. I was already planning to leave the next day. Then, I met the really interesting backpackers  who gave me a reason to stick around Krabi Town.

Wat Kaew (temple) in Krabi Town

Love chang!

Sea Kayaking in Ao Tha Lane

View of limestone cliffs on our way to the Sea Kayak Tour in Ao Tha Lane, Krabi

Thai boatman keeps calm even under heavy rain. Seen in the photo is a view of towering peaks in the Ko Hong Island Group. Fortunately, the rain stopped after 15 minutes and we got to enjoy taking photos during our sea kayak tour in Tha Lane, Krabi

Even the monkeys were annoyed with the weather

Views before entering the canyon-like limestone formation at Tha Lane

Joined Tatiana of The Lilac Around the World, who took this picture, on the sea kayak tour. So cool to have met her coincidentally!

Kayaking through huge mangrove forest

I wanted to stay longer in Southern Thailand to explore lesser known islands, especially the ones off the coast of Trang. It was raining almost every day the entire week, I wasn’t able to enjoy Thailand’s beaches as much because I was craving for blue skies.

They said, the east coast of Thailand should have sunny skies that time of year but traveling there would put me too far off course since I was flying out from Kuala Lumpur the week after.

I thought the rainy weather would be ideal to explore a rain forest somewhere instead. So, I traveled by land to Pahang Taman Negara, Malaysia via Sungai Kolok-Rantau Panjang border crossing.

Phi Phi and Krabi, Thailand Itinerary Map



Krabi Town (Day 1)

  • Langkawi to Krabi Town via Satun
  • Arrival in Krabi Town
  • Walking tour of Krabi Town

Phi Phi Islands (Day 2 to 5)

  • Krabi Town to Ko Phi Phi Don Ferry
  • Arrival in Ko Phi Phi Don
  • Walking Tour of Ko Phi Phi Don
    • Beaches of Lo Da Lum and Tonsai Bay, Ko Phi Phi Don
    • Long Beach, Ko Phi Phi Don
  • Maya Beach, Ko Phi Phi Leh Island Tour
  • Ko Phi Phi Don Viewpoint

Krabi town (Day 6 to 8)

  • Ao Tha Lane Sea Kayaking Tour
  • Thailand to Malaysia: Krabi to Hat Yai to Sungai Kolok-Rantau Panjang border crossing