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Diving in Krabi

Krabi offers a choice of beaches from which you can base yourself to access some great diving. Limestone cliffs dominate the area providing picturesque scenery and great rock climbing.

Diving in Krabi

Quick facts

The Thai Province of Krabi is located on the west coast of southern Thailand and is characterised by lush mangrove forests, rugged limestone cliffs and numerous idyllic off shore tropical islands. As well as stunning beaches and overwhelming natural beauty, Krabi offers excellent diving. Dive sites are predominantly pinnacle sites and feature an abundance of corals and reef fish with excellent macro life combined with the opportunity to see larger pelagics. Krabi has a vibrant and adventurous feel both on land and underwater. Scuba diving is easiest to arrange from Ao Nang or Railay Beach but not impossible from other places. As with many other destinations in this area, you can get to the popular sites of the King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef and Shark Point from Krabi. Expect over an hour journey to get to those sites and even longer to visit Hin Daeng and Hin Muang. These further afield sites are on the whole more advanced sites that can experience current. Local dive sites are much closer and more often suited to entry level divers but can also be subject to some current too. Some sites are so near that you’ll reach them in a traditional longtail boat. These boats are simple wooden boats like large rowing boats. An engine is attached to a long pole that has a propeller at its end; this odd looking type of propulsion is where it gets its name. Dive sites dot around the handful of islands that lie just off the coast. Much like elsewhere in Thailand boulders of various sizes form the building blocks to which the reef clings. Krabi has some interesting swim throughs to test your trim in. Koh Talu has two such instances that are shallow and great fun, but Koh Yawabon has the longest swim through. This one goes beyond the light zone and is only suitable for those with the appropriate training and experience.

When to go

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Ao Nang Local Islands – The key factor here is diversity! There are several rock islets which offer everything from swim throughs, drop off, caverns, slopes and walls. Marine life is equally varied and in any one dive you can see elusive ghost pipefish, lazy hawksbill turtles, schooling reef fish, leopard sharks, barracudas, groupers and even a passing manta. When you’re not being mesmerized by the hordes of fish, the kaleidoscopic colours of the reef make for a memorable dive. Bida Nok – This is a firm favourite with liveaboards as well as Krabi based divers – and for good reason! An abundance of sea snakes and hawksbill turtles have made this a “must see” dive site. Vertical walls are adorned with curtains of colourful corals which descend into the depths. The many shelf overhangs, recesses and crevices are home to moray eels, shrimps and more shy critters whereas parrotfish, wrasse, Moorish idols, butterfly fish, angelfish and a plethora of other colourful reef fish will not disappoint. Bida Nai – Smaller than Bida Nok, Bida Nai is no less impressive and offers swim throughs which are shrouded in clouds of schooling glass fish and home to scorpionfish, ghost pipefish, nudibranch and numerous shrimp species. The reef features sea whips, gorgonian fans and large barrel sponges which attract large numbers of lionfish. You’ll also find hunting trevally, triggerfish and jacks and on good days black tip reef sharks and leopard sharks are found resting under rocks or patrolling the sandy areas. King Cruiser Wreck – This 85 metre / 280 foot passenger ferry sank in 1997 after colliding with Anemone Reef and amazingly out of the 500 passengers on board no lives were lost. The wreck sits close to the reef in an upright position at 30 meters / 100 feet. The captain’s cabin is the shallowest point at just 12 metres / 40 feet beneath the surface. Schooling fish and hordes of lionfish have made the wreck their home and the steel structure is now almost completely encrusted in corals. Whilst penetration is not possible this is an exciting dive and a perfect example of a thriving artificial reef. Anemone Reef – This lime stone pinnacle, which rises up from 30 metres / 100 feet, is completely shrouded in a stunning mass of multi-coloured anemones. As one would expect anemone fish are not in short supply here but the pinnacle also attracts a plethora of reef life including fusiliers, snappers, butterflyfish, bannerfish, trumpet fish, sweetlips, triggerfish,moray eels and a range of critters to boot! It’s a colourful dive that bursting with life.

What to see

Krabi offers some great underwater vistas made up of both hard and soft coral. Bamboo, leopard and blacktip reef sharks can be seen. Barracuda school here and also are known, along with grouper, to guard the entrances to swim-throughs. Colourful reef fish go about their business, fusiliers swarm, and you are likely to see lobster crammed into holes too. Macro geeks will love seahorses, ghost pipefish, nudibranch, shrimp and wart slugs.


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Krabi Town is the capital of the province and also your ferry connection point to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Jum and Koh Lanta. The scenery comprises of massive limestone structures that some great rock climbing. Overland journeys in this area will often take you passed rubber and coconut plantations. Unless you are transferring to other destinations, you will not likely stay in Krabi Town but instead head to the beach.

Ao Nang is the most popular beach and where the concentration of facilities and resorts are. Compared to Phuket, Ao Nang is not as brash but it is still lively. It’s not the prettiest beach in the area, though. Railay is far more picturesque, as is Haad Noppharat Thara. If you fancy an even quieter locale head to Khlong Muang. That said, staying in Ao Nang does give you easy access to these other locales as day trips so you could get the best of both worlds.

Other attractions

Railay and Tonsai are both close by and offer some stunning and chilled beach locations as well as some of the best rock climbing in Thailand.

Getting there

Krabi Airport lies around 10 miles (15km) outside of the town centre and 15 miles (25km) from Ao Nang, which typically takes a little over 30 minutes to transfer by road.


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220-240 V

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Main airport
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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