Krabi Town is not exceptional as Thai towns go. Provincial towns in Thailand all look much alike. But for someone new to this country it is still interesting to take in the colour and bustling atmosphere a typical provincial capital.
As the seat of local government, numerous official buildings for the provincial authorities dominate the high part of the town: police, justice, education, highways departments etc. The heart of the town in a criss-cross of streets lined with the standard, uninspiring concrete shophouses. There is a large fresh food market that makes for an interesting visit, particularly in the early morning. Hunt for it right in the middle of the shophouses – the town is small enough to be sure of finding it. Thai fresh markets generally begin at daybreak, with larger ones like this continuing through the day.
The riverfront is the only part of town that might be called scenic. Here is a boat port which services fishing trawlers and passenger boats that ply the waters to Phi Phi and Koh Lanta. Adjacent the main part of town is a riverbank park, though it is new and the trees are small. A floating restaurant, accessed through this park, is a pleasant place to eat, particularly at sunset or in the evening. The menu is specifically Thai, so ask to take out the chillies if you don’t like things really spicy.
The main North-South highway, Route 4, bypasses Krabi town. The central road running through town along the riverbank leads some four kilometres to intersect this highway at a main junction where the bus station for other provinces is located.
There is one large modern hotel just outside town, the Meritime Hotel. It is visible upriver from the riverside park. Perhaps the most convenient hotel is the Viengtai Hotel which faces the riverside park. It is a little old and is frequented by Thai businessmen, so the prices are distinctly Thai, with a basic air-con room costing about 600 Baht.
There are several other small hotels in town, some being quite cheap. Some small coffee shops and restaurants catering to western travellers have sprung up, particularly along the road leading to the boat port. One can take a boat from here to the Phra Nang peninsula where the famous beaches are located.