In this guide, we’ll be sharing all about living in the beautiful tropical paradise of Krabi, so join us on this journey as we explore the laid-back lifestyle, stunning beaches, friendly locals, and delicious cuisine that make Krabi such a fantastic destination for expats seeking a slice of paradise.
- A tropical climate that is comfortable year-round.
- A gateway to many beautiful islands.
- Good connectivity across the country and internationally.
- A low cost of living compared to major cities.
- A relaxed and affordable lifestyle in a beautiful, tropical setting.
Climate and weather
This tropical paradise boasts a year-round warm climate, perfect if you love the sun, sand and sea.
Krabi is hot and sunny all year round. The hottest months are April and May, with temperatures ranging from 27°C up to 36°C (80°F to 95°F). The coolest month is December, with an average low of 23°C (73°F) and a high of 31°C (88°F).
Krabi has three seasons: hot, rainy, and cool. The southwest monsoon brings frequent, heavy downpours from May to October, although they usually don’t last very long. These rainfalls can provide some relief from the high temperatures and humidity.
October is the wettest, while February is the driest month.
Krabi’s climate is generally hot and humid throughout the year, even during the dry season. So make sure you are comfortable with high humidity before you commit to staying for a long period of time.
The cost of living in Krabi
Krabi is definitely cheaper than the big cities and popular tourist destinations like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui. However, the cost of living can also vary significantly within the province depending on the location and the level of development.
Let’s have a look at median prices first. The median list price for houses in Krabi is 7,082,916 baht, about $205,645, while condos’ median price is 3,798,449 baht ($110,283)
The average monthly rent is relatively low at $549 per month. You can rent a nice 4-bed villa with a swimming pool in Ao Nang for 60,000 baht per month ($1,743). Depending on the location, a 1-bed condo can be rented for 17,000 baht ($494) or even as low as 12,000 baht ($350).
- Local health insurance: 3,000-10,000 baht per year ($90-300)
- A meal in a local restaurant: 50-150 baht (1$.5-5)
- Market prices for basic items (per kg): rice – 20-30 baht, chicken – 100-150 baht, vegetables – 20-50 baht, fruit – 20-100 baht.
How much money do you need to live comfortably in Krabi
The average cost of living for a single person is $1,413 per month, while a family’s cost averages around $2,513 per month.
Krabi Town is an excellent starting point for exploring the Andaman Coast and neighboring provinces. Several bus and minivan services operate from Krabi Town, making visiting nearby destinations such as Phuket, Surat Thani, and Trang easy.
Though small, Krabi International Airport offers direct flights to various international destinations like Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Guangzhou and domestic flights to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and other parts of Thailand. The airport is conveniently located about 20-30 minutes from Krabi Town by car or taxi, depending on traffic. Shuttle buses and minivans also provide transportation between the airport and Krabi Town.
Ferry services are also an option for exploring nearby islands such as Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
For international travel, Krabi International Airport offers direct flights to several countries, including Malaysia, Singapore, and China.
You can use nearby Phuket International Airport for other international trips, just a 2.5-hour drive away.
Meeting other expats and making friends
Although Krabi is not the most popular expat destination, you can still meet fellow globe trotters here. The best way to start is through the Krabi Expats Facebook Group and Krabi Expat Forum.
You can also participate in the Krabi Marathon or join Krabi International Women’s Group.
If, for obvious reasons, you cannot join the latter, try Krabi Football Club, Krabi Rugby Club, and Tennis Club.
Southern Thai cuisine is renowned in the country for its use of various herbs and spices that create unique and aromatic flavors. Influenced by Malaysian and Muslim cuisines, Krabi’s cuisine retains the spiciness characteristic of Thai food.
The seafood here is excellent! Always fresh and aromatic, it is served with mouthwatering sources and dips.
Thanks to its tropical climate, Krabi is also ideal for growing a diverse range of tropical fruits such as durian, pomegranate, mango, jackfruit, orange, pineapple, and more. While some Thai fruits may have unfamiliar tastes or textures, many are incredibly sweet and juicy, offering a delightful treat for the taste buds.
Krabi has a good infrastructure and amenities. The area has big shops, restaurants, hospitals, and international schools. The city has many shopping malls and supermarkets, including Tesco Lotus, Big C, and Makro. There are also many local markets where you can find fresh produce and other goods.
As for restaurants, Krabi has a wide variety of options, ranging from local street food to international cuisine. You can find everything from Thai, Chinese, and Japanese food to Italian, French, and American cuisine.
Leisure and activities
Krabi has plenty to offer if you are into an active lifestyle. You can enjoy water sports like scuba diving, snorkeling, and kayaking or explore the area’s many beautiful beaches and islands. There are also many cultural attractions, such as temples and museums, and nightlife options, like bars and clubs.
Where to live in Krabi
1. Ao Nang
This is one of Krabi’s most popular tourist destinations and has a large expat community. It is located near the beach, and the area has many restaurants, bars, and shops. There are also several international schools nearby. Ao Nang is well-connected to other parts of Krabi and has easy access to the airport.
Living in Ao Nang without knowing Thai is possible, as many locals and expats speak English. It is a popular tourist destination, so hotel staff, restaurant servers, and tour guides all speak English.
There is also quite a large expat community in Ao Nang.
Most Ao Nang street signs are in Thai and English, making it easy to navigate the area without knowing Thai.
There are several language schools here that offer Thai language classes for foreigners. If you want to learn basic Thai phrases, you can attend classes and improve your communication skills with locals. Also, a student visa is one of the easiest ways to stay in Thailand longer.
Center Point: This is the main nightlife area in Ao Nang, with several bars and clubs that stay open until late at night. It’s a great place to meet new people and have fun. Soi RCA is another great spot in Ao Nang. It’s a bit more laid-back compared to Center Point, but still, a great place to hang out and socialize.
Ao Nang Beach in Krabi is the best location for families with children. This beach offers a wide range of activities for families to enjoy.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the beachfront that offer a variety of cuisines to suit all tastes, and there are also plenty of shops and markets. The beach itself is clean and safe for swimming, and there are plenty of opportunities for water sports, such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling.
In addition to the beach, there are other family-friendly attractions, such as the Ao Nang Elephant Sanctuary, the Krabi Fun Park, and the Krabi Night Market.
2. Krabi Town
This is the administrative center of Krabi and has a mix of Thai and expat residents. It is located near the river, and the area has several markets, shops, and many cafes and restaurants. Krabi Town has good transport links to other parts of Krabi, including the airport.
You will love Krabi Town Night Market – a bustling market with a wide range of street food, souvenirs, and clothing.
It’s a good option for digital nomads as several cafes and restaurants have good Wi-Fi connections. There are also a few co-working spaces available.
3. Klong Muang
This is a quieter area located north of Ao Nang. It has a more relaxed atmosphere and is popular among families. The area has several resorts and restaurants, and it is close to the beach. Klong Muang has good transport links to other parts of Krabi.
4. Tubkaek Beach
This is a secluded area located north of Klong Muang. It is a popular destination for those looking for a quieter lifestyle and has several luxury resorts. Tubkaek Beach is further away from the main town of Krabi, but it has good transport links to other parts of the province.
5. Koh Lanta
This island is located south of Krabi and has a large expat community. It is known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back lifestyle. Koh Lanta has several amenities, including shops, restaurants, and schools. It is well-connected to other parts of Krabi and has a ferry service to Phuket.
Is it better to live in Krabi or the coastal towns?
It depends, however, when choosing your location, consider the following:
Krabi Town is generally cheaper than the coastal towns, especially the touristy areas like Ao Nang and Railay Bay.
Krabi Town has more amenities than the coastal towns, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, hospitals, and government offices.
Coastal towns like Ao Nang and Railay Bay have a more laid-back and touristy lifestyle. In contrast, Krabi Town is more Thai and traditional.
Krabi Town is more centrally located and has better transportation connections to other parts of Krabi Province and neighboring provinces. Krabi Town may be a better option if you need to travel frequently.
Is a car necessary in Krabi?
There’s no need to buy a car to live in Krabi.
Instead, you can buy or rent a motorbike, which is super easy and affordable, or use Songthaews, shared taxis that run along fixed routes.
There are also Tuk-tuks here, more expensive than Songthaews but convenient for short trips and traveling with luggage.
You can also hire a taxi, a good option for traveling to remote areas or with a group.
However, if you prefer the convenience and independence of having your own car, you can buy or rent one in Krabi.
Healthcare in Krabi
There are several private clinics and hospitals in Krabi, mostly in Krabi Town.
Bangkok Hospital Krabi in Krabi Town offers a wide range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialist consultations.
Krabi Nakharin International Hospital, also in Krabi Town, offers medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and diagnostic imaging.
Krabi Hospital is a public hospital in Krabi Town that offers medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialist consultations. While it is a public hospital, it also has private rooms for patients who prefer privacy.
Loma Clinic, a private clinic in Ao Nang, offers medical services, including general consultations, vaccinations, and emergency care.
Krabi International Clinic, another private clinic in Ao Nang, offers medical services, including general consultations, vaccinations, and emergency care.
If you are on a tourist or student visa, it is recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies and healthcare needs. Other visa options have private healthcare insurance as a condition.
Many expats who need medical coverage in more than one country choose international insurance. International health insurance can be quite expensive. To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal.
Final thoughts on living in Krabi
Krabi is more suited for a quiet and relaxed lifestyle, making it an ideal choice for couples and backpackers who prefer picturesque and uncrowded beaches. However, if you crave a lively social scene, regular events, or a bustling nightlife, you might find Krabi lacking compared to other popular locations such as Phuket.