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Phuket vs Krabi
An introduction to Phuket and Krabi
Thailand is one of the main attractions for all types of travelers and explorers. It is on nearly everyone’s travel list.
Thailand is well known for its majestic white sand beaches, the extravagant palaces and the amazing religious temples dating back hundreds of years.
The country sports both huge cities with amazing skylines and rustic villages and towns for you to explore with friends and families.
Most people who visit this magnificent country go to give all of their senses a treat.
The Southeast Asian country has such a rich and beautiful culture from their scrumptious food that excites the taste buds and is world-renowned to the architectural and historical marvels.
The country of Thailand has got it all.
Most people who plan their trips to Thailand nowadays have two places on their bucket lists almost always and those places are Phuket and Krabi.
Most people will generally go to one of them since they are both beautiful islands to visit. These two islands might be close by to each other but they are completely different.
Phuket has been a tourist destination for a while longer than Krabi but Krabi has seen a recent trend of tourists coming to its beautiful island due to more focus on tourism by the people of Krabi.
Phuket is a small island compared to Krabi since it is approximately 543sqkm and consists of 30 beautiful islands.
On the other hand, Krabi is 4708sqkm and consists of 80 islands so by size alone Krabi is huge in comparison to its neighbor.
The size comparison is not where it ends though because Phuket has white beaches and beautiful blue waters for you to swim in while Krabi has lush mangrove forests and magnificent white sandstone beaches.
Both Krabi and Phuket offer plenty of attractions
Both islands offer a wide variety of attractions from scuba diving to longboat rides, spa treatments, and zip-lining however since Phuket is more popular and has been around for a tad longer there are certain plus points for tourists who want a dynamic nightlife, clubs or maybe other activities.
Differences between Phuket and Krabi
The beaches in Phuket are what is typical of a Thailand resort area. If you want those white sandy beaches with loads of tourists sunbathing in the white sands while others are scuba diving or swimming and doing water sports then Phuket is definitely the place to be.
With the pearl of the Andaman Sea just a stone’s throw away from Phuket the place is packed with activities bars clubs and resorts.
So, if you are into a typical beach holiday then Phuket should be your choice but if you are into the quite, rustic and more natural feel than definitely try out Krabi. Krabi is home to lush mangrove forests and those beautiful sandstone cliffs.
The area is less congested than Phuket and has a more natural vibe to it. So if you like your beaches natural with less construction and clutter than paddle your way to Krabi. We leave it to you to decide.
Phuket vs Krabi. The Island Hopping
As far as island hopping is concerned Krabi has more islands than Phuket but then again it entirely depends on what you are into.
If you want to explore islands be entranced by the natural beauty of Thailand’s southern seas and jungles than Krabi is definitely the place for you. You can enjoy activities like hiking, mountain climbing, paddling, treetop adventures, and quad biking.
However, if you are interested in a more diverse experience then Phuket should be your choice.
Generally, Krabi is a quieter area since it is less congested and has fewer visitors but if you are in Phuket and visit Similan or the Surin National Park then you can find a nice quiet place to scuba dive in the beautiful turquoise waters and relax and enjoy nature as well in seclusion.
Pure bliss! However, Phuket is famous for its nightlife and resorts and of course the incredible James Bond beach where one of the movies was filmed.
Phi Phi islands are always easy to reach with transfers or a day tour, both from Krabi and Phuket.
There are different day tours that are a magnificent choice for islands hopping:
Best islands hopping from Krabi:
Seven islands tour by longtail boat
Seven islands tour by speedboat
Seven islands tour by big boat
- Four islands tour by longtail boat (very traditional tour)
Hong island tour by speedboat
Best islands hopping from Phuket:
Maiton island tours
James Bond island tour with Phang Nga bay
Coral and Raya islands tour
As mentioned before from both destinations to Phi Phi islands:
Phi Phi island tours from Krabi
Phi Phi island tours from Phuket
Phuket is a smaller and more popular tourist destination with a vibrant nightlife. Littered with bars and resorts this place is jammed and packed with tourists year-round so if you do want peace but do not mind the noise of all of those tourists and peddlers on the roads then Phuket should be your destination.
The islands have many spas to keep you relaxed for hours on end.
However, if you are interested in peace, quiet and the beautiful sounds and sensations of nature then Krabi should be your prime destination since it is packed less with people and offers a more natural experience to those who come to its islands.
Krabi is a great place to seek adventure and peace of mind, bonding with nature as one.
Phuket vs Krabi. Hotels
Phuket offers a list of locations with amazing service and even more fantastic views.
The properties available for stay at Phuket are architectural marvels in their own right since they are three, four and even five-star hotels.
They cost far more but the locations offer stunning views that just numb the senses. Waking up to majestic white and golden beaches and pristine turquoise waters is just a surreal experience.
If you, on the other hand, want to get away from the world and your daily life and just want to stay away from hordes of mindless tourists then Krabi can offer you remote locations for you to enjoy your time alone or with your loved ones.
Imagine sipping a cool drink next to the white golden beaches with your own private quarters far away from the bustling and worries of the crowds.
Phuket vs Krabi. The Food
If you are into a high life and want more of the fine dining experience then Phuket should be your number one choice.
Since Phuket has a more competitive atmosphere due to the high demand of tourists many expensive and world-renowned chefs have opened up restaurants in Phuket to delight your taste buds with their concoctions.
Even on some of the more far away and less visited beach fronts food will always be top-notch in Phuket and they even offer a wide variety of foods from the more traditional foods to more worldwide Phuket will have it all under one roof.
If you are looking for more of the local delicacies, maybe some freshly caught fish then Krabi is the place for you. If you are a lover of traditional Thai food then definitely visit Krabi.
The amazing succulent food prepared by the locals combined with the rustic and natural feel of Krabi just makes the experience the next level.
Phuket vs Krabi. The scenery
Phuket is beautiful in its own right and so is Krabi but both of them have their own distinct features. Phuket is a more vibrant place full of people and places to see.
Phuket offers a wealth of attractions from its historical buildings and blends of old colonial architecture with the combination of modern designs that reflect the Thai people’s old Phuket town is a place to visit and definitely see for a change of pace.
Phuket is iconic for the white sandy beaches and the beautiful turquoise waters.
The scuba diving island of Similan is world-famous for its coral reefs.
Not only that but Phuket offers modern amenities and is definitely a party goer’s destination with the clubs and bars and even the cabaret.
However, if you are tired of city living and clubbing and want natural scenery with more places to explore then Krabi is the island for you.
The Railey Islands on Krabi are famous for the white sandy beaches and even its caves. Explorers and adventurers alike can have fun peeking and exploring the caves and jungles of Krabi.
There are even natural hot springs found in Krabi the ones in the Khao Phra Bang Khram are famous.
Who would not want to spend their time relaxing in the fresh thermal springs surrounded by the beautiful Krabi jungle?
You can even see the beautiful Krabi sandstone cliffs which create a beautiful contrast with the green jungle of Krabi.
Nightlife at Phuket and Krabi:
Whenever you go on a tour, on a weekend experience, there is no doubt that the day-life is important and you can plan all you want.
The main concern is the nightlife, if you are visiting a place which has a boring nightlife then you will be disappointed. Let’s discuss the nightlife at Phuket, it is known about the lace that it has an entertaining nightlife.
The reason why we are saying this is that there are many options to choose from, every area hosts a different theme. In case you don’t know about Patong then you are missing the most fun thing to do at night in Phuket.
It is known as the party central of Phuket, without any doubt because it is alongside the 500 meters long Bangla road.
You have to cover a very short distance to the nightclubs, there are many beer bars, lounges, and go-go bars.
This means that the nigh life at Phuket can be full of parties and entertainment especially when you are with your best buddies.
As far as the nigh life at Krabi is concerned, there are more beach bars but you have to keep in mind that there are strict laws that you have to follow because the enforcement of rules is made sure there. For instance on the usage of the beach. While if we compare it with Phuket you might not find any beach bar or a good club.
There are many which are near the beach or they are somewhere behind it but you won’t notice any which is right next to it.
Phuket does not give you an opportunity to enjoy the bar while sitting on the sand of the beach. Krabi is more like a place that has utilized the beaches in the best possible way. There are many places to go and party, you can enjoy your drinks while you are near the waves and it’s amazing.
Water sport/other sports activities:
If we talk about the sports activities opportunities available at Phuket, then most of the tourists enjoy the fun activities over there.
The reason why sports activities are trustable by the tourists is that they are fully supervised by the professional and are carried out under the safety of activity centers.
Some of the most amazing sports available there are zip lines at Flying Hanuman then comes the cable water skiing at the Anthem Wake Park.
Another interesting activity can be done at dozens of gyms is Muay Thai training. You will witness a lot of scuba diving activities going on there along with other sports such as go-karting, golf courses, and flow riders.
Comparing it with Krabi, one of the assists of Krabi is its untamed natural environment and places.
There is no doubt that there are no as such professional handled activity centers like Phuket, but still do not lose hope because there are still some fun activities that can be done over there.
If you are one of those people that would appreciate exploring the island-hopping or jungle-trekking then you should go to Krabi.
Apart from that, there is Kayaking, in case you are an adventure lover that can take extreme risks then you should go for rock climbing. It is said to be the best thing done by adventure lovers in Thailand.
Phuket is known for its shopping due to the big shopping malls that are situated there, not only that but these shopping malls have all the big-name brands available.
You might see small boutiques that are selling custom made stuff. There is no other better option than Bangkok in regard to shopping.
Krabi is known for selling handicrafts that are easy to find and available everywhere, there are less in Phuket. There are small markets and shops in Krabi.
Consideration of Price:
Both of the places have a different price range, you might find something that is cheap in Krabi but expensive in Krabi.
The price range varies, we can say that both the places are pretty the same in terms of price.
As far as the cost of tourism is concerned, which includes tickets, transport and accommodation then it pretty much the same with a few differences.
Both the places have to offer you different things, all we know is that whatever that costs is worth all of your money because you are going to enjoy spending money on the things you enjoy and love over there.
In terms of shopping, you might find Phuket expensive, because mostly branded stuff is available there.
Which is better Phuket or Krabi?
Now the answer to this is not really straightforward since it entirely depends on your preferences. Let’s take Phuket for example.
If you are a person who enjoys clubbing, drinking, partying, dancing, fine dining and generally all the things you can do in a tourist hub that does not require a lot of hiking and adventure then Phuket is definitely the place for you to come and enjoy.
The islands within that region are full of party-goers interested in relaxing on the white sandy beaches and swimming or diving in the sea.
The place is best for young people or large groups of friends who want to enjoy their youth.
If you are a laid back kind of guy who wants nothing but to enjoy nature and have a more relaxed vacation away from the screaming and noise of the city then Krabi should be on your destination.
This place does not offer the extreme clubbing and nightlife or the helicopter rides you can get on Phuket but this place is its own wonder.
The lush green mangrove forests and the amazing turquoise water contrasted with the white sandstone cliffs just enamor you with their beauty.
Krabi is definitely a place you want on your bucket list so you can enjoy the more traditional Thailand and have a nice fun getaway with your wife’s, girlfriend or family. So depending on your preference both are must-see.
Why not visit both since them both incredible places to visit. They truly are paradise on earth.
Which is Cheaper Phuket or Krabi?
Generally speaking, both Phuket and Krabi have the same price range in regards to food and drinks. Some activities might be expensive in Krabi but will be moderate in Phuket and vice versa.
Let’s take lodgings for example, in Phuket the hotels are always pushing and high end which will cause you to spend quite a bit on hotels and resorts while hotels in Krabi are comparatively cheaper considering they are generally isolated and are focused on attracting backpackers or families.
In the same way, certain activities will be more expensive in Phuket than in Krabi. So keeping that in mind the prices are fairly even with Phuket just peeking out on the steeper end.
Should you visit Krabi?
Well, that’s a no-brainer. Krabi is a gorgeous place to visit and is just a treat for the senses.
The place is beautiful and has so much to offer. It is appealing to the backpacker who wants to explore and get into a bit of adventure.
The 83 islands make this place a definite treat for all those who love traveling and exploring.
It has places like Phi Phi islands that take your breath away with the glistening turquoise waters and the beautiful cliffs of the island shooting out of the water.
Truly a sight to behold.
So yes. Krabi is a place everyone should visit more than once because the place has a lot to offer and is also less crowded than Phuket so gives it an added bonus for all those who want to avoid crowds.
How far is Phuket from Krabi?
Well by land Phuket is only 180kms away from Krabi and well by sea it’s far less than that. There is a ferry service that takes eight and a half hours long but it has a surprise.
The ferry service takes you on a scenic route with a five-hour stopover at the beautiful Phi Phi islands where you can enjoy the beautiful paradise.
If you fancy a quick trip from Phuket to Krabi then speedboats are the way to go although they want to drop you at Krabi town at the town of Ao Nang, it will only take you one hour and twenty minutes.
Remember though it’s the most expensive way to travel. By land, you have a further three options the bus, minibus or taxi.
The fastest time travel is with the mini-bus and taxi however they both cost more.
The minibus is fast and cheaper than a taxi but you will have to wait for the minibus to pick all its passengers up.
The route will take around 2 hours. A taxi is the most expensive but if shared by a few people it can cost less.
The benefit is that it will be just you and your friends in the taxi and you can stop off at different places.
The journey via taxi will take the same as a minibus and that is 2hours. The bus is the cheapest and offers the most legroom. The best will take 3 hours and only stop at certain terminals so that is one downside.
Both Phuket and Krabi have so much to offer and they both have their own personalities. You can see this through the facilities it offers. Both Phuket and Krabi should be explored since they are so different even though they are so close to each other.
Depending on your vacation needs if you want a blowout party in a tropical beach paradise then Phuket is your choice but if you want a relaxing rustic getaway with a natural theme then definitely go for Krabi.