Separated by the Phang Nga Bay, Phuket and Krabi are two of the main tourist destinations in Thailand. The two neighbouring regions have become increasingly popular because of the natural beauty, tropical weather and amazing attractions present on both islands.

While these two destinations are equally beautiful, each offers a very distinct vibe that attracts different kinds of travellers. Want to know which one is better for you? We’ll give you a clear understanding of what to expect on both Phuket and Krabi.

Phuket Vs Krabi: The Vibe

Located in the south of Thailand, Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and quickly becoming the most popular. In recent years, the growth of the tourism industry has transformed the island into Thailand’s wealthiest providence- in many towns, it shows. There’s never a dull moment on the island because of the huge range of activities and attractions to see and do. From gorgeous beaches to lively towns and markets, world-class shopping and a number of restaurants and entertainment options, Phuket has it all.

Also located in Southern Thailand, Krabi is less crowded and arguably more relaxing than Phuket. The natural beauty is what tourists love about the island and is the reason why it is slowly coming Thailand’s go-to providence. Krabi is the quintessential leisure island, featuring miles of beautiful beaches, a jungle-covered interior with caves, waterfalls and exotic animals.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Best Time To Visit

Although Phuket has a tropical climate, the most favourable months to visit are from November to April when there is the least amount of rain and the most sunshine.

The best time to visit Krabi is from November to April when the area’s climate is not as hot. During this period the island gets a lot of dry northeasterly winds, giving dry blue skies, nice sea breezes and starry nights.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Ease of Access

Phuket is an hour-and-a-half flight away from Bangkok. You can also take the bus from Bangkok or Phun Phin, which are 13 hours and 5 hours respectively.

Thai Airways operates daily direct flights to/from Bangkok, likewise Air Asia from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. Krabi is an hour-and-a-half flight away from Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. There are also regular direct bus services between Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal and Krabi, which can range between 10-12 hours.

Phuket Vs Krabi: The Beaches

Phuket is undoubtedly famous for its stunning beaches. Patong Beach is the most popular because of its variety of water activities and beach parties. Further south, Kata and Karon are two of the popular resort beaches and can offer a quieter scenery than Patong. Tourists that are more adventurous will discover many secret beaches all across the island.

Ithaka | Ithaka

In Krabi, the Ao Nang Beach, the ultimate resort beach of Krabi, is a favourite among families. It offers many water sports and opportunities for snorkelling and diving.  Railay beach is well known for its laid-back atmosphere, full moon rites, and rock climbing adventures. For the ultimate beach lovers, we recommend you to make the way to Koh Lanta (South of Krabi) and discover its long and serene beaches.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Villas & Resorts

As a world-class travel destination, you will find more accommodations in Phuket (the island has some 300 accommodations) for families, honeymooners and solo travellers. While many of the hotels are of a luxurious nature, there are cozy guesthouses and resorts on the island suitable for those on a budget.

Krabi tends to be more budget-friendly when it comes to accommodations. In Ao Nang and Klong Muang, you will find the largest choice of hotels as well as the most luxurious resorts. The serene town of Railey is known for its more relaxed and remote accommodations.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Adventure Activities

Phuket offers many fun and thrilling adventures. Zip-lining, bungee jumping, water zorbing, ATV Riding and more await you in Phuket.

Krabi’s natural attractions and jungle-covered interior make for the most adventurous vacation. Adrenalin junkies won’t be disappointed by the range of activities to do. ATV excursion, Off-road dirt biking, White Water Rafting, Rock climbing and zip-lining can all be found in Krabi.

On both islands, there are opportunities for diving, snorkelling and other exciting water activities.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Nightlife

Phuket’s nightlife is pretty impressive, especially in the Patong area. Here you’ll find beach clubs full moon parties and many boat parties. Bangla Road, specifically, comes alive at night in Phuket with a host of nightclubs and lively bars that line the street.  

Alternatively, the nightlife options are more limited in Krabi. In Ao Nang, there are a few bars that mimic a club with live music on the weekends. Out on Railay Beach, you’ll find a more laid back party atmosphere with people dancing and drinking around fire shows performances and full moon parties on selected dates.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Island-hopping

Phuket’s location makes it an excellent starting point to go island-hopping. Koh Yao, Racha island, the famous James bond island, course Koh Phi Phi, and the inhabited Bamboo island are all popular islands that are just a boat ride away from Phuket.

Krabi is also an excellent destination for island hopping with its 83 islands surrounding the region, most of them being inhabited. Daily boat rides from both Krabi and Phuket offer the chance to explore the white sandy islands in the Phang Nga Bay.

Phuket Vs Krabi: Things to do/Places to see

Since Phuket has been a tourist destination for longer than Krabi, you will find a larger panel of activities in Phuket. Visit the Phuket Tiger Kingdom or Phuket Elephant Sanctuary if you love animals, the 45-meter Buddha statue or Wat Chalong for a little bit of beauty and Phuket culture, and for the biggest entertainment show on the island, the cultural theme park Fantasea is a must-visit.

From soothing relaxation to cultural explorations and active outdoor adventures, Krabi has an abundance of terrific things to see and do. If you grow tired of water activities, you can always go swimming in the inviting waters of the Emerald Pool at Thung Teao Forest Natural Park, Wat Tham Sua (Tiger Cave Temple) or Phra Nang Shrine, try some delicious traditional Thai food and even get a Thai massage.