May & Mark was one of the first restaurants to feature Western food and today they still collect recipes from helpful European visitors. Specialities include excellent freshly made breads to traditional British bangers and mash and fancy cordon bleu dishes.
The night market near the Khong Kha Pier is a major evening dining destination. The excellent food is authentic Thai but it’s easy to navigate the menus as they are written in English. You can feast on freshly caught seafood, raw papaya salad, deep fried noodles, a local speciality of a prawn and lemon grass soup with mushrooms, and many varieties of satay sticks. Finish off your meal with sweet milky Thai desserts. Watch out for those evenings when shows are put organized on small stages near to the piers.
If you want to chow down with a more local crowd there’s a market on Th Sukhon that operates day and night. If you’re an early bird, there’s an experience and a half to be had at South Thailand’s largest covered market on Maharaj Soi 9. Be ready to be upstanding for the National Anthem which rings out every morning at 8am.
Ruan Pae is an old-fashioned floating restaurant. The food isn’t the greatest here but the experience of watching the mist gather around the mangroves in the evening is worth the visit. Cover up or wear insect repellent or the mosquitoes will be enjoying their own feast –you.
Bamboo and wood inside and out, The Old West Bar is a Wild West–themed bar which booms music nightly and is one popular place for a tipple. There’s a lively scene most nights and the cocktail list is long enough to keep you sampling for a while.
Do note that tourism is still a seasonal activity in this region and during the quieter months some of the shops, restaurants and places of entertainment are closed.
When you’re looking for somewhere to stay, there’s plenty of choice. Krabi caters for every class of tourist and as you would expect boasts the usual range of hotels from 5-star luxury to budget hostels. The cheapest bungalows in the area are at Ton Sai, popular with backpackers and an easy walk from Rai Leh. Had Yao is the last untouched beach in the province, and has views of Jum Mountains and the cliff walls at Ao Nang. Ko Jum is also good for those seeking peace and quiet, as is Ko Lanta. For an up-market escape from crowds head to Klong Muang or stick to the old Krabi town for the authentic Thai experience.