"Go to the beach once a year, leave your concern by the sea and never bring it home" - me
I've just come back from a very refreshing holiday with my fam and it was AMAZING.
We went to Krabi, a small city in Thailand which offers a great deal of fascinating activities.
It's sort of like Phuket, its sibling city which is more well known for the beaches, but compared to Phuket which I visited like 5 years ago, Krabi is more serene and really my cup of tea.
Since they are the same kind of tourists destination, you can actually travel on the road from or to Phuket for several hundred Baht. The islands that the boats take us to actually can be reached from Phuket too.
Before I went there, I did some research about the city and Idk if it's right but there are two beaches where you can stay which are Ao Nang and Railay. I heard some other tourists come from Tonsai but I think it is located in Ao Nang too.
Ao Nang is 30 minutes from Krabi Airport and once you reach the beach, then you will see hotels, guesthouses, small cafes, tourist agencies and souvenir stalls along the street. The Ao Nang beach is just across them. I think there are two harbors for ships. One is right at the Ao nang beach, and the other one is somewhere just a little further. There are some activities like parasailing as in Phuket but I don't think there is any jet ski ride at Ao Nang beach.
The sand at Ao Nang beach isn't soft but the water is pretty clear and clean..though not many people swim in.
Food sold in restaurants are mostly Thai, Indian, Western,and Chinese cuisine and some of them are pork free for there are many Muslims living there too.
Small stalls sell fruits, grilled seafood, and of course my all time favorite Thai pancakes!!
Restaurants might cost from 150+ Baht, grilled seafood from 50+ Baht and pancakes from 30+ Baht.
The city has some small bars along the street which are pretty nice for young ppl, it doesn't sleep. Some review from the internet talk about crime, but I think it will be fine as long as you keep your stuff safe.
The street of Ao Nang district
Hotels range from 3-5 stars at the price of 1700+ Baht for superior room. Some hotels near to the beach cost around 3000+ Baht.
I stayed in Maleedee Bay Resort which was kinda far from the beach (15 mins walk) but it's nice and peaceful with some friendly staffs. It provides free shuttle from and to the beach every hour, I recommend it to ppl who want some relaxing holiday. At first I was kinda rushed in choosing hotels, so I chose the one with the nicest pictures and reasonable price before I read the reviews about the hotel. I didn't realize how far it is to walk for 15 mins to the beach and I was shocked with some negative comments in tripadvisor, but in the end I think it is not that bad. Yes, the receptionist was not really really helpful but he did help me to call Air Asia to confirm my flight. My room was a family suite and it was spacious. It worth every penny. It has three swimming pools, one of the smaller pool is just 10 sec away from our room. Food in the restaurant was so-so but overall pool and lobby are okay to hang around.
Tour agencies along the street offer various trips from different companies. Prices may vary depend on the accommodation. Prices of half or full day trips are negotiable. Sailing by longtail boat is somewhat cheaper than big boat or ferry.