Julie Thailand 11 Comments

Krabi, Thailand…paradise. We spent nine amazing, action-packed days here, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, snorkeling, playing on the beach, and island hopping. Without a doubt this is our family’s new favorite spot in the world. This is such a beautiful place with so much to do…we could stay here a lot longer and never get bored. I took well over a thousand photos and here are some of the best…enjoy!

Favorite Photos from Krabi, Thailand

Long tail boats are used as taxis to go from one beach or one island to another.

Longtail boats


We spent a drizzly afternoon kayaking around the islands just off of Phra Nang Beach.  There were plenty of caves and nooks and crannies to explore.


Kayaking in Cave


Krabi Kayaking

Tyler Kayaking

Kara in Krabi


We spent a day touring the islands off the coast of Thailand with Thalassa Tours. It was an amazing day…the islands here are gorgeous. You can read more about our day here.

Kids in Krabi

Boats in Pileh Bay

Into the water

Happy kids Thailand

Maya Bay

Maya Bay Thailand

Phi Phi Island cliffs

Thalassa Tours

On the beach

Boats on the Beach

Tyler Kara Christmas

Over water rock climbing


Krabi Sunset

We splurged on our hotel, not something we typically do. But it was Christmas and we stayed at more than our fair share of undesirable places in India to save up the money to do this. Our home for nine nights was the brand new Ibis Styles in Ao Nang, Thailand. We were a fifteen minute walk from the beach but we had a swimming pool which Tyler and Kara used every chance they had.

Into the Pool

Ibis Krabi

Christmas Krabi

Charlie Brown Christmas Tree

The four of us took lessons rock climbing with Real Rocks and we fell in love with this sport. We signed up for beginner lessons and liked it so much that we went back for more on Christmas Eve. To read more about our rock climbing experiences, click here.

View from the wall


On Christmas Eve we climbed at Phra Nang Beach, one of the coolest spots in the world.

Phra Nang Rock Climbing

Earth Trekkers on the beach


We arrived at the beach early the day we went climbing.  The day before, at midday, this place looked much different.

Phra Nang Beach

Beach Cave

Tim on the beach

Tyler in Krabi

Back to rock climbing…we all had tons of fun, but little Kara was amazing. She was up for everything, never tiring, never complaining. I think we’ll be signing up this girl for climbing lessons once we return to the US!

Kara Rivenbark

Kara Rock Climbing

Tim Rock Climbing

Tyler Rock Climbing

Julie Rock Climbing

We also climbed up through another cave with Wan, our climbing guide, for these awesome views back down onto the beach.

Phra Nang Thailand

We love Krabi, Thailand…what a great spot for families who want to have an active vacation. We will be back someday!

More Information for Your Trip to Thailand

BANGKOK: For a list of top experiences, check out our article Best Things to Do in Bangkok. We also have an article about where we ate and drank in Bangkok.

CHIANG MAI: Going to Chiang Mai? Here are 10 must-have experiences to have in Chiang Mai.

CHIANG RAI: One of the best things to do in Chiang Rai is visiting the White Temple.

AYUTTHAYA & SUKHOTHAI: These two ancient cities are important historical sites in Thailand. Learn how to visit them in our guide to Ayutthaya and Sukhothai.

TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD: Learn more how to plan a trip around the world in our Around the World Travel Guide. You can also read our 13 Month Around the World Itinerary and a recap about our around the world trip.


Planning a trip to Thailand? Read all of our articles in our Thailand Travel Guide.


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Comments 11

  1. Avatar for Shelley

    Hello! I love your blog site and used it heavily for a family trip to Greece a couple of years back. It’s been a great resource!
    I am now planning a family trip to Thailand for late Dec’24/early Jan’25. Family of 4; my daughter will be 18 – and my son, 16. We are planning to stay a couple of nights on Karon beach (island of Phuket) and I wanted to do 2 nights in Krabi as well. Unfortunately, while doing research about Krabi, I’ve read about considerable garbage, diesel fumes and general overpopulation that is making me heavily second-guess. I believe it’s been a while (~10yrs?) since you did your extensive travels in the area and I’m wondering if you know how it’s held up – and if you would still recommend Krabi as a destination. I want to do all the activities you featured, but I read nightmare stories (and see some photos) from recent posts. Would Ao Nang be somewhere we’d even want to consider staying in current day? Thank you in advance for any insights!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Hello Shelley. Yes, it has been 9.5 years since our visit (it was December 2014 into January 2105). I really don’t know how the area has held up. If you have seen recent reports of trash and overcrowding, that very well could be true. That would a shame because it is a beautiful place to visit with lots of fun things to do. You could do a little more searching online and if you find more evidence that Krabi isn’t what it once was, you might be better off staying in Phuket. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Steve

    Hi. I have read your blog often. We planned our 3 week trip to Arizona and Utah with help for you a couple of years back. We have since retired and are planning a four to five week trip to the Krabi area of Thailand after a week in Bangkok and a stop at Khao Sok National Park. We are both avid hikers and snorkelers. Where, in your opinion, would be an optimal location for us to rent a small house in and explore from near Krabi Town. Thanks so much. I enjoy your blog posts and have read many of them as we are also planning a trip to Zion this year.

    1. Avatar for Julie

      We stayed at the Ibis Styles Krabi Ao Nang, which is on route 4203. We really liked this location, because we could walk down to the beach and get a longtail boat from here to go to the other beaches and islands. Plus, there are a lot of shops and restaurants in this area, also within walking distance. So, somewhere along this road is a great place to stay. From our hotel, it was a 15 minute walk to Ao Nang Beach. Have fun in Zion this year! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Travel in pictures
  4. Avatar for carla

    Hi again,

    In planning our trip to Thailand we are looking for a beach location after Chiang Mai, do you prefer this to Phuket? Did you like the place you stayed in Krabi. Do you recommend staying in Krabi or a different part?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      We only visited Krabi (we have not been to Phuket). We picked Krabi because it was close to the good rock climbing spots and because it has less of a resort feel to it. We wanted a smaller town with a little more adventure. But I hear very good things about Phuket but I cannot comment on it from personal experience. We loved the hotel…it’s a good, midrange hotel, but for the year we traveled around the world it was a splurge. Out of 149 hotels we stayed in this was Tyler’s favorite spot. And we all really enjoyed Krabi…it was our favorite all-around place in Thailand. Cheers, Julie

  5. Avatar for Thomas Dino
    Thomas Dino

    Hello, brave and remarkable Rivenbarks. I read your story from VOA, what a wonderful journey you are engaging!
    I am from China, I learned that your in-coming destinations shall include my homeland. if you are still planning where to head in China, may I strongly recommend that Jiuzhaigou National Park (九寨沟国家公园) in Sichuan Province. It’s such a natural wonder that it is the if-only-choice-in-life to visit selection for most Chinese. Sincerely wish a visit to JNP will enrich your adventure.
    and wish you happy new year!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Thank you for the recommendation! I will look it up. China looks like beautiful country with so much to do. Tyler and I are excited about trying our best to speak Mandarin and we are learning how to read Chinese symbols as well. China is going to be one of the highlights of our year…we will be there in just two months! Happy New Year to you, also!

  6. Avatar for Rona Martiyan
    Rona Martiyan

    Julie and Tim, we are truly enjoying your adventures…. Thailand is one of iur favorite places as well…. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all if you…. looking forward to more places!!! have fun! Rona and George Martiyan

    1. Avatar for Julie
  7. Avatar for Kim

    Hi,Julie and Tim Rivenbark,I know you from a media report.You trip is so wonderful and wish you have more and more great wonderful next.Welcom to China.

  8. Avatar for Zunyi Tian
    Zunyi Tian

    I learned what you did from VOA, and I admire your courage and daring. As Ms. Rivenbark said:The longer that your travel, the more impact it has on how you seen the world. When I have a certain economic base, I also travel around the world. GOOD LUCK FOR YOU!!!

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