Phuket or Krabi? Which One Better for VISITORS? EXPATS?

Krabi vs. Phuket - Which is better?
Krabi at a freshwater spring stream near Thalen Bay. Krabi is more spread out, and I think there are more natural things to see and do here versus Phuket.

Choosing Phuket or Krabi is not that difficult for me as an expat, but it’s a question that many ask themselves because the two are close to each other and you’ve probably heard good things about both.

If you’re a visitor or expat and you want to know which one is better – Phuket or Krabi (just click).


Author: Vern

I'm an American expat living in Thailand. I like to write informative pieces about life in, living in Thailand, including topics like: Thai People, Thai Culture, Nightlife, Technology, and I have published a lot of photographs, videos, and even books on Thailand that you can find at There are many photographs of Thailand here - feel free to share with attribution (a link back to the home page). All written content on this site by Vern Lovic. Contact me at Google+.

16 thoughts on “Phuket or Krabi? Which One Better for VISITORS? EXPATS?”

  1. Thank you nice article. I am someone who really love phuket. Last month I’ve been to Surin Beach and like this place very much because this beach is quiet, white beaches and crystal clear waters. Surin Bay Inn is the great accommodation, i stay here. It’s just like a happy family, everyone there is so nice and hospital.
    I am sure, i will come back. SEE YOU PHUKET

  2. Well in my opinion Railey and phi phi were nicer than Phuket… less crowded, small places and the same beautiful beaches, but still, one of the places I liked the most in Tailand was JAMES BOND ISLAND and the whole trip, so As a plece to relax I recomend Phi Phi, Krabi and Railey, more than Phuket.
    The only thing you might miss is nightlife.. maybe there are not many clubs in the small islands, but still there are nice restaurantes and small local bars which are also nice places to crash and have some tequilas.


  3. Hi Vern,

    I agree, Krabi if far better than Phuket. Many expats who are living in Thailand seems to like the more genuine places like Krabi, Koh Tao, Khanom etc. But if you ask a tourist they might favor Phuket becuase they will find everything they want and after a couple of weeks they go back home. For me, who stay in Thailand for 6-9months each time, I would get fed up with all the hassle in Phuket. Cars everywhere and with prices that are three or four times higher than “home” in Khanom.

    1. Kata is OK, many people prefer to stay around there. There are GREAT places to eat – lots of European, Scandanavian food places over there… Kata / Karon. For some reason it feels hotter to me over there at the beach. I guess because coming over the hill from Patong, the air is sometimes cool and shady…then it’s back into the blazing sun. You ever go there, or you’re just wondering if you should have a look?

  4. From Phuket any ferry to Krabi on Feb? whole journey need how long time? if i book 4 days 3 nights to Phuket only is it sufficient time to go Krabi? thanks

  5. For those planning to come in September please be aware that the sea is quite rough (it’s the rainy season). Therefore the ferry is not in use during that period of the year. I recommend visiting Phuket in Oct-Nov. Weather is much better and you avoid the high and peak season prices and mass tourism.

  6. hi

    can you please tell me if the ferries from krabi to phuket operates on a daily basis?

    i just booked my hotels and was informed by the hotel that ferries only operates on high season.

    i will be heading there in sept =(

    1. Three years ago I was told the same thing – while we were visiting Krabi at the dock where the big ferry was just sitting there. I guess it’s still true. There are buses that go back and forth though. Daily I’m sure. If not daily, there are vans that go back and forth daily.

  7. hi guy, planing a trip 2 Thailand , 4, 6days. Planning 2 stay in krabi, planning 2 island hoop, how easy will it be in term of transportation?

  8. hello,

    This is really useful. thank you. I’m planning to travel to Thailand in Sept for my honeymoon. I’m told the weather will be still be nice and sunny in Phuket and Krabi. What you think? I’m thinking of staying in nice hotel called dusit in Phuket but want to head over to Krabi too. Any thoughts?


    1. Hi Paul – I think in September you’ll find that the big ferry to Phi Phi and Krabi isn’t running. You might hire a small boat but it’d be an expensive alternative to the bus/van service from Phuket to Krabi. If you have questions go ahead and ask… Have fun on your honeymoon!

  9. The roads around Phuket Town are very busy, sure – it’s a big place these days, lots of cars, lots of money.. but I always enjoy walking around the old town.

    As for Krabi.. I might write something next month, we plan a weekend in Krabi soon. Lots of nature to explore in that area, which is the kind of thing we like – hot springs, waterfalls etc..

  10. I think the negatives you mention for Phuket apply mostly to Patong Beach. Phuket as an island has way way more to offer than Patong. I live here and go to Patong only if I have to. Any other beach is nicer, quieter, less hassle, less traffic.

    1. Hi Jamie –

      Yep, agreed… and they also apply to Phuket town which is really crowded, people aren’t so nice… it’s full of traffic fumes… I guess I can’t seem to say enough bad about it! lol. I stayed there a couple months in Patong, so it’s a great place during off-season. Anyway, between Patong and Phuket Town is where 95% of tourist go when on vacation – they stay there and use it as a base to go to different places. There are amazing beaches in Phuket… as a whole – the rest of the island of Phuket is much slower and a much better vacation experience in my opinion. Thanks for writing…

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