When most people talk about the beaches of Krabi, Thailand, the same names always seem to come up. Ao Nang, Railay, Koh Lanta … Ao Nang, Railay, Koh Lanta. Undoubtedly, these are the most visited destinations for tourists heading to the province but are they the best? Every year they are becoming more and more crowded and as we get older and perhaps wiser, tourist packed beaches are becoming less and less attractive. As we have traveled to Krabi more than any other Thai province, we have been on the lookout for a solid alternative. Enter Tubkaek Beach.
Tubkaek has fast become one of our favourite mainland beaches in Thailand. It’s a beautiful, quiet beach with a number of fantastic beach front resorts to choose from. The main draw, is the fact that Tubkaek isn’t anywhere near as crowded as Krabi’s more famous beach resorts. We first visited in July 2017 (rainy season) after our wedding in Railay with our families and have just gone back again for a nice little break in high season as a couple. Besides the water clarity and the odd downpour, there was hardly any difference. The weather was the same, the amount of other tourists was the same. The only real difference was in the price. In Thailand, you can get the same hotel for sometimes half the price depending on what time of year you choose to visit.
The beach itself is stunning. It’s a two kilometer stretch of golden sand, set against the spectacular backdrop of the Hong Island Archipelago and a little behind that, Koh Yao Noi and Koh Yao Yai. Each resort on Tubkaek has its own ‘private’ stretch of beach but in reality, you can go anywhere you want to take a break from the food and drink at your resort and try somewhere different.
There isn’t a town to speak of so apart from a small stall next to the Tup Kaek Sunset Resort selling somtam and pad Thai you are a little bit stuck for anything to eat except resort food. There is a decent independent ‘shack’ restaurant named Tubkaek Seafood at the end of the beach that whips up solid Thai and seafood dishes but prices are identical to that of the high end resorts on the beach. They also provide tours and taxis so if you want to head to Koh Hong or down to the next town, Klong Muang, then this is the place to get your transportation sorted.
Tubkaek is perfect for couples and families that are looking to chill out, unwind and make the most of being in an upmarket resort. Here are our top picks for accommodation on the beach:
Anyavee Tubkaek Beach Resort
There isn’t any budget accommodation in the area so this choice is relative to the prices of the other resorts on the beach. The Anyavee is almost half the price of some of the other resorts, starting at 1900 baht (£45 / $60) in low season making it a great option for those looking to save a bit of baht without compromising too much on comfort. The grounds could do with a facelift in parts but the rooms are spacious and clean, the staff are extremely helpful and friendly and the Thai food at the restaurant, especially at breakfast, far exceeded our expectations. The views over the bay from the upstairs restaurant, where breakfast is served, are absolutely breathtaking. You won’t find too many better places to have your morning coffee than this!
Best for Couples / Best Food.
The Tubkaak Boutique Resort
This place definitely lives up to its boutique billing. Easily the most modern, stylish hotel on the beach (also the most expensive). The Tubkaak Boutique Resort is set in a pristine tropical garden with a Thai restaurant set directly on the beachfront. There are no beachfront rooms here but the more expensive rooms do have a sea view, they are just set back a bit in the garden. Despite being the most expensive resort accommodation wise, we found the food here to be the cheapest of any resort on the beach, as well as being the best and most varied. The Thai food here is very good for resort food, with the Somtam Gai Tod (papaya salad with fried chicken and sticky rice) and the Yum Pak Kood Koong Gai Sap (Thai fern salad with prawns and minced chicken) being the standouts. If you want a break from Thai food, they have an Italian restaurant onsite that serves up some excellent woodfired pizzas and freshly made pasta for the same price (if not cheaper) than the Thai food at the resorts along the beach. In Our opinion, the boutique resort would also be the best bet for couples.
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Being on Tubkaek Beach, you are a slave to hotel food, there’s no getting away from it. Thankfully, this Gai Tod Somtum Khao niew (fried chicken, papaya salad and sticky rice) combo has kept me from going insane today. This area isn’t cheap so at 250 baht a set, I’d say it’s the best value set on the beach. #tubkaekbeach #gaitod #friedchicken #southernfriedchicken #thaifood #aroii #thaifood
Best Beachfront Bungalows / Best For Families
Tup Kaek Sunset Beach Resort
For us the Tup Kaek Sunset strikes the right balance between value for money, style and comfort. The beachfront bungalows are the best value on the beach, especially in low season, with prices starting at around 5000 baht (£120 / $160). They are by no means cheap but in comparison to the other resorts, we think it’s a pretty good deal. There are cheaper rooms here, starting at around 3000 baht and if you are traveling with a family, you might want to consider the rooms with direct pool access. The 75m pool is one of the biggest we’ve come across at a hotel in Thailand and is a great place to keep the kids entertained for a few hours.
You can watch our full video review of Tubkaek Beach below. If you like the video, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel so you never miss another one!
What If You Get Bored Of Sunbathing?
As previously stated, there is nothing to do here. So, if you’re like me and can’t stay in one place too long without going stir crazy, you can head over to nearby Hong Island on a longtail boat. We would strongly recommend taking a private tour and leaving early before the group tours descend upon the island from Ao Nang and Phuket. The standard price is 1800 baht (£42 / $55) for the boat, regardless of the number of people in your group. The island gets crazy busy after 10 AM so it’s definitely money well spent. You can check out our video review of the island below to get low down on just how crazy it gets!
Getting to Tubkaek.
The easiest way of getting to Tubkaek beach is a flight from Bangkok to Krabi and then a taxi. We recommend using www.krabicab.com for the taxi. We paid 750 baht ( £18 / $24) for a very comfortable car with a friendly, chilled out driver that was waiting for us as soon as we arrived at Krabi airport. We have no affiliation with the taxi company, they are just the best and cheapest we have used so far.
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