Lost in the Land of Smiles — Motorbiking in Krabi


Motorbiking in Krabi was one of the highlights of my four months in Southeast Asia. Krabi is the kind of place I can’t stay away from. I first visited on a weekend trip from Bangkok with some friends. We had an incredible time despite the fact that it was raining the whole weekend. When my dad came and visited me towards the end of my semester I knew I needed to take him to Krabi.

Rather than make a beeline for the beach, we decided to stick around town and explore for the first day. We forked over about $7 to rent a motorbike for the day and set off without a destination in mind.

My whole life I’ve had a healthy fear of motorcycles. When I was really young, my uncle let me sit on the seat of his motorcycle before it had cooled down and I burned my leg on the side of it. When my dad bought an old Honda motorcycle a few years ago I gathered enough courage to take a ride on it. With the memory of my burned leg still fresh in my mind, I carefully sat on the seat and the bike immediately tipped over, trapping me against the curb. Needless to say I preferred just about any other method of transportation.

But with travel comes newfound courage.


I had spent four months watching babies, kids, and animals strapped into motorbikes zipping through Thailand. I thought if they could do it so could I. We made our way out of the main part of town, zipping through traffic as I held on to my dad with a death grip.

Motorbiking in Krabi is safer than two-wheel trips in other parts of the country. The traffic is pretty much nonexistant once you get out of the center. There were a few potholes in the roads but easily avoided. Not many tourists venture out of the beach-y areas of Krabi so as soon as you get away from the coast you get a glimpse of local life.

We had no map or itinerary in mind. Just a full tank of gas and our cameras.

A short while later, a golden Buddha peeking out of a limestone cave caught our eye. We turned our little bike on to a gravel road and were greeted by some friendly chickens. A Thai man came out to greet us and offered to show us around the cave. After a short tour, we left a small donation in the box and hit the open road again.

Krabi is famous for its steep limestone cliffs jutting out of the landscape. We had beautiful mountain views on one side and endless lush rainforest on the other. We passed through farmlands and local villages.

The sun was beating down pretty hard that day so our next stop was a tiny local market to get some iced tea — or cha yen. They must not get a lot of lost tourists at this little strip of vendors because we got a lot of crazy looks. I was very proud when I ordered my drink using my very limited Thai knowledge and I got exactly what I wanted.

This little pit stop cost us a total of $0.50 for two iced teas.

Our final stop of the day was a spontaneous visit to Huai To (Huay Toh) Waterfall. We were actually getting pretty tired at this point and about to head back when we saw a sign for the falls. Huay Toh is actually a national park just northeast of Krabi town. They charged us a 200 baht entrance fee (about $6) which turned out to be well worth it.

There’s a short walk through the rainforest to the waterfalls. The path is pretty wide and the walk isn’t too treacherous. When we were there we didn’t see another person the entire time. The falls are beautiful and a lot of fun to climb around on. We splashed our faces with water and just enjoyed the unspoiled beauty.


We returned to town just before sunset and got some dinner. After a full day of cave exploring, chasing waterfalls, and facing my fears I was getting hangry. Motorbiking in Krabi is an experience I will never forget. If you want to get off the beach and go off the beaten path for a day I highly recommend exploring on two wheels.

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