If you are physically challenged or have special mobility needs, Krabi can usually cater for them. Such services aren’t advertised as most will simply be provided on an ad hoc basis, by helpful local people. Be prepared for a loss of independence on arrival however: a lack of legislation means that things that are taken for granted in the west, such as ramp access to all public buildings – or even the footpath! – simply don’t exist here.
So, if you are in a wheelchair, you will need to accept the fact that you will be pushed, lifted or carried far more than normal. If you can, travel with a helper to minimise this and also to facilitate finding and communicating with others who may need to assist.
While a lot of places on the tourist trail will be off limits, due to accessibility issues (some jungle treks or viewpoints for example), there are still many activities and experiences that disabled travellers can enjoy in Krabi.
Note that group tours would generally not be an option, simply because the vehicles used are outfitted to pack in as many guests as possible, leaving little room to manoeuvre.
Private charters – drivers with cars, or (if you can manage it) boats – are quite easy to organise. Your hotel should be able to do this, as well as brief the driver on the route required. Otherwise, the ferry to Phi Phi or some of the dive boats are a good bet for a cruise – the latter will also have a platform to lower yourself in and out of the water if you wish to swim, snorkel or dive.
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Wheelchair accessible hotels in Krabi
Our picks of mid-range (3 – 4 star) accessible hotels can be found below. Please contact the individual hotels if you require specific details about bathroom fittings, door frame size etc.
Aonang Villa Resort
This beachfront resort has an excellent central location and offers “handicapped” [sic] rooms on its ground floor, overlooking the pool and garden (though with no direct access to it). Ramps throughout the resort grounds mean that most of the property is accessible.
Deevana Plaza Krabi (Ao Nang)
Another resort with a few fully accessible rooms, including properly equipped bathrooms. This is a modern property, with contemporary decor and easily accessible pool area.
Krabi Tipa Resort (Ao Nang)
Ground floor deluxe rooms and bathrooms have wheelchair access and a plastic chair can be provided for the shower – though there are no grab rails. Note also that the swimming pool is up a steepish slope so access may be restricted.
Srisuksant Resort (Ao Nang / Nopparat Thara Beach)
The pool access rooms on the ground floor are great for people with reduced mobility – you can enter the water directly from the balcony. Plastic chairs are provided for the bathroom, and the door frames will fit a standard 76cm wide wheelchair. There are a couple of steps around the hotel, notably to get into the restaurant, but staff are available to assist. The beach in front of the resort is good for wheelchair users as there is a wide footpath along its whole length.
Nadivana Serviced Apartments (Klong Haeng village)
If self-catering will be more convenient, Nadivana offers studios and apartments on the ground floor – with direct pool access – that have basic kitchen facilities. Rooms are spacious, though bathrooms may not fit wider wheelchairs (contact them with your measurements to find out). Nadivana is located a way out from the beach; there is not much within the immediate vicinity.
In addition, you will find that most of the hotel chains who have properties in Krabi have complied to international standards of accessibility in their planning and building. As these tend to be four and five star, you will also find staff and equipment on hand to assist with any special requests, as well as plenty of dining choices on site.