Krabi and Phuket both are top tourist destinations of people who visit Thailand. They offer a distinct atmosphere and are for travelers with different taste of places. Krabi caters to different needs of tourists and Phuket has a whole set of other offerings.
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Krabi has beautiful serene and quiet beaches to relax, meditate and introspect. It is ideal to beat hustle bustle of city life. It has quiet roads in between of jungles. The beaches are white limestone sand covered. Krabi is meant for nature lovers as it has beaches that are relatively unknown. Limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forest cleanse the sight and soul. Nature can be seen and felt in every particle of Krabi.
The beaches in Krabi are less crowded as a different set of travelers visit it. It is still accessible mainly by boats and canoes so Krabi is quite untouched. There are no water sports to spoil the cleanliness of the water. The beaches are mesmerizing. It is meant for romantic travelers. It has a far lesser number of resorts and bars as compared with Phuket. It is also more budget-friendly than Phuket.
But as far as Phuket is concerned it is for adventure lovers as it offers scuba diving, snorkeling, rock climbing, river rafting, zip lining, and the list seems endless. Phuket has been a major tourist destination for quite some time now. Phuket is a complete package as it has Museums, markets, crazy nightlife, cooking classes, authentic Thai restaurants, innumerable bars, etc. If one wants to enjoy these activities then Phuket tops the list.
There are night shows; cabarets, dolphin shows to name a few activities. Phuket offers nightlife lovers time of their lifetime. Phuket has a famous Patong Beach that offers Jetskis, parasailing. Phuket has a Fantasea theme park which is considered one of the best in the world. To cater to the needs of tourists from around the world they have multi-cuisine high-end hotels. Various spa treatments are also available in all of Phuket. There is a Ban Teelanka Upside down house and Phuket Aquarium with aquatic plants and fishes.
Phuket has been crowded with tourists so has become totally commercialized and hence a bit expensive than Krabi.
If you are on a 7-day visit of Thailand then Phuket should be visited for 4 days and at least 3 days should be spent in Krabi, relaxing the mind and soul.